Tag Archives: vegetarian

Grilled Avocado with Wasabi Ponzu

20 Aug

Grilled Avocado with Wasabi Ponzu

 “The greatest ideas are the simplest.” – William Golding

One of the most exciting aspects of trying new restaurants is stumbling upon an uncomplicated dish that blows your mind away. Every once in a while we encounter a dish that so simple and yet so gratifying. It’s astounding how a combination of a few simple ingredients unite to create a huge wow factor.

I had one of these moments when I ate a Grilled Avocado with housemade ponzu, fresh wasabi and nori salt at Daikaya Izakaya in DC.  A buttery avocado had been transformed into a grilled delight seasoned with earthy Asian flavors.  One taste and I knew a grilled avocado just can’t get better that this.

My recipe variation attempts to further simplify the dish.  I use widely available, store bought wasabi paste and ponzu. I add some green onions for brightness and substitute sea salt for nori salt. This unique recipe idea attests to the fact that the greatest ideas are the simplest. So for when you do try this – bon appétit or rather as the Japanese would say “itadakimasu”.  Continue reading

Corn on the Cob Curry

2 Jul

IMG_3056You can spend several years traveling all across India and still find distinctive dishes that you have never tasted before. There are thousands of regional dishes and over hundreds of ways of preparing each of them. This is the very reason India and Indian food is paradise for food enthusiasts. Just when you think you have tried every dish a region has to offer, you will surely stumble upon another unique flavor profile.

A few years ago my mother-in-law introduced me to a Corn on the Cob Curry. I had never eaten corn in a robust coconut gravy laced with tamarind paste and finished with a classic South Indian tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chilies. This dish harmoniously married together different textures and several spices; there was perfect equality among all the ingredients with no element dared to over-power another.

This adaptation of my mother-in-laws brilliant recipe features  just in time for the height of corn season. So go ahead and add something more than just butter and spice to your Corn on the Cob this summer. Continue reading

Goat Cheese & Scallion Parcels

22 Jun

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After the scorching Mumbai summers everyone impatiently awaits overcast skies and blustery rain showers. And fickle Mother Nature is typically generous with her annual torrential downpours in Mumbai. The cloudy skies cast an enchanting spell on the city drenching the parched ground and uplifting residents’ spirits.

The Mumbai monsoons play a bewitching role on an onset of my hankerings for deep-fried food.  In my mind, crunchy pakoras (various vegetables dipped in a gram-flour batter and deep-fried) and samosas (fried pastry with a savory meat or vegetable filling) along with aromatic cups of steaming ginger tea are part and parcel of a rainy day. A quintessential monsoon day had me dreaming of a cheese samosa and led to the development of these Goat Cheese and Scallion Parcels.

This recipe uses a few straightforward ingredients to create a scrumptious miniature treat of scallion specked creamy goat cheese in a crispy wonton parcel.  The dipping sauce provides the perfect piquant tang to the simple wonton parcels. These little munchies are a perfect rainy day treat for the family and yet graceful enough to serve at your next cocktail party. Continue reading

Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Tartines

14 May

Wild mushroom and goat cheese tartines

I recently read an interesting perspective that Crostini’s are so 2012! What’s trending in the world of crusty bread based appetizers are Tartines. For me either of these are just different names for petite open faced sandwiches topped with anything you can dream off. And the possibilities really are endless! Mushroom Tartines

My mother has been making mushroom toasts – toasts topped with diced and cooked white button mushrooms with parsley for years. My Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tartine recipe is a more refined (French Tartine worthy) and amplified version of her idea. And I call it a Tartine – because as a writer I need to stay current by embracing whatever is trending! Continue reading

Asparagus & Couscous Salad

7 May

Asparagus & Couscous Salad

About a month ago a few of us got together to picnic and enjoy the Cherry Blossoms in DC. When a bunch of foodies and girls who love cooking get together we end up with a surfeit of delectable treats that are often even figure friendly. The cherry blossoms were not even in full bloom but the spread at our picnic more than made up for Mother Nature’s shortcomings!

I was especially mesmerized by my friend Alisha’s Couscous Salad as she managed to breathe new life into a dull and often flat tasting dish with fresh and bright flavors. Her tricks included cooking the couscous in chicken broth instead of water and adding a distinct aroma and tang with generous amounts of fresh dill. Asparagus, Couscous Salad

Alisha’s Couscous Salad is the inspiration behind this recipe. I marry tastes and tips from her recipe with my love for adding asparagus to everything this time of the year. This salad comes together in minutes and highlights the season’s best ingredients in a light, healthy and extremely satisfying dish! Continue reading

Chinese Dry-Cooked Haricots Verts

23 Apr

Dry-cooked Haricot Verts

Green Beans never really excited me. I never craved them and yet I ate them ungrudgingly when they were cooked.  That was until I met Haricots Verts – French green beans. These stringless green beans are longer and thinner than most American and Indian green bean varieties. They also have a more complex flavor and are tenderer than the other green beans I have encountered. These beauties had me yearning for them right after I tried them!

One of my favorite preparations of Haricots Verts is at Mumbai’s acclaimed Chinese restaurant – Golden Dragon. Golden Dragon specializes in both traditional Sichuan and Indian-Chinese dishes. I recently stumbled upon Golden Dragon’s Dry-Cooked Haricot Verts recipe in the “Vegetarian Fare at the Taj Cookbook” and am tremendously excited to share a slightly modified version on my blog.  Continue reading

Roasted Radishes with a Lemon Dill Yogurt Dip

3 Apr

Roasted Radishes with Lemon Dill Yogurt Dip

I am elated to proclaim that spring is in the air and certainly in the grocery stores. The sight of pristine asparagus, bok choy, young green peas and radishes facilitates my shaking out off the winter blues and euphorically embracing  this new season.

I trot into this season with a novel discovery – roasted radishes! I grew up eating plenty of radishes, but they were always pickled or just served with salt and lemon juice.  I had never dreamt of cooking radishes, let alone roasting them until I recently stumbled upon a plethora of roasted radish recipes. I roasted up my first bunch of radishes and was amazed how roasting mellows the peppery flavor of the radish and transforms in into a whole new root vegetable.  Continue reading

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