Tag Archives: vegan indian inspired dish

Guest Blogger: The Trim Body – Lentil Pakora

26 Nov

Love hosting bloggers from around the world Matilda is the author of The Trim Body. Matilda is a British lady, living in Singapore, thus her Asian location influences her food. Here she is in her own words, “I firmly believe that omitting all animal protein from your diet is the healthiest way to live. If you also omit refined carbs and sugars too (think ‘white’ foods, white rice, white flour, white sugar, etc) then your body will be in its optimum condition. But, if you love food then that all sounds fairly dull? NO! Have a look at the recipes. You can feast on fantastic things and create dinner parties that carnivores will approve of.” Have to love her gumption! Follow The Trim Body blog on Facebook and Twitter. Welcome Matilda!

How sizzlingly super are these?! Completely fabulous dunked in some chutney!

1/2 a cup of chick pea flour

1 can of green lentils, drained

1 heaped teaspoon of garam masala


1 chili, finely chopped

Sieve the chick pea flour and garam masala into a bowl (I don’t normally sieve, but it is vital with chick pea flour). Add half a cup of water and mix well. Next, add the seasoning, lentils and chili.

In a frying pan, add about 2 millimeters or rapeseed oil. Wait for the oil to be hot enough before cooking the pakora, you can test by dropping in a tiny bit to see if it sizzles. Spoon in about a heaped teaspoonful at a time, turning them after about a minute.

Let them sit on a piece of kitchen towel for a moment before serving.

Enjoy – you will!


Guest Blogger: Cupcakes and Kale – Curried Chana Dal Soup

22 Oct

Our newest VBU! blogger is Jess, she is the authors of Cupcakes and Kale. Jess lives up in northern ontario and writes about her vegan eats and treats. She’s just launched her own vegan bakeshop, has a wee little vegan on the way, and counts cupcakes and kale among two of her favourite things. Follow Jess on her blog, Facebook and Twitter. Please welcome Jess!

alright mother nature, i fold – i’m finally ready to give in to autumn.  and not just because the equinox told me so, or because i’ve tucked away my sandals for another year, but because i’m ready to simmer soup.

i love one pot meals and this soup was the perfect lunch.  and then dinner.  and then next days lunch.

if i can help myself, next time i’ll try to freeze a few portions as i begin to stock my freezer with quick post-babe meals.

curried chana dal soup inspired by this recipe from 101 cookbooks

2 cups yellow split peas {chana dal}

7 cups water

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small cooking onion, diced

3 green onions, diced

1 1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp corriander

1/2 tsp amchur powder {optional}

3 tsp sea salt

1 large carrot, chopped

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

2 cups kale, stems removed & thinly sliced

start by rinsing the split peas under cold water, then place them in a large pot along with 7 cups of fresh water and bring it to a boil.  add the ginger, cover, and reduce to simmer for 25-30 minutes.  in a small frying pan, saute the onion in the olive oil until starting to brown.  then add in the spices and stir to cook through.  scrape this into the pot along with the carrots, tomato paste and coconut milk and stir well.  allow the soup to return to a simmer for another 15-20 minutes, then fold in the kale and serve.

thin the soup with more water if you like, or keep the pot simmering to thicken it up more.  we ate up our first servings as is and then as it sat on the stove until dinner it thicken to a wicked stew-like curry which we enjoyed over some short grain brown rice.  so hearty and wholesome and warming.


on another note, i’m a little sad to say that i won’t be participating in vegan mofo this year.  i loved it last year and had so much fun getting creative in my kitchen and also keeping up with everyone else’s kitchen antics.  this year is proving to be a little bit busier for me and i don’t think i’ve got it in me.  but i do hope to keep up with all of you who are going to mofo!

i’ll be keepin’ an eye out for one pot meals too…

Guest Blogger: *Vegan Sparkles* – Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower & Naan Wrap

15 Oct

Please welcome back a VBU! veteran. You can search her posts under her blog name Vegan Sparkles. The lovely Rebecca from down under. Feel free to check out her: blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Welcome back Bex!

Happy Vegan MoFo, everyone!

I’m so excited, I’m kicking off with not one but two recipes for you!  * Cue sparkles! *

Recently I spotted some incredibly creative ideas via My New Roots’ Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower and Veg Hot Pot’s Tandoori Cauliflower Naan Wrap.  Tandoori Cauliflower??  I was so intrigued, I knew I had to try it immediately.

Someday I’ll make the amazing spice blend that My New Roots wrote about but in keeping with the ‘fast, fresh and simple’ VeganMoFo theme I promised, I went the quicky route and used a store-bought Tandoori paste and adapted as so:

Tandoori Marinade
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3-4 tbsp Tandoori paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 270ml can coconut cream
Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower
  • Mix all marinade ingredients together and cover a clean cauliflower completely.  Allow cauliflower to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180C and roast cauliflower until tender.  My cauliflower had an extraordinarily large head so it took about an hour.

TA-DA!  The finished product!

I tandoori roasted a cauliflower!  I got excited.  *happy dance*

SO tasty and fun to make and it made an incredible meal paired with steamed Basmati Rice, Cucumber Raita and Coriander ‘Butter’ Beans.

Now it may be a year since I’ve tasted yoghurt but if I’m not mistaken, this concoction tastes incredibly like the real thing:

Cucumber Raita
  • 1 1/4 cup cashews, raw
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 small Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

While the cauliflower is roasting (for an hour or so), add cashews, water and lemon juice to blender and allow to soak.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Remove from blender and stir in diced cucumber and salt.

Coriander ‘Butter’ Beans

In a large frypan, sauté green beans in a little vegan margarine until gently cooked.  Add coriander and stir well.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Tandoori Cauliflower & Cucumber Raita Wraps

Then for the best part – for your delicious lunch the next day, simply heat leftover cauliflower in a frypan (with a little EVOO and some more Tandoori paste if you dare!) and serve in Silverbeet leaf wraps topped with Cucumber Raita, salad, rice and fresh coriander.

Fast, fresh and simple!  And did I mention deeeelish?

Guest Blogger: Turning Veganese – Recipe Veggies Makhani

16 Aug

Please welcome Christie and Brent who are a vegan couple with a lovely personality and a knowledge to share. Here they are in their own words, “Turning Veganese is written by Brent, Christie and Melissa. Melissa, the creator of the blog, invited Brent and Christie to participate when she felt the urge to do more for her health, the environment and animals by going vegan. Posts in the blog are submitted by varying combinations of the three authors, each bringing their own taste and style to the table. This particular post is brought to you by Brent and Christie. Brent hails from Washington state and spent 6 years in Portland, Oregon working as an engineer for Xerox and playing drums for the rock band Of Former Fame before moving to Miami to join long time love Christie. Christie’s early experience in genetics at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hosptal inspired her to continue her work as a biochemist and molecular biologist first at Cornell University and now at Jackson Memorial Hospital for the University of Miami. Brent and Christie are both avid mountain climbers, Brazilian jiu jitsu enthusiasts and lovers of all things SciFi. When asked “why vegan?”, Brent says: “Vegan is a choice that leads to knowledge, which encourages enlightenment. It challenges virtually every Western convention and results in empowerment. Consumption over preservation, slaughter and exploitation over sustainability, toxicity over longevity. These messages have been ground into me as an American since birth, and continued to be my lifestyle up until challenging myself to be vegan. Now I have a better understanding of my effect on the planet, the impact I have on my community, and the control I have over my own health. Vegan is positive change.” When asked “why vegan?”, Christie says: “Vegan isn’t a sales pitch or a diet plan, its a philosophy grounded in the idea that animals aren’t here for humans to exploit. A healthier body and a cleaner environment is merely good karma for treating our neighbors well.” You can find us on FaceBook, Twitter and we’d love to hear from you EMAIL US if you’ve got any questions, We’d also like to thank Vegan Bloggers Unite! for creating a forum for vegans to collaborate and find one another in this carnist world!” Aww, thanks for the shout out. Welcome Christie and Brent!

The man and I are always trying to reproduce take-out favorites at home. A few weeks ago I became obsessed with creating a truly vegan, gluten-free version of veggies makhani which we periodically order from a beloved Indian restaurant. “Makhani” means butter in Hindustani and though a lot of restaurants make it with olive oil as a cheap alternative to ghee, I still worry my special request for olive oil won’t be met. This version isn’t stereotypical Indian food but rather an Americanized version of the Indian classics but that shouldn’t stop you from giving this a try. We made ours with traditional herbs and spices, peas and tofu instead of paneer. Paneer is a traditional home-made Indian cheese often used in this dish. Tofu is a great vegan substitute. Other veggies that would be appropriate include bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and potatoes.

I started with the following:
1 carton of firm Chinese style water packed tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb bag of frozen peas

Before you do anything, set these aside to drain and thaw
respectively. I like to marinade my tofu in lemon juice for 30 minutes
or so with a dash of ground coriander. I finish it by heating the tofu
lightly in the pan I’ll eventually add my sauce to and pouring off any
excess liquid.
1 tsp oil
1 generous pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional, but recommended)
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, sliced (more if you like spice)
1 small onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 pinkie sized piece of turmeric, sliced OR 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp syrup (any kind will do)
2 cups vegetable stock (use water if you need more)
1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked is good)
1 tbsp vegan “butter”
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and chili paste to taste
Fresh green coriander/cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin and fenugreek seeds, and when they sputter add the cinnamon. Add the ginger and turmeric and stir for a minute or so over medium-high heat. Add the onions, “butter” and a little salt and saute until the onions start to brown, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes, cashew nuts and chilli powder. Saute the mixture until the tomatoes soften. If the mixture starts to get too dry before the tomatoes are done, add some water or vegetable stock and continue cooking. Once the tomatoes are really soft, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Pour into a blender along with the lemon, syrup, and tomato paste, using some broth to get all the
paste out of the can. An extra tablespoon of cashew butter won’t hurt but we’re trying to keep this light. Blend to a smooth paste adding veggie stock, syrup, salt, and chili paste as necessary.

I don’t recommend blending the mixture while it’s still hot because it can be dangerous. If you have a hand blender, this is the time to use it. Pour the blended paste back into the saucepan with your tofu, turn on the heat, add the remaining vegetable stock if the mixture is particularly thick. Now add the peas and any other veggies you like and stir them in. Let the mixture heat until it’s steamy. Garnish with coriander leaves, and serve hot with some rice, or a suitable substitute.

We used quinoa that we prepared by microwaving at 2 minute intervals. We also added some cardamom pods because they bring out the nutty smells and flavors in quinoa with their lemony aroma.

I just wish I could take a picture of the flavor for you: this is comfort food, pure and simple. I hope you get to enjoy some!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!