Category Archives: Indian Food

Ridge Gourd (Loofah!) Chutney

 

Ridge Gourd Chutney
No meal with complete without chutney. It is a must-have condiment that is tantalizing to the taste buds and also packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Chutney tastes very good with meals or you can use it as a sandwich spread. Foodies will enjoy making this recipe as a novel addition for many dishes.
The Ridge Gourd is also known as a “loofah”–yes, the same loofah you use in the shower! When they aren’t all dried out, they’re similar to cucumbers, but more fibrous.
Peel of Ridge Gourd
Ridge Gourd Chutney

 

Ingredients:
3 Peels Ridge Gourds (fresh ones are always better)
1 Small Piece Ginger
1 Small Green Chili
2 TBsp Peanuts
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste (optional)
How to Prepare:
  1. Wash the peel of the Ridge Gourds thoroughly.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients and blend the mixture well in a blender.
  3. Enjoy!

Upama Cream of Wheat

This is a tasty breakfast for everyday because it is so fast to whip up. The people of Gujarat and Southern India love this dish so much that it is served as a staple daily.

Cooking Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

4 TBsp Oil
1 Cup Cream of Wheat
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Urad Dal
6 Curry Leaves
1/2 TBsp Ginger
1/2 TBsp Green Chili, minced
Chopped Coriander
3/4 Cups Frozen Corn
Salt to taste
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1 1/2 Cups Yogurt
1 1/2 Cups Water

How to Prepare:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Roast mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves green chili.
  3. Add cream of wheat (called suji) and roast until golden brown. Do not overcook.
  4. Add salt, turmeric and corn.
  5. Mix water and yogurt together. Gently stir yogurt water into mixture.
  6. Stir well so it does not form any lumps.
  7. Let it cook for 3 minutes over low heat.
  8. To garnish, add some chopped cilantro leaves at the bottom of the bowl.
  9. Now pour the cooked upama into the bowl. Gently press.
  10. Flip over onto a plate.
  11. If desired serve with cilantro chutney.

Tips: Cream of wheat uses less water. Suji from the Indian Grocery store sometimes uses little bit more water. Adjust water accordingly.

Biryani –The Dish of Kings and Queens — Made in 30 Minutes!

Rice dishes are popular all over the world, especially in Asia where the rice is flavorful and aromatic. In India, Basmati Rice is famous for its long grain kernels. This recipe is made with basmati rice, but any kind will work as well. Pullav (also known as pilaf) is a dish available in all Indian restaurants. Biryani is known for being served to all the kings and queens because it has rich ingredients like nuts and saffron. This is my simple version of Biryani Made Easy.



Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Type: Vegan, Gluten free
Difficulty Level: Easy

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Oil or Clear Butter
1 Small Potato, cubed
1 Small Onion, cubed
1 Cup Cut Green Beans, Carrots, Peas, etc
1 Cup Cooked Navy/Black beans
2 Cups Uncooked Rice
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Juice
1 Stick Cinnamon
2 Cloves
To Taste Green Chili
To Taste Ginger
To Taste Garlic
2 pods Cardamom
2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
Garam Masala (optional)
Chopped Cilantro
Cashews (optional)
Raisins (optional)
Saffron (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Wash rice well and soak for one hour.
  2. Heat oil, then add spices and fry them.
  3. Add veggies and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add drained navy beans, rice, and 6 cups of water. Stir and mix well.
  5. Stir frequently, bringing to a boil over high heat.  Then reduce the heat.
  6. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Garnish with cashews, raisins, bell peppers, and/or onion rings.
  8. Enjoy!!!

Tips:  

  • This dish goes well with soup, curry, raita.
  • Bell peppers of different colors, cauliflower, and/or broccoli can be added for more vegetable options.

Healthy Vegan Puda/Pancakes

Healthy Vegan Pancake

Healthy Vegan Pancake

Vegan Vegetable Pancake

This recipe is a quick fix for my lunch and daily portion of protein.

Recently  I joined a LEAF program  in our community. I was very impressed with volunteers and their effort to help other people  to live healthy lifestyle by watching their food habits. They highly recommend vegan recipes.

Hence I was motivated to come up with my  vegan version of Beans- dals pancake which are fulfilling, refreshing, and tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup channa dal or besan
  • 1/2 cup matepa split beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small ginger
  • 1 small chili pepper
  • 1 cup frozen spinach/kale
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp oil (to make crispy)

How to make vegetable pancake

1. Generously wash the rice, moomg dal, lentils, channa dal, and matepa split beans. Check for  stones in dals. Soak almost 4 hours in warm water in a deep bowl.

2. Grind  coarse all the soaked dals and spinach, onion,  chili pepper, garlic, ginger and tomatoes. Add salt, turmeric. Set aside. The consistency of the batter should be like pancake batter.

vegetable pancake batter

3. Drizzle a teaspoon of the oil into a medium size nonstick skillet heat over a medium heat. Halfway through (almost after 45 seconds), pour in a ladleful of batter and quickly spread it evenly so it is

about 6 inches in diameter. Caution should be taken not to overheat skillet.

puda on skillet

4. Let the pancake cook for 2-3 minutes till it turns opaque and loses its glossy looks. Turn the pancake over and cook the second side till it turns into golden brown color (usually about a minute).

5. Repeat steps 3-4 to make more pancakes. Serve warm with sweet and spicy sauces. Puda tastes great with cilantro and tamarin chutney.

Tips:

  •  Most popular variation is besan (chickpea flour) puda with onion, tomatoes, and chilis. Just whisk flour, add seasoning and spices and batter is ready.
  • Times to time for variation I add shredded cabbage ,carrots, zucchini or any other vegetable that you like.
  • Bob’s Red Mill makes a chickpea flour that is readily available in supermarkets, which saves hassle of soaking dals.
  • If you do not use all the batter, you can refrigerate it up to three days.
  • If you have made all the pancakes, you can reheat  them in the microwave, wrapped in slightly damp paper towels, for 30 seconds.

 

Cabbage/Carrot Puda

Cabbage/Carrot Puda

Chickpea Flour Puda

Chickpea Flour Puda

 

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How To Make Traditional Sweet Boondi

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Sweet Boondi

Traditional  Sweet Dish Boondi

Boondi  has a special imprint on each of  us, especially the immigrants from  India. This dessert is present at all the famous celebrations.

 

Boondi reminds me of our pilgrimage site in Palitana, India. After we returned from a three hour hike on a mountain (we are not supposed to eat while hiking), we were served  warm Boondi and Sev (crispy noodles ).  Needless to say, it was an amazingly tasty treat!  Today I am going to try to replicate that authentic taste. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, Jaya! 

Palitana Mountain

Palitana Mountain

Step by step guide to Make Boondi : Serves 6

Vegan, Gluten free, Jain

Ingredients

  • 2 cup besan /chick pea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup vegetable shortening or ghee for frying
  • 1/2 cup cashews or slivered almond
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For syrup

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • yellow food color optional
  • Few strands of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Utensils needed

  • Perforated sieve
  • Deep spoon
  • Frying Pan
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Ingredients for Boondi

For Boondi, a deep spoon and perforated sieve are needed.

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Sieve and deep spoon

How to Make Boondi

1. Combine besan/chick pea flour and water as needed in a bowl. Beat for two to three minutes until the batter becomes light and smooth.

2. Heat ghee or vegetable shortening in a deep frying pan. Hold a sieve four inch above the oil. With the deep spoon, pour the batter into the strainer. The batter will fall into the oil in the form fine drops of boondi. Fry for one minutes until the boondi turns golden brown. Repeat the steps with remaining batter.

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Frying boondi

3. In a pan add sugar , water, a few strands of saffron, cardamom powder, cashews, and raisins.

4. Cook for five minutes until sugar dissolves  and becomes a thick syrup.

5. Add boondi to the pan and keep stirring until it cools down.

6. Garnish and serve. YUM!

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Sweet Boondi

Bonus Tips:

  • Green and red color can be added to batter to make the pearls of boondi more decorative and presentable.
  • For salty variations, instead of syrup, sprinkle it with salt or red chili powder. Instead of cashews, spanish peanuts can be used.

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How To Make Smoky Split Chickpea/Chana Dal

Chana dal is also known as bengal gram dal. Dals are the staples in Indian meals. It is very inexpensive and easy to cook once you get the hands on.

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Split chick pea dal

Dals is a easy way of infusing proteins, fiber and body building nutrients in vegetarian/vegan diets.

Cooking time 40 minutes   Easy Vegan  Gluten Free  Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split chickpea/chana dal
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 pc dried red chilies/cayenne
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil/ghee optional
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  •  How to prepare:

1. Place the split chickpea in medium size sauce pan. Wash them thoroughly  3 or 4 times till water runs clear.  Add 4 cup water to the pan and let it boil over medium high heat. Scoop out and discard any foam as the peas come to a boil.

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Discard foam on top

2. Let the dal cook for 20 minutes  till it is tender to touch. Add salt.

3. Heat a skillet over a medium high heat. Add oil to the skillet. Add red chilies, coriander and cumin. Toast the spices shaking the skillet every few seconds, until the chilies are blacken and smell smoky hot and the seeds turn reddish brown and smell incredibly aromatic for 1 to 2 minutes.

 

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Roast spices

4. Transfer the spice mixture to a blender add tomato. Make it a puree to a smooth brown paste

IMG_447889780

5. Add the tomato and spice mixture to the cooked peas. Increase the heat to medium high heat and let dal boil vigorously uncovered, stirring occasionally until the smoky flavors mingle and sauce thickens . It can take up to 10 minutes or more.

6. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with roti or rice it equally taste good.

Split chick peas can be cooked in different ways. Some of the varieties include split chick pea with coconut chutney , Healthy vegan puda/pancakes , Khandvi dahiwadi chick pea flour rolls to name a few.

Tips:

The yellow split peas that are available here is different from the ones in India. The ones in India are from a variety of garbanzo beans that have a dark brown skin. When a skin is removed and the grain split in half is called split chickpea chana dal.

I usually try to soak before cooking at least for an hour or two. So it speeds up the process while cooking.

It is Yummm and honestly healthy!

Enjoy!

How To Make Split Mung Dal Spicy – Tadka Dal

Indian legumes/lentils are best source of plant protein for vegans/vegetarians.  This staple dish from India is easy to make with little planning.

It is not only satisfying but heart healthy and very low in glycemic index. I am sure you will enjoy this recipe as I do.

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Split Mung dal Tadka

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split mung Dal
  • 3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp hing asafetida
  • 2 tbsp  canola oil or ghee/unsalted butter
  • 1 medium tomato chopped finely
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 chili seeded /diced
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small piece of ginger crushed/chopped
  • Few curry leaves optional
  • Few red whole chili
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

How to prepare:

1. Wash Dal thoroughly three or four times till the water, upon rinsing the dal remains clear. Soak the Dal for an hour.
2. Add water to the Dal and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and let it cook
for 10-15 minutes.
3. In a separate pan heat the oil over medium high heat. Add cumin seeds, add onion and garlic,tomatoes and all the spices.
4. Saute it for couple of  minutes s. Add salt and lemon juice. Let it cook for another 4-5 minutes until the flavors mingle and sauce thickens.
Garnish it with cilantro. Enjoy dal over the a bed of steamed rice. Dals can be great as a soup with a wedges of  flat bread.

Tips:

Dal is sometimes made with whole beans or lentils, or dried peas  popularly known as legumes.  The texture  of dal can be adjusted to your preference, and made quite thin and soupy or very thick like almost pate’  spread.

Basic spices makes any lentil and legumes taste it very good. It provides nutrition quick fix , easy to make and
plus it provides complex carbohydrates. Enjoy! Feel free to let me know How Your dal turnout!

Split Chick Pea With Coconut Chutney

Split Chick pea with coconut chutney

Originally this recipe is from south India. This chutney is popular with dosa, idli and mendu vada and many more dishes. In South India  where coconut is very easily available and very refreshing to taste.

I am huge fan of this special chutney because it incorporates fiber, nutrition and protein. It has all the key ingredients to make this perfect healthy recipe!

 Prep time : 15 minutes       Serves :4         Very easy    Vegan,  Gluten free

Ingredients:

1/2 cup channa dal or ready roasted channa dal /Dalia
1 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh piece ginger
1 fresh chili
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small bunch cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

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split chickpea/coconut chutney

  • For tempering;
  • 1/2 tsp. udad dal
  • 1/2 mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. oil for garnish
  • Red whole chili optional
  • Few curry leaves

How to make:

1.Roast dal over medium heat for about 4 minutes till golden brown. Add 2 cup water. Soak for 2 hours.

IMG_433961938 (3)

Roasting channa dal

2. Mix the entire ingredient in a blender. Add water if needed. Blend it for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer into a bowl.

 For Tempering:

  1.  Heat the oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and urad dal in hot oil. It will start to pop up. Add chili and curry leaves.(optional)
  2. Garnish the mixture with hot oil.
  3. Enjoy with your dosa and Idli!
  4. How do you like the taste? Let me know in your comments!

Sugar Free Date Rolls

 

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Date Bars

Yummy Sugar Free Date Rolls

It is always a challenge to eat well-balanced snacks all the time.  This snack provides a great way to incorporate fiber high in protein and it is sugar-free.

Variations can be numerous and good thing about this recipe that you can never go wrong!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup mixed nut finely chopped unsalted
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

How to prepare:

1. Place dates in a heavy-duty pan on a medium heat let dates melt.  Dates will turn like soft paste. OR this step can be done in food processor.

2. Chop nuts finely in food processor. Add dates and coconut flakes.

3. For variations chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, peanut butter can be added according to your choice. Almond and cashew butter is also a good choice!

4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Take teaspoon dough into hands and roll them into balls or logs.  Roll them into flaky coconuts.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy as treat guilt free or as dessert!  This can be done in advance and it stays fresh for upto two weeks in airtight container.

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coconut flakes on date roll

 

Rose Flavored Chia Drink/Falooda

 

Rose Flavor Chia Drink

Rose Flavor Chia Drink

Falooda Drink

Rose Flavored Chia Drink

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. water to soak chia seeds
  • 3 chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp. rose syrup
  • 3 tsp. rose water
  • 1-cup milk soy/almond/hemp
  • Ice cubes
  • Ice cream of your choice

How to prepare:

  1. Soak chia seeds in warm water for over night in a tall glass or jar.
  2. Add rose water and rose syrup and chopped fresh strawberries.
  3. Add milk of your choice. Stir well.
  4. Garnish with ice and strawberries.
  5. Vanilla ice cream is one of my favorite that complements this drink.
  6. Falooda Sev is often used with this drink.
  7. I added strawberry puree instead of rose syrup so no artificial color and sugar and it tasted great.
  8. Enjoy as drink or as dessert drink.

 

Feel free to share your opinion in comments!