Here are variations on three exotic dishes, each built on the same simple technique:

Serves 4


  • 1½ Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups peas (defrosted if frozen, parboiled if fresh)


    Total time: 10 minutes

    In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. When hot, add A (see below for variations). Let sizzle for a few seconds. Then add carrots and peas and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add B (see below for variations). Reduce heat to medium-low and stir a few times. Add C (see below for variations). Cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

    From Madhur Jaffrey, author of the forthcoming cookbook Vegetarian India:
    A: ½ tsp. cumin seeds
    B: 1 tsp. ground coriander, ¼ tsp. ground turmeric, a generous pinch of chili powder and ½ tsp. salt
    C: 4 to 5 Tbsp. water

    From Dale Talde, chef and co-owner of Talde in Brooklyn and author of the new cookbook Asian-American:
    A: 2 small Thai or serrano chilies, chopped; 2 medium stalks lemongrass, tender parts only, finely minced; 1 shallot, chopped; 1 (4") piece ginger, peeled and sliced and 1 garlic clove, minced
    B: 1 tsp. ground turmeric and a pinch of ground black pepper
    C: 1 cup coconut milk and 1 tsp. Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
    (Serve with 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.)

    From Ricardo Zarate, L.A. chef and author of the new cookbook The Fire of Peru:
    A: 1½ tsp. minced garlic, 1½ tsp. minced ginger and 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
    B: 4 tsp. red wine vinegar, 1½ tsp. soy sauce and 1½ tsp. ground black pepper
    C: 1 cup diced tomatoes

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