Dear Friends of Tasha. Kitchen,
Happy New Year!
My wish for you is to Live Better, Strive Harder, Be Bolder, Dream Bigger, Climb Higher and Seek Greater.
These too are wishes for myself and in the pursuit of this at the end of the year I took some time out to self reflect on all I have learnt over the last year.
In 2018, I completed my certificate in Plant Based Nutrition with Cornell and have used this and some great books (e.g. how not to die – Gene Stone and Michel Greger), articles and blogs to learn more about the hard science behind food and disease. Many of you may have seen my blog evolve over that time, from broad based healthy food to more of a plant-based blog. This is a reflection of my learning and has caused me to sit back and think about what my own philosophy is and what the blog should centre around.
After much study, contemplation and a recommitment to both my followers, and myself I am pleased to announce a new blog coming soon. The blog will be dedicated to Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw recipes with a focus on Plants and Whole Foods to maximise the nutritional content. There will also be a new section where I will share scientific research, so you can learn with me.
The blog will be called PlantToTable.com and exists today but with a redirect to Tasha.Kitchen until it is ready for launch in early 2019. Tasha.Kitchen will resume this Saturday and an announcement will be made when the new blog is ready.
I hope that this news allows you to forgive my absence and I look forward to continuing our journey together.
This dish is from the north of India and is normally served with lentils, rice and yogurt.
My grandma had a special dish for everyone, cheese rolls for my brother, rice porridge for me and green beans for my cousin Sabrina. I actually think Sabrina is the only person I know, as well as my grandmother who loved these green beans. They would eat them together, laugh and talk. It was something special to see.
This is my first attempt at a green bean recipe and there will be a few more to come until I get the right one. This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Vegetarian India, it is vibrant, spicy, tasty and takes no time at all.
- 1 LB green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp. oil
- ½ tsp. asafoetida (optional)
- ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1 green chillies, chopped
- 2 tsp. ginger, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coriander, powder
- Plunge the beans into boiling water 3-5 minutes and then drain, leaving them al dente
- Put the oil in a medium frying pan, set on a low heat, add the asafoetida, add the cumin
- Take the pan off the heat and add the ginger and chillies
- Put back on the heat, add beans, salt, coriander powder and 2 tbsp. water
- Cook for another 5 minutes
- Eat with rice and roti
Sweet Potato Tikki (GF, Vegan)
One of my dreams is to write a book of recipes that reflect my grandma’s food and mine together. I did think of just writing her recipes down, as that would take up a whole book in itself but with some of the allergies and dietary requirements that have occurred in our family over the last few years, I thought my adaptations might have some added value
As I look through my photos of my gran, and me we are holding hands in most of them, like an old married couple. So I take that as a message from here that she liked to do things hand in hand
If you have someone in your life that you think it a kindred spirit, make sure you take all the time you can to spend with them as when they are gone it feels like a piece of you is too! My way of getting that connection back is to cook and this is where this recipe came from, hand in hand
I love the combination of ingredients that go in a Tikki, which is an Indian Potato cake that my grandma used to make as an appetizer. I decided to adapt it to use sweet potatoes for the healthy benefits and by also adding some pumpkin seeds for protein and crunch
I love sweet potatoes not only for the vibrant colour and sweet taste but also as they are high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps to keep the bodies defences up and is great for fighting off diseases like cancer. This means you are actually eating your medicine, cool, right. Garlic and Ginger are also great health foods, which my grandma knew and so added to near every single food we ate!
I’m lucky that Mr B likes food with strong flavours and so ate this up without hesitation!
- 750g sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp. grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ chilli, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 100g chickpea flour
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 10g fresh coriander, chopped
- 3 tbsp. sunflower seeds
- Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into chunks. Boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash roughly with a fork
- Meanwhile grind the ginger, garlic, chilli and salt until smooth using a mortar and pestle
- Heat up the oil and sauté the onion until softened, add the spice mix for a couple of minutes until fragrant
- Add the mashed sweet potato, coriander, sunflower seeds and flour and combine well. Allow mixture to cool
- Shape 10 round cakes with wet hands
- Line the baking tray with parchment paper and brush with a little oil. Place the cakes on the tray, brush with more oil and bake in a preheated oven for c. 25 minutes
- Serve with a blend of vegan mayonnaise, garlic and coriander
Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry) (GF, Vegan)
Food is love when words are inadequate
My grandma always made you feel like she had been waiting for you all day and when you arrived her day was now complete
The first thing I had to do after taking off my shoes and putting away my bag was to taste what ever my grandma had been creating all day in the kitchen
This is a dish that you can smell as soon as you walk into the house, as it is rich in spices. It is also low in calories but high in protein so it is a great staple
A lot of my grandma’s dishes took a long time to cook, but this one is a 30-minute meal. As with most Indian dishes however the longer you cook down the spices the more concentrated the dish and the longer you leave the dish the more intense it tastes, so remember to leave some for the next day
I used two chills for this as Mr B has a spicy palate, but you should adjust to your own taste
My grandma used to serve this with rice; I like it on its own. You can also serve this to your guests as a canapé in a Phyllo cup or on top of a chickpea pancake (see earlier recipe)
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 4 tsps. Finely chopped ginger
- 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 chilli’s
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 2 cans chickpeas
- ½ cup of water
- Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant
- Add the onions, ginger, garlic, chilli’s and season with salt
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent
- Add the garam masala, coriander powder, salt and turmeric, stir until well combined
- Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and water
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce slightly thickens
- Serve in a phyllo cup, with rice or on a chickpea pancake
Okra Pakora (GF, Vegan)
My grandma used to make Pakoras all the time. Here classics were potato, bread with chutney in the middle and chilli (which Mr B would eat till his eyes watered). She also used to make pakoras to use up the leftovers, as she hated waste, so we would get spinach or salad pakoras when the leaves were starting to wilt. Whatever she made them out of they were always delicious and addictive
I love Okra Masala but have always been intrigued by Okra Pakoras, so that is where I thought I would start. Okra is a scary vegetable for most cooks to use due to the slimy inside which appears the more you cook it. This is a great recipe as you use this as the moisture of the dish and the more the better!
A little known fact is that the inside is made of sugar and protein and similar to the inside of the Aloe Vera plant. It is also known for being high in vitamin c, vitamin k and folate. It is also known for harnessing a superior fiber, which helps with digestion and stabilises blood sugar. Who knew!
Serve this with any chutney you like, or organic ketchup for the kids!
- 10 Okra
- 2 green chilli’s
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 curry leaves, chopped
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp. hing
- ¾ cup chickpea/besan flour
- ½ cup rice flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- Oil for deep frying
- Firstly clean and wipe the okra then chop into small pieces
- Add chilli, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric, chilli powder and hing
- Add the chickpea flour, rice flour and salt
- Combine all the ingredients, use your hands to squeeze the moisture out of the okra and bind the pakoras together
- Add a little water if more moisture is needed to form a batter
- Take a tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and shape into a ball
- Drop into hot oil
- Fry until golden brown
- Serve with chutney
Apricot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)
I saw these beautiful apricots glistening in the market and I had to get some. I love apricots, they have amazing nutrients, vitamins and minerals and taste as sweet as candy when ripe.
Since I just got the newest addition to my recipe book collection, Rasoi by Vaneet Bhatia and since I was building my second Hand in Hand, Indian Inspired Tapas menu, I decided to try a new recipe out and made these beauties into a chutney. The great thing about Chutney is that it lasts a long time in the fridge, so you can enjoy it when apricots are in season and also when not.
This chutney has a nice kick from the chilli, ginger and spices, which made Mr B and his spicy palate happy, whilst having a sweet, majestic undertone that mellows the chutney out. In the end I served it underneath my goats Sheppard’s pie parcel, which it complemented perfectly.
- 100g dried apricots or 500g fresh apricots
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. chilli
- 1 tsp. chopped ginger
- 50g raw cane sugar
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp. ground green cardamom
- If using dried apricots, soak in hot water for an hour, then strain reserving the liquid (original recipe)
- If using fresh, pit and chop up (my version)
- Heat the oil in a deep pan, add the fennel and cumin seeds
- As they begin to crackle, add the chopped chilli and ginger and sauté for a minute
- Add the apricots, sauté for 2 minutes and then add water to cover
- Bring to the boil and then simmer until the apricots turn mushy and the water is almost evaporated
- Add the sugar and white wine vinegar, simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the ground cardamom
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool, once cooled pour into a glass jar and keep in the fridge
Indian Arancini (GF, Vegetarian)
This is a fusion of my Italian and Indian heritage. Think about it as an Indian Tikki and Italian Arancini doing a little dance with the spice from the Tikki kissing the melted cheese from the Arancini.
Mr B told me that Arancini in fact isn’t the name of the dish, but what the dish looks like, a little orange. Cute right?!
I served it at my American Classics with an Indian twist dinner party and Mr B’s classic American friends loved. Quite honestly, Mr B’s American friends, love anything with melted cheese or spice, but what better to do than combine them.
- 300g potatoes
- ½ tsp. red chilli powder
- ½ tsp. coriander powder
- ½ tsp. cumin powder
- ½ tsp. minced ginger
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. corn or rice flour
- 1 egg white
- 3 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp. Mozzarella
- 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- Oil for frying
- Peel and cook the potatoes until you can put a knife straight through, then leave to cool. Once cooled, grate
- Add the spices, salt, egg white and flour, mix well
- Put a tbsp. of the potato mixture in your palm and flatten, take a little piece of the mozzarella and place in the middle. Close the potato around it
- Roll in the breadcrumbs
- Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm
- Heat your oil to 350f and fry until golden
- Serve with tomato or coriander chutney