Showing posts with label Main Course Dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Main Course Dishes. Show all posts

Friday, March 03, 2023

Tofu Neat Balls

Vegan food is a cuisine in its own right!

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to make all kinds of vegan alternatives that perfectly mimic their animal versions. More power to the awesome brands proving this each day.

But the beauty of vegan cuisine is that you don’t *have* to mimic a damn thing if you don’t want to! 😃

You can just make completely new plant based food that’s unlike anything else. Simple mindset shift. Huge game changer.🤯

I didn’t develop the recipe for these Tofu Neat Balls with any intention to make them taste like meatballs. ✨🌱 They shine with their unique texture and flavours without trying to be anything but themselves. (I don’t need to spell out the life lesson metaphor in there for you, do I? 😜)

Here’s how I made them. Use the recipe as a starting point and modify it to suit your tastebuds and ingredient availability.

Bowl of spaghetti, half peasto, half aglio olio, and vegan tofu neat balls in front. Tofu balls on a baking tray at the back.

Tofu Neat Balls

Main ingredients:
3 blocks tofu – gently pressed to squeeze out as much water as possible and then mashed
3 T chickpea flour
2 T oats
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp psyllium husk

Flavouring ingredients:
tomato paste
tamarind paste
garlic paste
nutritional yeast
dried orange peel powder
chilli flakes
dry herbs

  • ☄️Mix everything together 
  • ☄️Taste and adjust the flavours 
  • ☄️Shape into balls and place on a baking tray 
  • ☄️Bake in an oven at 200°C (400°F) for 20-25 mins until they’ve firmed up a bit 
  • ☄️Gently flip them over 
  • ☄️Grill for 10 mins

Close up image of green pesto spaghetti with vegan tofu neat balls.

📝 These balls are on the softer side. They’ll break if you mix them with the spaghetti 🍝 , so serve them on top.
📝 They make a yummy snack by themselves, dipped in hot sauce and enjoyed.
📝 Here's a different version of the Spaghetti and Neat Balls (a recipe post from over a decade ago inspired by my friend Karol).

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Marinaded Baked Tofu and Beetroot Salad Bowl

A quickie post today. No backstory for you. hehe It's so yummy, I had to share! The recipe isn't written out, it's on video. But here's a handy ingredients list:

Marinade Sauce

  • Dried Orange Peel Powder
  • Freshly Crushed Black Pepper
  • Bhut Jholokia Hot Sauce
  • Tamari Soy Sauce
  • Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • Condensed Almond Mylk (from Jus’Amazin)
  • Soy Curds (from Carrots)

Main Ingredients

  • Tofu Cubes
  • Beetroot Slices
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Green Lettuce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon Juice


Enjoy! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Raw Fettuccine in Almond Bell Pepper Sauce

When it comes to making raw main courses, my go-to dish is zucchini fettuccine in a creamy cashew and basil sauce. It's a hugely popular dish among our raw food guests at Carrots and pretty much anyone who's tasted it.

People who're new to this kind of cuisine barely believe it's vegan, leave alone completely raw. :)

Last week, on my usual raw food Thursday, I became quite hungry in the evening after a bit of gallivanting with my boys. I wanted to have zucchini pasta but I wanted to push myself to create something new too.

So I switched up the ingredients in the sauce a bit and the result was GLORIOUS! You just have to taste this thing to believe it.

Raw Fettuccine in Almond Bell Pepper Sauce

You can also watch a video for the method of making Zucchini Fettuccine on an older recipe post: Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce.

Here's the recipe for this one:

Raw Fettuccine in Almond Bell Pepper Sauce

1 small Green Zucchini
1 small Yellow Zucchini
1 small Red Bell Pepper
1/4 Yellow Bell Pepper
1/4 C Almonds
2 cloves of Garlic
2-3 pitted Dates
Juice of 1/2 Lemon

* Wash the zucchinis well and using a vegetable peeler, scrape them into flat, fettuccine noodles (including the peel) and keep them aside
* When you reach the soft, seed part at the heart of the zucchinis, chop them up roughly and keep aside
* Into a dry grinder jar, add almonds, garlic, dates, pepper and salt grind into a fine powder
* Add the red bell pepper, zucchini and lemon juice and blend until creamy (happens very quickly)
* Place the zucchini noodles in a serving dish, pour the creamy sauce over it and mix well
* Garnish with chopped yellow bell peppers, shredded basil leaves and chopped almonds
* Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 08, 2015

Tatziki Sauce and Creamy Pasta Salad

We already passed the first Sunday of June and here I am now, getting around to sharing the recipe video of our demo at Carrots from the first Sunday of May! Sheesh. Talk about delaying things. I'm not even going to say anything else. Here you go, enjoy. :P

Tatziki Pasta Salad

The video features our Second Chef Gokul and I sharing a recipe for making Vegan Tatziki Sauce. Then we use the yummy sauce to make a Creamy Pasta Salad.

We just finished another fantastic demo yesterday. But the way things are going, that video is probably not going to see the light of day for another month.

Until next time. See you! ;)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Pumpkin Tofu Rosemary Methi Roti Ravioli

Pumpkin Tofu Rosemary Methi Ravioli

Want to guess why this ravioli is heart shaped? Yep, I made it at the beginning of February with the full intention of posting it here on Valentine's Day. But life got crazy, time zipped by and now I suddenly find myself in April, remembering I had to share this recipe with you all.

Ah well, heart shaped food on April Fool's Day? I'll just file it under the Love Fool theme and call it a day. ;)

Now let me type the recipe while I'm still in the mood to do so. As always, adjust the flavours to suit your tastes and ingredient availability. Serve the ravioli with some freshly crushed pepper on top and it's pure heaven!

Pumpkin Tofu Rosemary Methi Roti Ravioli

Pumpkin Tofu Rosemary Methi Roti Ravioli

For the Pasta Dough:
2 C Whole Wheat Flour
½ C Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
½ tsp Sesame Seeds
¼ tsp Turmeric

- Mix everything into a soft, elastic dough
- Cover and keep aside

For the Stuffing:
½ kg Tofu - water pressed out and crumbled
1 Small Onion - finely chopped and lightly stir fried (preferably without oil)
1 Japanese Pumpkin (small, orange kind) - de-seeded, chopped and steamed or nuked
1 C Spinach - chopped roughly
¼ tsp Dried Rosemary
Tabasco Chipotle Sauce

- Place everything in a large bowl and roughly mash together with your fingers or a fork
- Taste and adjust the flavours
- Keep aside

For the Sauce:
5-8 Tomatoes
7-10 Cloves of Garlic
1 Green Chilli
½ tsp Jaggery
Tabasco Chipotle Sauce

- Blend everything as smoothly as possible (few chunks are okay)
- Transfer to a pan and simmer for a few minutes while stirring
- Cover and keep aside

Pumpkin Tofu Rosemary Methi Ravioli

How to proceed:

- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil
- Roll out the dough into 2mm thick sheet
- Cut out hearts (or any other shape of your choice) using a cookie cutter
- Place a spoonful of stuffing between two hearts
- Gently and firmly press the sides to seal completely
- Keep aside on a plate and use the same procedure to make more ravioli hearts
- Gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water in batches for four or five
- They will rise to the top in about 3-5 minutes
- Lift them out with a slotted spoon and keep aside on a plate
- Prepare the rest of the raviolis in the same way
- Serve hot with lots of sauce ladled on
- Enjoy! :)

Pumpkin Tofu Rosemary Methi Ravioli

Monday, September 30, 2013

Veganosaurus Raw Food Theme Full Recap - Vegan MoFo 2013 Day 17

It's the last day of the Vegan Month of Food! I'll miss having something awesome to look forward to on the blogosphere each day. But I definitely won't miss the freaky stress associated with having to post every single day. Ha! In fact, I'm taking a break from my blog for the next week (at least). A well deserved holiday.

Over the last month I've shared a series of raw, vegan dishes here. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do 20+ recipes like I'd intended to. :( But I'm glad that at I'm getting at least 17 posts done for MoFo this year.

It's been a really good challenge to create these raw recipes. I've enjoyed it so much, I think I'll be creating raw foods more often. :)

Thank you everyone who has visited me here and at my various social media spaces (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) throughout this month. Your supportive comments about my recipes, HowDo clips and time-lapse videos have been really encouraging. :)

I think I've had as much fun participating in Vegan MoFo this year as I did last year. Here's a link to my Vegan MoFo album from 2012 if you want to see what I did last time.

I am highly inspired by all the wonderful recipes I've been seeing on my fellow MoFo blogger's spaces! I'm going to spend the next few days just blog hopping and drooling over the goodies. :) Ahhhh bliss!

I'll leave you now with a recap of all the Vegan MoFo posts on my blog throughout this month. Enjoy! :)

Day 1 - Raw Almond Mylk

Raw Almond Mylk

Day 2 - Healthy Green Smoothie

Healthy Green Smoothie

Day 3 - Fruit Sweetened Almond Mylk Ice Cream

Fruit Sweetened Almond Mylk Ice Cream

Day 4 - Making Sprouts and Green Cilantro-Mint Chutney(chutney recipe by Dr.Nandita Shah)

Green Moong Sprouts

Day 5 - Raw Almond Mylk Pulp Vadai/Cracker Sandwiches

Raw Almond Mylk Vadai/Cracker Sandwiches

Day 6 - Stuffed Bajji Menasinakayi (Banana Peppers) with Walnut Cilantro Pesto

Stuffed Bajji Menasinakayi (Banana Peppers) with Walnut Cilantro Pesto

Day 7 - Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (guest post by Manasa of Cure yourself with Food)

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Day 8 - Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

Day 9 - Raw Cinnamon Apple Crumble with Date Almond Sauce

Raw Cinnamon Apple Crumble with Date Almond Sauce

Day 10 - Melon Mustard Gazpacho

Melon Mustard Gazpacho

Day 11 - Mid-MoFo Recap and Giveaway

Mid-MoFo Recap and Giveaway

Day 12 - Ruby Smoothie

Ruby Smoothie

Day 13 - Fermented Cashew Garlic Cheese

Fermented Cashew Garlic Cheese

Day 14 - Noochos Gracias Raw Soup

Noochos Gracia Raw Soup

Day 15 - Frozen Basil Seed Pudding

Frozen Basil Seed Pudding

Day 16 - Lemon Lavender Spoon Cream (guest post by Ashlee of The Little Foxes)

Ashlee's Lemon Lavender Spoon Cream

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Recap and a Giveaway - Vegan MoFo 2013 Day 11

Wow, we've just crossed the halfway point of Vegan MoFo! I started out intending to do at least 20 posts this month and hoping to do a few more than that if possible. So completing half the posts in the first few weeks, despite the daily distractions I've been having, what with blog hopping and drooling over the delicious goodies created by other MoFo bloggers, is something I'm really happy about. :)

For today's post, it seems apt to do a recap of all the recipes I've shared so far. Enjoy! :)

My theme for Vegan MoFo 2013 is Raw Vegan Foods.

Day 1 - Raw Almond Mylk

Raw Almond Mylk

Day 2 - Healthy Green Smoothie

Healthy Green Smoothie

Day 3 - Fruit Sweetened Almond Mylk Ice Cream

Fruit Sweetened Almond Mylk Ice Cream

Day 4 - Making Sprouts and Green Cilantro-Mint Chutney(chutney recipe by Dr.Nandita Shah)

Green Moong Sprouts

Day 5 - Raw Almond Mylk Pulp Vadai/Cracker Sandwiches

Raw Almond Mylk Vadai/Cracker Sandwiches

Day 6 - Stuffed Bajji Menasinakayi (Banana Peppers) with Walnut Cilantro Pesto

Stuffed Bajji Menasinakayi (Banana Peppers) with Walnut Cilantro Pesto

Day 7 - Creamy Tomato Basil Soup(guest post by Manasa)

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Day 8 - Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

Day 9 - Raw Cinnamon Apple Crumble with Date Almond Sauce

Raw Cinnamon Apple Crumble with Date Almond Sauce

Day 10 - Melon Mustard Gazpacho

Melon Mustard Gazpacho


And now, to celebrate the success of the first half of Vegan MoFo, I'm giving away something special that I handmade just for this occassion. :D

I present to you, the Kitchen Ninja Necklace!

Kitchen Ninja Handmade Copper Pendant

For those of you who don't know, I create vegan art jewellery under the brand name Art by Susmitha. My favourite materials to work with are polymer clay, copper, silver, brass, gemstones and vegan crystal pearls (made by Swarovski). I've been making and selling my jewellery online for about ten years now.

My long time global store is on Etsy -
And I've had an India specific store on ItsHandmade for a little over a year -

Art by Susmitha has its own pages on Facebook and Twitter. And shares a profile with Veganosaurus on Instagram and Flickr.

Kitchen Ninja Handmade Copper Pendant

I made the focal pendant of this Kitchen Ninja necklace with copper. I hand stamped and textured it with special fonts and texturing hammers. Then I fired it to obtain a beautiful rainbow patina, highlighted the letters and finally hand polished it to bring out all the details.

I added the pendant to a long hemp chord and finished it with copper components. You slip the necklace around your neck and adjust the length by sliding the polymer clay bead at the back up and down.

Since I know many girl Kitchen Ninjas and boy Kitchen Ninjas, I designed this necklace to be worn by men as well as women. :)

If you'd like a chance to win this necklace for yourself or for the Kitchen Ninja in your life, visit this link on my Facebook Page and follow the instructions.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce - Vegan MoFo Day 8

Wow, that name was quite a mouthful, wasn't it? Even by my usual standards. I promise that this dish is worth every syllable though!

Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

When it comes to raw food, there's nothing like zucchini/courgette to replace regular pastas; be it zucchini lasagna, flat zucchini noodles, or if you have a fancy spiralizer tool (which is so on my I-want-this list), zucchini spaghetti! It's the one vegetable, which when combined with a creamy raw sauce, has that perfect al-dente pasta texture. It's something that you just have to taste to believe!

Since it is of utmost importance that the zucchini pasta is super thin, I use a vegetable peeler to quickly scrape it into flat, fettuccine-like noodles. This whole dish takes five minutes to put together but tastes like a laborious work of art! :D

Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

In the summer I make real sun dried tomatoes. But since we've barely had any sunlight in this monsoon season, I made the batch used in this recipe by dehydrating cherry tomato halves in the oven at 70°C. If you don't want to make your own, you can buy them locally in Bangalore at Food Hall and a few other grocery stores that carry speciality goods.

If you like, you can substitute fresh cherry tomatoes for the sun dried ones in this recipe. But sun dried tomatoes have a significantly richer flavour and better texture, so if you are able to get your hands on them, you should definitely use them.

The nutritional yeast makes the sauce mind-blowingly flavourful. In India, you can currently order it online from i2cook. I know there are a few more sources of these precious, golden flakes coming up here soon and I'll keep you updated about them. :)

Here's a step-by-step HowDo guide (oh, how I enjoy making these HowDos) for this recipe, followed by a typed out, text version.

Raw Zucchini/Courgette Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

1 small Zucchini
1/2 C Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/4 C Cashews
2 cloves of Garlic
1 T Nutritional Yeast
5 Raisins
Juice of 1/2 Lime

* Wash the zucchini well and using a vegetable peeler, scrape it into flat, fettuccine noodles (including the peel) and keep them aside
* When you reach the soft, seed portion at the heart of the zucchini, chop it up roughly and pop it into a mixie jar
* Add the cashews, garlic, raisins and salt give the grinder a quick whirr
* Squeeze in the lime juice and add a splash of clean, filtered water
* Blend into a smooth, creamy sauce, adding more water as required
* Place the zucchini noodles in a serving dish and add the sun dried tomatoes
* Pour the cashew sour cream sauce over everything and mix well
* Enjoy! :)

Raw Zucchini Fettuccine and Sun Dried Tomatoes in Cashew Sour Cream Sauce

Friday, June 28, 2013

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce

This is a delicious, hearty meal that is easy to put together. I love making lasagne-style, layered, baked dishes. They are so flexible and you can put a variety of elements and textures in there. Here I've used Flat Pad Thai Rice Noodles for the pasta layers to make the dish gluten free.

I've very lightly brushed coconut oil on to the top layer of potatoes but that can easily be skipped to make this a recipe that's free of any processed oils.

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce

3 Potatoes
1 C Amaranth Greens (Dantina Soppu) - can be replaced with any local greens
1/2 Package Flat Rice Noodles
Optional - Coconut Oil for light brushing

For the Sauce:
1/2 C Cashews
2 T Sesame Seeds
2 T Nutritional Yeast1
10-15 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Agave Nectar - can be replaced with Jaggery Syrup or Sugar
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Pepper

Bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the flat rice noodles.
Turn off the heat, cover and keep aside for about 5-8 minutes, until the noodles are soft.
Drain and drop the soft noodles into cold water.
Keep aside.

Meanwhile, grind all the sauce ingredients together into a powder.
Add a little water at a time and blend to obtain a paste.
Add more water and blend into a creamy sauce.

Scrub and wash the potatoes and slice them into thin rounds.
Wash the amaranth leaves, gently squeeze off the water and chop them roughly.

Cover the bottom and sides of a glass2 baking dish with a layer of potatoes.
Top with half the cooked noodles and chopped amaranth.
Pour half of the sauce over this.
Then add another layer of potatoes (saving some for the final layer) and the remaining half of the noodles, amaranth and sauce in the same way.
Finally cover the top with a layer of potatoes.
Lightly brush3 with coconut oil if you like.

Bake in an oven at 220°C for 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 250°C and grill for 15 minutes.
Turn off the oven and remove the dish.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
Dig into it and serve hot with freshly crushed pepper and Tabasco drizzled on top.
Enjoy! :)

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce


1 Without Nutritional Yeast, the sauce will still be creamy and delicious, but it won't have a cheesy flavour.
2 If you're using a metal baking dish instead, then grease it lightly or line it with foil before using.
3 By brushing, I mean that I used my palms and fingers to rub that oil onto the potatoes so no fancy brushes required here. :p

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce

Potato Amaranth Flat Rice Noodles in Cheesy Garlicky Sauce

Monday, May 27, 2013

Video and Recipes from my Vegan Demo at Soul Kadhi

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
Sliced Pistachios
Crushed Saffron/Elaichi

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 Onion
1 Capsicum (preferably red or yellow)
1 Tomato
1-2 T Thick Tamarind Paste
1/4 tsp Dhania Powder
1/4 tsp Jeera Powder
1 tsp Kasauri Methi
1 tsp Chilli Powder
Mustard Oil
Chopped Green Chillies
Chopped Cilantro

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.
Serve hot.

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.

Malai Kofta

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
Elaichi Powder
Pepper Powder
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:
Ginger-Garlic Paste
Green Chilli Paste or Pepper Powder
Thick Cashew Cream
Elaichi Powder
Sugar (optional)
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.

Kadhi Pakora

For the Pakoras:
Besan Flour
Sliced Onion
Chopped Curry Leaves
Chopped Cilantro
Chilli Powder

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:
Peanut Curds
Besan Flour
Turmeric Powder
Finely Chopped Garlic
Thinly Sliced Onion
Amchoor Powder
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.

Carrot Halwa

4 Large Carrots - grated
1/2 C Thick Cashew Cream
2-3 T Sugar
1 T Oil
2 Cloves
2 Elaichis (crushed)
Chopped Dates
Slivered Almonds

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.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, May 03, 2013

The Great Vegan Fix - cooking demo and lunch event at Soul Kadhi, Bangalore on Sat, 18th May 2013

My Hazelnut Chocolate Cake blog post in March was full of updates about all the awesome things happening in my vegan life. One of the things I'd mentioned was an upcoming vegan cooking demo at a local restaurant. I'd promised to tell you more about it as soon as all the details fell into place. They finally have and here's the story...

It had been a long and pleasantly tiring day. We were all winding down at the end of the first VGF, basking in the overwhelming success and fretting about how we hadn't gotten our hands on certain sinful delicacies which had sold out way too fast. That was when Aditi Shankar walked in and asked for me. She told me she had found me through my blog and wanted to speak to me about another vegan event which involved promoting vegan food.

I thought she meant an event like VGF, a fair of sorts, and having just finished one after weeks of planning and preparing, I didn't have the capacity to start thinking of another one right away. So Aditi and I decided to connect on Facebook the following week and I promised her I'd be happy to discuss further with her then.

As it turned out, this event happened to be a vegan cooking demo and lunch at a restaurant called Soul Kadhi. The concept is similar to the demo-lunches I helped organise at Vivanta by Taj last year, but with one significant difference, it's all about promoting Indian vegan food.

Sould Kadhi Event Poster

Soul Kadhi is a North Indian cuisine restaurant located on a cozy street just off Richmond Road, in the heart of Bangalore. It is owned and operated by Nirmala Balakrishnan, who also runs two other eateries on the same premises. Though it is not a completely vegetarian joint, they do serve a variety of vegetarian dishes. Unlike typical North Indian restaurants, they don't overly douse their food with fats and oils. Instead, they strive to serve good, simple, comfort food with a homemade feel. In fact, Nirmala says that ever since she opened the restaurant, she's not felt the need to cook at home. Her whole family eats the food served at the restaurant. :)

Now Nirmala wants to introduce vegan and veganisable options into the menu and that is where I come in. I met with Aditi and Nirmala in March and we came up with some interesting ideas for the event menu. When asked why Soul Kadhi wants to have this vegan event, Nirmala said, "Vegan food has become this trendy/fashionable concept and it is a general impression that to be vegan, one must eat fancy dishes with exotic ingredients. But what people don't realise is that in India, we just happen to eat vegan food at home on a daily basis. So the idea here is to show people that not only are they already eating vegan food as a part of their regular diet, they can also veganise everyday foods which might contain animal derived ingredients."

Everyday staples like rice, roti, dal, sambar, idli, dosa, etc... are already vegan by default. Most vegans already know how easy it is it be a vegan in India and how it takes barely any changes in day to day cooking/eating for a person to follow a cruelty-free diet. But I was *really* happy to hear a non vegan person understanding and explaining all this. It truly does show that veganism has come a long way in India and is growing each day.

We fixed an appointment for a cooking/tasting session in early April. I first spent some time in the Soul Kadhi kitchen, teaching Chef Ajay and his staff how to make basic dairy better-natives like peanut mylk/curds, cashew mylk/cream. The next day, we worked together for a couple of hours to create the tamarind tofu tikka, malai kofta, kadhi pakora, gajar ka halwa and basundi.

Chef Ajay is really nice and down to earth. He was very open to learning about vegan food and since he's an experienced chef, I ended up picking up some valuable cooking pointers from him as well. It was such a pleasure working with him!

All of us had a scrumptious food tasting session that afternoon. :)

Tamarind Tofu Tikka
Tofu Tikka

Cucumber Raita
Cucumber Raita

Kadhi Pakora
Kadhi Pakora

Malai Kofta
Malai Kofta

Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa


Everything was delicious but the kadhi was hands down the *best* dish! Nirmala exclaimed to the chef that this vegan kadhi made of peanut curds was even better than his regular kadhi (which is supposed to be really good to begin with). :)

Event details:

Location: Soul Kadhi, #3, Laurel Lane, Richmond Town, Bangalore - 560025
Date: Saturday, 18th May 2013
Time: 12 noon
Price: Rs. 500 per person (inclusive of taxes)

At 12 noon, I will give a short introduction to vegan food. Then the chefs and I will begin the cooking demo and show you how to make the dishes pictured above. It will take about an hour to hour and half.

This will be followed by a sit down lunch where all the demo-ed dishes will be served, along with steamed rice and tandoori rotis. The lunch is not limited to single portions.

Registrations for the event begin after 12th May. You can reach Nirmala at +91 96866 01021 and book your place.

You can additionally RSVP on the Facebook Event Page.

This will be a nice event for veteran vegans to spend a relaxing afternoon indulging in some delicious fare. It will be even more useful to new vegans who want to learn some interesting vegan recipes and those people who are considering a vegan lifestyle or are curious about what completely plant-based food tastes like.

I'd love to see some of my fellow Bangalore Vegans at Soul Kadhi on the 18th. More importantly, if you have friends or family members who you've been talking to about switching to a vegan diet, this is an excellent opportunity for you to make them experience vegan food at a restaurant first hand.

Depending on the response to this event, Soul Kadhi plans to organise more vegan cooking events in the future. They also intend to introduce these and other vegan dishes into their regular menu based on the feedback of the participants.

Looking forward to seeing you there! :)