Kathi rolls, a popular street food in India, are made by rolling vegetables or meat in roti, an Indian flat bread. In her fabulous take on the recipe, Padma wraps flour tortillas around a succulent filling of ground turkey, fresh ginger, curry and basil, then pan-fries the rolls until crispy for decadent hors d’oeuvres that can be eaten as finger food.
"In India, we constantly serve sweet lime juice, and sometimes make a salty version too," Padma Lakshmi says. In this variation, Padma adds dark rum, cilantro and ginger, which gives the drink a little spice.
Padma likes using yuzu (a sour Asian citrus fruit) in the vinaigrette for this salad, a simple but bold combination of spinach, basil and juicy plums. Yuzu can be hard to find, so a mix of lemon juice and lime zest is equally good here. Finishing the salad with flakes of sea salt gives it a nice unexpected crunch.
This is a light and lovely way to prepare zucchini, which gets quickly sautéed with garlic, shallots and ginger, then tossed with fresh dill. Padma Lakshmi likes to stir dried pomegranate seeds (called anardana in India) into this dish for a bit of crunchy tang.
Padma Lakshmi says, "When I was a child, the only way I would drink milk—the unhomogenized kind you get in India—was if my granny swirled a couple teaspoons of rose syrup into it. Today, I love the floral accent and the frilly pink tinge it gives mixed drinks."