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Meet Dahi Toast, the Indian-ish Grilled Cheese That’s Even Better Than Grilled Cheese

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Priya Krishna’s cookbook Indian-ish, documenting her journey of learning to make the distinct, hybridized cuisine of her chic, extremely skilled-in-the-kitchen mom, Ritu, will be out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in spring 2019. Follow her progress on Instagram @PKgourmet.

Like any American family, the Krishnas take weekend breakfast very seriously. When I was a kid, it was not uncommon for us to sit down on Saturday mornings to a spread of chocolate chip pancakes, or toast with Heinz baked beans spiked with chaat masala and tomatoes, or sabudana (a.k.a. savory, peanut-lime tapioca pearls). But when we had family or friends in town, my mom upped the breakfast ante. Visiting guests meant we’d get to eat dahi toast.

“Dahi” means yogurt in Hindi, and “toast” is the word my family and many other Indians use to describe cooked sandwiches, so the dish roughly translates to “yogurt sandwich.” But that sounds like the biggest undersell of one of the many favorite foods in the world.

Think of dahi toast like a fancier, more interesting grilled cheese. But not in the sense of, like, a truffled grilled cheese (who actually asked for that?) or a grilled cheese that involves, like, six kinds of expensive Gouda. The main event with dahi toast is the yogurt (Greek or strained yogurt, regular will be too runny) mixed with half an onion (finely diced), a minced chile (we use harimirch but a serrano or Thai chile also works), and a handful of finely chopped cilantro. That’s slathered between two pieces of sourdough bread and griddled with a little oil on medium heat until the outsides are golden and the yogurt turns thick and ricotta-like (no cheese pull here, folks). Top it off with a drizzle of crunchy mustard seeds and curry leaves tempered in oil to get the crispy coating that mayo gives a grilled cheese. It’s spicy, it’s tangy, it’s got lots of great textures, and actually, comparing it to a grilled cheese sandwich (which, don’t get me wrong, I love!) doesn’t actually do it justice. Sinking my teeth into the crusty, oiled-up bread with the thick, onion-flecked yogurt makes me feel things.

curry leaves

Curry leaves and mustard seeds tempered in oil, aka tadka.

Perhaps you’re wondering: where did this notion of putting YOGURT, of all things, between bread come from? My mom first tried a variation of this dish at a friend’s house, where it was the go-to weekend breakfast. Both my parents loved the dahi toast so much that my mom immediately had to recreate it at home.

What sets mom’s version apart from her friend’s (and other versions I’ve seen on food blogs) is the inspired decision to use sourdough bread, which she discovered it on a California trip in the ’80s and forever changed the course of our bread consumption. The pleasant tang of sourdough (thick slices are key) is the perfect partner to the heat of the green chilies and the richness of the yogurt and spices. Don’t make this with anything else.

The only controversial aspect of dahi toast in our family is the condiments. My dad and I firmly believe that Heinz ketchup, in all its tart, sweet, glossy glory, is the proper pairing. My mom and my sister on the other hand, will dip their dahi toasts in cilantro chutney—they want that extra boost of herbs and heat. A few years ago, my dad discovered the condiment compromise that is Heinz ketchup swirled into cilantro chutney, and I’m certainly not mad about that, either (though the dirt-like color isn’t great).

dahi toast

See what I mean about the ketchup/chutney combo.

Dahi toast is no longer just a breakfast dish in our family. It has spilled over into lunchtime, dinnertime, snack time, party time (cut your dahi toast into mini triangles!) and everything in between. At my apartment, the dish is my entertaining magic trick. It looks and tastes so complex, but doesn’t really require a recipe. Best of all, it ultimately takes the effort of, well, making a grilled cheese to produce. But it tastes ten times better.



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Santé Et Nutrition

This Broccoli Caesar Salad Proves That Raw Veg Rules

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I consider a Caesar salad to be a pretty perfect food. In fact, it is probably one of my Top 10 Favorite Foods of All Time. I know! It’s a salad! But it’s a salad with a creamy, anchovy-packed, cheesy dressing and golden-brown bread nuggets (also known as croutons). I am not a professional, so I can tell you that when I “taste” my Caesar dressing, I do it by inserting a big ol’ spoonful of it into my mouth. Followed by a second one, just to be sure it’s right.

But do you know who is a professional? Chris Morocco. That is why I jumped at the opportunity to make his Broccoli Caesar, which is every bit as delectable as the original, and an even a better match for that dinner party you’re hosting this fall weekend.

Chris used both raw broccoli (more on that in a minute) and Napa cabbage as the base instead of Romaine, two heartier, sturdier greens that stand up well, long after dressing. “In fact, it’s only going to improve with age,” Chris says. So prep it ahead of time and let the flavors—spicy garlic, briny anchovy, bracing lemon zest—really soak in.

broccoli caesar

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

Peel. Those. Stems.

“There’s something pleasant about keeping a salad raw, even when it’s a root vegetable like carrots, or the cruciferous greens in this recipe,” Chris says. “It’s a good counterpoint to the richer and more decadent food you’re generally eating in the fall.” The key, though, is to make sure the texture is, indeed, pleasant—not the squeaky kind of raw that is difficult to chew.

You do this by making sure the broccoli florets are not so small that they would turn to fluff and disappear into the dressing, but not so big that they’d be confused for crudit´e. When it came to the stems, I made sure to peel them before slicing, just like the recipe instructs. No cheating here. Those stems have a bad rap, but once the firmer outside is gone, I find them to be the most tender and flavorful part of the whole veg.

Full disclosure: I did not make this recipe for a dinner party, though I plan to soon. I made it for myself. And though it doesn’t call for it, I also added golden-brown bread nuggets in there, because it was dinner, and I was hungry. Like I said, I’m not a professional, but I don’t think Chris would complain.

Get the recipe:

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Gluten-Free Muffins

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Inspired by bircher muesli, these protein-packed muffins get extra texture and flavor from almonds, grated raw apples, and oats folded into the gluten- and dairy-free batter. Spiced with just enough cinnamon and sweetened with maple syrup, they’re the breakfast treat of the season.



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These Gluten Free Muffins Are Peak Fall…And They Happen to Be Gluten Free | Healthyish

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Every gluten-free muffin I’ve ever succumbed to has disappointed me by being either too sweet, or too crumbly, or weirdly bitter and bean-y from chickpea flour. So, after 12 years of eating gluten-free and missing good, hearty muffins, I decided it was time to make my own.

Gluten-free baking takes extra work, time, and tinkering. It took me 6 attempts with slight adjustments in ingredients and ratios to nail these muffins, but, finally, I have a muffin that I actually want to eat—for breakfast or as a grab and go snack any time of day. It’s got some extra protein from almond flour and almonds, and some extra fiber from ground flax seed and rolled oats. Of course it’s gluten-free, but I also made these muffins dairy-free by using coconut oil instead of butter. It’s just sweet enough, and that sweetness comes only from pure maple syrup and grated apples.

I call these muesli muffins because they were inspired by bircher muesli, the soaked oat and grated apple breakfast that my mom learned to make as a kid in Germany. Bircher muesli is OG health food: It was developed by the Swiss doctor Maximillion Bircher-Benner in the early 1900s as a healthy breakfast for his patients, who he kept on a diet heavy in raw fruits and vegetables long before raw food was as trendy as it is now. These muffins have all the same flavors—raw apples, rolled oats, sliced almonds, cinnamon, maple syrup—and it’s a comforting taste that reminds me of home.

These muffins keep well in an airtight container for at least five days so you can make them on the weekend and enjoy them all week. They’ll be especially useful when the house is full of guests for Thanksgiving and you want something you can hand a hungry kid or relative (or yourself!). It’ll feel like a treat any time of day.

Make muffins today:

healthyish-gf-muffins-horizontal.jpg

Inspired by bircher muesli, these protein-packed muffins get extra texture and flavor from almonds, grated raw apples, and oats folded into the gluten- and dairy-free batter. Spiced with just enough cinnamon and sweetened with maple syrup, they’re the breakfast treat of the season.

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