Hi and welcome to Five Weeknight Dishes. This week we’re celebrating Priya Krishna, a beloved member of the extended NYT Food fam, whose cookbook “Indian-ish” was published this week (and made our list of the best new cookbooks this spring). Priya reports, she writes, she makes videos, she collaborated with her mother, Ritu Krishna, to publish this cookbook — she works hard, is what I’m saying, and so I wrote to her to ask what she makes for dinner at the end of a crazy day.
She replied with several NYT Cooking recipes: Mara’s Tofu (“I freaking love this recipe!”); fried rice (“I have tried many, many fried rice recipes, and this one is the best mix of simple and really flavorful”); kale-sauce pasta (more on that below); and this peach-almond smoothie, which she has for a no-cook dinner with toast when it’s very hot outside (wild card! I like it).
But her go-to is dal chawal: She cooks split yellow lentils, turmeric, water and salt in her Instant Pot, and sizzles cumin seeds, paprika and dried chiles in ghee to pour over the top. She serves it with rice and kachumber, a little salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lime and garlic. “That’s comfort food to me!” she wrote.
Priya’s book is bursting with weeknight options; we have two of her recipes below. And, as ever, I’m at email@example.com.
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Here are five dishes for the week:
Priya Krishna’s garlic-ginger chicken.CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Timesl Food Stylist: Vivian Lui
There is exactly one chicken recipe in “Indian-ish,” and that’s because, Priya writes, it’s the only one she needs. You’ll have to set the chicken up in the marinade at least 2 hours before cooking, or the night before, but the actual cooking goes quickly. Serve with roti or rice (make extra if you want to use some in the tomato rice below), chutneys if you have them, raita or another yogurt sauce, and carrots or cauliflower on the side. Lots of herbs for garnish please.
And here’s one more from “Indian-ish,” which Priya describes as “pizza in rice form” and which Margaux Laskey, an editor here at NYT Cooking, loved and fed to her two small daughters. This one is very simple, and you can play with it. You could also try making it with leftover rice, and you could certainly use canned tomatoes. Serve with something green: a big salad, a heap of steamed or sautéed broccoli, a tangle of green beans.
Sweet and salty and juicy: These meatballs, inspired by the flavors of Korean barbecue, are utterly delicious. The recipe uses crushed Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs, and I’ve come to think that’s genius because the meatballs are so tender. The recipe gives instructions for a dipping sauce and says it’s optional, but personally I don’t feel it is; make that sauce and drizzle it over the meatballs, rice and some sautéed spinach.
Here’s one of Priya’s favorites from NYT Cooking; she said she’s tried it with arugula, spinach and collards, and it works great. She freezes it in big batches, which means at the end of the day she only has to boil the pasta and thaw the sauce. (You could also freeze it in very small batches tailored to the number of people you feed: one batch per meal.) Dinner is already dazzlingly green, so I’d roast cauliflower to go on the side.