During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty.

"Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery.

The moment my boyfriend — now husband — and I got serious about our future together, my father-in-law got serious about teaching me to cook Indian cuisine. My boyfriend was already skilled in the kitchen. But Dr. Jashwant Sharma wanted extra assurance that the dishes from his native country would always have a place in our home. Plus, as he told me recently, he thought I'd like it.

"We mix four, five, six different spices in a single dish. These create a taste and aroma that you don't get in any other food. People exposed to it usually like it," he said.

Weeknight Kitchen: Fish Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

Jun 22, 2016

Serves 4


· 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
· 1 pound cod or other whitefish, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
· 1/4 cup flour
· 1 egg, lightly beaten
· 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Remoulade Sauce

Why do onions make us cry?

Many a poet has pondered. Is it because their beautiful, multilayered complexity moves us to weep? Are we mourning the majestic bulb as we cut it up and consume it?

Or are these tears induced by the tragic tedium of chopping, chopping, chopping?

Yes, yes. All of the above.

I must admit I have dunked a tea bag into hot water and called it tea. I have even made Darjeeling tea, sometimes called the champagne of teas, from a tea bag.

For tea gurus like Anindyo Choudhury, that is sacrilege. "I wouldn't even touch it," he says.

Most tea-bag teas are chopped and cut by machine instead of being rolled and twisted, hand-plucked and hand-processed. The best Darjeeling tea is loose leaf, steeped for a couple of minutes in hot water — it's light and bright.

This summer, diners in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles will get their hands on a hamburger that has been five years in the making.

The burger looks, tastes and smells like beef — except it's made entirely from plants. It sizzles on the grill and even browns and oozes fat when it cooks. It's the brainchild of former Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown and his research team at Northern California-based Impossible Foods.

The startup's goal is like many in Silicon Valley — to create a product that will change the world.

Weeknight Kitchen: Tajik Bread Salad

Jun 15, 2016

Serves 2-4

The dressing

· 2 tablespoons lemon juice
· 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
· 1 teaspoon sugar
· 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
· 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· Sea salt

The salad

Tea Tuesday: Meet The Chai Wallahs Of India

Jun 14, 2016

On virtually every other street corner, in every city or town or village in India, there is a chai wallah — a tea vendor who supplies the piping hot, milky brew that fuels the country.

And because everybody — politicians, rickshaw drivers, schoolteachers — needs a daily cuppa, chai wallahs get to meet people from every walk of life.

A Map Of Where Your Food Originated May Surprise You

Jun 13, 2016

Some people may be dimly aware that Thailand's chilies and Italy's tomatoes — despite being central to their respective local cuisines — originated in South America. Now, for the first time, a new study reveals the full extent of globalization in our food supply. More than two-thirds of the crops that underpin national diets originally came from somewhere else — often far away. And that trend has accelerated over the past 50 years.

Late spring is swarm season — the time of year when bees reproduce and find new places to build hives. Swarms of bees leave the nest and zoom through the air, hovering on trees, fences and houses, searching for a new home.

While a new neighborhood beehive can be stressful for homeowners, it's an exciting time for beekeepers, who see it as an opportunity.

Serves 4

· 1 cup basmati rice, preferably imported
· 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
· 3 whole cloves
· 3 green or white cardamom pods
· 1 bay leaf
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
· 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
· About 1/4 cup water
· 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste

Cilantro Sauce

· 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
· 1/2 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems
· 1 to 2 teaspoons minced jalapeño, to taste 

Where do you draw the line between inspiration and straight-up imitation when it comes to food?

A few years ago, we brought you the story of Caitlin Freeman, a pastry chef baking innovative, art-inspired cakes at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Using modern art as her muse, Freeman translated what she saw in the museum into edible form at the SFMOMA's upstairs café.

A weathered wooden shed that holds wheelbarrows, hoes and other basic tools is the beacon of the Student Organic Farm, a two-acre swath within the larger horticultural research farm at Iowa State University.

On a warm spring evening, a half-dozen students gather here, put on work gloves and begin pulling up weeds from the perennial beds where chives, strawberries, rhubarb and sage are in various stages of growth.

"I didn't know how passionate I [would] become for physical work," says culinary science major Heidi Engelhardt.

Weeknight Kitchen: Pesto-Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Ricotta Pea Salad

Jun 6, 2016

· 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
· 1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
· 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
· 1 shallot
· 2 cups sugar snap peas
· 1 lemon
· 4 scallions
· 1/2 tablespoon honey
· 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
· 2 cups chicken stock or water
· 2 cups shelled fresh peas
· 2 cups pea shoots
· 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
· Store-bought or homemade kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1. Heat a grill to high or a grill pan over high heat.

Weeknight Kitchen: Coconut Pancakes

Jun 6, 2016

Serves 6

Brunch at this Jamaican-themed restaurant would make a Marley proud. Riotous colors, cannabis-inspired design, and Jamaican music add up to a party every time. If you’ve got the brunch munchies for any reason, these tropical pancakes will hit the spot.

Beekeepers Feel The Sting Of Stolen Hives

Jun 6, 2016

Between December and March, beekeepers send millions of hives to California to pollinate almond trees. Not all of the hives make it back home.

"The number of beehive thefts is increasing," explains Jay Freeman, a detective with the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

In California, 1,734 hives were stolen during peak almond pollination season in 2016. In Butte County alone, the number of stolen hives jumped from 200 in 2015 to 400 this year, according to Freeman.

Kale is cool. For foodies, anyway. It's everywhere these days — in salads, smoothies, chips and even ice cream. Someone decided to create National Kale Day — it's Oct. 3 this year.

Top supporters of an audacious Belgian pipeline will get a bottle of beer every day for the rest of their lives. That's in return for putting more than $8,000 toward bringing a pipe dream to life, and helping a brewery remain in the historic town of Bruges.

One of my fondest childhood memories is of eating tomatoes. We picked them in the garden and ate them in sandwiches, sitting on a picnic table under the trees outside our house. That juicy, acidic taste is forever lodged in the pleasure centers of my brain.

For anyone with similar memories, supermarket tomatoes are bound to disappoint. Indeed, the classic supermarket tomato — hard, tasteless, sometimes mealy — has inspired countless bitter complaints.

Take a closer look at the tomato display in your local grocery store, though, and you'll notice some big changes.

Raise A Glass To Perry, Craft Cider's Pear Cousin

Jun 1, 2016

It was a cool morning in the spring of 2004 when Charles McGonegal, owner of AEppeltreow Winery in Burlington, Wis., bit into his first "perry" pear. Crunching into the tough, tannin-suffused fruit, he was smacked with such astringency that he instantly spit it out, letting the juice dribble down his chin. "Later that day, my lips were peeling and my throat was sore," he recalls. "There's a reason why medieval folks thought perry pears were poisonous — they're full of acids and tannins. They are not for eating.