Peanut yogurt

Hey 🙂 Am back from India. My parents moved to a new place and I couldn’t get the ISP to set up the connection and wordpress is apparently blocked there 😦 Trip was great.  Yummy vegan food, loads of recipes including a peanut yogurt my mum made so that I could still have yogurt-based Indian recipes 🙂

You need to soak raw peanuts about 1/2 cup in water for about 8 hours/overnight.

You then need to discard the water and grind them into a VERY VERY smooth paste and add around a litre of water and filter the raw peanut milk to take the residue off (A muslin cloth over the sieve should do). Boil this milk for 30 mins stirring occasionally on a low heat. Let it cool-not cold but warm. Now drop red/reen chilli crowns (around 10-15) and let it stay undisturbed. This is what you get. Taste-it is okay 🙂 With some salt, it tastes AMAZINGGGGG!!!!!! Let me know how it turns out.  The chili is just for turning milk to yogurt. I swear there is no flavor from it.

IMG_20130720_171822IMG_20130720_172047

P.S: I am getting married to my friend of 9 years 🙂 In February. So going back to India in December to start with wedding prep. I hope wordpress works then.

Raw vegan Rainbow cheesecake

If you have been reading my posts, you will know by now how much I hate measurements. I usually go by judgement and probably that’s why I have NEVER EVER got a cake/bread right. 😛 It changed today though. Made this Beau…tiful rainbow cheesecake 😀 Soak a big pack of cashews (400gms) overnight. I love raw veganism 🙂 So easy to make yummy food. Only thing that keeps me away from being a raw vegan is the Indian in me-‘Curries’. I am thinking of going 50-50 and cutting oil completely. Back to recipe, scroll down 🙂 

 

imageimageLayer 1: Cinnamon Carrot Layer:

Chop around 5 baby carrots (300gms) into chunks. Not too small/big-you need to process this. Add them to a food processor. Throw in dates depending on how sweet you want, a pinch of salt, a handful of almonds, 2 pinches cinnamon and process until they come together. If they don’t, add some maple syrup and it will. Line a spring form pan with baking paper and add the carrot layer. Freeze for an hour

Layer 2: Almond Peanut-butter Cacao Layer:

To the food processor, add dates (around-15),almond meal(>1.5 cups), some salt, 2 tbsp peanut butter,cacao powder(depending on your chocoholic nature) Layer this on top of carrot layer. Back this goes into the freezer

Layer 3:Berry cheesecake layer:

To the food processor, add 3/4th of the soaked cashews(drain and add them),add 1/2 cup frozen berries(more if you love sour taste), maple syrup/agave nectar, a pinch of salt and process until smooth and fluffy. I loved this layer.Add this on top of the cacao layer. Freeze this and wait for an hour for avocado cacao layer

Layer 4:Chocolate cheesecake layer:

To the food processor, add the rest of cashews(drain and add them), 1/2 to 3/4 th of an avocado, cacao powder, a pinch of salt, maple/agave nectar until fluffy. 🙂  Top that on berry layer 🙂 Freeze. Thaw before serving 🙂

image

 

image

Raw vegan Swirl Icecream-3 ingredients

image

It is freezing in Sydney and guess what I am craving for- Ice cream 🙂

image

Made one with frozen banana slices and peanut butter. It was ‘THE’ best, I have ever had in my life 🙂 I am going keep this post simple and short.

image

You need to freeze banana slices-I always have them in my freezer. There is no specific measurement to how many banana slices you need and how much peanut butter you require. Into a steel blade food processor, you add frozen banana slices, peanut butter and blend them until it comes to ice cream consistency 🙂 That is the white layer. Then you add cacao powder( to the blender ) depending on how chocolaty you like your brown layer to be. Blend for 30 seconds. Add that on top and that’s it 🙂 Try to swirl with a tooth pick and put it back in the freezer for 5 mins and enjoy 🙂

image

 

 

Raw vegan chia seeds pudding-made 4 ways

I have had this big bag of chia seeds for a while now and I usually put them in my smoothies but that wasn’t enough to reduce the quantity much-which means low consumption of omega-3. As I was going through my recipes, this one caught my eye. A low calorie-very healthy brekky pudding 🙂 Yep, you read it right-A pudding for breakfast. I was so thrilled just reading through the ingredients. Got this from a pamphlet which had info about how good raw veganism is for you and this recipe was at the end.

Please note: If you are not into slimy texture puddings, this is not for ya. Make a small batch of this and check if you like it. I loved it, my house mate did not. He said the texture was not for him. Let me know if you try this. I have this major issue where I love whatever I cook and can eat without complaining. If you think this is not a good recipe, I will take this down 🙂

image

Serves: 4

You need:

  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups almond milk

Mix them all together and cover it with a cling wrap and refrigerate from anywhere between 4 hours to 24 hours 🙂 I am going to call this ‘chia seed mixture’

image

The original recipe says you add fruits and nuts to the chia seed mixture along with agave and just have it 🙂 I have improvised it to my taste. If you have any ideas, let me know. Will add them here too. 🙂

Pudding 1: Chocolate Almond Dates Chunky Chia Pudding

In a small mixing bowl, add 2 Tbsp cacao powder, 1 Tbsp almond meal, 3 medjool dates, a pinch sea salt and make a paste/pulse it in a food processor.  Add 3-5 Tbsp of chia seed mixture and mix until well combined. Transfer to a serving bowl/wine glass, refrigerate for an hour and serve with chocolate shavings and almond meal 🙂

image

Pudding 2: Banana Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

In a small mixing bowl, add 1 ripen banana, mash it with a fork,  1-2 Tbsp peanut butter, 2 tsp stevia, a pinch sea salt, 2 pinches cinnamon and make a paste. Add 3-5 Tbsp of chia seed mixture and mix until well combined. Transfer to a serving bowl/wine glass, refrigerate for an hour and serve with banana slices/peanut butter 🙂

image

Pudding 3: Pistachios Saffron Cardamom Chia Pudding-Raw vegan kheer

In a small mixing bowl, add 2 Tbsp pistachios, 1 cardamom seeds (use mortar and pestle to crush the seeds), few strands saffron (to take the extract out, put them on a small plate, add a Tbsp of water/milk and rub them with your index finger-this releases the flavor), 2 Tbsp stevia, a pinch sea salt  and make a paste. Add 3-5 Tbsp of chia seed mixture and mix until well combined. Transfer to a serving bowl/wine glass, refrigerate for an hour and serve with crushed pistachios  🙂

image

Pudding 4: Coffee lovers’ Bitter Chia Pudding [NOT RAW VEGAN]

In a small mixing bowl, add  1 tsp of instant coffee powder, 1 tsp cocoa powder, vanilla bean paste, 1 Tbsp Stevia, a pinch salt and mix them all well. I added a tsp of unhulled tahini and it made this terribly bitter. You could heat this in a microwave for 10 seconds to ease the dissolving process. Add 3-5 Tbsp of chia seed mixture and mix until well combined. Transfer to a serving bowl/wine glass, refrigerate for an hour and serve with stevia  🙂

image

My personal favorite is banana peanut butter followed by the chunky dates one. Which one is your favorite?

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 🙂

image

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 

image

 

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

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 🙂

image

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

image

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 🙂

image

Vegan Tofu Matar

Matar Paneer WAS my favorite. Usually loaded with butter and cream though 😦 It is a Punjabi curry- from a state which has one of the biggest vegetarian population in India but they are very much into dairy though, especially ghee. That’s probably the reason for the taste 🙂 What I have made here is a replica of the curry with Tofu. I refrained myself from adding cashew cream to keep it light. I probably should have added at least a Tbsp of the cashew cream- Missed the creaminess 😦

Now, time to talk about tomatoes in curry. Personally, I like to boil water in a saucepan, add tomatoes in (yep, whole) and close the lid, let it boil for 5 mins on high heat, turn off heat, leave the pan for another 5 mins. Take tomatoes, peel skin off, chop them and use them in the curry. Better color, lesser cooking time, more flavor. If you think that it is a lot of work, forget what I said and chop the tomatoes very fine and use them. Choice is yours 🙂

Matar Tofu1

You need these awesome ingredients:

  • Tofu-1 block-cubed-Medium Firm-[NO EXTRA FIRM TOFU PLEASE]
  • 2 tsp Sambar powder and 1 tsp cornstarch to coat tofu
  • Green peas-frozen-a handful
  • Red onion-1.5-finely chopped
  • Ginger and Garlic-1 Tbsp each grated very fine
  • Tomatoes-3
  • Sambar masala-1.5 heaped teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves-finely chopped-2 Tbsp
  • Garam masala-1/2 tsp
  • Salt-as needed
  • Oil-a tbsp
  • Cumin seeds-a tsp
  • Kasoori Methi 2 pinches
  • Organic Raw Sugar-1 tsp

image

Method:

  • Cube Tofu and coat with 2 tsp Sambar powder and 1 tsp cornstarch and pan roast them and keep them aside. Pierce them with toothpick so that the curry’s flavor gets in.
  • In a saucepan that comes with a lid, add oil, cumin seeds, onion and fry until golden brown and now add ginger and garlic.
  • Once you start getting the aroma, add the tomato in what ever form you like. Add sambar powder, turmeric powder,garam masala and fry until the mixture starts to boil. Add some water (1.5 cup), salt and let it boil for 5-7 mins. Add tofu and green peas, kasoori methi,more salt, sugar, close and cook for 5-7 mins.
  • If the curry is very watery, add a tsp of cornstarch dissolved in water and add that. Top with coriander leaves and finely chopped raw onions.
  • For richer version of the curry add some cashew cream 🙂

P.S: The miniature fellas are hedgehogs having an afternoon tea 🙂

image