Category Archives: Vegan

Papaya Salad

Finished Papaya Salad

Papaya is easily available all over India and Thailand. One of my favorite salads is made with papaya. It is healthy, tasty, and adds exotic flavor to any meal.  I’d like to share my version of the traditional Indian way of making papaya salad.  It is low in fat, packed with antioxidants, and high in vitamins.
Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan
 
Ingredients:
1 Small Slice Green Papaya (check freshness by denting
with fingernail–milk should ooze out)
1 Small Green Chili cut into piece lengthwise
1 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Tsp Mustard Seed
2 Tsp Oil
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida(optional)
Salt to Taste
Fresh Chopped Cilantro

How to prepare:

  1. Wash papaya well. Peel and grate with grater.
  2. Add sugar, salt, lemon juice, and mix together.
  3. In a small butter warmer, add oil on medium heat.
  4. Add mustard seeds, green chili, Asafoetida and turmeric.
  5. Add mixture on top of grated papaya. Add cilantro.
  6. Mix well and serve.

Tip:  Green papaya is available in an Asian store near you.

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 did this recipe turn out for you – I’d love to know in the comments section below.

3 Step Homemade Soy Yogurt

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Organic Soy Yogurt

 

Homemade Soy Yogurt

My friend Debbie is a huge believer in plant-based foods. As a Vegan, she was missing probiotics in her diet.  When she found out about my blog she requested I make Pure soy yogurt at home. Supermarkets have many flavors, but add sugar to their soy yogurt, so for optimum healthiness, you should make it at home.

What You Need

2 cup  Organic unsweetened soy milk

1 count store bought organic soy yogurt plain( Whole Soy & Co)

1 Heavy pot or glass microwave container

whisk

 

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Three Easy Steps to Make yogurt:

1. Boil the milk either on the stove or in a microwave.

2. Let it cool down enough that that you can hold your finger in the milk for twenty seconds.

3. Add two heaping spoonfuls of soy yogurt to boiled milk.  Whisk evenly so yogurt mixes properly. Pour into individual jar with tight lid.

4. Let it sit undisturbed in regular oven with lights on for six to eight hours.

5. Once it sets, refrigerate for a few hours to make it firm.

Enjoy with fresh fruit.

How To Make Lemon Pickle

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One of the most popular achars (pickles) is a lemon pickle.

I have seen my mom make various achars/pickles and enjoyed them when I was young. Recently I learned that lemons are highly alkaline and good for digestion. So my taste buds prompted me to try this tantalizing recipe for myself. The traditional flavor is back in a new form!

To make it healthier, I’ve reduced the salt, sugar, and oil . I am sure you will love it too.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lemon cut into cubes
  • 5 lemon squeezed into juice
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin & fenugreek seeds (roasted and crushed)
  • 1 tsp sugar (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric

For Tampering:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of astofedia

How to make:

1. Cut the lemons into cubes. Set aside.Cut Lemons

 

2. Store lemon cubes. Add salt and turmeric. Shake it properly  so it is coated with salt evenly.

store in a jar

store in a jar

 

 

3. Store and stir evenly so lemon pieces starts to get soften and tender to touch. Repeat this step for fifteen days.

4. Take lemon pieces out in a bowl , add spices, add sugar, and temper with oil. Mix them properly and store in a clean air tight container.

Lemon pickle is ready to serve with your meals. Great news about lemon pickle is that as it ages it is more tasty. Enjoy!

Lemon pickle/achar

Lemon pickle/achar

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!

Silken Tofu pudding

 

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Silken Tofu Pudding

I love my Indian rice pudding which is made with cow’s milk. I was in impression that pudding without the cow’s milk will be no pudding at all.

To my surprise  when my friend Debbie served  me with silken tofu pudding I could not believe that it is vegan pudding! It is extremely simple to make.

Prep time :10 minutes        Serves :3      Very easy     Vegan    Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 Block firm or extra firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar /Agave nectar/maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp of turmeric for color
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries

How to prepare:

1. Drain the water from tofu.

2. Blend in food processor silken tofu, lemon juice, sugar and turmeric till smooth. Serve in individual dishes and chill in refrigerator for two hours.

3. Garnish with berries.

Is this real ? Velvety smooth taste of pudding? Try it and Let me know in your comments!