Home to a rich food culture, India boasts cuisine that is among the most expansive and diverse in the world. While dishes like Tikka Masala have found their way onto menus around the globe, lesser-known offerings that are nonetheless satisfying and enlightening to the palate are still finding their way to new diners. Brooklyn-based chef and cookbook author Chitra Agrawal's variety of small-batch achaars (India's version of kimchee) Brooklyn Delhi give the Subcontinent staple top treatment. "The flavor is intense, so you eat just a little bit—and it has a ton of healthy spices like turmeric, fenugreek seed, black mustard seeds, etc," Agrawal says of the pungent pickled relish. "I grew up eating it mixed into rice and dal, with yogurt or on sandwiches, but you can also cook with it," she adds. The more traditional tomato and garlic achaars are an easy and welcome way to spice up a sandwich, eggs or just about anything you can imagine. Agrawal is also creating new flavors with local ingredients based on traditional recipes, "The rhubarb recipe is modeled on a South Indian lemon or green mango pickle, but with rhubarb instead to add that sour, tart flavor."
Photo by Hans Aschim