• Priya Krishna's pantry •
When we peeked inside Priya Krishna’s #pineforpantry, we found… yogurt. For Priya, a contributor at Bon Appétit, the New York Times and the New Yorker, yogurt is one of those beloved make-or-break pantry staples. It’s also featured heavily in Indian-ish, her newly-published cookbook highlighting recipes inspired by her bicultural identity: “that feeling of talking and thinking and acting like an American, but looking like an Indian.” Basically, Indian-ish makes us wish that we grew up on a steady diet of Priya’s childhood sabzi taquitos and Indian(ish) grilled cheeses. Also in her back kitchen pocket: Texas Gold black garlic and ABBA tunes on blast. Read on for more about Priya’s at-home vegetarianism, her heirloom spice blends, IG-stalking her co-workers for #dinspo, and why she always keeps her Instant Pot within arm’s reach.
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“My body consists of 80% dal. I make it every single week in my Instant Pot, and then I’ll make a quick cucumber or tomato salad (kachumber, as it’s known in Indian cuisine!), or a sabzi (I love the red pepper, peanut, and potato one from my cookbook!), to go with it. If I’m not making dal, I’m making a big pot of rice, some steamed veggies, and maybe some beans, and then figuring out various ways to dress that situation up for lunch/dinner. I eat really simply when I’m at home to counter all the restaurant meals that come with the job. Also, I go through 2 tubs of yogurt a week.
I am not someone who follows recipes to the T, but I use cookbooks to get inspiration on what kinds of flavors would go together. Other than that, my cookbook genuinely comprises the vast majority of the food I cook at home — basically, things my mother taught me. Her recipes were developed as dishes she could make in a pinch when she got home from work and only had 20 minutes to put dinner on the table — so they work well for me! I also have to say — I get a lot of inspiration from my colleagues at the New York Times and Bon Appétit, and specifically their Instagrams. Many times I have duplicated exact things I have seen Christina Chaey, Tejal Rao, and Emily Weinstein make on their Instagram stories. I’m not ashamed!!!
markets & shopping
For some reason, I have this irrational belief that the lentils and spices that my parents have at their house are superior to any of the ones I could find here (also, they’re free). So when I go home to Dallas — which is often — I will “shop” in my parents’ pantry and fill Ziploc bags full of dry goods and spices. When I go to the grocery store, it is primarily to buy fresh fruit and fresh produce (I’ll get 1-2 varieties of fruit and 1-2 varieties of veg and figure out meals from there), and a boatload of yogurt. And jam and oats to mix in with my yogurt for breakfast. I prefer not to cook meat at home — I was raised vegetarian and my body seems to digest it weirdly. And I eat enough of it when I go out.
Someone gifted me homemade kimchi recently, and I wish that I could have bottomless homemade kimchi in my fridge. It’s the best condiment ever. I feel similarly about black garlic (Texas Gold is the best) — it’s like garlic, umami-fied, and I put it in stir-fries, pastas, salad dressings.. LITERALLY everything. I also tend to love having at least 2 varieties of fancy cheese, because there are few dishes that a nice fancy cheese can’t save.
To Sum it Up:
pantry item she can't live without: Chaat Masala (Indian spice blend)
items that’s always in her fridge: Yogurt!!!!!
her go to inspiration cookbook: Urvashi Pitre’s The Indian Instant Pot Cookbook (she changed the way I cook, I love her!)
her most trusted kitchen tool: my garlic press
5 adjectives that describe her pantry style: spices, lentils, pasta, rice….and messy
her all time favorite market: Patel Brothers
women she pines for: Tejal Rao, Ligaya Mishan, Samin Nosrat, My Mother
her favorite music to jam out to in the kitchen: ABBA, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole