Mango Lime Chili Salad


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Mango Lime Chili Salad

Mangoes are one of the most refreshing fruits and so well suited to hot summer days. As much as I enjoy eating slices of fresh mango in warm weather, the fruit also goes well dressed up in sweet, salty and spicy summer salads too. In this refreshing salad, the natural sweetness of mangoes is complemented by fresh lime juice with some heat from fresh hot chilies. It's one of the easiest salads I make, and it is best made ahead of time so the salad can sit in the refrigerate to allow the mango to marinate. Depending on how sweet your mangoes are, use more or less sugar as desired. I served the salad over mixed greens, though it could easily be served just as is, almost like a condiment.

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Beetroot Paneer Kofta


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Beetroot Paneer Kofta

Served all the way from the Middle East through India to central Asia, there are as many versions of koftas as there are tastes and preferences. Although originally made from ground meat, there are countless vegetarian versions of these little "meatballs", or sometimes rounded patties, to be found too, many made with cooked beans, potatoes or paneer cheese instead of meat, but always with herbs and spices. Often they are served in a creamy sauce.

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Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Crispy Paneer and Lime Pickle


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Crispy Paneer and Lime Pickle

My discovery of Indian food many years ago had an enormous effect on my kitchen, transforming the way I cook and the way I eat. The variety of ingredients — pulses, vegetables, spices and seeds — is without doubt nutritionally beneficial to vegetarians, but it was the array of flavors and techniques in Indian cuisine that really captured my imagination.

Among my favorite Indian foods — and something I always order on the rare occasion when eating out at an Indian restaurant — are savory flatbreads, paneer cheese, and Indian pickles. Indian cooks are wonderfully creative when it comes to flatbreads, using a variety of different flours and seasonings to come up with countless textures — light or substantial — and flavors. Paneer cheese is creamy and delectable, holds its shape when cooked or fried, and absorbs the flavors of the spices or seasonings in which it's cooked — I always keep a few blocks in the freezer for when the temptation strikes.

But it's the mustard-cured pickles that might have been the greatest revelation. Completely unlike pickles in North American or European traditions, Indian pickles brined in mustard oil with a pungent blend of mustard seeds, spices, salt and vinegar — known as "achar" — are unbelievably vibrant and bursting with sour and spicy flavor. If you've never tried them, you must the next chance you get at an Indian restaurant or when shopping at an Indian grocer where they are always available in jars — mangoes, chilies, limes and mixed are the most commonly found. But be careful not to eat too big a mouthful on your first try — they are very potent and do take a bit of getting used to for many. After a little while, you might find it an essential way to finish off an Indian meal.

Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Paneer and Lime Pickle

This recipe combines the best of all of these worlds — spicy chickpea flour pancakes are covered with cubes of paneer cheese that are fried in Indian lime pickles and garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and dill. It's a very simple dish to make, and has all the flavor that a devotee of Indian food could wish for. It makes for a great lunch or light dinner at any time of year, and you'll want to make it again and again.
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Blackberry Chia Jam Breakfast Bars

Blackberry Chia Jam Breakfast Bars

My breakfasts most often consist of oats or other rolled grains soaked overnight in plain whole fat yogurt in the muesli tradition and then topped with fresh or dried berries — it's a very healthy and filling way to start the day. But there are times when I like to prepare something a little different ahead of time but without sacrificing nourishment or convenience. So I often will make pans of breakfast bars filled not just with oats but also with nuts, seeds, and fruit.

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