Recipe: Dreamy Homemade Garam Masala

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Makes about 3 Tbsp Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Imagine you're in India. Having trouble? I can help. Let's make some Garam Masala. Garam Masala is possibly the most well known spice blend from India. Grandmas all over the northern region grind up fresh batches of this earthy goodness for dinner every day. They've got the right idea. Grinding whole spices as needed is the secret to bold, flavorful dishes. You, too, can fill your home with the warm, sweet smell of … [Read more...]

Interview with Sophie Herbert

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"Me, me, me" is most certainly not Sophie Herbert's mantra. Sophie's passion for social activism on a global scale shines like a bright light. Everything she does is for the benefit of others - from yoga, to singing; from films, to writing. She's been to India 8 times, spending a total of about 14 months there as a volunteer and yoga instructor.  She's also taught yoga in Kazakhstan for 3 months. Sophie writes for Whole Living Magazine, is an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a charity dedicated … [Read more...]

Recipe: Homemade Paneer/Panir (cheese)

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Makes 1 block of cheese Cheese lovers, come closer. I have a secret to tell you. I never thought I'd be able to do this. I thought it would be hard. I thought I'd just waste a bunch of milk. I didn't. The truth is, the only thing standing between you and great cheese is a half gallon of milk, salt, and a little lemon juice. That's pretty ridiculous. And empowering. Trust me. If you've never made homemade cheese before, you'll delight in the simplicity of Indian Paneer. And … [Read more...]

Menu: India

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Somehow the stars aligned and Ava's second birthday (July 4) fell on the weekend I cooked India. What does that mean? Ava's second birthday party was definitely not the candy/pizza/ice cream fest that is standard in so many homes. Nope. Instead, my yard was dotted with tots running around with kulfi pops and adults sipping masala chai (which I served iced, thanks to Oklahoma's outrageous 101F temperatures). It was really rather grand and quite possibly epic, as far as toddler birthday … [Read more...]

About the food of India

After a ritual bath in Amritsar, India. Photo by Paul Rudd

Need a smile? Want to stretch it from ear to ear? Spin the globe and point your finger. Dream of going wherever your finger lands - then go. Just promise me this - when you get there, try the Indian food. Chances are good that they'll have some. From England to Guyana, Fiji to the United States - Indian food has made it's way around the globe.  And not just Tikka Masala, the famed "butter chicken" dish from North India, but an entire arsenal of delicious treats. Here's the deal. If the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Iceland

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THE SCENE Careful, Sasha. Let's get this right. I quietly dropped the blueberries into the measuring cup, then into the pot. The first time I made the ice cream, I'd accidentally doubled the amount of blueberries required, thinking a "clamshell" container of blueberries equaled two cups. Turns out a clamshell actually holds closer to four cups. The result? Icy, icy ice cream all over the counters. Not pleasant. This time I'd get it right. The scent of cardamom wafted up from the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sweet Rye Bread Soup (chilled)

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Serves 6 This is the strangest soup I've ever sipped, and I owe it all to Iceland. Actually, "sip" isn't really the right word. It's actually somewhere between chew and sip - this soup is thick and hearty. The sugar and raisins give it a sweet, desserty feel, but - since it is meant to be eaten hot, it feels like wintertime comfort food. Add rhubarb "raisins" if desired. Ingredients: 4 slices light rye bread, chopped (5 cups) 3 slices whole/dark rye bread, chopped (3 cups) 1/2 cup … [Read more...]

Recipe: Tart Rhubarb Soup (chilled)

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Serves 2-4 Friends, when rhubarb season calls, you must answer. This cold rhubarb soup from Iceland is like a big sip of sunshine. It tastes like lemonade. It tastes like rhubarb. It tastes like "good." We only have a little more time in rhubarb land until next spring, so hop over to the grocery store and get some! Ingredients: 4 cups chopped rhubarb (cut into 1" pieces) - about 1 bunch 2 cups water 3/4 cup sugar, more as needed 2 tsp lemon juice Method: Rhubarb, rhubarb, … [Read more...]