Vegan Cannellini bean coconut hummus

This is probably the best hummus I have ever made. Are you bored of chickpea hummus? This is what you need for a change 🙂 With coconut in, it tasted divine. Get rid of coconut if you are not into coconut 🙂

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Very easy to make and Yum. In a food processor, blend together these ingredients below

  • A can of cannellini beans rinsed very well
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 tsp cumin powder(depending on your taste)
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil(optional)
  • 1 tbsp unhulled tahini(or more-depending on your taste)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh coconut
  • Salt, Paprika-to taste

That’s it. Yummy hummus 🙂

Serve with bread/these amazing Korean Scallion pancakes- PaJeon 

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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

Gluten-free Quinoa ‘sabudana kichidi’ minus too much starch

Sabudana kichidi is an usual Indian brekky made out of Sago, yeah the starchy tapioca thingy. I could live just eating that for the reminder of my life 🙂 There is nothing but starch in it. Tried to make it with quinoa. Same taste but loads of good stuff could go into it. This is a healthy version packed with spinach, green peas – not the traditional one 🙂 Manu, who is a family friend of ours (happens to me my student as well-No I don’t give him extra marks :P) loved it 🙂 He wanted the recipe, I thought I would give it to the world 🙂

You need

  • Cooked quinoa-1 cup
  • 1/2 potato boiled and broken into bits
  • Spinach and green peas a handful each
  • Groundnut coarsed ground-1.5 tbsp
  • Coconut grated-1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Green chili-1
  • Juice from lemon-1-2 Tbsp (optional)
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp oil

Method:

  • In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, once they pop, add green chili, potato, little salt, turmeric, fry for a couple of mins, add spinach and green peas, wait until peas are cooked
  • Add cooked quinoa, salt, mix them all well, add grated coconut, ground groundnuts, salt, toss them together until they come together.
  • Remove off heat and add lemon (optional)
  • Yum 🙂 Potato with quinoa is heaven on plate. If you take spinach and green peas off, its close to the traditional recipe.

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Fluffy Chocolate mousse

I am not usually a sweet tooth person. But off-late, I have been craving for chocolate. Had avocado banana and cocoa in my pantry 🙂 -that’s what you need to make yummy vegan mousse.

Ingredients:

  • Banana-1 big
  • Avocado-1 medium
  • Maple syrup-1 Tbsp
  • Coconut oil melted-1 tsp
  • Light coconut milk-2 Tbsp
  • Cashews-45 gms
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Raw cacao powder-3 Tbsp
  • 100 gms chocolate chips melted

Method:

  • Blend everything apart from the choc chips until fluffy and add to the melted chocolate chip mixture. Fold until they are mixed well, chill them for an hour/so and serve.
  • Top with Hazelnut meal
  • I was too tempted to taste it so had 2 spoonfuls before I realized I had forgotten to take a pic 😉

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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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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 🙂

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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 🙂

Vegan Palak Tofu / Palak Channa

Palak Tofu/Channa is a high protein blessing for vegans 🙂 When I was in India, I used to go to this North Indian restaurant and became best friends with the chef there 🙂  When I left India to come to Sydney, he had given me a copy of these 126 recipes which are his mum’s 🙂 I just pulled it out today, so from today on, I am going to get his recipes veganized 🙂

Caution: This recipe involves loads of blending.

Ingredients: 

  • Baby spinach leaves – 250 gms pack
  • Green chilli-1
  • Onion-1 cubed
  • Tomato-1.5 cubed
  • Ginger-1/2″ piece
  • Garlic- 3 pods
  • Raw Cashews soaked in water- 15gms (This is the best cream substitute)
  • Clove-2, Cinnamon-1″piece, Cumin seeds-1 tsp, Bay leaf -1
  • Oil-2 tbsp
  • Organic tofu- 250 gms- water drained and cubed- fork pierced (Chilli powder -a tsp to fry the tofu)/ a cup of cooked chickpea for palak channa
  • Chilli powder, coriander powder,garam masala-1 tsp each

Method:

  • First Step is to process the spinach. In a pan,add washed spinach and sprinkle water and fry for a couple of mins until it is about to be cooked completely. Take it out and wash it under cold water (it is to retain the awesome green color of the spinach-bit of bragging but have a look at my pics-That’s the green you need :P). Add bit of salt and blend into a smooth paste
  • Second Step is to make the cashew cream- Blend cashews into a smooth paste
  • Third step is to make the curry base. In a pan, add oil, add clove, cinnamon, cumin seeds, once it splutters add onion, green chilli, ginger and garlic and fry until onions are transparent (not brown). Add in tomatoes and the spice powders and fry until tomatoes are soft. Take it off heat and allow it to cool and blend into smooth paste.
  • Fourth Step is to fry the tofu. In a pan, add a tsp of oil, add chilli powder and add tofu cubes and fry them until hrown on all sides. This is to be done in parallel with adding cream in the next step otherwise tofu will get really tough
  • Time to put them all together. In a pan, add the curry base, let it boil for like 2 mins and add the spinach in. Mix them well. Add more salt and add the cashew cream.Close the pan and let all the flavors infuse together for 5 mins.
  • You could add cooked chickpea or Tofu, close and cook for few more mins and serve hot

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Sundal

I made quinoa mujadara yesterday. You know how you eat something again and again,  and you are like ‘Man, why cant I eat something else’. I reached that state with quinoa. I promised myself not to eat quinoa for like 2 days. I love it so much that I cant live without it. Anyways,  I had some leftover lentils, decided to make ‘sundal’. A popular dish in south India – it is a lentil stir fry with coconut and onions. The main seasoning for a sundal is asafoetida. It is an awesome spice with so many benefits.  It boosts metabolism, Google for more benefits 🙂 . To make sundal, you need boiled lentils. Not dal consistency but the ones that can be picked out individually like chickpeas,  black eyed beans etc. I used the flat brown lentils you use for mujadara.

Ingredients: 

  • A cup of lentils – boiled
  • Black Mustard seeds-1 and 1/2 tsp
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp rice bran oil
  • Salt-to taste
  • Asafoetida- 2 pinches
  • Coconut-3-4 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1 tsp(vary this based on your spice limit)

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Method:

  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil, add mustard seeds, once it pops, add curry leaves, asafoetida. If you like taste of onions, you could add onions now and fry them with it.
  • Add the boiled lentils, chilli powder, salt, coconut and mix them together.
  • Awesome as an evening snack. You could omit coconut if you don’t want it. But then, onions must be added then.

Pumpkin green peas curry

I opened my new pack of fennel seeds, the aroma triggered the invention cells in my brain 🙂 Fennel seeds, peanuts and coconut are best friends. They taste amazing when put together. Made this pumpkin curry, probably one of my best inventions so far. 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gms yellow pumpkin – cubed
  • 1 red onion- chopped fine (some goes into the curry, some into blender)
  • Green peas – a handful
  • Roasted Peanuts-15
  • Black Mustard seeds-1 and 1/2 tsp
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp rice bran oil
  • Fennel seeds- 1tsp
  • 2 garlic pods chopped fine
  • Salt-to taste

To Grind:

  • Coconut-3-4 tbsp
  • Dry red chilli-2 (vary this based on your spice limit)
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • A handful of chopped red onion
  • Garlic – 3 nos

Method:

  • Grind the ingredients to be blended into a smooth paste.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil, add mustard seeds, once it pops, add curry leaves, fennel seeds and chopped garlic. Saute for a minute before you toss the onions in
  • Add little salt and sprinkle water to soften them. Add the chopped pumpkin, peanuts, green peas and saute for a minute and then add the blended paste, salt close and cook until pumpkins are real soft. Sprinkle water if needed.
  • Once pumpkin is soft, add 2 tsp of cornflour to make the curry dry.

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Baby Kale Thoran

Coconut is my drug. I am addicted to it. I can add coconut to every dish I am eating without flinching my face. Any dish doesn’t turn out the way I want it to, I add coconut. My ancestry has traces of Kerala heritage, which is one of the most beautiful places in India and coconut is one of the main ingredients in most of the dishes there 🙂 (No wonder, I love it)

If you have an onion, a garlic, coconut meat and chilli, Thoran is your time savior. You can make thoran out of every vegetable possible, and without a doubt, it will taste good. Thoran is vege-stir fry with coconut.

When I went to Woolworths this week for my grocery shopping, I got few packs of Baby Kale, one of the most nutritious greens ever.

Ingredients 

  • 1 red onion-finely chopped
  • Baby Kale – 1 and half packets
  • Coconut meat – 1 handful
  • 2 garlic pods-finely chopped
  • Salt -to taste

For seasoning

  • Black Mustard seeds-1 and 1/2 tsp
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 fresh green chilli-slit (if you don’t want it to be spicy at all, just drop the chilli in)
  • 1 tsp rice bran oil

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Method

  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil, when it is real hot, add black mustard seeds, when it starts to pop, add curry leaves in, green chilli, onion and garlic in. Toss some salt in
  • Sprinkle water and soften the onions
  • Add Kale and bit of salt in and it takes a while to cook Kale.
  • Once it is dry/devoid of water, add coconut in and turn off the heat
  • Ready to eat 🙂