Recipe Gallery

Smoky Eggplant Dip – Baingan ki Chutney

This is a twist on the famous Indian dish known as baingan bharta. It shares similarities to the more widely known Middle Eastern baba ghanoush, where the eggplants are grilled whole over a flame and then mashed to a puree. The great thing about this recipe is that the eggplants can be roasted ahead. If you happen to have your grills fired up, and have eggplants on hand, throw them on the hot grill. Half your work will be done! When roasted ahead, the whole eggplants should be stored in Zip lock bags in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

I like to add sour cream in my baingan bharta to give it an ultra-creamy texture and flavor. One of my favorite ways to serve this dip spread on wedges of toasted naan breads—as a sort of Indian bruschetta.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 medium eggplants, about 1 lb (500 g) total
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh green chili pepper
  • 1 large onion, minced (1 cup/250 g)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, minced (1¾ cups/350 g)
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon Dhaba Spice (substitute store-bought or homemade Garam Masala)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup (115 g) thick, Greek-style plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander (cilantro), for garnish

1. Flame-char the whole eggplants on a gas grill or over the open flame of a gas burner, turning constantly until blackened and soft. Alternately, roast the eggplants in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven on a sheet pan for about 15 to 20 minutes until completely soft and lightly burnt. Let cool until easy to handle, and then peel and mash the eggplant flesh.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok or saucepan over medium-high heat; add the minced green chili pepper and onion, and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, minced fresh coriander leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato juices evaporate, about 5 minutes.

3. Mix in the mashed eggplant, Dhaba Spice and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring and mashing with the back of a wooden spoon occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Take it off the flame and cool completely. Mix in the Greek-style plain yogurt or sour cream until completely incorporated. Transfer to a serving dish, and serve cold garnished with the fresh coriander sprigs.

Yellow Mung Beans with Spinach –  Dal Palak

Lentils are prepared almost daily in many Indian homes. They are rich in nutrients and equally tasty. This particular combination of spinach and lentils is one of my favorite meals. I like to eat dal palak with fresh baked bread or over steamed basmati rice laced with butter. This dish is the perfect complement to fiery hot meat curries.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 red onion (about 1/3 lb/150 g), chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon Home-Style Garam Masala
  • 1 small tomato (about 3 oz/85 g), chopped
  • 1 cup (175 g) yellow lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 3 cups (150 g) packed fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped, or 1 cup (200 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, toasted

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds—they should sizzle upon contact with the hot oil.Add the onion, garlic, ginger powder, Home-Style Garam Masala and cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook for another 30 seconds.

2. Add the lentils and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the lentils are tender but still firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add more water if you want the dal to be thinner.

3. Stir in the spinach, coconut milk and salt, cover and simmer until the spinach is cooked, about 3 minutes longer. Serve hot, garnished with the fresh coriander leaves and sesame seeds

Bengali Potatoes with Spices- Bengali Aloo

The potato is called the “king of vegetables” in India and in my kitchen it rules. Potato dishes are loved by everyone, and they go with everything. If you love potatoes every which way, you will love this exotically spiced but simple dish. For this recipe I like to use a coarsely ground mixture of the Panch Phoran Spice mixture which gives a texture and a crunch to the dish. If you do not have the time to make this spice blend simply use an equal amount of Garam Masala Day-old boiled potatoes work very well for this dish. Serve this as side dish with Masala Lamb Chops Roast Leg of Lamb or Tandoori Spiced Pork Tenderloin .

Prep time: 15minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 6

  • 3 large potatoes (about 2 lbs/1k g)
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion (about 1/3 lb/150 g), cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) dice (about 1 cup/175 g)
  • 1 tomato (about 1/3 lb/150 g), diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground Panch Phoran Mix
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

1. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and set aside to cool. Peel the potatoes and cut into ¾-inch (2-cm) dice. Set aside

2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until they are slightly cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato, salt and the Panch Phoran Mix and cook for another minute. Add the diced potatoes and stir them around for about 1 minute to allow the flavors to mix. Taste for seasoning and sprinkle on more salt if needed. Cook for another 3 minutes or so to let the potatoes heat through. Sprinkle on the coriander leaves, mix in, and serve

Manglorian Fish Curry- Mangalore Meen Kari

This vibrant and delectable curry comes from Mangalore, a region along the southwest coast of India with a cuisine dominated by fresh seafood, coconuts, dried red chili peppers and spices. The tamarind gives this true southern curry a wonderful sour finish that cuts through the richness of the coconut milk. This curry is an everyday staple and is very common among several communities in this region. I have vivid memories of walking with my father through the Saturday morning fish markets of my town with plastic bags looking for the fresh catch of the day to make Manglorian Fish Curry that evening.  It is important to remember when preparing this dish to use a gentle hand while stirring as the delicate fish flesh might fall apart. Simply swirl or shake the pan to gently mix everything together. For a complete meal, serve this dish with plain basmati rice.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

  • ½ cup (125 ml) oil
  • 10 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1 onion (about 1/3 lb/150 g), sliced
  • 1 tomato (about 1/3 lb/150 g), chopped
  • 2 fresh green chili peppers, slit open lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup (100 g) Red Masala Paste
  • 3 cups (750 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1½ lbs (750 g) fish steaks (pomfret, cod, kingfish or mackerel), washed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and onion and sauté until golden brown. Add the tomato, green chili peppers, salt and Red Masala Paste and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and water and bring it to a boil.

2. Add the fish and tamarind paste and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. When done, the flesh of the fish will be tender and easily fall off the bone. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve hot with rice.


The most authentic fish to use for this curry is mackerel, which is very popular in the southwestern coastal areas of India. Other medium to full-flavored fish of your choice can be used but do be sure to purchase fish steaks rather than fillets as the bones give a lot of flavor to the curry.

Spicy Lamb Burger

These lamb burgers are inspired by the traditional lamb kebobs flavored with spices that I have eaten in Delhi, a capital city in northern India.  I love the aromatic smell and complex flavor Indian kebobs and the classic American grilled burger. This is my way of incorporating the two. I often form these burgers into several mini burgers, or “sliders,” and serve them open face on store-bought naan bread. Whatever size you make them; they are great topped with Mint Chutney (page xx) or Plum Tomato Chutney with Mustard Seeds (page xxx) and served with a chilled glass of your favorite beer.

Prep time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour to rest the patties
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes four 1/3-lb (150-g) burgers or sixteen 1½-oz (40-g) sliders

  • 1½ lbs (750 g) ground lamb
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and pounded
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and pounded
  • 1 teaspoon Home-Style Garam Masala
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 2 fresh green chili peppers, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • Oil, for brushing the burgers
  • For sliders: 2 naan breads or 16 small buns
  • For burgers: 2 pita breads, cut in half to form 4 pockets, or 4 hamburger buns

Water melon Ice   – Tarbuj ki Baraf

This recipe is inspired by the flavored shaved ice “golas” that are served by the street vendors and ice cream trucks in India. Whereas the Indian golas use artificial flavors and coloring, this natural version combines the flavor and color of fresh watermelon and rose water (khewda). In many Indian households, fresh watermelon is served at the end of the meal as a salad or sliced on a platter with fresh mint. In keeping with that tradition, I like to serve very refreshing dessert after a heavy meal.

Prep time: 15 minutes plus 2 hours for freezing
Serves 4

  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 tablespoons water
  • 3 to 4 large fresh mint sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons rose water
  • 4 cups (500 g) chunked, seedless watermelon (about 1/3 of a 3 to 4-lb (1.5 to 1.75-kg) baby seedless watermelon)
  • Mint leaves, for garnish

1. Place the sugar, water and fresh mint in a small saucepan. Heat gently over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour the sugar water through a fine-meshed strainer set over a bowl. Discard the mint and set the sugar water aside to cool.

2. Purée the watermelon in a food processor and mix it into the sugar syrup. Chill the mixture for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in the rose water.

3. Place the mixture in an ice cream maker and churn until it is firm enough to scoop.

Alternatively, you may pour the mixture into a flat container and place it in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove from the freezer and beat with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Return the mixture to the freezer and let freeze 2 hours more, beating the mixture at half-hour intervals. Freeze until firm.

4. Serve the frozen ice in a sundae cup garnished with mint leaves.

Pistachio Cookies

In preparation, texture and shape, these cookies are similar to Italian biscotti, and, like the Italian cookies, they are great for dunking into a hot beverage. In India, these nutty, tasty treats are served as an afternoon snack with chai or coffee. One word of advice: Don’t skip the freshly grated zest of orange—you won’t believe the difference it makes in these cookies. These cookies keep well at room temperature for at least 3 to 4 weeks if stored in an airtight jar.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Makes 30 to 40 cookies

  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • ½ cup (115 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (110 g) shelled pistachios
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 eggs, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)

2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, pistachios and orange zest together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Place the eggs in the well and then fold them into the flour mixture to make a sticky dough.

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean floured surface. Divide the dough into two sections and, using your hands, roll each portion into a log approximately 1½ inches (3.75 cm) in diameter . Place the logs on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment, leaving approximately 3 inches (7.5cm) between each log to allow for spreading.

4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F (135°C).

5. Remove the cookie logs from the cookie sheets and, with a sharp bread knife, cut each of the loaves into slices approximately ¼-inch (6-mm) wide. Lay the cookies on the cookie sheet, cut-side down, and return them to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the cookies once until slightly brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on wire racks.