Indian food is everyday food! This colourful, lively book is food writer Priya Krishna’s loving tribute to her mom’s “Indian-ish” cooking—a trove of one-of-a-kind Indian-American hybrids that are easy to make, clever, practical, and packed with flavour. Think Roti Pizza, Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar, Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Pea Chutney, and Malaysian Ramen.
Priya’s mom, Ritu, taught herself to cook after moving to the U.S. while also working as a software programmer—her unique creations merging the Indian flavours of her childhood with her global travels and inspiration from cooking shows as well as her kids’ requests for American favourites like spaghetti and PB&Js. The results are approachable and unfailingly delightful, like spiced, yogurt-filled sandwiches crusted with curry leaves, or “Indian Gatorade” (a thirst-quenching salty-sweet limeade) and sweet cardamom yogurt. Indian-ish includes plenty of simple dinners you can whip up in minutes at the end of a long workday.
Throughout, Priya’s funny and relatable stories—punctuated with candid portraits and original illustrations by acclaimed Desi pop artist Maria Qamar (also known as Hatecopy)—will bring you up close and personal with the Krishna family and its many quirks.”
Sweet Cardamom Yogurt (Shrikhand)
Serves 4 to 6
For all the people out there who believe that yogurt could never, ever be a decadent dessert, I present to you the exception to the rule: shrikhand, one of my favourite sweets of all time. It’s an impossibly creamy, saffron-studded, I-can’t-believe-I-made-this-with-yogurt treat that’s typical of the Indian region of Gujarat. My mom started making it because my dad’s older brother, Pradeep, loves it. And then my sister and I tried it once and were like, “Okay, yep, here for this,” because shrikhand is impossible not to adore.
My mom usually makes this with my dad’s homemade yogurt, but you can get that same super-silky texture with good-quality store-bought Greek yogurt. My friend Khushbu came up with the idea of putting shrikhand in a graham cracker pie shell and refrigerating it—I haven’t personally tried this, but I imagine it would yield the best no-bake pie ever.
4 cups full-fat plain Greek yogurt (1 quart-size container)
¼ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
½ cup granulated sugar
Seeds from 4 green cardamom pods, crushed into a powder, or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (freshly ground is best)
- Line a large colander with coffee filters or paper towels, overlapping them so that they cover the sides, and set it over a deep plate or bowl. Pour in the yogurt and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours to allow the whey to drain out and thicken the yogurt. In the morning, the yogurt should be very thick-like an even creamier richer Greek yogurt.
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush a ¼ teaspoon of the saffron threads into a powder.
- In a large bowl, combine the strained yogurt, sugar, cardamom and crushed saffron. Mix well-the yogurt should turn a pale yellow colour. Top with the remaining 4 teaspoons of whole saffron threads (don’t mix, as you want that stained effect) and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours (and up to 8 hours) before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Hardcourt.