15 Padma Lakshmi Recipes We Can't Stop Making
Padma Lakshmi never fails to impress us with the recipes she shares. From cookbook favorites to the household staples she shares on Instagram, we love the mix of savory and sweet flavors coming from Padma's kitchen. Recipes like Padma's Yogurt Rice and Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tamarind Glaze are delicious dishes we want to keep making over and over again.
Savory, cool yogurt rice, or "curd rice," as it's referred to on the Indian subcontinent, is the ultimate comfort food. It's made from Indian household staples—it's really just yogurt, rice and salt, after all—with a variety of ingredients added as embellishments. This take on yogurt rice is seasoned with aromatic spices including asafetida powder, a pungent spice that comes from the roots of a plant that's a cousin to celery and takes on a flavor similar to onion when cooked. Read more about this recipe and what it means to Padma Lakshmi here.
Chicken a la Nueces de la India (Chicken with Creamy Cashew Sauce)
The recipes in Padma Lakshmi's Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet cookbook take inspiration from her life—from growing up in South India to moving to a predominantly immigrant community in New York City to her worldwide travels as a model and TV host. Each recipe is quick and simple, with flavors from around the world, like this chicken dish she learned from her friend Carmen, a Mexican writer. Cashews (called nueces de la India in Spanish) have a silky texture when ground, creating a sweet golden sauce that envelops the chicken and is luscious enough to lick right off the plate.
Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tamarind Glaze
Padma Lakshmi loves to make this roasted sweet potato recipe during Diwali, a festive time when her family often winds up eating a lot of fried treats. This gives them the feeling of eating chaat or Indian street and snack foods but without all the fuss. The tamarind sauce is a tangy counterpoint to the sweet potatoes, and the yogurt gives it a mellow creaminess without being too heavy.
5-Ingredient Chickpea Salad
With just canned chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, chives, olive oil, lemons, baby spinach and a sprinkle of salt, you'll have all the supplies you need to copy Padma's simple recipe.
Padma Lakshmi's Beef Shawarma with Beet Yogurt Sauce
Beef shawarma is traditionally roasted on a spit and then sliced thin. This grilled version by Padma Lakshmi has similar vibes thanks to a highly seasoned marinade. This recipe makes extra beet yogurt sauce, so stick it in the fridge to have on hand for dolloping on grain bowls, salads and sandwiches.
Peanut Butter & Pomegranate Toast
For all the flavor of a classic PB&J without the added sugar, just reach for the real deal—fresh fruit. You still get a little natural sweetness and enough juiciness to combat peanut butter's stick-factor, plus some extra fiber. Padma Lakshmi—who shared this recipe when she guest-edited EatingWell Magazine—loves a combo of peanut butter and pomegranate arils (and her Instagram followers went crazy for it too), but you can replicate the formula with whatever nut butter and fruit you love.
Padma Lakshmi's Chicken Stock
"There's almost nothing that's more comforting and nourishing than homemade stock," Lakshmi says about her anti-inflammatory recipe.
Green Juice with Vodka
Padma's simple cucumber-vodka drink will keep you refreshed.
Baharat Spiced Eggplant
Baharat means "spices" in Arabic—and this Middle Eastern seasoning is loaded with them. The specific ingredients vary by region and even from family to family, but the warm, aromatic blend always starts with plenty of finely ground black pepper and includes paprika, cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and often cardamom. You can make your own Baharat Spice Blend or buy it ready-made. Here, yogurt and cherry tomatoes cool the heat from the baharat and serrano peppers.
20-Minute Creamy Boursin Pasta
This dish is a cacio e pepe-inspired pasta recipe that has eight ingredients, serves four and can be on your table in 20 minutes.
Grilled Pineapple with Tajín
This healthy 2-ingredient dessert reminds Padma Lakshmi of her childhood.
Padma Lakshmi's Chipotle Coleslaw
This copycat coleslaw is a taco night must-have.
Indian Summer Masala
This spice blend is Padma Lakshmi's riff on an Indian street-food blend called chaat masala. It adds instant umami and heat to dishes: mix it into plain yogurt for a quick dip or stir into lemonade for an Indian twist. She likes to sprinkle it on fresh fruit for a sweet-savory-spicy zing.
Neela's Tomato Chutney
This traditional Indian dish gets some kid-friendly adjustments for a family-friendly meal.
3-Ingredient No-Bake Freezer Pie
This easy and refreshing dessert is also great for breakfast, according to Padma.