Vegan Cauliflower and Spinach Rice-Indian Style

Saw this recipe in one of my cookbooks and made this today. It was easy to make and guess the spice mix I used-Channa masala powder 🙂 And recently I have fallen in love with this new spice mix-Kitchen King masala-which adds this awesome flavor to everything you add it to. The best part is that it tastes different in different recipes. MDH brand Kitchen King masala is the best in case you are planning to get one 🙂

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Cook Basmati rice (1 cup rice: 2 cups water) When the rice is cooking, break 1/4 cauliflower head into tiny florets and add it to boiling salted water for it to cook-around take it out when it is  70% done. Meanwhile, chop 1 onion, grate a small piece of ginger, few garlic cloves, 2 handful of spinach leaves, slit 2 green chillies, break a handful of cashews into tiny bits. You could add frozen green peas

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In a big pan/wok(which would fit the cooked rice-cos you’d have to mix them in this), heat a Tbsp of oil,2 cloves, a cinnamon stick, a cardamom and a bay leaf, a tsp of mustard seeds, wait for them to crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies, cashews and let them brown. Time to add onions, salt and let them brown. Then add grated ginger, garlic and spinach and let them cook for a couple of mintutes. Drain the semi-cooked cauliflower and add it in, throw in some frozen green peas, add a tbsp of channa masala, a tsp of kitchen king masala, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, more salt, fry for a minute or so, add 1/2 cup of water , cover the wok and let the masala cook. More water if needed if you feel the masala is unboiled. Once it is done and if you have a watery consistency, on high flame, keep the wok open and let the water evaporate. Add the cooked rice in, more salt and toss until the masala coats well on the rice. That’s it.. Serve with any curry of your choice.

p.s: I have highlighted the ingredients you need 🙂

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Vegan Fijian Curry and Rice cooker Peas pulao

This is the fastest dinner I have ever made. I bought a couple of green plantains after reading a traditional Fijian curry recipe, one of my student’s mum’s signature dish. The combo of spices looked very much South Indian 🙂 So gave it a try. Also included is the recipe for a peas pulav which can be made in a rice cooker. Yeah, you read it right,  you don’t need the chunky pressure cooker to make this. And it is 2000 times better than what you get in Indian restaurants.

Fijian Curry

You need:

  • Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Poppy seeds-1/2 tsp
  •  Cloves-2
  •  Cinnamon-1 small stick
  •  4 red chilies
  •  4 garlic cloves
  •  3 almonds
  •  4 cashews
  •  Coconut- depends on how coconuty you want the flavor to be
  • One red onion-finely chopped
  • Green plantain- peeled and diced into cubes
  • Few green peas
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  • Curry leaves-few

For the curry paste, oil spray the pan and add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, dry red chilies.Fry them until you get the aroma and blend with garlic, almonds,cashews into a fine paste. Sprinkle water if you want 🙂

Also blend some coconut to a fine paste.

In a pan, add oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, once they pop, add onion, fry until brown, add the plantain pieces, green peas, salt and fry for a couple of minutes, add the curry paste, fry well, more salt and 1/2 cup water and cover and cook until plantain is cooked (almost 90%) when you add the coconut paste in, more water if needed. Cover and cook until plantain is well done 🙂 That’s it.  🙂 Yum

Peas Pulav

This is the easiest rice you could do. Do you fancy the Indian peas pulav? No complex spices/No Masalas/No ginger/garlic. Yep Simple and a great accompaniment for any curries-Indian/not. For the rice(1.5 cup), you need to heat up 2 tsp of oil in a pan, add 2 cloves, cinnamon, 1 cardamom, a bay leaf and 2 green chillies slit and 3/4 of onion (very finely chopped), fry until transparent, add salt, frozen green peas(1/2 cup), few mint leaves( yep, this is important), more salt fry for a couple of minutes and add in rice, yeah uncooked rice and fry in oil for a couple of mins and transfer all the contents to a rice cooker. [Usually for a cup of rice, you add 2 cups of water :)] For this rice-1.5 cups, you add 2.5 cups water and 1 cup of light coconut milk. Add more salt, turn on the rice cooker and your end product will look like the picture below. And remember-NO long grained rice-Basmati is what you need 🙂 Oops, missed out cashews. Add them before onions for extra texture to your rice.

Your comment on photo will be very much appreciated 🙂

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P.S: Thank you so much Celeste, for your food photography tips. Living in a shared accommodation, this is what I could do 🙂 You are a genius

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

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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]

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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)

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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)

Vegan methi matar malaai and Cumin rice

Fenugreek leaves are very bitter-but they are awesome in cleansing the body. I try to incorporate them into the food. It is always on my Indian shopping list. For this recipe, all you do is go to an Indian grocery and ask for fresh ‘methi’ leaves. (In Sydney, we have Wigram street in Harris park-which has more than 15 shops selling these leaves). Methi – Fenugreek leaves, Matar-Green peas, Malaai-Cream. If you are craving for a creamy curry, this is for you. It goes excellent with any flat bread/cumin rice.

Ingredients: 

  • A bunch of methi leaves removed from the stalks
  • Green peas-boiled with salt
  • Red onion-cubed-1.5
  • Green chili-3
  • Cloves-2 and cinnamon-1″ stick
  • Poppy seeds-2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Garlic-5 pods, Ginger-1 small piece
  • Cashews – 40 gms (soaked in hot water for an hour)-to make cashew cream
  • Light coconut milk-1/4 cup
  • Garam masala-1 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Raw sugar-1 tsp

Method:

  • Wash methi leaves-add salt-leave 10 mins-squeeeze extra water out.
  • In a pan, add tsp of oil, add the methi leaves-fry until they are cooked. Keep them separate.
  • In the same pan add a tsp of  oil, clove, cinnamon , cumin seeds once they splutter, add onion,green chili, salt garlic and ginger and fry until onions are translucent, add poppy seeds and take it off heat and blend into fine paste
  • In a blender, add just the cashews (discard the water) and half of the coconut milk and bit water to make cashew cream
  • Time to put them together. In the same pan, add a tsp oil, add the onion paste, let it boil for a couple of minutes, add methi leaves, fry for a couple mins, add cashew cream, let it mix well, add boiled green peas, sugar and cook for 3 more mins. When it thickens add remaining coconut milk,salt(if needed), garam masala and turn off the flame and let it be in the pan for another 5 mins

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Do you like the cumin rice you get in Indian restaurants? This is a vegan version of the same. If you have a rice cooker and the ingredients below, this is such a yummy version 🙂

Cumin Rice

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice-1 cup
  • Cumin seeds-2 tsp
  • Cumin seed powder-`1 tsp
  • Cashews-5 broken into bits
  • One green chili-cut into 2
  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Water-2 cups
  • Salt

Method:

  • In a rice cooker, add rice and water.
  • In a pan, add oil, when it is hot, add cumin seeds, green chili, cashews, once cashews are brown, add the cumin powder, fry for a minute and pour over the rice, add salt and turn the rice cooker on.

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