Indian food is one of our favorite takeout options, with intense and exciting flavors that we love. But cooking it at home? That seems super intimidating. Asha Shivakumar (aka @foodfashionparty), who grew up in India before moving to the states, totally changed our perspective of preparing Indian food at home with her new cookbook, Meatballs & Masala: Incredible Indian Dishes With An American Twist. The pages include bold but approachable dishes that tow a delicious line between Indian and American food. Today, she gives us a look inside the book with her recipe for Grilled Bok Choy and Sriracha Chickpeas with Buttermilk Dressing. 

Asha shares, “I remember how this dish came to be. I found these beautiful bok choy and I got them home, not knowing how to cook them or what they would taste like. I called out to my teenage son to search for a recipe with bok choy. The first thing he found was a grilled bok choy recipe. I had some chickpeas, and so we grilled the bok choy, I quickly whipped up a buttermilk dressing and we tossed the whole thing together. Often, the grocery store gives me tons of ideas for trying new vegetables and a lot of times we fall in love with it. This is definitely one of those vegetables I have fallen in love with. If you can’t find bok choy, you can substitute collard greens, Swiss chard or even beet greens.”

Grilled Bok Choy and Sriracha Chickpeas with Buttermilk Dressing
Serves 4

1 (15-oz [420-g]) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed well and dried on a paper towel
3 tbsp (27 g) cornmeal, more if needed
2 tbsp (16 g) chickpea flour
3 tbsp (45 ml) Sriracha
½ tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 heads bok choy
Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp (11 g) home-style mustard
1 tbsp (20 g) honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the salad, in a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, cornmeal, chickpea flour, Sriracha, chaat masala and oil and toss well to coat all the chickpeas. Add more cornmeal if needed so the chickpeas are dry and well coated. Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lightly crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool before using. Turn the oven down to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).

Cut the bok choy heads in half and place on a separate baking sheet. Drizzle with some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake or grill for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can just wilt the bok choy in a nonstick pan or stove top griddle.

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

You can serve the bok choy in halves, arranging them on a platter, or dice them up and toss with the chickpeas. Either way, add the buttermilk dressing to the bowl with the chickpeas. Serve warm.