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Chitra Agrawal

Chitra Agrawal

Chitra is the creator of The ABCD's of Cooking, Indian-inspired and vegetarian recipes based out of a tiny Brooklyn kitchen. Her cooking is rooted in Indian tradition but mixed up with influences from growing up in the US, living in New York City and what’s in season. Chitra shares her recipes on her blog, in videos and at cooking classes, events and artisanal markets. She has appeared in the New York Times Dining Journal (for her yummy Indian tacos) and is a contributor to The Huffington Post, Gojee, Honest Cooking, The Daily Meal and Brooklyn Based.

Chitra divides her time between the worlds of food and tech. When not cooking, she’s at BlogTalkRadio, an online talk radio station, where she is the Director of Marketing and on air twice a week.

  • Website
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Favorite foods: chole bhatura, shahi paneer, Di Fara pizza, kathi rolls, rava dosa, nachos, bisi bele bath
  • Last bite on earth: papri chaat

Snapshots from India: Vegetarian Eats in Delhi

@Okikat yes you can get many of these dishes in NYC. Even though Tiffin Wala on 28th street is known for South Indian foods, their samosa chaat is pretty spectacular and there is a new place that opened in the LES called MasalaWala that has probably the widest selection of chaats I've seen in the city. You can also go to some of the taxi cab hangouts like Punjabi Deli on Houston to find some good chaat as well.

@HungryDan Thank you! Kapoor's is in Malviya Nagar and in kind of a residential part - a quintessential locals neighborhood spot. This place you went to sounds like a gem too and will check it out this winter when I'm in Delhi next.

Win Two Tickets to the Fourth Annual Latke Festival at BAM, Monday December 10th

crispy exterior with sour cream is my vote!

Meet & Eat: Louisa Shafia, author of 'Lucid Food'

Awesome! Love Louisa!

Boston: Baingan Bhartha at Punjab Palace

I make a dip out of baingan bhartha - kind of like an Indian baba ganoush:
http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2009/10/baingan-bharta-roasted-eggplant-curry.html

The Crisper Whisperer: Share Your Favorite Fall Produce Recipes

What Do You Grab for a Midnight Snack?

oh god so many things - sometimes cereal, fruit, yogurt, quesadilla, nachos!

Serious Heat: Sriracha and Peanut Butter, and Other Odd Spicy Combos

In South India it's usual to eat a spicey chili pickle with yogurt and rice and I sometimes put in sriracha instead of the Indian pickle. Very good!

In Season: Green Beans

Here is my favorite green beans recipe - South Indian style with coconut, chilis and lemon:

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/02/green-beans-palya.html

Best Indian in NY?

I like Delhi Heights in Jackson Heights and Saravana in Curry Hill

The Best Falafel Sandwich in New York City

yeah i love taim! but also oasis!

Michael Gebert on the High Price of 'Underground' Dining Events

i do one because it's a way for me to share some of the new foods I'm experimenting with without having huge overhead, but i do admit that it is hard to break even because there is still a lot of expense that goes with it:
http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/05/singing-supper.html

Looking for tips on lentil soup

I'm vegetarian and cook lentils quite often. Most of my recipes are Indian, but I have found that red (masoor) and yellow (moong) dals cook the fastest. I have found it doesn't really take much to add as the lentils have such great flavor already, but adding some lemon brings out the flavor more. Here are couple recipes for them and one for toor dal which is best if you have a pressure cooker:

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2009/12/sambar-south-indian-lentil-stew.html

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2009/07/moong-dal-with-coconut-ginger-and-peas.html

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2009/10/story-behind-soup.html

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/04/saru-tomato-lentil-soup.html

Weekend Cook and Tell: Handmade and Homemade Local Favorites

I made the Masala Loca tacos that were mentioned in the NY Times at the Greenpoint Food Market. I will be there again at the next one on the 26th. Here is the post I did on my experience there. It was so fun!

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/05/greenpoint-food-market.html

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop Reopened!

hooray! I love this place:)

What's Your Favorite Way to Cook Potatoes?

I like to boil my potatoes and then fry them so that that I don't have to use as much oil on them.

The Obsession with DoubleTree Hotel's Warm Chocolate-Chip Cookies

i remember getting very excited about staying at double tree when i was younger. the cookies are such a great touch.

Grass Fed: The Case for Veggie Burgers

I really like Dr. Praegers veggie burgers.

The Best Carrot Cake in New York City

I love the carrot cake muffin at Once Upon a Tart and the cake from Betty Bakery on Atlantic in Brooklyn. People go crazy for it whenever I bring it to a party.

Food for when you (or your loved one) is sick/has a cold????

A lot of indian spices are good for it actually - chili powder, turmeric, mustard seed, cumin seed, etc. I usually make a big pot of soup and include these items in it and include lemon, ginger and garlic in it as well.

Vegan Restaurants/Cafes in NYC

I like caravan of dreams, hangawi - a korean place is really good but a bit pricey, gobo is great too

Weekend Cook and Tell: Make it Cheesy

I made paneer (indian cheese) with one of my friends and it was so easy I had to blog about it. She took some awesome photos as well. You can check it here:

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-make-paneer-indian-cheese.html

Learning About Cheesemaking and Raw Milk from Two Dairymen in Alabama

This is a great post. My parents just moved to Alabama so will have them look out for him at farmer's markets. I just made paneer (Indian cheese) for the first time this weekend and it was such a great experience:

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-make-paneer-indian-cheese.html

How to Make Mozzarella

i definitely need to work my way up to being able to make mozzerella. i just made paneer - indian cheese and was totally surprised at how easy it is. i definitely want to try my hand at other ones now too though. here is how to make indian cheese:

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-make-paneer-indian-cheese.html

Dinner Tonight: Almond Tofu with Buckwheat Noodles and Snow Peas

yum i'm always looking for soba noodle recipes. this one looks awesome. here is my take off of an otsu that 101 cookbooks published:

http://abcdsofcooking.blogspot.com/2009/08/otsu.html

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Spring Herbs

this looks delicious. i like to make something like this with ricotta though.

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