Vegan PaJeon – Korean Scallion Pancake

A Jeon translates to ‘Pancake’ in Korean. Pajeon means a green scallion pancake

image

When I explain the concept of veganism to my Asian students who are aged between 17-19, they just don’t get it 🙂 As I get to know them through out the semester, they love to give ideas and pass on recipes and food I need to ask for in an Asian restaurant. I don’t accept any parting gifts other than recipes/chopsticks 😛 This recipe was a parting gift from a Korean student. It was very nice of her to strike off non-vegan items and suggest replacements 🙂

I tried it today cos I had this big stack of scallions staring at me. I have taken it a step further and have made it gluten-free 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Chickpea flour-1 cup [Or use plain as original recipe states]
  • Rice flour-1/4 cup
  • Sesame seeds-1 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Soy sauce-1 tsp
  • Red chili paste/powder-1 tsp
  • Water-1 cup
  • Scallions-3-discard an inch from top and bottom section and chop them into how wide you want the pancakes to turn out-I chopped them into bits -same length as my index finger 🙂

Method:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk every ingredient listed above except scallions
  • Heat a griddle, add a tsp of oil, arrange scallions parallel to one another and roast them for a minute and pour some batter over the scallions and let it turn golden brown on one side
  • Turn and cook the other side too
  • Serve with any Asian dipping sauce- I had it with Cannellini bean coconut hummus 🙂

image

Vegan Chinese Noodles with Baby corn Manchurian

This is my favorite combo 🙂 I am a huge fan of Chinese food. I know, who isn’t? Although the noodles is an authentic chinese food, but manchurian isn’t. It is a combination of Indian and Chinese flavors. Usually it is vegan-the ones you get in India, but when I ordered one last week in an Indian restaurant in Sydney, the chef said they use egg whites and cannot be veganised. So I decided to make one at home. All I had was baby corn and I am so glad it did 🙂 I have tagged it under ‘Evil Fried Temptations :P’
image

Recipe for Baby corn manchurian 

Ingredients:

  • Baby corn-15-slit into 2-and again slit into 2. -dropped into salted boiling water for 10 minutes and dried on paper towel
  • For the batter (1 tbsp gluten-free flour, 1 tsp gluten-free corn flour, chili powder-1 tsp, soy sauce-1 tsp, extra hot chili sauce-1 tsp, salt-to taste, water to form a batter)
  • 1/2 red onion-finely chopped
  • 1/2 green capsicum/peppers-finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic-finely chopped
  • A small piece ginger-finely chopped
  • Soy sauce-1 tsp
  • Tomato sauce-2 tsp
  • Extra hot chili sauce-1 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Scallion-1. chopped fine
  • Vinegar-a tsp
  • 1 Tbsp oil+oil for shallow frying

Method:

  • Mix the ingredients for batter and make a thick batter and drop baby corns into it-batter should stick to the baby corn. Shallow fry them and put them
  • In a sauce pan, add a tbsp of oil, add garlic, ginger, scallions and fry for a minute and add onion, capsicum and fry until well fried. Add salt, soy sauce, tomato sauce, chili sauce, vinegar and fry well and add baby corn in.
  • Mix well and serve with coriander leaves 🙂

image

Noodles

Ingredients:

  • Gluten-free Noodles-cooked with salt-allowed to drain
  • Julienne-1 baby carrot, 1/2 capsicum, 1 onion, 5 baby corn, mushrooms(opt),Kale and Spinach-a handful
  • Scallions
  • Garlic and ginger-1 Tbsp grated-each
  • Soy sauce,Chilli sauce-1 tbsp/as per taste
  • Vinegar-1 tsp
  • Salt, Black pepper-to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method:

  • In a large wok, add a tbsp of oil, add onions, capsicum, salt, let it cook, once onions are translucent, add ginger, garlic, fry for another couple of minutes and add the veges in and toss until almost cooked.
  • Add chili sauce, vinegar and toss for a minute
  • Add noodles, soy sauce, pepper and toss well until all combine well 🙂

image

 

South Indian Feast – Vegan Spinach Sambar, Ridge gourd Kootu and Potato fry

My parents are from Tamil Nadu, one of the south-Indian states where food is such a big deal. My mum still makes 5-6 different varieties of food for every single meal meal of the day. I guess it was what my granny insisted to do 🙂 No wonder I hit my 94 kilo mark 😛  I have no clue what got into me this afternoon, I decided to make a south Indian food. I am not really good at it cos there are so many techniques. My mum usually teaches me short-cuts to get the taste spot on-1st time in my life-I got it perfect 😀

Menu: Vegan Spinach Sambar, Ridge gourd Kootu and Potato fry– All Tamil based.

image

3 main ingredients are mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and they are an excellent combo. 99% of Indians go gaga over Sambar. I am in the top 10. If you have been reading my blog, you would have read me mentioning Sambar powder atleast 5 times. I use them even in North Indian curries 😛 Sambar is a tangy tamarind based curry with lentils. Every south-Indian state make their own version of sambar. You don’t get it as a curry as such in any Indian restaurant but you can get it served as an accompaniment with dosa (the lentil-rice gluten-free crepes).  Kootu literally translates to ‘mix’. Vegetables are mixed with lentils with a coconut-based curry paste. Potato fry-yep normal ones with Indian spices 🙂

Here you go with the recipes

Potato Fry:

Ingredients:

  • Boiled potatoes-chopped into chunks-4 medium ones
  • Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  • Oil-1 Tbsp
  • Asafoetida-a pinch
  • Salt- needed
  • Chickpea flour-1 tsp
  • Chilli powder-as needed-1 tsp
  • Coriander powder-as needed-2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- few

image

Heat oil in a NON-STICK pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves (stand at an one arm distance or run away and come back-they pop everywhere), asafoetida goes in, take pan off heat and all every spice powder except chickpea powder, keep on heat for 4-5 seconds to heat the spices and add potatoes in. Flame to low now. Toss and let it roast. Add chickpea flour after 5 mins and roast until crisp.

Ridge Gourd  Kootu:

Ingredients:

  • Ridge gourd- peeled, de-seeded and chopped fine
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Yellow lentils (preferred) /Split pigeon pea-pressure cooked-mushy consistency-1 cup
  • Chilli powder-to taste
  • Salt-to taste
  • Grind(2 tbsp coconut and 1 tsp cumin seeds) into a fine paste
  • You also need 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves and black lentils (de-husked and split-optional), a pinch asafoetida

Method:

  • In a saucepan, add 1.5 cups water, heat it, add turmeric, salt, chili powder and when it is about to boil, add the ridge gourd in. Once the squash is soft, add ground curry paste and lentils in and wait it boils.
  • Transfer it to the serving bowl and in the same pan, add oil, once it heats up add mustard seeds, let them pop, add asafoetida, lentils and curry leaves-wait until lentils turn brown and pour them over the curry 🙂 Yum 🙂

Palak/Spinach Sambar

Ingredients:

  • Spinach- 500 gms-finely chopped
  • 2 onions-finely chopped
  • Garlic-5 pods-chopped fine
  • 2 tomatoes-blend them
  • Tamarind paste-1.5 tsp mixed in 2 cups of water
  • Turmeric-1 tsp
  • Sambar powder-1 tbsp+2 tsp
  • Chili powder-1 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Curry leaves-a sprig
  • Asafoetida-2 pinches
  • Mustard seeds-2 tsp
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Split Pigeon pea-1.5 cups cooked-very mushy
  • Dry red chili-2-split

Method:

  • In a stockpot, add 1 tbsp oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida, once they pop, add split red chilies, curry leaves, after they splutter, add onions and garlic, little salt, saute until brown, add spinach leaves, turmeric, 2 tsp sambar masala and fry until spinach is cooked.
  •  Time to add blended tomatoes, rest of sambar masala, chili powder and let the tomatoes boil.
  • After a couple of minutes, add tamarind water, salt and let it boil on an open flame for more than 10-12 minutes until tamarind cooks well [I guess I add too much tamarind cos I love it tangy-you might have to lessen this quantity]
  • Now, add lentils and let it just boil and take it off heat 🙂
  • Amazing sambar 🙂

image

Healthy Greeny Rice

Green is awesome. I dunno if you have used ‘Noom weight loss coach’ app. It tells you how green is the best color food that you could have 🙂 My mum had been asking me to try this recipe out for the last 3 years and I had been stubborn not to try. I don’t fancy coriander much. Thought I would give it a try today. Learnt a lesson-“ALWAYS, Say yes to mum”

You need 

[To blend into a fine paste]

  • 1-2 handfuls of coriander leaves-depending on how strong you want the flavor
  • 1 small green chilli
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 1 tbsp coconut
  • 5 cashews
  • A handful of spinach leaves-finely chopped
  • Mustard/Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Asafoetida-a pinch
  • A handful of frozen green peas
  • Salt-to taste
  • Boiled rice-1 cup
  • A tsp of oil

image

Method:

  • In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, once it pops, add asafoetida, spinach leaves, green peas, once oil coats on them, add the blended coriander and salt in and wait until it gets bit dry and add rice in and mix them well.
  • Ready to serve.
  • Just LOVED it 🙂 See the steam in the photo-It is real -No Photoshop 😛

Potato Black-Eyed Bean Rice

I made Mexican burgers (recipe to follow tomorrow) and had a handful of black-eyed bean and a potato leftover. Made this super awesome easy rice which tasted D’VINE. You need an Indian spice mix like Channa masala/ Sambar masala/ Shahi Paneer masala [I used this one-It was amazing]

You need:

  • Shallots-3-finely sliced
  • Garlic-1-finely chopped
  • Cooked black-eyed beans-1 handful
  • Green peas-1 handful
  • 1 potato-broken into bits
  • 1 chives, few coriander leaves-chopped fine
  • Cooked Rice-1 cup
  • 1 heaped Tbsp-any Indian spice you like
  • Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  • Oil-1-2 tsp
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Lemon-few drops (optional)

Method:

  • In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, let it pop and add shallots, garlic, fry until transparent, add turmeric, potato, spice mix, mix well, fry for a couple of minutes, add the cooked black-eyed beans, green peas, salt, coriander and chives and salt and mix them all well until the raw smell of the spice disappears.
  • Add cooked rice, more salt, mix them all well and add some lemon juice, mix well and serve 🙂
  • Had the satisfaction of having had a good awesome meal 🙂

Note: You could add green chili/chili powder for super hot version of the same. If you happen to find shahi paneer masala spice in an Indian grocery, please stock up your pantry with it. You will definitely thank me when you taste it 🙂 [Awesome in curries and rice]

image

Cheezy peas brown rice

You don’t see me writing about many rice recipes since I try to use quinoa as much as I can. I came across this recipe for peas pulao/pilaf which had loads of milk and butter and white rice. I have tried to make it as healthy as I can

Ingredients:

  • Cooked brown rice-1 cup
  • Shallots-3-lengthwise chopped
  • Green peas-thawed-1/4 cup
  • Mustard seeds-1 tbsp
  • Clove-2, cinnamon-1 small stick, 1 cardamom and 1 bay leaf
  • Cashews-5-broken into bits
  • Green chilli-1
  • Light coconut milk-2 Tbsp (optional)
  • Tofutti cheese slice-1/4 (optional)
  • Mint and Coriander leaves-10 each-finely chopped(optional)
  • 2 tsp oil

Method:

  • In a pan, add 2 tsp oil, add clove, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaf and mustard seeds. Once they pop, add shallots, cashews, green chilli in and toss until shallots turn translucent.
  • Toss in the green peas, salt and add coconut milk until peas are cooked and add the rice in. Add extra salt. Mix them all well and serve with cheese bits on top.
  • You could add coriander and mint (add them in with green peas if you are planning to use them)

image

Chickpea Peanut ‘Patty’

I had few left over chickpeas (1/4 cup approx.) and 1 potato. Made this awesome ‘patty’

In a high speed food processor, add cooked chickpeas (1/4 cup), unsalted roasted peanuts (1/4 cup), a piece of ginger until they come together. Transfer it to a bowl, add one potato and mix them all well. Use your hands-:) You would appreciate the taste later on. Add in some salt, chili powder, fennel seed powder (ask for saunf powder in Indian grocery). Shape them as patties and dust them with either bread crumbs/multi-grain crumbs and pan fry them 🙂 Top with some cheese (optional)

Quinoa pongal with Minty Coriander chutney

Pongal is one of the usual breakfast in Tamilnadu (one of the South Indian states). I have to admit I used to hate pongal, the reason being it was just cooked rice and split mung bean with loads and loads of clarified butter (ghee) and pepper. My mum always had to make something else cos I was adamant not to eat it. Since last May/so, I have reduced my intake of rice substituting it with world’s yummiest grain, Quinoa 🙂 Came back from work yesterday and all I wanted was quinoa and lentils. I was going through my paati’s (granny) recipes I saw a non-vegan version of pongal. The Einstein part of my brain was so active I decided to make vegan quinoa pongal.

If you have a pressure cooker, this is really easy to make. Else, use a heavy-lid pan to make it.

Ingredients- Serves 3 (on a portion control diet)

  • Quinoa-3/4 cup
  • Split yellow mung bean-3/4 cup
  • Cashews-10
  • Curry leaves-10
  • Pepper-coarsely ground-3 Tbsp (lesser if you want less spicier effect)
  • Mustard seeds (2 tsp) Cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  • Ginger grated- 1.5 Tbsp
  • Rice bran oil-2 Tbsp
  • Asafoetida-a pinch
  • Turmeric- 1 tsp
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  • Pressure cook/Cover and cook quinoa and lentils with 3.5-4 cups of water.
  • Next step is to season it. In a pan, add oil,heat it,add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric, cashews, wait for it to be about brown, add ginger and pepper and pour it over the quinoa and lentil mixture.
  • Add salt and mix them well. Serve with chutney

image

Minty Coriander chutney

Ingredients:

  • Mint leaves-2 handfuls
  • Coriander leaves-2 handfuls
  • Ginger-a small piece
  • Coconut (fresh/frozen)-1/4 cup
  • Garlic-one pod
  • Tamarind paste-1/2 tsp
  • Oil-a tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Curry leaves-7
  • Green chili-1
  • Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp

Method

  • In a pan, add mint and coriander leaves fry them until they shrink under heat, turn off the flame,let it cool and blend it with green chili, ginger, garlic, coconut, tamarind, salt.
  • In a pan, add oil, heat it and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cury leaves and pour them over the chutney

image

South Indian Quinoa Feast

I was talking to Celeste(Honk a vegan blog) about quinoa and I have been craving for south Indian food. So was time to put 1 and 1 together and create magic. Made coconut quinoa and lemon quinoa with green peas coconut stir fry. 🙂 Thom(Don’t Switch off the light blog) has been such an inspiration to make Lemon quinoa.

Coconut Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • Coconut-1/4 cup-fresh/frozen(thawed)(not desiccated one)
  • Cooked white quinoa-1 cup
  • Curry leaves-1 sprig
  • Mustard seeds-1 tbsp
  • Split, de-husked black lentils (ask for split urad dal in indian grocery)-1 tsp (OPTIONAL)
  • Asafoetida-1 pinch
  • Cashews-6/7 (halved) (OPTIONAL)
  • Green chili-1 [or more for spicy option-My lips were on fire today as I accidentally bit one 😦 ]
  • 2 tsp rice bran oil
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  • In a pan, add oil, once very hot, add mustard seeds, asafotida, cashews, wait until it is about to turn brown, add curry leaves, green chili, and urad dal, once it browns, add quinoa, salt and coconut and mix them until well mixed.
  • Serve with any spicy curry 🙂

image

Lemon Quinoa (Inspired by: Thom)

Ingredients:

  • Lemon juice-to taste
  • Cooked white quinoa-1 cup
  • Curry leaves-1 sprig
  • Mustard seeds-1 tbsp
  • Turmeric-1 pinch
  • Peanuts-6/7 (halved) (OPTIONAL)
  • Green chili-1
  • 2 tsp rice bran oil

Method:

  • In a pan, add oil, once very hot, add mustard seeds, peanuts, wait until it is about to turn brown, add curry leaves, green chili, and urad dal, once it browns, add quinoa, salt and mix them until well mixed. Take it off heat and add lemon juice to your taste. Quinoa is extra sensitive to lemon so I suggest you add them little by little and do a taste test.
  • Serve with any spicy curry. Thanks for the inspiration Thom 🙂

Coconut green peas stir fry

Ingredients:

  • Coconut-1/4 cup-fresh/frozen(thawed)(not desiccated one)
  • Green peas-1 cup
  • Curry leaves-1 sprig
  • Mustard seeds-1 tbsp
  • Asafoetida-1 pinch
  • Chili powder-1 tsp
  • 1 tsp rice bran oil
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  • In a pan, add oil, once very hot, add mustard seeds, asafoetida,  curry leaves, green peas,salt, chili powder and fry until soft, add coconut and fry until coconut turns slightly brown. Goes well with both the recipes above 🙂

Proxy Aloo Parata – healthier alternative

Its been a while since I had used potatoes in my food. I use it as a occasional treat. I cooked chickpea and had boiled few potatoes along with it.

Ingredients for stuffing: 

  • Boiled potatoes -2 peeled,cooled and mashed
  • Salt-as needed
  • Chili powder- a tbsp
  • Asafoetida- a pinch
  • Cumin seed powder/seeds-1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves- finely chopped-3 tbsp
  • Amchur powder – a tsp(for sourness)
  • Mountain bread (the 70KCal flat bread you get in Coles/Woolworths)

Method:

  • Mix them all together and this is the stuffing for aloo parata
  • Tear the bread into two, add 2 Tbsp of stuffing in between and microwave for 30 sec.

 
image

South African Split Pigeon Pea Soup-3 main ingredients only

I was away for a month in South Africa volunteering with lions (Excuse for not blogging regularly) Had the most amazing time of my life :D. Got to do lot of adventure activities-one of which was cage diving with sharks at Gaansbaai , Cape town.

It was a freezing cold day and had to jump into the water, do up-down up-down like 200 times, it was exhausting. Back on shore, the tour company that took us into the ocean had this vegetable soup ready to warm us up. No offence – I thought Australia was the biggest meat eating country. I was wrong. It is South Africa. Finding vegan food is a challenge there :P. Anyways, I did my normal questioning with the ladies there – Any chicken stock,butter, cream blah blah blah? The lady who made the soup said it had only lentils, potato and carrots. NOTHING ELSE. I had a mouthful of the soup and man, it was the best soup I have ever had. Got the recipe from the ladies.

Ingredients: 

  • Split pigeon pea-1/2 cup soaked in hot water for 30 mins and boil until its mushy
  • Carrot grated-1
  • Potato grated-2

image

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients, lower the heat and cook on low flame for like 40 mins. Keep adding water to retain the soup consistency
  • Add salt and pepper and that’s it 🙂 Yummy soup. No oil or stock.
  • Deepa of Spice Rack blog had added a green mango for sourness. You could do that too 🙂