Salmon Tikka with Everyday Dal Red Lentils

You might have guessed this by now, but discovering fresh and flavorful ways to cook at home is by far my #1 hobby!

One of my favorite brands to cook with for years has Maya Kaimal, so I couldn’t be more excited to see their products carried at Whole Foods Market 365 in Concord, CA. My local 365 carries Maya Kaimal’s most delicious (and vegan!) Everyday Dal pouches along with some seriously amazing Indian simmer sauces.

To celebrate, I made salmon with Maya Kaimal’s Tikka Masala sauce over Everyday Dal Red Lentils. The result: easy AND tasty! In the blink of an eye, you will have scrumptious dinner at your table with this recipe.

What’s even neater is that for the entire month of February, both of their product lines are on sale when you buy two!

Salmon Tikka with Everyday Dal Red Lentils

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 (4 oz) Atlantic salmon fillets
1/3 cup Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala Indian Simmer Sauce
8 oz Greek yogurt
2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (10 oz) pouches Maya Kaimal Everyday Dal Red Lentils

To Garnish
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

Directions
In a medium bowl, combine salmon and simmer sauce. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

In a small bowl, add yogurt, cilantro, coriander, cumin, garlic, lime juice, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer salmon to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145F. Remove from heat.

Squeeze lentils into a small pan and heat over low heat until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.

Divide lentils between plates. Top with salmon and garnish with yogurt, cilantro, and lime wedges.


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Everyday Dal Tamarind & Kidney Bean Pizza

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You probably haven't considered beans on pizza or even Indian flavored pizza for that matter. Let me tell you, both work and they work together deliciously!

I was recently sent Maya Kaimal's Everyday Dal pouches to sample and to experiment with for my own recipe. The Kidney Bean + Carrots + Tamarind pouch caught my attention and making a pizza came to mind.

Having never tried beans on pizza, I realized it would be worth a try! On their own, Maya Kaimal's Everyday Dal pouches are super healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Each pouch is flavor-packed too, so it just made sense that fusing Everyday Dal with pizza would be a healthful and delicious choice.

To balance the authenticity of making a pizza with these fusion flavors, I still used a little marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. But mixing the tamarind sauce with the marinara and topping the pizza with rounds of paneer, dal, serrano peppers, and tomatoes made for the perfect fusion! Yum, yum.

Want to buy Everyday Dal? Check out Maya Kaimal's Store Locator. The pouches are super convenient and microwave-friendly. Feel free to enjoy them on their own and/or on the pizza below. Your choice!

Everyday Dal Tamarind & Kidney Bean Pizza

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb pizza dough
1 (10 oz) pouch Maya Kaimal Everyday Dal Kidney Beans + Carrots + Tamarind
¾ tsp red pepper flakes, divided
½ tsp garlic, minced, divided
1 tsp light brown sugar, divided
4 oz marinara sauce, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
All-purpose flour for dredging
1 cup low-moisture mozzarella cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 serrano peppers, sliced into thin rounds
¼ lb paneer, cut into eight ¼-inch thick rounds
¼ tsp garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 sprigs fresh cilantro, to garnish
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions
Set a pizza stone on a rack about 4-5 inches away from the broiler. Preheat broiler.

Open dal pouch and separate beans from the sauce by dividing them between two medium-sized bowls. 

Add 1 tbsp of the dal to the sauce bowl and mash the dal to the side of a bowl with a spoon to thicken. To each bowl, add ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp minced garlic, ½ tsp light brown sugar, and 2 oz marinara sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

On a lightly floured surface, lightly dredge one pound of dough in flour. Stretch the dough out a bit at a time, waiting 10-15 seconds between stretches. Then stretch a little more, being gentle, until you’ve stretched the dough into a very thin round. Build a small rim around the edges to form a crust. 

Place the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel and slide it around to make sure it’s not sticking. Spread the sauce over the dough with a spoon but add less to the center so the sauce doesn’t pool. 

Quickly add toppings for pizza by adding the shredded mozzarella followed by the beans, cherry tomatoes, and serrano rounds. Top with paneer rounds. Finish with chopped garlic and ¼ tsp red pepper flakes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. 

Transfer the pizza to a pizza peel lightly coated with flour. Quickly transfer the pizza to the stone and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.

Transfer pizza to a grill rack. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil.


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Indian-Spiced Meatball Curry...got milk?

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...got milk?

There's nothing like an Indian meatball curry with a spicy kick! I'm always craving spicy food, but to balance it out, I love pairing these meals with milk.

Scared of spice? Fear not with a glass of milk! While hot peppers contain capsaicin oil, which delivers the spicy punch to your taste buds, milk battles the oil with casein, which binds to the oil and magically lifts it away from your tongue! You can certainly breathe a sigh of relief if you get a little too pepper happy with your curry. Phew!

This recipe is written to be moderately spicy (medium-hot)! But if you really want to crank up the heat, add some extra Kashmiri chili powder and jalapeno peppers, like I love to do, and chug a glass of milk while you're at it!  

Indian-Spiced Meatball Curry

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients

Meatballs
1 lb ground lamb
1 small onion, finely chopped (squeeze out excess water with a paper towel)
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
Extra virgin olive oil

Curry Sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 medium jalapenos, chopped
2 tbsp Indian curry paste or hot madras curry powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder, or more to taste
½ tsp salt
1 (15 oz can) crushed tomatoes
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Chive Chutney
¾ cup chives, roughly chopped
2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To Serve
½ cup kefir or runny yogurt
Freshly chopped cilantro
Steamed jasmine rice
Naan
Milk, to pair with the heat!

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, knead the meatball ingredients with 2 tsp olive oil. Roll the mixture between your palms to form about 20 1-inch balls. 

In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil to medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. Set the meatballs aside and keep warm. 

To the same skillet, prepare the curry sauce by sautéing the onion over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeños, curry paste, kashmiri chili powder, and salt, and continue sautéing until the jalapeños are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Return meatballs to the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Adjust seasonings to taste, including Kashmiri chili powder for more of a burn and to deepen the red color of the curry!

While the meatballs simmer, prepare the chutney by adding all of the chutney ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

When the meatballs have finished simmering, stir in garam masala and cilantro. Serve the curry over steamed jasmine rice and garnish with additional chopped cilantro, yogurt, and chive chutney if desired. Serve with naan on the side.

Pair your meal with a healthful glass of milk help you handle the delicious heat of the curry!


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Indian-Spiced Vegetable Soup

Happy Friday! Who else craves spicy Indian food at the end of a long week? If you do, you need to make this quick and spicy vegetable soup tonight! Full of vegetables, it’s insanely healthy. And while you wouldn’t notice, this one is vegan, which means it will serve as a nice break from animal products from the week, and it will lessen your footprint on the environment! A win-win for all.

In this soup, I used turnips, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower as the main vegetables. But feel free to use some of your other favorites. I imagine that it would be great with green beans, peas, bell peppers, and zucchini as well. 

Adrian will often ask me jokingly when we make dinner with this much veg: “exactly how much nutrition do you think is in this?” and I just shake my head because it might as well be infinite! At 1/2 lb of vegetables per serving, I will happily trade this soup for a quarter pounder hamburger any day! It’s just too good and healthy to pass up!

Note: For a soupy consistency, I recommend using 4 cups of water. But for more of a masala consistency, which is how I like mine, just barely cover the vegetables with water, and cook the soup a little longer until it thickens up.

Indian-Spiced Vegetable Soup

Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots, sliced diagnonally
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 head small cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
4 Japanese turnips, peeled and quartered, about 1/2 lb
8-12 Thai chilies (optional)
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cardamom pods, cracked
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium vine ripe tomato, chopped

To Serve
Steamed rice or naan
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add onion, carrots, potato, cauliflower, turnips, chilies, cumin, and cardamom pods. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add tomato and simmer for 10 minutes longer, until the soup reaches the desired consistency.

Serve soup in bowls with steamed rice or naan on the side. Garnish with green onions and cilantro and serve immediately!

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Slow-Cooked Adzuki Beans with Indian Spices, Rajmah-Style

Slow-Cooked Adzuki Beans with Indian Spices, a.k.a Rajmah! This is such a delicious vegan dish and the prep is super easy. While some say beans are a magical fruit, I tend to think they’re magical for many other reasons, from their antioxidant properties to being rich in several vitamins and minerals, like folate, potassium, and iron. The complex carbs, high fiber, and protein content also help to keep me feeling full throughout my day. Plus slow-cooker recipes are the easiest ever, right? 

I was in need of a good slow cooker dish to begin in the morning and free me up to hang out with friends last night, so I scoured my pantry for legumes that I tend to buy on a whim and found a bag of adzuki beans. Knowing that Indian food is AMAZING in the slow-cooker, I did a little googling of traditional Indian recipes with red beans and put together this delicious one. I garnished with some sour cream, lime, and tomato, which isn’t very traditional, and served it with naan, instead of rice, because I felt like it is even better with a little crunch! 

Slow-Cooked Adzuki Beans with Indian Spices, Rajmah-Style

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 8 Hours & 20 Minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients
3 cups dried red adzuki beans or kidney beans, rinsed and sorted
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2  tbsp garlic, chopped
6-8 serrano chilis, chopped (less for mild)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp Kosher salt
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried coriander
1 pinch asafoetida (hing) - optional
1 tsp kasuri methi leaves, crushed (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
10 cups water

To Garnish
1 roma tomato, chopped
8 tbsp sour cream
1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
4 tbsp fresh cilantro
4 pieces of naan

Directions
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add adzuki beans and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients (except for those to garnish) to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Ladle beans into bowls and garnish with tomato, sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and cilantro. Serve immediately with naan. 

Nutritional Info per serving (excluding naan): 375 Calories, 11g fat, 57g Carbs, 11g Fiber, 17g protein  

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A Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala + Indian-Spiced Kale with Chickpeas

 

Indian food is so delicious, but you might not deem it healthy and only save it for a cheat day. But I beg you to think differently! If you cook curry in your own kitchen (it’s not daunting at all), you can see exactly what’s going into it, and it can not only be diet friendly, but extremely healthy to boot. My recipe below uses little in the way of saturated fat, and only utilizes a few tablespoons of peanut oil and a little bit of yogurt. The results? Exceptional.

I hear the word “clean eats” being thrown around a lot, but I think it’s a term that is not well-defined and can be misleading. Some might think that “clean eats” is only eating raw, or only eating really basic foods, liked steamed chicken breast and broccoli.

I am here to tell you that this chicken tikka masala meets MY definition of clean eats. This is because the dish is well-balanced with protein, carbs, and fat, and has several spices and herbs that are super good for you. While turmeric and garlic are anti-inflammatory, cumin and cayenne may promote weight loss, fenugreek is rich in minerals, and garam masala is a wonderful mix of several extremely healthful spices. Studies have shown many spices used in Indian cuisine also serve as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention.

So here is my recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve also paired it with a recipe from EatingWell that is a great way to use up any kale you have growing in your garden! Plus the garbanzos add just a little extra fiber to really round out this dish.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
1.5 lbs chicken thighs, poked with a fork, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 tbsp Tandoori Paste
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
Peanut Oil
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 serrano chilis, deseeded, chopped
1″ piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 lb roma tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
5 cashews (optional)
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Steamed basmati rice + mint chutney, to serve

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.

Add chicken, tandoori paste, and Greek yogurt to a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Transfer to refrigerator and let marinate for at least 20-30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and browned.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a pan. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add serrano chilis, ginger, garlic, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Then add turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, fenugreek, and cook for a few more minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a food processor with cashews and blend until very smooth.

Return sauce to the same pan and add 1 tbsp peanut oil. Add chicken and its juices to the pan to reheat. Stir in yogurt and 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve with mint chutney over rice.


Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garam masala, (see Ingredient note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

Directions
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and cook, tossing with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add broth, coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas; cover and cook until the chickpeas are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Goan-Style Shrimp Curry

 

This Goan-style shrimp curry recipe is so good that it should be illegal somewhere! I’m not exaggerating, honest. We’ve made this several times and have only made a few tweaks to the recipe below. The fresh curry leaves and sambhaar are what really bring this meal together and if you’re wondering where to acquire them, both are only a Google away! The original recipe is by Suvir Saran and is adapted here on the  James Beard Foundation website.

 

Goan-Style Shrimp Curry

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

Marinade
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
24 fresh curry leaves, roughly torn
4-8 dried red chiles (4 for mild, 8 for spicy)
1 teaspoon ground peppercorns
1 (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon sambhaar or 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
To make the marinade, place the lemon juice, kosher salt, ground peppercorns, and cayenne pepper in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add the shrimp, toss to coat, and refrigerate.

Set 1/2 cup of water next to the stovetop. Heat the oil with the curry leaves (if using) and chiles in a medium pot over medium-high heat until the curry leaves start to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ground peppercorns and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the ginger, onion, and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is browned, about 8 minutes, sprinkling with water and stirring whenever the onion and ginger begin to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add the garlic, coriander, and turmeric and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes to the pot. Cook, stirring and scraping the browned bits up from the sides and bottom of the pot, for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the sambhaar or curry powder and cook for 1 minute, and then pour in the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a saucey consistency. Add the shrimp and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are curled and opaque, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve over rice.

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Slow Cooker Indian-Style Black Eyed Peas with Coconutty Green Beans

 

I love slow cooking on occasion with recipes that really hold up well in my Crock-Pot. I’m usually inspired on mornings when I have a little time on my hands (like an extra 20 minutes to prep the ingredients and wash the dishes utilized), and I know my night will be either super busy, or one where I want to just sit back, relax, and worry little about cooking.

These Slow Cooked Indian-style black-eyed peas hold up really well in a Crock Pot! They are vegan, delicious, and just the right amount of spicy. The coconutty green beans on the side are an added bonus (nearly as good as your Christmas bonus each year), and perfect served with steamed jasmine rice and naan (if you have the calorie budget for it). I ran 9 miles this morning, so my plate was pretty full, but from my estimated dietitian guess, I think this whole platter has less than 650 calories. So plan this next week on one of your less busy mornings, if you get a chance, so that you have a little less cooking to do than usual in the evening.

 

Slow Cooker Indian-Style Black Eyed Peas with Coconut Green Beans

Hands on Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 7 Hours
Serves 8-10

Black-Eyed Peas
2 medium tomatoes
3 cups dried black-eyed peas
4 medium serrano chilis, halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp light brown sugar
8 cups water
1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (light if preferred)
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, for garnish
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve (optional)
Naan, to serve (optional)

Coconutty Green Beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh French-cut green beans
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne chili powder

Directions
Heat a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and add to water, boiling for about 45-60 seconds, until fully blanched, and skins appear loose. Add tomatoes to ice-water bath and peel and quarter when cool.

In a food processor, combine tomatoes, serranos, garlic, onion, and ginger and process to a fine paste.

Spread out black eyed peas on a large cookie sheet or platter and sort through. Add to colander and wash thoroughly.

Add black-eyed peas, onion-chili paste, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and sugar to a 5-quart slow cooker. Pour water over and cook on high for 6 hours. Test for doneness, add coconut milk, and keep warm (or cook a little longer on high, uncovered, if needed) while preparing remaining ingredients.

Prepare green beans by adding olive oil to a medium skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Stir in green beans, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.

Remove lid from skillet and add shredded coconut, salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Add additional olive oil if needed, stir occasionally, and saute for 10 minutes, until greens are tender and dark green.

Ladle black-eyed peas over rice with green beans and naan on the side.