I love carrots — now more so than ever before, too.
That’s because during this unprecedented shelter-in-place mandate, I’ve been relying on delivery services to get all of my groceries.
As someone who’s used to combing through new cookbooks to hone in on an inspired recipe to try, then racing out the door to a grocery store or two to find just the right ingredients called for, this has been an adjustment.
Now, I let the ingredients solely dictate what I make. And because I only schedule deliveries once every 7 to 10 days, it requires a lot more planning. I covet peak-season produce, of course. But because so much of that is quite perishable, I also need a mix of sturdier fruits and veggies that will last at least until the next delivery.
That’s where carrots are a godsend. They hold up well in the crisper drawer for weeks, and they can be used in so many ways, both raw and cooked.
The book is by chef and TV personality Rika Yukimasa, a Japan-native and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
While working as a commercial producer for a huge advertising firm in
Japan, Yukimasa wrote cookbooks on the side. It wasn’t long before that
became her vocation. She’s now written more than 50 cookbooks. She also
hosts a popular cooking show, “Dining with the Chef,” which airs in 150 countries, including on PBS in the United States.
Some people always keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer to suppress bruises or aches and pains.
Me? I keep one for last-minute additions to salads, soups, stews, pastas, and more.
They are nearly as good as fresh, easier to prep (there’s none involved), and are available year-round.
They add bright color, subtle sweetness, and gentle texture to so many dishes, including this one.
“Spiced Lamb with Peas (Kheema Muttar)” is from the cookbook, “Indian in 7” (Kyle, 2019), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Monisha Bharadwaj, a chef and food historian, who runs an Indian cooking school in London, Cooking with Monisha.
As the name implies, the book is all about recipes for that take seven ingredients or fewer. Bharadwaj does take a few liberties with that, though. Cooking oil isn’t included in the official count. And some recipes call for simple sauces or pastes from a different recipe in the book.
First, this cake uses hardly any all-purpose flour, for those who are running low on it like me. In fact, it calls for just over 1 tablespoon of the stuff. It’s such a small amount, though, that you could probably get away with substituting any other kind of flour for it.
In this stressful, challenging time, I scroll social media for glimpses of good news: chefs donating food to hospital workers, folks grocery-shopping for elderly neighbors, and everyday people trying to help lighten the mood with cheery videos and haikus.
I couldn’t be more thankful for the incredible recognition. I share it with the talented team whom I had the privilege to work with to make this book a reality: photographer Eva Kolenko, Clair Mack at Rule & Level Studio, Figure 1, and of course, all the chefs and restaurateurs who participated.
I salute you all with a virtual toast — as well as this easy, addictive recipe from the book to enjoy. After all, times like these when we limit trips to the grocery store, call for dishes that come together with few ingredients.