Flying into Delhi in the middle of the night is disorienting. We arrived at our hotel only after weaving through freeways, on-ramps and off-ramps, and darkened tree-lined side streets, eventually resting our heads after 2 am.
The morning brought masala dosa and lassi for breakfast, and we decided to dive into Old Delhi’s chaotic Chandni Chowk straight away—a sea of people, rickshaws, and sidewalk rubble, and an assault of signage. We sought out feathery layered and stuffed parathas for lunch at a stall where you sit on a bench facing the narrow, ancient alleyways before you.
And after, we made our way to the spice market, where I saw a cluster of women in electric green and pink saris crouched in a strip of dirt between spice vendors. They were sorting pistachios—nut from shell. One was eating a simple bowl of rice topped with a smear of what looked like an Indian harissa paste and edged by a peanut-corn vegetable medley of sorts. It was beautiful and simple and you knew at a glance it tasted good. Here’s my version. You can enjoy it over rice, over lentils, or on its own as a side dish.
This recipe is best with fresh corn—although you can use frozen corn that has thawed. Even better, swap in chopped asparagus, broccoli, or another vegetable when corn isn’t in season.
Use a mortar and pestle or food processor to smash the chili peppers, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and salt into a paste.
In skillet over medium-high, heat butter. Add mustard seeds, and once they have begun to pop, stir in corn. Cook, stirring gently but constantly for a minute or so; then add peanuts, half the cilantro, and half the prepared chili paste. Cook for another minute or so; taste, and add the rest of the paste if you donu2019t find the dish too spicy, and a good squeeze or two of lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve topped with the remaining cilantro, sesame seeds, and remaining lemon wedges.
This recipe is part of the Recipes From Near & Far collection.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.