12 Things to Cook in June 2024


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

Gulab Jamuns

Gulab jamuns occupy a very popular position in the large family of Indian desserts. I suspect their popularity stems from their simple yet marvelous construction: little, fried balls of a milk-based dough that are soaked in a syrup scented with green cardamom, saffron, rose water, and other spices, served warm or at room temperature. The

Seekh Kebabs

Seekh kebabs are a standard item on the menu of kebab stalls in India, and they’re also my favorite type of kebab. They’re slightly hot and spicy and use a combination of toasted chickpea flour and egg as binding agents to hold the meat together. These kebabs are made with ground meat like beef, chicken, or mutton; I’m using American Lamb, which is excellent as it produces the best flavor and quality kebabs in this recipe. Unlike some other kebabs, seekh kebabs have an extra advantage. Because the meat is ground, they take the flavors from the spices quickly, and you don’t need to marinate it before cooking. Mix, shape, and grill. It’s quick and easy.

Chaat-Style Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

Potatoes play a very important role in Indian street food chaat-style dishes, so I figured, why not make a baked potato based on the same principles? I’ve limited the sauces to one—the date-tamarind chutney—and loaded the top with lots of fresh herbs and, of course, plenty of crunchy sev, a crispy noodle-like snack made from chickpea flour. If you want to add a fresh herb chutney, use the one listed in the Cook’s Notes.

Indian-Style Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

This is a fun take on this beloved Italian classic called melanzane alla parmigiana, aka eggplant parmesan, through an Indian lens. I stuck with a theme – Go bold and go hot! The tomato sauce gets infused with heat from red pepper flakes, there’s turmeric and garam masala in the tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of nigella seeds (don’t use mustard seeds here, it doesn’t work nicely in this combination).

Egg Bhurji, Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs

Bhurji remains one of my favorite all-time ways to eat eggs. It is a dry version of scrambled eggs made in India, as opposed to the Parsi Akuri, which is a little more custardy and wet, like the French style of preparation. A dash of garam masala with fresh cilantro, garlic, and ginger ties it together. I love eating it heaped over buttered toast with a generous amount of Maggi’s Hot and Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce (India’s favorite ketchup) and a cup of hot chai or coffee. The eggs are also great stuffed inside a roti or burrito.

Peach and Elderflower Ice Cream

This is my adult version of peach ice cream—the flavor of sweet ripe peaches and the delicate floral aroma of St. Germain pair excellently well together. This is one of my favorite summer ice creams, and it goes down very fast on a hot day.

This recipe is loosely based on David Lebovitz’s Apricot Ice Cream From The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press, Revised Edition 2018)

Summer Granola

Full of tropical dried fruit like bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and toasted nutty coconut flakes, this granola exemplifies summer. The sweet scent of cinnamon and vanilla make it irresistible. I like to eat it over cold, creamy yogurt with an extra drizzle of maple syrup.

Indian Semolina Halwa

Halva (sometimes spelled halwa) refers to a large family of Indian desserts that can be made with a wide variety of ingredients. Halva can be made from grains like wheat (semolina and wheat flour), pulses like chickpeas and mung beans, nuts like almonds and cashews, vegetables like carrots and pumpkin, and fruits like bananas and

Seafood Laksa

Laksa is one of my favorite soups from the Peranakan cuisine served in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and I make it often. This is my version made with clams, mussels, shrimp, and chunks of puffed tofu. I refresh the laksa paste by cooking it with a few spices and freshly grated lemongrass. It’s an extra special treat to get my hands on laksa leaves, aka Vietnamese cilantro, at my grocery store. 

Andalusian-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew

This moreish chickpea stew from Andalusia is originally based on Frank Camorra’s recipe that I came across in Gourmet Traveller and fell in love with several years ago. It’s easy to make and one of my favorite cold-weather stews, though I could eat a big bowl anytime. Serve it with thick buttered slices of toasted sourdough or flatbread. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of paprika; it’s necessary to create that gorgeous smoky profile of the stew. 

chilli crisp cream cheese stuffed rose buns

I am always excited to bake and eat savory pastries and breads, if I could wake up to savory pastries every weekend, well let’s just say this, it would be pretty close to perfection. This recipe is a combination of techniques and flavors from different cultures. I’ve used the technique for the rose shaped breads/pastries from Turkey called Gül Poğaça, filled it with a paste made from the delicious chilli crisp oil from Lao Gan Ma and cream cheese, and used the tangzhong technique (that originally started out in Japan in the form of the yukane/yudane that later became popular over Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen

spicy eggplant with ground lamb

Of all the cuts and types of lamb available, I always keep a bit of ground American lamb in my freezer. There’s so much that can be done with ground meat – shape them into burgers or kebabs, add them to a casserole or a stir-fry like I’ve done today. Savoriness and heat are built in this recipe through a few pantry staples.

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