Category Archives: Asian Recipes

Bejeweled Pomegranate Rice Pilaf

Presto chango -- basmati rice goes from white to deep fuchsia in this pilaf recipe.
Presto chango — basmati rice goes from white to deep fuchsia in this pilaf recipe.

Light up the holiday table this year with a shot of brilliant fuchsia that’s dazzlingly delicious, too.

That’s just what this “Pomegranate Rice Pilaf” is like.

It’s from the new “Masala” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

The collection of 100 recipes is by India-born Anita Jaisinghani, chef-owner of Pondicheri restaurant in Houston and a cooking columnist for the Houston Chronicle.

Spices are integral to Indian cooking, and there’s a whole chapter on them that includes a primer on how to toast and bloom them, the taste profile of the most commonly used ones, their Ayurveda properties, and suggestions on best ways to use them.

The recipes will take you from morning through afternoon to evening in dishes such as “Coconut Pancakes,” “Three Dal Stew,” “Homestyle Butter Chicken,” “Kerala Beef Fry,” and “Saffron Chocolate Bread Pudding.”

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It’s The Great Pumpkin (Curry)

Pumpkin gets spiced up for the season.
Pumpkin gets spiced up for the season.

We can’t help but get smitten with all things pumpkin at this time of year.

We make no secret, either, of tending to veer to the sweet side, with pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, and even pumpkin lattes (which, of course, has no pumpkin in it at all).

However, the savory flip side shouldn’t be relegated to second fiddle.

Not when it means indulging in something savory and sweet, plus spiced and spicy like “Pumpkin Curry.”

A Sugar Pie pumpkin stars in this dish.
A Sugar Pie pumpkin stars in this dish.

This hearty, warming dish is from “Plant-Based Himalaya” (Red Lightning Books), of which I received a review copy, a new cookbook showcasing vegan recipes from Nepal.

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Sink Your Teeth Into Chicken Banh Mi Burgers

The chicken burger goes Vietnamese.
The chicken burger goes Vietnamese.

Take all the fresh and lively flavors of your favorite Vietnamese banh mi sandwich and transform it into a burger instead.

That’s just what “Chicken Banh Mi Burgers” is all about.

Easy enough to whip on a weeknight, this delectable recipe is from “Delicious Gatherings” (Shadow Mountain), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by Tara Bench, the founder of the perfectly named blog, TaraTeaspoon, as well as the former food editor at Martha Stewart Living and former food director at Ladies’ Home Journal.

With that kind of background, she definitely knows what home-cooks want — fuss-free recipes for everyday eating or holiday entertaining that deliver. This book delivers just that, with more than 120 recipes, most of which span only one page.

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The Fun of Grilled Sticky Rice Skewers with Peanut Sauce

For fans of sticky rice, this is the bomb.
For fans of sticky rice, this is the bomb.

If you are a sucker for the crispy, crackly texture of Persian tahdig or the smoky, charred exterior of Japanese grilled onigiri, then you’re sure to go wild for “Grilled Sticky Rice Skewers with Peanut Sauce.”

I know I sure did.

In fact, this recipe, which supposedly feeds four, was roundly devoured in one fell swoop by just my husband and I.

Because I’m sure two regular people can — and will — easily lay waste to this dish, I changed the number of servings to reflect that in the recipe below.

It comes from “Rice Is Life” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by Caryl Levine and Ken Lee, the founders of Lotus Foods, the Richmond, CA company that imports rice grown on small family farms in Asia to the United States.

In business since 1995, Lotus Foods definitely knows all things rice after pioneering its black Forbidden Rice in 1995 and introducing the first certified organic jasmine rice in the United States.

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Lamb Kheema — From A James Beard Best Chef: South

A hearty, versatile and easy-to-make lamb kheema that's like the Indian version of American sloppy joe's.
A hearty, versatile and easy-to-make lamb kheema that’s like the Indian version of American sloppy joe’s.

Arguably, there has come a time in every ethnic person’s life, when they’ve been asked “Where are you from?” and cringed.

It may be an innocent-sounding query from the most well-meaning of people, but it invariably brings up the notion that you’re forever an outsider who’s never fully accepted.

Vishwesh Bhatt has a triumphant answer to that: “I Am From Here”

That is also the title of his new cookbook (W.W. Norton & Co.), of which I received a review copy.

Born in India, Bhatt has lived in Oxford, MS for more than 20 years and has been the executive chef of Snackbar there since it opened in 2009.

As he proudly and fiercely writes in the intro, “I want people to see me as I see myself: an immigrant, a son of immigrants, who chose to make the South his home, and in doing so, became a Southern chef. I claim the American South, and this is my story.”

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