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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Comforting Delight of Coconut Saag

One reason so many of us head there when life gets rough is because the repetitive motions of chopping and peeling, sautéing and boiling, can be very calming. While we may not be able to change the world as a whole, we can make a positive impact on our own lives and the lives of others we care about by providing them with nutritious food. And the act of cooking itself may be a soothing salve.

Priya Krishna’s innovative method for making coconut saag (seen above) is contemplative and relaxing since it requires only a little amount of chopping and mixing, yet still yields delicious results. In just 35 minutes, you may have a delicious meal ready to eat (or, as I like, stay in the kitchen and cook dessert). Saag fans shouldn’t miss Priya’s vegan take on the traditional North Indian meal. She replaces the cream with coconut milk and the paneer with extra-firm tofu.

Tofu and mushroom jorim from Kay Chun can be made in about 20 minutes, and it’s also vegan. To add depth and a chewy texture to the soft cubes of tofu, Kay’s rendition of the traditional Korean dish asks for shiitake mushrooms cooked in a gingery sauce. The next day’s leftovers make a great lunch when eaten cold from the fridge.

The anchovies in my garlicky chicken with lemon-anchovy sauce dissolve into olive oil, leaving their saline, umami flavour, while the capers in my garlicky chicken with lemon-anchovy sauce grow crunchy and salty as they cook. Use crusty bread as a vessel for the colourful sauce.

Macaroni with chorizo is a staple comfort meal in Spain. Ali Slagle’s version, pasta with spicy chorizo, combines tomato paste, onions and the paprika-laced pig sausage, which reduces to a smoky, silky sauce while cooking. Instead of the fresh Mexican chorizo sausages, seek up the cured and shelf-stable Spanish kind.

Genevieve Ko’s buttery apple pie bars aren’t just a weekend dessert. But when you want to relax in the kitchen, these lightly spiced pastries can satisfy your craving for apple pie without the hassle of making pie crust from scratch. There will be enough of treats to go around because this recipe yields two dozen bars.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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