Chef Asha Gomez's pork vindaloo on THE Dish

Asha Gomez grew up in Kerala, India, watching her mother and aunts spend hours in the kitchen, lovingly preparing regional dishes for the family. It's where she learned her love for food, culture and community, three things that serve her well in her adopted home, Atlanta.

Special section: Food and wine

These days, she is chef and owner of Cardamon Hill, where the dishes of her past and present come together to form a perfect culinary union - Southern Indian cuisine meets the American South.

Asha was a Food & Wine semi-finalist for People's Choice and Best New Chef. Bon Appetit named Cardamom Hill one of their 50 Best New Restaurants and was named one of Southern Living's 100 Best Restaurants in the South.

Gomez joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with her ultimate dish, Pork Vindaloo.

Fried Green Tomato Fritters

Makes 12 fritters

1 pound of green tomatoes, julienned

3 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup of chickpea flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, gently mix all the ingredients together.

2. Form 12 fritters by shaping large tablespoons of the mixture into rounds and then slightly flattening them.

3. Heat 3 inches of oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium-high heat until it registers 350 degrees F on thermometer.

4. Fry fritters in 2 batches, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes for each batch; turning once. Serve immediately.

Pork Vindaloo

Vindaloo, a recipe that best represents Kerala's diverse culinary influences, was originally inspired by the Portuguese dish carne de vinha d'alhos (translation: "meat with wine and garlic") where palm vinegar is substituted for the wine. In this south by south version, sugar, paprika and a generous amount of garlic transports the tenderloin to a far-away time zone.

12 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into medium dice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. In a blender combine garlic, paprika, sugar, salt, tomato paste, vinegar and water, and blend until it is a smooth paste.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, and stir until light golden. Add meat and paste; stir well to coat and reduce heat to medium. Stir in red pepper flakes. Cover and cook for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Uncover and check consistency of sauce. If it seems thin, cook over high heat for three to five minutes to thicken.

Green Bean & Thyme Verakka

People think that all vegetables are cooked to a mush, which is just not true. In Kerala ours are quickly stir-fry, al dente and absolutely vibrant. I don't remember my mom making a green bean that looked drab. That just didn't happen.

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 pound green beans, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins

10 sprigs of thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add

Cumin seeds. Stir in beans, thyme, and salt. Stir-fry for about four minutes.

Cardamom Cornbread

Cast iron skillet corn bread is a staple in all southern kitchens, with a crunchy bottom crust and sweet, buttery body that borders on cake. In this version, the classic corn bread calculus remains the same with the addition of two essential Keralan ingredients: freshly ground black pepper and crushed cardamom seeds.

1/2 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pan preparation

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

11/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch-square pan or large cast-iron skillet with butter.

2. Melt butter in the pan or skillet, and stir in sugar. Add the buttermilk and eggs, and stir to combine. Stir in flour, baking powder, cornmeal, cardamom seeds, pepper, and salt. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Peach Chutney

I always say that I must have been a fruit bat in a previous life because i always need a fruit component with every meal. In Kerala, mango season lands during the summer months when dozens of varieties are readily available at the market. It is during this short three-month period when a version of this chutney is a staple at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table. Here I've added a classic southern stone fruit to the mix, Georgia peaches, for an added dimension.

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 whole star anise pods

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 fresh Georgia peaches, peeled and diced

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced


1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add star anise, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, paprika, salt, and sugar.

Cook for about 1 minute.

2. Add the peaches and sauté for 5 minutes until tender

Spiced Bread Pudding


1/2 loaf bread

8 large eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 cups whole milk

2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Pinch of salt

1. Cut 1/2 loaf of hearty bread in inch slices

2. Toast lightly in oven at 400 degrees

3. Mix custard in bowl: 8 large eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 4 cups whole milk, 2 tsp almond

4. Extract, 1/2 tsp cardamom powder, pinch salt

5. Cut bread into cubes, soak in custard bowl, let sit for 10 minutes

6. Pour mixture in buttered deep baking pan

7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour (check time, not sure)

Ginger Syrup for Bread Pudding


2 inch piece of ginger chopped

1/2 cup grated jaggery

2 cup water.

1. Bring ginger to boil in 2 cups of water till it reduces to 1 cup

2. Strain out ginger pieces, save liquid

3. Add 1/2 cup of jaggery to liquid till jaggery melts.

Pour over bread pudding.

Kerala Spice Traveler

1 1/2 oz gin

1 oz cardamom simple syrup (make simple syrup with cardamom pods)

1 1/2 oz of spice traveler mix (1 1/2 oz lime juice 1 Thai chili muddled)

Club soda 4 oz

Serve on ice

Spice rim: cumin powder, salt, sugar (equal portions)

(Should taste like a spiked lemonade)