On 18th May, I was part of a vegan cooking demo and lunch event at Soul Kadhi. I had a really nice time talking about vegan food and showing people how to make a bunch of scrumptious, Indian, vegan dishes along with Chef Ajay.
The response was very good. There were about 20 participants and all of them said they found the demo interesting and the food delicious. Less than half the attendees were vegan. The rest were people who wanted to learn vegan cooking for various reasons. It was all totally worth the effort! :)
My hubby captured the demo on video and I spent some time editing and putting it together. The video explains the general outline of the recipes and also contains a few pointers about making vegan mylks and curds. I've shared all the recipes below, after the embedded video. Between the two, you will be able to clearly understand all the steps involved and easily make the recipes at home yourself.
If you were present for the demo, do drop me a line here in the comments section to let me know how you liked the experience. :)
Vegan Demo Video
I already have a blog post explaining the process of making Peanut Curds in detail.
In all the recipes below, the quantities of ingredients are approximate and certain quantities are not even mentioned. As you prepare the food, taste and adjust often to suit your preferences.
1/2 C Cashews
2-3 tsp Sugar
Small pinch of salt
In a dry jar, grind together the cashews and sugar into a fine powder.
Scrape down the sides and grind again until the cashew starts to release its oils and becomes slightly buttery.
Add a small pinch of salt and a splash of water and blend to a smooth paste.
Add a little more water and blend into a cream, it should have the consistency of condensed milk.
Pour into a bowl and garnish with sliced pistachios and crushed saffron and/or elaichi.
Chill for at least half an hour and serve.
This dish doesn't need to be cooked and you can make it completely raw by using soaked dates in place of sugar.
If you like, you can heat the Basundi for a few minutes while stirring continuously and chill it. This makes it a little more creamy but is not really a necessary step.
Tamarind Tofu Tikka
500 gms Firm Tofu
1 Capsicum (preferably red or yellow)
1-2 T Thick Tamarind Paste
1/4 tsp Dhania Powder
1/4 tsp Jeera Powder
1 tsp Kasauri Methi
1 tsp Chilli Powder
Chopped Green Chillies
Drain and gently squeeze the tofu to remove water.
Make the tofu into 1 inch cubes.
Cube the vegetables.
Mix salt, tamarind paste, spices, herbs and mustard oil with a few spoons of water to get a creamy marinade.
Toss the cubed tofu and vegetables in the marinade.
Cover and keep aside for a minimum of 30 minutes.
If you have more time then marinate overnight in the fridge to meld the flavours very well.
Skewer and grill on high in a convection oven or tandoor for 8-10 minutes.
You can alternately roast the skewered tikkas on a hot, non stick pan that's greased with oil, turning them occasionally to ensure even grilling. In this case, don't add the chilli powder in a marinade because it will create a lot of smoke. Instead, sprinkle the chilli powder on top of the tikkas after they have been grilled.
For the Kofta Balls:
4 Potatoes - boil/steam, peel and grate
200-250 gms Tofu - drain, rinse, gently squeeze to remove water, grate
2 T Corn Starch
Dry Fruits/Nuts - chopped finely and mixed
Gently mix the grated potatoes and grated tofu together with a fork or spoon.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Dust a clean surface or a plate with corn starch.
Rub corn starch on your palms and fingers.
Shape the potato/tofu mixture into balls and make a hole in the center with your finger.
Place some dry fruits/nuts in the hole and close the ball.
Shape into elongated balls.
Deep fry in hot oil until golden.
If you want to make them more healthy, instead of deep frying, grease the kofta balls with a little oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 15 minutes, until the balls have browned lightly.
Drain on tissue paper and keep aside.
For the Malai Sauce:
Green Chilli Paste or Pepper Powder
Thick Cashew Cream
Keora/Kewra Water (optional)
Stir fry the ginger-garlic paste in a dry pan or optionally with a spoon of hot oil.
Add the green chilli paste (if using) and stir.
Add the thick cashew cream (this could be raw or cooked cashew cream, either way is fine).
Add salt, elaichi powder and pepper powder (if using) and stir.
Optionally add sugar and keora water and mix.
Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes.
Adjust the thickness of the sauce with some water.
How to proceed:
While the sauce is simmering on low heat, the prepared kofta balls and toss gently.
Add a splash of water to the sauce to keep it in a constant simmer (so it doesn't start boiling vigorously).
Simmer the koftas for a minute and turn off the heat.
Serve hot with rotis or pulaos.
For the Pakoras:
Chopped Curry Leaves
Mix everything with some water to make a thick batter.
Heat oil and drop spoonfuls of the batter.
Deep fry while occasionally turning over, until crispy and golden brown.
Drain on tissue paper and keep aside to cool.
For the Kadhi:
Finely Chopped Garlic
Thinly Sliced Onion
Roasted Red Chillies
Make a thick batter by whisking together besan, peanut curds and turmeric powder.
Heat a spoon of oil in a pan.
Add whole jeera and dhania and stir for a few seconds, allowing them to crackle.
Add the finely chopped garlic and stir.
Add the thinly sliced onion and stir fry until the onion is translucent and lightly browned.
Pour in the peanut crud-besan batter and stir well.
Add amchoor powder and salt and mix well.
Adjust thickness of the sauce with a little water.
Add the dry roasted red chillies and simmer.
How to proceed:
While the sauce is simmering, add the deep fried pakoras.
Mix for half a minute and turn off the heat.
Optionally season with toasted mustard seeds, dhania, jeera and curry leaves.
Serve over hot, steamed rice.
4 Large Carrots - grated
1/2 C Thick Cashew Cream
2-3 T Sugar
1 T Oil
2 Elaichis (crushed)
Grate the carrots.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add the cloves and stir.
Add the grated carrots.
Stir fry until the carrots are cooked and have reduced in quantity.
Add thick cashew cream, stir and cook for a few minutes.
Add crushed elaichi and sugar and stir for a minute.
Mix in the sliced almonds, chopped dates and raisins and turn off the heat.
You can reduce the sugar or eliminate it completely and add more dates and raisins for sweetness.
If you want to avoid oil, steam the carrots whole and grate them, that way you can completely skip the stir frying process.
You can add finely ground cashew powder instead of cashew cream.