All posts filed under: Cook

Moong Daal in a Pot

Ghee-licious Moong Daal

Sometimes you got to strip it all away and get down to the bare necessities. It took me six months of recipe testing to digest, practice and implement this, but I got there. Practice, practice, practice! And now I have a recipe for moong daal, I love. You would think a girl who grew up eating daal, almost every other week, could just whip up a moong daal.  It would be easy breezy. Well…apparently, that wasn’t my case. Growing up we enjoyed a dry moong curry in which the integrity of the lentil remained. Several other single lentil daal recipes were enjoyed too, but never a soupy moong. Hmmm—maybe it’s a regional thing? I am not really sure of the why, but I do know there are a plethora daal recipes. They vary from town to town, street to street, home to home, religion to religion in South Asia—that’s just the glory of daal. While working on this recipe, I pulled out every typical ingredient from my daal bag—fried onions, whole garam masalas, an array of spice mixes, but none of them were …

Sprouted Moong Soupy Khichadi with Summer Veggies

After returning home from a summer road trip to New Mexico, my body was needing cooling, hydrating and earthy nourishment. A meal that was filling, yet light. Comfort food with a touch of the summer season. Soupy khichadi, kitchri or kitchuri, depending on the transliteration, was calling my name. I started to make soupy khichadi when I was living in San Marcos. One of the many beautiful towns surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. During this life period, my eyes awoke with the sunrise and fell asleep when it was too dark to see. We had no electricity or curtains, but we had a propane stove and a pressure cooker.  All we needed to prepare our daily khichadi lunch. Not familiar with pressure-cooker cooking, my khichadi was consistently neither a porridge nor a pilaf. Instead, I’d end up with soupy khichadi. Where the lentils and rice still held together in a seasoned broth. Basically daal over rice made in one pot. A comforting meal with that nostalgic touch. Exactly what I needed, in my temporary home …

Peaches_Ghee_Coconut_Sprinkles

Peaches, Ghee & Spiced Coconut Sprinkles

It’s July and my California fruit calendar is telling me peach season is here.  So, I head to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market and guess what? Fuzzy, flame colored beauties everywhere! I love how each month my fruit calendar gets it right. White, yellow and donut peaches filled the stalls.  Calling to almost all my senses—sight, smell, taste, and touch.  Riding high with sensory overload, I picked-up more than I could eat—surprise, surprise.  Over excitement and hunger are discernments worst enemy.

Spring Time Masala Chai

Warming Cardamom, Ginger & Fennel Chai

Those leisurely Sunday mornings…lingering around in your favorite pajamas…slow beats vibrating softly through speakers…sun’s rays beaming in through the windows and pulling on those lethargic, sluggish strings to move on out…while the spirit snoozes under the aroma of cardamom, fennel and ginger brewing atop the stove. Ginger to heat the body, which has been dormant under the night sky, sweet cardamom to activate love, awaken the lungs, dissolve mucus and cooling fennel to lighten the body of excess air and water.  All three igniting the digestive fire, supporting movement and tantalizing the spirit through their aromatics. Masala chai Sundays are pure joy. For the past couple months, I’ve made it a spring ritual. Minimal ingredients, effort and three spices that are available in my spice cupboard at all times. This masala chai recipe is my current go to. It’s less milky, thus, less heavy than an autumn chai.  For a little extra pep with each step!

Zesty Fennel, Cucumber and Chive Salad

Over the past few years, fennel has a reserved spot my vegetable bin. It’s versatility, carminative properties and cooling energy has made it a weekly produce staple. When in season, I pick up a small to medium size bulb to incorporate half into a bitter-tart-sweet-slightly pungent juice, while using the stalk and fronds in homemade bone broths and the other half to roast with other seasonal veggies or shaved in a salad. From it’s seeds to flowers, fennel is used in many cultures around the globe. Commonly known as a digestive aide, fennel is cooling for the body. It is also a diuretic, helps with internal spasms and is considered a carminative herb. I wrote about the benefits of fennel, if you would like to learn about it in more detail, click here. This week, I was craving a slaw like salad. Something with a little crunch that felt cooling, was refreshing, with a touch of pungent and bitter tastes for balance and did not involve any lettuce. Apparently, all the ingredients also had to be green and white! I …

Smokin' Sweet Cranberry Chiptole Chutney

Smokin’ Sweet Cranberry Chipotle Chutney

With the craziness of the holiday season, I should have, could have, but didn’t post my cranberry sauce recipe in November. Ce la vie, at times. You do what you can do—right? It may seem out of season, but cranberries are still lingering around in the markets. If you love sweet, smoky and tangy flavors, you’re going to want to preserve a jar of this chutney, to take you through spring. If not, hold on to this recipe for next fall! Six years ago, I came across Chiptole Cranberry Sauce in Bon Appetit and have never looked back. The following year, I used it as my base recipe and added a little orange zest and increased the spices a bit. The flavor from the zest is not strong, but it adds a little complexity that makes it taste extra good. It’s hard to believe that was five years ago. To my surprise, this recipe is one of the few dishes that returns to the Thanksgiving table. every year. This cranberry chutney/sauce is a-mazing with turkey, but the sweet, spicy, garlicky, smoky flavors …

Rose-Mary Citrus Platter

It’s a Rose-Mary Citrus Party

Citrus season is in full swing in California. Local markets are filled with an abundant array of varietals, from juicy tangelos—don’t you just love the ring of it? To sweet ruby reds and blood colored oranges. On a cold winter’s day, walking through the citrus aisle warms the heart like a gorgeous sunset. The vibrant colors and invigorating scents activate the sluggish winter mind, while their sour taste activates digestion. As energizing as citrus fruits are, they are also heavy. All that juicy goodness, may be hydrating, but water can be weighing. Lucky for us, Mother Nature provides a little balance through the bitter pith and membranes. Bitter, one of the six taste in Ayurveda, is naturally detoxifying. In eating citrus with the membranes retained, the intended balanced nutrients are received—sweet with a little sour and bitter. In comparison to citrus juice, which can reduce fiber content and the bitter, detoxifying element. Juice also increases the serving portion from one piece of fruit to perhaps three or four. Something to consider, when sugar intake is of concern. Citrus fruits also …