Mushroom Masala (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Indian food touches your soul before it touches your taste buds’

My wonderful husband Mr B, recently booked a tasting menu at a restaurant in New York for our anniversary. When I got there we realized that the vegetarian menu had a lot of dairy in it, which I don’t eat and so they offered me the ‘off the menu’ vegan option.  This ‘off the books’ menu was out of this world and Mr. B said better than his non-vegan menu. The layering of flavors was profoundly deep, it tasted smoky, rich and complex. Like a really good Burgundy wine.

As with every amazing dish we discover, I decided that I would make it at home the next day. Mr. B says that is the advantage of having a wife whose favorite room is the kitchen. I decided to put my own spin on  this dish and create a culture clash by placing it in a Chinese steamed bun and serving it with pea shoots and pickled chili.

Try it with rice, roti, as a canape, on top of a chickpea pancake or in a bao bun.

Ingredients

  • 5 cup mushrooms sliced
  • ½ onion, cubed
  • ½ cup tomatoes, cubed
  • ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 5 tbsp. oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan, add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf and let infuse
  • Blend the tomato, ginger, garlic, onion and cashew to make the masala
  • Add the masala to the pan and cook down, add the garam masala, salt and smoked paprika
  • Add the mushrooms and mix in, cook for 5-7 minutes
  • If the mixture gets to thick add half a cup of water
  • Add coconut milk
  • Serve hot

 

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Stir Fried Yellow Cabbage (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Work hard is silence and let success make the noise’

This is a quick stir fry recipe, but the mustard, curry leaves and turmeric give the depth of a dish that has been cooked for days. This was one of my grandma’s side dishes, so humble and inconspicuous on the table, but so wholesome and tasty. I like it as a main. My grandma was similar to this, she was humble and tried to fade into the background, but was the centre of our world, giving advice, keeping us fed, happy and cared for.

Ingredients

  • 1 small green cabbage
  • 1-3 chilies (to taste), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 -2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice

Method

  • Shred the cabbage, place in a bowl and add the chilies
  • Put the oil in a wok over a low heat, add the mustard seeds, when they pop, add the curry leaves (be careful as they will splutter)
  • Add the cabbage, stir fry until it has wilted, 2-3 minutes
  • Add the turmeric and mustard powder
  • Add salt and lemon juice, stir and serve

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs  (V, DF, GF)

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‘Food has a story, a history, relationships’

I adapted this recipe from Season by Nik Sharma, using Quorn to make it vegetarian.

Kebabs have a long and interesting history, and mostly trace their origin to the influence of Mughlai cuisine. This cuisine is strongly influenced by the cuisine of Central Asia, the region where the early Turko-Mongol Mughal Emperors originally hailed from in the 16th century. The deep spices and meat where seen as luxurious foods and used for royal dinners and celebrations. In our family, meat was also seen like that as my grandma was vegetarian and so it wasn’t an every day occurrence.

This is an easy recipe, it’s just a mix and fry. You can bake them too, but they tend to dry out a little due to their being little fat in the mixture.

Ingredients

  • 1lb vegetarian mince
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 chilis, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix the mince, onion, egg, chickpea flour, chilies, garlic, ginger, lime juice, cayenne, coriander, mint, cinnamon, sage and salt
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Divide into 10 portions
  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry the kebabs in batches, adding more oil as needed until golden brown, 3-5 minutes each side
  • Drain on paper towels
  • Serve with chutney, on their own or with naan

Delhi Green Beans with Ginger and Green Chillies (Sem Ki Sabzi)  (Vegan, DF, GF)

Green Beans and Ginger

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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

Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cinnamon Icecream

I love the simplicity and pureness of this recipe, filled with amazing ingredients straight from Mother Nature’s door!

I adapted this recipe from my plant lab raw desserts classic, bringing a little Indian Flair with the cardamom. If you don’t like cardamom, cinnamon works well or vanilla if you’d prefer a less dominant flavour profile

Did you know Cardamom has impressive medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has antioxidant and diuretic properties, which are said to stop the growth of tumours, lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation and act as an antibacterial.  Cinnamon has similar such properties, so you are good either way. Mr B doesn’t like Cardamom, so I tend to use cinnamon for him or during the holidays a little pumpkin spice (a US classic. I can not account for the medicinal properties I am afraid, just the smile invoked by the scent of the holidays)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soaked cashews
  • ½ cup. Young coconut meat or coconut cream
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp. crushed cardamom seeds or cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, except the coconut oil
  • Stream coconut oil in last
  • Process in an ice cream maker, or if you don’t have one (like me), place in a tub and freeze

Sweet Potato Tikki (GF, Vegan)

Sweet Potato Tikki  (GF, Vegan)

Sweet Potato Tikki

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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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

HandinhandBigmama

Beetroot Poriyal (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Poriyal (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Poiyal

This is one of my favourite Indian stir-fries, it’s vibrant, tasty and spicy, everything you want from Indian food, but also healthy, full of vitamins and anti-oxidants, all you want from food in general!

It’s origins stem from southern India, where the use of coconut and mustard seeds is much more prevalent

I love to serve this as a little canapé in a vegan filo shell with a nice cold crisp glass of wine. I generally make a bigger batch and also have it with rice as a light mid week dinner

You can also use this recipe with another vegetable, e.g. cabbage that I have done and served like a taco with poppadum. I have served that at dinner parties topped with pomegranates for a hit of sweetness and acidity

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 cups cooked and grated beetroot
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp. grated coconut

Method

  • In a pan heat the coconut oil, keep the heat low and add the mustard seeds
  • When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the green chilli, curry leaves
  • Add the beetroot, mix well
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add the coconut, mix well
  • Serve with rice, roti or in a tart cup as a canapé