Black chickpeas have a slightly different flavour to the regular, beige-coloured chickpeas – a little nuttier, perhaps – and their texture is more robust, so they don’t become completely soft during cooking, and they don’t break down and crumble apart. They are cooked with just a few basic spices in this simple dish that’s full of flavour. In India, it is often eaten with deep-fried puris, but I suggest serving it with chapatti or rice, with chutney and salad.
Cooking it with love, slowly over a low heat, brings out the flavour of the black lentils and black cardamom and results in a rich, intense, deep taste.
This vibrant, refreshing salad makes a terrific accompaniment to any dish in this book, whether it be vegetable, chicken, fish or dal. The mango’s sweetness is offset by the chilli kick and the zingy taste of mint, while cucumber and radish add lightness and crunch.
Can you live without eating chana masala on the regular? If so, I don’t want to know. This Punjabi stew (also known as chole masala) is another of those classic Indian dishes everyone knows and loves. The tanginess you get from amchur powder is key here, but if you can’t find it, lemon juice will work in a pinch. I add greens to my version for a little color and variety, and sometimes chop up some chicken to throw in there as well.
This comforting soup is wonderfully creamy, with warm and satisfying hits from coriander, cumin and, most importantly, fresh turmeric. When in season, fresh turmeric is available from many supermarkets and Indian grocery stores, and you may well be able to find it online. You could use ground turmeric for this recipe if you can’t find fresh, but bear in mind its flavour is more powerful than that of fresh. The lentils and chicken work very well together, but if you prefer you can make a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and doubling the quantity of lentils. And, as a change from soup, you could try this dish with rice and a dollop of yogurt on top.
Millet is an ancient and highly nutritious grain that needs very little water to grow. It really should become a pantry staple; it’s easy to prepare and can be used in both savory and sweet preparations. In India, millet is used to make flatbreads and pilafs. This simple, one-pot meal features millet cooked with lentils and topped with strips of fried ginger and crunchy seared peanuts.
Our version of America’s favorite fast food skips the bun in favor of a thick, hot dosa. The Dosa Dog is one of the most popular menu items at our food truck. Kids enjoy theirs with Cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese, the Vermont factory where we park our truck, and adults typically add mustard and Masala Sauerkraut. We always choose high-quality hot dogs—the farmers’ market or the meat aisle of a natural food store are good places to find a local brand.
Gujarati Corn on the Cob Curry | Gujarati makai subji
Greens, avocado, tomato and red onion are sprinkled liberally with the chaat masala and a little fresh chile. Layer cooked chicken breast on top and drizzle the whole thing with a cumin-coriander based dressing.
Samosas are the traditional, pyramid-shaped fried pastries common in India, especially in the northern part. They are usually filled with potatoes and peas and served with mint-cilantro chutney and tamarind chutney.