I recently wrote a personal essay/review of Priya Krishna’s new book Indian-ish – a book she wrote with her amazing mother Ritu. The article made it to the Everett Herald, a local newspaper here in Boring land. Oh sorry, I meant Boeing.
It didn’t just appear out of nowhere on the paper. I wrote to them and told them I wanted to review it and they were on board. I really enjoyed the book so I wanted to share why.
If you don’t know this about me, I used to work as a journalist in India. I edited, wrote and did all the other fun stuff. I still enjoy writing immensely – AHEM blog – so it wasn’t something surprising. I’ve just never had a byline in America before so I’m so excited for this one.
If you’d like to read it, here is the link. The article only has 2 recipes and you’ll have to buy the book for the rest. It’s worth it for the writing, extremely simple recipes and illustrations by Maria Qamar of @hatecopy.
I know my father would log into facebook just to share all of this so I hope you do as well.
I am sharing a recipe that’s in the book (and the article) because it has been on my to-do list for the summer tomatoes, none of which are in my garden. But! I’ve seen them! They are in the gardens of better planned folks and farmers and groceries with money to ship them to their displays. If you find some baby ones, make this. It’s amazing!
Green chilli and cherry tomato achaar (pickle)
If you’re pepper-averse and prefer less heat, use half the amount (or one) of chillies and/or deseed them. The heat dulls the next day and like most Indian dishes, it tastes even better. Goes great with papad or on top of yogurt for a smacktastic dip.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp nigella seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp black mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- ¼ tsp asafetida (optional, but really great)
- 4 long Indian green chillies or serrano chillies, halved lengthwise (no need to remove the stems)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (from about half a lime)
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, toss in the fennel seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds and cook until the spices are slightly browned and start to sputter (watch the cumin – that’s the best indicator), about 1 minute max. Stir in the asafetida (if using) and then add the chiles. Cook for 2 minutes, until the chillies brown and crisp on the sides.
Turn off the heat, mix in the tomatoes, and immediately transfer to a serving bowl so that the tomatoes stop cooking. Gently mix in the salt and lime juice. Serve warm or at room temperature. This will keep, covered, in the fridge for a few days, but it’s best polished off day-of.