This post will teach you how to make authentic Punjabi-style Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens & Spinach Curry) at home. This recipe includes Instant Pot and stovetop cooking instructions, plus substitutions if you can’t find mustard greens. Ready in under 1-hour, it’s a terrific vegetarian curry. Tested to perfection!

Imagine having to stop yourself from eating 1.5 pounds of greens. That’s Saag. You’d think it’d be bitter or even an acquired taste. But really, all you need is a bite and it just hits differently. Scoop it up with Makai ki Roti (cornmeal flatbread) on a chilly evening and you’ll know why it’s Punjab’s iconic meal


The word Saag simply means vegetable greens. In context, Saag is used to describe stewed or puréed greens. Any type of greens can be used in Saag, but mustard greens (called Sarson) are the most common in Pakistan and India.

In Punjabi cuisine, Sarson Ka Saag (or Sarson Da Saag) is often paired with flaky cornmeal flatbread (makai ki roti).

I learned how to make saag from my mother-in-law. She was visiting when I saw mustard greens at a farmer’s market, and I knew my collection of Punjabi recipes was to get a welcome addition.Also try our EASY AND SPICY SHAMI KABAB


This Saag recipe requires just 11 ingredients, 12 if you must count salt

  • Mustard Greens – The star ingredient here. You can use fresh bunches, pre-packaged, or even frozen. Scroll below to learn more about mustard greens, where you can find them, and what other greens you can use in place of them.
  • Spinach – Spinach is almost always used in Sarson Ka Saag and helps offset the bitterness of mustard greens.
  • Green Chili Peppers – Because Saag is made without many spices, a good amount of green chili peppers are used to give heat and flavor. You can use Serrano or Thai chili peppers.
  • Garlic – My mom-in-law doesn’t include garlic, but I found most traditional recipes use it. Plus, I tested & preferred it with the garlic.
  • Turmeric Powder – The only spice you’ll need. Like Baingan Bharta, Saag doesn’t need many spices, and gets its complexity from the method of preparation and a good dose of tadka (tempering).
  • Yellow corn flour – Used to thicken the saag. Corn flour is finer than cornmeal, but you can also use cornmeal if it’s finely ground. I found coarse, stone ground cornmeal to be gritty in Saag. Chickpea/gram flour (besan) is a perfectly good substitute, and I’ve even used masa harina with good results.
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Methi) – I use dried methi but fresh would be a great, albeit hard to find, substitute. (Use leftover methi in Mixed Vegetable Curry or Butter Chicken!)
  • Oil & Ghee/Butter – I love blending oil and ghee or butter for the tadka but you can easily make it vegan by omitting it.
  • Ginger – A good dose of ginger adds a beautiful flavor without overpowering the Saag. Instead of crushing the ginger, finely chop or mince it so it doesn’t clump up in the tadka.


Here’s a quick & easy Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens & Spinach Curry) recipe made in the authentic Punjabi style. This recipe includes Instant Pot and Stovetop instructions plus substitutions if you can’t find mustard greens. Naturally vegetarian and vegan optional. Tested to perfection!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine Punjabi
Servings 4 People
Calories 237 kcal


  • 1 wooden spoon


  • ¼ cup (2 cups for Stovetop) water for Instant Pot
  • 2  bunches (~1 lb after stemming or 454g/16 oz packaged ) mustard greens*, washed, hard stems removed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch (~1/2 lb after stemming) spinach , washed, hard stems removed, and roughly chopped
  • 4 small (~4-5 g) green chili peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 5  garlic cloves, leave whole – will be crushed later
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 11/2 tsp heaped kosher salt
  • ¼ cup yellow corn flour or fine ground cornmeal, or sub chickpea flour (besan) or masa harina
  • 11/2 tbsp  dried fenugreek leaves (methi)

Tadka (Tempering)

  • ¼ cup neutral oil
  • 3 tbsp ghee or butter, or sub more oil
  • 1  small (~150-190 g) onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp  ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
  •  butter, optional, for serving


  • Add water to Instant Pot, followed by the mustard greens, spinach, green chili peppers, garlic, turmeric, and salt. No need to mix. Secure the lid, seal the vent, and pressure-cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for at least 5 minutes, and then manually release remaining pressure. Press Cancel to turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Open the lid and stir the saag, crushing garlic cloves as you mix. Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend into a rough purée. If you see any tough stems, remove them.
  • Select Sauté and set the temperature to High. Add corn flour and cook for 3-5 minutes to remove the floury taste. Add the dried fenugreek leaves (methi) and stir to mix.
  • Add ½ cup water and stir until the water absorbs in the Saag. Taste and add salt, if needed. If it thickens too much, add another ¼ cup of water to thin it out. Select Cancel to turn off the Instant Pot.**
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, ghee, and onion. Sauté until the onions are deep golden (~6-8 min). Add ginger and sauté for another minute. Stir this tadka into the saag and mix to combine. Garnish with cilantro and give it a stir. Serve with makai (corn) or regular roti, corn tortilla, naan, or other bread. Top with a pat of butter, if desired.


  • Heat a (preferably nonstick) 5 qt Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the mustard greens, spinach, green chili peppers, garlic, turmeric, and salt along with 2 cups of water. No need to mix. Cover and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
  • Turn off the heat. Uncover and stir the saag, crushing garlic cloves as you mix. Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend into a rough purée. If you see any tough stems, remove them.
  • Turn the heat back on to medium-high. Add corn flour and cook for 3-5 minutes to remove the floury taste. Add the dried fenugreek leaves (methi) and stir to mix. Taste and add salt, if needed.
  • Reduce the heat to low-medium, add ½ cup water, and proceed to tadka. Stir occasionally. If needed, add another ¼ cup of water to thin it out.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, ghee, and onion. Sauté until the onions are deep golden (~6-8 min). Add ginger and sauté for another minute. Stir this tadka into the saag and mix to combine. Garnish with cilantro and give it a stir. Serve with makai (corn) or regular roti, corn tortilla, naan, or other bread. Top with a pat of butter, if desired.



*See post for mustard greens substitutions.
**If you’d like, you can turn the Instant Pot on Saute – Less while the onions are browning so the saag stays hot. Any bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot will be deglazed when the tadka is added.
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Sooji ka Halwa is a Pakistani and Indian dessert made with semolina. This is a simple, classic recipe for a categorically easy dessert. All you need are 5 essential ingredients and 20 minutes! Tested to perfection!

Sooji ka Halwa-
Sooji ka Halwa-


Sooji ka halwa is considered the one of the easiest of all Indian & Pakistani desserts. But when I first started cooking, I had no idea how to transform the packet of coarse, ivory-colored flour into the miraculous, tender mass of beads that is Sooji Ka Halwa.

In fact, back then it took me a couple (okay, several) tries to perfect this recipe.

I’ll go on to embarrass myself by pretty much giving away the many ways in which I messed it up:

  1. Embrace stirring. Seriously, you’re going to be stirring constantly.
  2. Thoroughly roast the semolina over low-ish heat until you no longer have to question whether it’s roasted.
  3. This will demand patience. And stirring.
  4. Boil the sugar and water mixture separately instead of throwing it in with the browned semolina. (Those old-school methods had some deep logic steeped into them.)
  5. Do not skimp on the butter or ghee. Not only are they natural fats approved by ancients,
  6. but this recipe’s amount is actually on the lower end. 😇
  7. For traditional texture, use fine, not coarse, semolina.


Halwa, which comes from the Arabic root “helw”, means “sweet”, is said to be Persian in origin.

Though most people associate halwa with the Middle Eastern confectionery, halwa in the South Asian context is essentially the transformation of an ingredient into a dessert.

Halwa can be made with everything from carrots, to nuts, or even dal. Sooji halwa is halwa made from semolina, or flour made from ground Durum Wheat.

sooji ka halwa
sooji ka halwa


Though the basic method for making Sooji ka Halwa is the same, there are two prominent versions of it.

  • Regular Sooji Halwa: This simple, homemade version is the one I’m sharing. It’s made with all kinds of variations and add-ons such as nuts and raisins. Unlike restaurant halwa, this one is naturally wheat colored and usually served for dessert.
  • SoojiHalwa for Halwa Puri: This restaurant-style halwa is served for brunch. It’s eaten alongside a spicy Chana Masala and a tangy potato curry with pooris or parathas. In comparison to the homemade version, the restaurant version is:
    • Roasted for a shorter time, so it doesn’t have the deep, wheat-color.
    • More liquidy.
    • Usually orange-colored due to food coloring, which is added to the sugar syrup.
    • More oily, as are most restaurant versions of traditional foods.
    • Also try our Gajar ka Halwa


Sooji (or Suji) ka Halwa is a Pakistani and Indian dessert made with semolina. This is a simple, classic recipe for a categorically easy dessert. All you need are 5 essential ingredients and 20 minutes! Tested to perfection!
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 4 People
Calories 485 kcal


  • 1 Sauce Pan


  • ½ cup unsalted butter or ghee, See Note 1
  • 1 cup  fine semolina, sooji
  • 21/2 cups  fine semolina, sooji
  • ¾ cup raw cane sugar or turbinado (demerara) sugar, See Note 3
  • 5 cardamom pods, slightly cracked open
  • ½ tsp rose water
  • pinch saffron strands, lightly crushed between your fingers, optional
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, for garnish (optional)


  • Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter or ghee and once it melts, immediately add the semolina (sooji).
  • Cook the semolina, stirring frequently, until it roasts evenly and turns deep golden in color (~12-14 min). Depending on your stovetop, you may need to raise the heat to help it come to the roasting point. Then lower the heat if needed. Meanwhile, start with the sugar syrup.
  • In a small to medium saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and cardamom pods to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat. Add the rose water and saffron, if using.
  • Add the sugar syrup carefully into the browned semolina. Continue to stir for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the butter starts to separate from the semolina. Sometimes I like to add a tablespoon of ghee at this point to give it a nice finish.
  • Garnish with slivered almonds. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. If you're not serving immediately, store in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.



Note 1: Ghee is the traditional choice, but high-quality butter is great in halwa. To make it vegan, use oil in place of ghee/butter.
Note 2: The amount of water will determine the texture. If you want it to be more grainy to be eaten alone, you can use as little as 2 cups of water. If you want softer and thicker halwa like the one used for ‘halwa poori’, use up to 3 cups of water. 2.5 cups is a happy medium.
Note 3: Keep in mind the sweetness level will vary depending on the sugar you use.
Sweeteners: You can also use plain, granulated sugar or even light brown sugar.
If you want it sweeter, you can always add 1-2 tbsp after adding the sugar syrup to the sooji.
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Here’s a classic Kachumber Salad recipe you can make in 5 minutes with whatever crunchy vegetables you have on hand. This recipe shares fun variations, add-ins, and pairing suggestions!

Salads don’t exist in traditional Pakistani and North Indian cuisine. At least not in the way we know them here.

Yet growing up, something we called a salad (often pronounced sa-laad) would be present at many meals. This salad was really just a plate of sliced veggies, namely onions, cucumbers, and carrots. Also try our TURKISH COFFEE.


Taken up a notch, said veggies would be diced up and and tossed with a snazzy ‘dressing’ of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Now you’ve got one of the only salads in South Asian cuisine with a proper name – Kachumber Salad. 


The word “kachumber”, which we pronounce ka-choo-mer, means “mince”. So Kachumber salad is a mix of minced veggies. Though an ordinary salad in and of itself, it lends freshness, vibrance, and texture to otherwise warming and hearty South Asian fare.

Depending on the region, there are many variations of Kachumber salad, and there is no wrong way to make it.


Although you could serve Kachumber with most main dishes, it goes exceptionally well with:

Fish and seafood recipes.
Soupy curries like Chicken Curry.
Rice dishes like Pulao.
All dals, especially soupy ones
Crunchy snacks



Here’s a classic Kachumber Salad recipe you can make in 5 minutes with whatever crunchy vegetables you have on hand. This recipe shares fun variations, add-ins, and pairing suggestions!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Daily
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 People
Calories 11 kcal


  • 1 bowl


  • 1  medium (~130 g) Roma or vine tomato, diced into ¼ inch cubes or smaller
  • ½ g regular cucumber or 1/3 English cucumber or 1 mini (Persian) cucumber, peeled (see Note 1) and diced into ¼ inch cubes or smaller (roughly the same size as the tomato)
  • ½  medium (~60 g) red onion, diced into ~¼ inch cubes or smaller
  • 2 tbsp  cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp  fresh lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ tsp  fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper


  • Place all the ingredients in a small serving bowl and toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Serve immediately or allow the flavors to meld and juices to release before serving, about 10 minutes. Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.



Note 1: Peeling the cucumber reduces any chance of bitterness. If your cucumber is mild, feel free to leave peel on if you enjoy the extra crunch.
Note 2: I’m pretty lackadaisical about this but for presentation purposes, try to chop the vegetables around the same size.

Variations and Add-ins

Here are some common or interesting variations and add-ins:
  • Add heat with 1/8 tsp red chili powder or cayenne, or a finely chopped, deseeded green chili pepper.
  • Make it seasonal with crunchy vegetables like a carrots (my favorite!) or radishes in the winter or corn or bell peppers in the summer.
    • For a sweet element, add pomegranate seeds, diced mango, or golden raisins.
    • To enhance texture and warmth, sprinkle roasted cumin powder, chili flakes, or other spices.
    • For a layer of deep flavor, add a minced garlic clove.
    See post for ingredient substitutions!
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There aren’t many joys that can match up to taking a sizzling, bubbly https://www.teaforturmeric.com/tandoori-chicken-pizza/ out of a blazing hot oven. I’ve taken this particular TANDOORI CHICKEN PIZZA out of my oven on many occasions, mostly for guests, because such pleasures (and the results of such efforts) must be shared.

Pizza naturally induces happiness, and this homemade TANDOORI CHICKEN PIZZA is next-level blissful .and also try our recipe ACHARI CHICKEN


So make it your own. You can use leftover bone-in chicken if you have some. Just shred it and add a bit of tandoori masala. Give it an extra broil at the end if you’d like. Throw in whatever herbs or spices you have on hand for the sauce. For toppings, I usually stick to the trio of red & green bell peppers and red onions. But jalapeños would be nice, maybe pineapple or whatever neglected veggie you find lurking in your fridge. You can also vary the cheese according to your taste. This article shows how to use various cheeses for different results if you’re like me and take your TANDOORI CHICKEN PIZZA really seriously.

Making pizza from scratch may seem daunting, but there are only a few steps to each component, and the result is more than worth it. That said, I’m all for shortcuts. And this recipe is good enough to withstand changes while still maintaining it’s spicy, savory, smoky goodness.



There aren’t many joys that can match up to taking a sizzling, bubbly pizza out of a blazing hot oven. I’ve taken this particular pizza out of my oven on many occasions, mostly for guests, because such pleasures (and the results of such efforts) must be shared.
Pizza naturally induces happiness, and this homemade Tandoori Chicken Pizza is next-level blissful.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 8 People
Calories 359 kcal


For the Tandoori Chicken Topping

  • 1 (~300 g) chicken breast, cut into thin, small bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup (61 g) plain, whole milk yogurt
  • ½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp crushed garlic or paste
  • ½ tbsp crushed ginger or paste
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
  • 2 tsp neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
  • 2 tsp sea salt, depending on tandoori masala powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp Tandoori masala powder, use less if yours is spicy

For the Crust

  • ½ cups bread flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp standard packet active dry yeast

For the Sauce

  • 794 G can Italian Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes, (or sub equal amount fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small green chili pepper, I use Serrano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning or basil
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala powder
  • ¼ tsp each cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder, red chili flakes, and, increase to taste

For the Pizza

  • 2 prepared crusts
  • prepared sauce
  • prepared tandoori chicken
  • 2 cups quality mozzarella cheese or a blend of mozzarella and preferred cheese, or more if desired
  • Additional toppings such as red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and red onion, sliced


Tandoori Chicken Topping

  • Marinate the chicken in all of the ingredients for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  • Preheat your oven broiler to high (mine goes to 550ºF/288ºC) and set the oven rack to the top. Line an oven-safe sheet pan with aluminum foil. If you have skewers, run the chicken pieces through them and place on top of the sheet pan. Otherwise, place the chicken pieces in an even layer.
  • Broil for 5 minutes, then flip the chicken pieces over and broil for another 4 minutes. You're going for a tandoor-like (but not burnt) finish. Cover and set aside.

Pizza Crust

  • Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Stir once and set aside for about 5-10 minutes or until foamy. It must be foamy! If not, something went wrong (i.e. water temperature, old yeast, etc.).
  • Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise for an hour or so or until dough doubles in size.
  • Once it has risen, punch it down, knead it a little and then place it on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to two 8 to 10-inch pizzas. Push the dough at the ends so that it’s slightly thicker on the rim. Use a knife to make small slits on the base to help it bake evenly. Cover the crust with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap while you prepare the toppings.

pizza sauce

  • Blend the tomatoes, onion, and green chili in a food processor until smooth.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté it for about 20-30 seconds, until the raw smell subsides and it begins to brown. Add the tomato mixture and stir to combine. Lower the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and allow to simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until well cooked (~25-30 min). If using fresh tomatoes, you may need to add water to make sure it’s well cooked and to make it the desired consistency. Remove bay leaf.

Steps and assembly

  • Prepare Chicken. Cover and Set aside. Prepare the Pizza Sauce.
  • Prepare the pizza dough and set it aside to rise. If using pre-made dough, thaw and roll out.
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) or temperature indicated on Pre-made Pizza Dough. When the dough has risen, follow the instructions to roll it out. Cover it and chop up the vegetable toppings.
  • Place the pizza bases on 2 sheet pans lined with aluminum foil. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza. Top with cheese, chicken, and toppings.
  • Bake for 15 minutes per pizza (See Note), until the crust has baked and the cheese has melted. I like to broil it again for a couple of minutes to further amp up the “tandoor” factor. Serve hot. To maintain the texture of the crust, this pizza is best reheated in an oven instead of a microwave.



  • To bake them at the same time, place one rack on the very top and one on the lower rack. Put the two baking sheets on both the baking racks. Bake for 15 minutes, but switch the baking sheets halfway through baking so that both pizzas bake evenly. Broil separately on the top rack.
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No toasting or grinding spices, no stuffing chili peppers, and no hard to find ingredients. This easy, fuss-free Pakistani & North Indian-style Achari Chicken recipe requires one pot and takes less than 50 minutes to make.



Achari Chicken is a chicken curry made with ingredients used to make achaar, or South Asian pickle. So while the chicken itself isn’t pickled, it’s livened up with a zesty, tangy, ‘pickled’ flavor.

Ingredients that make Achari Chicken curry different from a regular chicken curry are:

  • Seeds or whole spices used to make achar.
  • Whole green chili peppers, sometimes stuffed with achari spices.
  • Yogurt, which gives it a richer, tangy base.

Method of Pakistani Achari Chicken

In terms of method, it cooks like PAKISTANI CHICKEN KARAHI in that the curry is cooked down with an extra dose of tomatoes.



In addition to foundational curry ingredients, Achari Chicken requires a few extra ingredients. Here are some notes on them:

  • Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana) – Fenugreek seeds are an essential ingredient for Achari Chicken. Though they give a punchy flavor, they can be quite bitter, so feel free to reduce the amount if you find it too strong.
  • Nigella Seeds (Kalonji) – Nigella Sativa, not to be confused with onion seeds, are another essential ingredient.
  • I’ve kept them minimal because they can taste quite strong. If you want them more visible throughout the curry, feel free to increase these by another 1/4 teaspoon. (More recipes that use Nigella Seeds: Haleem and Gluten-free Naan.)
  • Fennel Seeds (Saunf) – The mild, sweeter flavor of fennel seeds helps offset some of the bitter flavors of the fenugreek and nigella.
  • Chicken pieces: Like Karahi, Achari Chicken is made with a whole chicken that’s cut up into small to medium pieces, also called karahi cut (~18 pieces). I prefer it with bone-in chicken, but I’ve shared how to make this curry using boneless chicken below.
  • Green Chili Peppers: Large, mild green chili peppers are sometimes stuffed with achari masala (or a blend of achari spices + lemon) and added to Achari Chicken.
  • To keep things simple, I’ve added a few unstuffed whole chili peppers (such as Serrano or Thai chilis) toward the end of cooking.
    • Achari-Chicken
  • Yogurt – Use plain, whole milk (full-fat) yogurt. Yogurt substitutes: I haven’t tried these myself, but coconut milk/cream, dairy-free yogurt, or cashew paste would all work here.
  • Oil – You can use any neutral oil, and even a bit of mustard oil if you’d like.
    • Mustard Oil – Mustard oil, a pungent oil made from mustard seeds, is often used to make Achari Chicken. My father-in-law once told me that when he was a child, his mom used mustard oil to make curries. Here in the U.S., it’s banned for consumption due to high levels of erucic acid (Source). Though I haven’t tried it myself yet, if you’re comfortable using it, a small amount would be perfect here.


No toasting or grinding spices, no stuffing chili peppers, and no hard to find ingredients. This easy, fuss-free Pakistani & North Indian-style Achari Chicken recipe requires one pot and takes less than 50 minutes to make.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 6 People
Calories 329 kcal


  • 1 Karahi


  • cup neutral oil
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, methi dana
  • 2 tsp  fennel seeds, saunf
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds, kalonji
  • 1 tsp  cumin seeds, zeera
  • 1 medium to large (~250-270 g) onion, finely chopped
  • 8  garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch ginger, crushed
  • 2 lb   bone-in cut up, skinless chicken pieces , (preferably cut small – See Note 1)
  • 2 tsp  kosher salt, divided
  • 3  small (~270-290 g) tomatoes (I use Roma), finely chopped
  • 2  green chili peppers , such as Serrano or Thai chili, chopped or sliced
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp  red chili powder, or to taste
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ cup  plain, whole milk yogurt (See Note 2), whisked
  • 4  whole green chili peppers, such as Serrano or Thai chili


  • 2 tsp  freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp  cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tbsp  julienned ginger, optional, for garnish


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, heat the oil and add the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, and cumin seeds. The seeds will begin to sizzle. Immediately add the onions and sauté until they are lightly golden (~10-12 min). If needed, deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water. Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute, until aromatic.
  • Add the chicken and 1/2 tsp salt and sauté for 5 minutes, until it changes color. Add the tomatoes, green chili pepper, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and remaining salt (1 ½ tsp). Continue to sauté until the tomatoes soften (~2-3 min). Add 1/3 cup water (the water should cover about 1/3 of the chicken) and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer (low-medium), cover, and allow the chicken to cook for 20-25 minutes (depending on size), stirring once in between.
  • Uncover and raise the heat to high. Sauté for 4-5 minutes to reduce excess liquid. You will notice the chicken taking on a glossy appearance as the oil starts to separate, but it’ll still have plenty of curry.
  • Lower the heat to low-medium and stir in the whisked yogurt. Add the whole green chili peppers. Gently sauté for 2-3 minutes until well incorporated and you can see the oil separated from the curry. Taste and adjust salt, if needed. (I usually need another 1/8 tsp.)
  • Turn off the heat. Add lemon juice and stir to mix. Garnish with cilantro and julienned ginger. Serve hot with naan, roti, paratha, or other bread.



Note 1: Achari Chicken is typically made with smaller, cut up chicken pieces, also called karahi cut. See post for how to use boneless chicken.
Note 2: To prevent yogurt from curdling, try to have it closer to room temperature and continue to stir while adding.
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Kashmiris don’t actually call their chai “Kashmiri Chai”. KASHMIRI CHAIThat’s the term used by Pakistanis and Indians to describe the Kashmiri Noon Chai (translated to Salt Tea). As the name suggests, Noon chai is a salty drink, but has gained popularity across Pakistan as a sweet concoction.

Often called Pink Tea, Kashmiri chai is a milk tea characterized by its dusty pink color and garnishing of crushed nuts. It’s brewed with green tea leaves and baking soda, and then mixed with milk to give it a distinct pink color.

Even within Pakistan, Kashmiri Chai is a bit of a delicacy because of thehttps://www.teaforturmeric.com/20-minute-kashmiri-chai-pink-tea/ long,somewhat arduous process of making it.




To be honest, I felt a bit of imposter syndrome while developing this recipe. Because 1) I’m not Kashmiri and didn’t actually grow up in Pakistan, where it’s a treat often served at winter weddings. And 2) I didn’t want to downplay the art of making an authentic cup of Kashmiri chai. Here’s a Kashmiri Tea Connoisseur’s take on this.

But, I did want to make an easy, fool-proof version that’s doable for the majority of us while honoring Kashmir’s beautiful tea culture. So what started as a quick, expectation-free experiment soon became a possibility. And I found myselfgleefully preparing it every night, timing myself and obsessing over the shade of pink To compare, we tried it at several spots around Houston and noted that this 20-minute version is more pronounced in flavor and aroma without being heavy



Instead of hours over the stove, this easy, one-pot Kashmiri Chai recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make! This is not a traditional Noon Chai recipe, but an accessible version that’s still delicious (and pink)! See notes on how to make it with regular green tea leaves if you can’t find Kashmiri tea leaves.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Kashmiri
Servings 2 People
Calories 187 kcal


  • 1 Sauce Pan


For Ice Water

  • 1 cup  room temperature water
  • 3 large ice cubes

For Kashmiri Chai

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp  Kashmiri chai leaves, or sub any non-bitter green tea leaves
  • 2 star anise (badiyan)
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 2  whole cloves (loung), optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick, optional
  • tsp heaped baking soda
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup half and half (See Note 1)
  • ¼ tsp  kosher salt – may need less if using sea salt, or to taste
  • 2.5 tsp sweetener of choice, I've tried cane sugar, brown sugar, and date syrup

For Serving (Optional)

  • 1 tbsp raw almonds, crushed using mortar and pestle
  • ½ tbsp  unsalted pistachios, crushed using mortar and pestle


  • Prepare ice water: Combine room temperature water with 2-3 large ice cubes and set aside.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add water, Kashmiri chai leaves, star anise, green cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon (if using) and bring to a boil.
  • Once it comes to a boil, add the baking soda. It’ll fizz a little. Allow this mixture to boil over high heat for 5-6 minutes. Occasionally, use a ladle to aerate (scoop and pour back) the tea. You’ll notice the froth in the water go from pale green to a deep pink color. If not, add another 1/8 tsp of baking soda. (See Note 2) The water will be greatly reduced, almost evaporated.
  • Add the prepared ice water (discard any ice cubes). If you’d like, you can aerate several times to deepen the color. Add the milk, half & half, salt, and sweetener. Allow it to a come to a light boil, then immediately turn off the heat. Do not allow it to boil for too long as it'll start to lose some of its pink color. Taste and adjust salt and sweetener.
  • Strain the tea into cups and add crushed almonds and pistachios, as desired.



 Or any combination of half & half + milk. If you prefer it lighter, replace the half & half with milk. Likewise, if you prefer it richer, increase the half & half and decrease the milk. You can also sub half & half with 1 part heavy whipping cream + 1 part milk.
: If, after adding more baking soda, it’s still not turning pink, then try using different green tea leaves. 
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  • Eggplants – Select small to medium globe variety eggplants that weigh around 1000 g in total. Here’s a quick guide on choosing eggplants.
  • Ghee and Oil – I love mixing both to get the fluidity of the oil and taste of ghee.
  • Spices – Too many spices can clutter the remarkable smoky flavor, so I like to keep them to a minimum. Similar to Sarson Ka Saag, Baingan Bharta doesn’t need many spices.
  • Green chili pepper – Adding the green chili pepper toward the end keeps its aroma and adds a little extra of heat. Both Thai green chili peppers or Serrano would work, though sometimes Serrano can be too strong and spicy to add at the end


This easy Baingan Bharta (Smoked Eggplant/Aubergine Curry) recipe uses your oven to achieve the smoky flavor of authentic Baingan Bharta. This recipe includes step-by-step pictures and a quick video tutorial. Tested to perfection!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine Punjabi
Servings 3 People
Calories 294 kcal


  • 1 strainer


  • 2 small eggplants (globe variety)
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1  small onion, finely chopped
  • 4  garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 2  small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp heaped salt, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika powder, regular or smoked
  • ½  red chili powder, or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 small green chili pepper (such as Thai or Serrano), sliced or chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • ½ tsp  juice of freshly squeezed lemon
  • ¼ tsp garam masala optional


To Roast the Eggplant in the Oven

  • Set your oven rack so that your eggplants will be as close as possible to the heat source. Use a fork or knife to poke holes throughout the eggplant to prevent it from bursting in the oven.
  • Preheat your broiler on High (550 degrees F/287 C). Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Roast the eggplants for about 30 minutes, turning midway. The skin will blacken and the eggplant may burst a little.
  • Once the eggplant cools down (you can place it in a bowl of water to speed this up) peel the blackened skin, remove the stem and coarsely mash its flesh. I like to do this using the "pulse" function of my food processor. Set aside.

To make the Curry

  • Heat ghee and oil in a skillet a little over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. They will start to sputter. Immediately add the onion and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until slightly golden. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté until the raw smell disappears, or about 20 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until they're soft and the oil starts to leave the sides, about 5 minutes. Add a bit of water (if needed so the spices don't get burnt) and add the salt, paprika, red chili, and turmeric.
  • Add the mashed eggplant and green chili peppers and cook, stirring often, until it is well cooked and becomes mushy like a purée, about 8-10 minutes. Taste and add oil, salt or paprika (for more color) as needed.
  • Turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped cilantro leaves. Sprinkle lemon juice and garam masala over it. Serve with naan, roti or other bread. I like to eat it with some yogurt on the side to add some coolness to the dish.


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Presenting the easiest BONE-IN CHICKEN THIGHS to date on withrecipe I almost can’t take the simplicity. Are you ready for this? Here’s how it goes:

  1. Marinate the chicken, because when is marination a bad idea? Marinate for as little as 15 minutes if you can. But if you can’t, you absolutely don’t have to marinate.
  2. Toss all but one of the ingredients (hint – it’s ketchup!) into a pan. Cover & cook.
  3. Add the ketchup. Sauté out excess juices.
  4. It’s done. Even if you don’t want it to be, it’s done.https://www.teaforturmeric.com/instant-pot-kadhi/

A bit of background – we grew up calling this “Chicken Roast”.

Ovens weren’t the norm in South Asia. So to recreate tender chicken and a roast-like finish on the stovetop, you would:

  1. Steam the chicken over the gentlest heat.
  2. Uncover and raise the heat to evaporate the excess juices & lightly sear the meat.


With access to ovens, I don’t see much need or benefit of this method. I usually partly steam chicken in the oven anyway (ex. Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry and Peri Peri Chicken).

But in this case, the pan serves to contain and reduce the vinegar. Plus, it allows us to add the ketchup toward the end, creating a layer of flavor.



Here are the ingredients, all of which you probably have in your pantry right now:

  • Chicken: As I mentioned earlier, you can use any cut of skinless, bone-in chicken such as thighs, drumsticks or cut up whole chicken pieces (the breast pieces will still remain tender!).
    • I’ve used thighs in the pictures and split leg quarters (drumsticks and thighs) in the video.
    • If you can, try to use small chicken thighs (typically 2-3 oz each). Smaller cuts of chicken cook faster and soak up more flavor.
  • Vinegar: I use distilled white vinegar but I think other types of vinegar could also work here.
  • Oil: Any oil, including olive oil, works in this recipe.
  • Cumin seeds: Plain, untoasted cumin seeds (not powder).
  • Black pepper and crushed red pepper (chili) flakes are the only other spices you’ll need. Feel free to adjust according to your desired heat level.
  • Ketchup: Though ketchup elevates the flavor, you really won’t be able to taste it in the final product.


Here’s the back-pocket chicken thigh recipe you didn’t know you needed! This recipe requires 30 minutes, one pan, and 5 pantry ingredients if you don’t count good old salt & pepper. Make this with chicken thighs, drumsticks, or any cut of bone-in chicken. Tested to perfection!
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 People


  • 1 Pan


  • 2 ib bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, See Note 1
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or 1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes, plus more to taste
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ketchup


  • Optional (but optimal) marination: Place the chicken in a medium bowl and toss with everything but the ketchup. Cover the bowl and let it marinate at room temperature for up to 2 hours; or in the refrigerator up to 12 hours. If skipping the marinade, start with the next step.
  • Heat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with lid over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and its juices (if you didn’t marinate, add all of the ingredients except the ketchup to the pan). Mix well to combine, then and spread out the chicken pieces into a single layer.
  • Reduce the heat to low or low-medium to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cover the pan and cook, tossing halfway through, until the chicken is fully cooked, about 25 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high. Bring the remaining liquid in the pan to a boil and cook until most of it has evaporated (~5-6 minutes). Stir in the ketchup. Sauté, stirring only as necessary to allow the chicken to lightly sear (~2 min). Once the moisture has completely evaporated, turn off the heat. Serve immediately.


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This iron-boosting orange green smoothie combines iron-rich ingredients with vitamin C to help enhance iron absorption.

Did you know that vitamin-C-rich foods such as oranges enhance iron absorption?

Like most moms, much of my life revolves around my baby’s food intake. It’s an obsession, really.

“Is she eating enough?”

“Is she getting all the nutrients she needs?” 

And since iron stores START TO DEPETE at 6 months, “Is she getting enough iron?” This one especially plagues my mind.

I offer her iron-rich foods, but since she’d much rather see said foods splatter on the floor or decorate the walls, and is currently eyeing anything in my cup/glass/mug, I thought of the perfect solution — green smoothies!


I set out to create a smoothie with foods that provide iron: spinach and chia seeds, and pair them with foods that enhance iron absorption: orange juice and yogurt…and Viola!

The creamy base of banana, the refreshing taste of citrus with the slight tartness of the yogurt….This smoothie is packed with nutrition and a treat for everyone, iron deficient or not

…You did? Okay.

BUT did you know fermented foods such as yogurt also increase the availability of iron? Even though calcium inhibits iron absorption, fermented foods seem to do the 

And many of us could use a little boost. According to the World Health Organization, 2 billion people – more than 30% of the world’s population (!!!) – are anemic. (Iron-deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia.)Iron-Boosting-Orange-Green-Smoothie-4



This iron-boosting orange green smoothie combines iron-rich ingredients with vitamin C to help enhance iron absorption.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 1
Calories 298 kcal


  • 1 Saucepan


  • 2 cups  fresh spinach
  • ½ ripe banana, previously frozen
  • 1  tangerine or small navel orange
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup  plain yogurt, (optional)*
  • 1 tbsp  chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes
  • ½ Medjool date, (optional – add if needed)


  • Add all ingredients except the date to a blender and blend until smooth. Add a half of a Medjool date if more sweetness is desired and blend again. Add additional ice cubes as necessary to thicken and cool. Serve immediately.



*Calcium is said to block iron absorption. However, I have still included yogurt in the recipe because of the low quantity, and because of studies have indicated probiotics help increase iron absorption. And of course, because I think it tastes better.
2022 Disclaimer: When creating the recipe, I thought the small amount of calcium in 1/4 cup yogurt wouldn’t block iron absorption, but the smoothie would get the benefits of probiotics (and honestly, taste!) of the yogurt. In hindsight, given I’m not a nutritionist or doctor, I’m really not qualified to offer any health benefits, just a great-tasting smoothie! 😊
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