Showing posts with label Raw Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raw Food. Show all posts

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Raw, Vegan 'Rasmalai'

When I saw this link for Raw, Vegan 'Rasmalai' on my friend P's facebook profile yesterday, I was consumed by the desire to immediately attempt it. One just can't have the words VEGAN and RASMALAI jumping out from the same sentence and resist its pull. Any plans I'd had to laze around after lunch went right out the window. I prepared and gobbled up the chapati and tofu/capsicum curry in a big, fat hurry and lunged for my mixie, all the while showering a thousand blessings upon the heads of Rohit and Rishi of Roshi's who came up with this ingenious, raw concoction.

I tweaked the original recipe a wee bit. Here's the version I followed.

Raw Vegan Rasmalai

Cardamom and Saffron Flavored Cashew Mylk Base:

1/2 C Cashews
2-3 T Agave Nectar
4 Green Cardamom Seeds (crushed)
1 generous pinch Saffron Strands
1 3/4 C Water

Add all ingredients, except water, into a grinder jar and powder well. Add water a little at a time and make a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend well to form a creamy vegan mylk. Keep aside.

Rasgulla Balls:

1 C Cashews
1 C Almonds
1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds (optional ingredient for added calcium)
5 Soft Dates (chopped)

In a dry jar, grind 1/2 C cashews and 1/2 C almonds into a fine powder. Separately grind the rest of the cashews and almonds along with the sesame seeds into small granules.

In a large bowl, mix everything with dates by hand until evenly distributed. Add 2 tablespoons of the cashew mylk and knead. Shape into 1 inch balls and lightly flatten them into saucers.

Place in a wide bowl and pour the prepared cashew mylk over them. Sprinkle sliced pistachios and a small pinch of saffron on top. Cover and keep aside for 7-8 hours for the balls to soak up the mylk and soften (this is the hardest part!!).

Tastes best when served cold.

Raw Vegan 'Rasmalai'

Note: This is a rich, healthy and extremely delicious dessert but it didn't turn out exactly like normal Rasmalai. The mylk did taste like the kind used in Rasmalai but the texture of the balls was not soft and creamy like Rasgulla should be. They were more like a rich, dry fruits barfi/ball soaked in decadent saffron mylk.

I will be redoing this recipe again and next time I will eliminate the dates and also lightly mix and shape the 'dough' rather than kneading.

But in the end, even if it doesn't turn out like Rasmalai, I don't really care because it tastes absolutely heavenly!! Plus it's easy to make, raw and healthy (not a single bad ingredient in there!). I even guiltlessly ate it for breakfast just now. :D

I have a feeling that this will be a staple dessert at our home. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nice Big Salad - Vegan MoFo post 11

So I spent the last hour editing pictures for the burritos I made on Sunday so I could make today's post all about them. But... I woke up early this morning (9am gaaah!) to meet up with a few of my dear Reiki friends (I wouldn't start off my days so early for just anyone, so you can appreciate how important these people are to me) and therefore I am extremely sleepy right now.

How shameful is that? It isn't even midnight yet! *Tsk Tsk*

Anyways, long story short, if you've been following my blog to get recipes for your daily cooking, today you won't be eating burritos. Here's a healthy and super delicious salad instead.


Organic lettuce, organic cherry tomatoes, organic cucumber, pecans, apricots all tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, black salt and chilli powder. Optionally Tamari, Balsamic Vinegar and Nooch can be added too.


This must be my shortest Vegan Mofo post eva!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Raw Vegan Hazelnut Cheese

Raw Vegan Hazelnut Cheese

The first time I tasted nut 'cheese' was at VegFest 2010 at Portland, Oregon. I can still remember the explosion in my tastebuds when I put that delicious cheese made of Hazelnuts by Heidi Ho Organics into my mouth! Mmmm mmm!

It's such a pity they were only giving out samples that day. DH and I wanted to buy loads to stuff our faces with. Needless to say, the next time I'm at Portland, Ima gettin' me some Heidi Ho hazelnut cheese.

Heidi Ho Organics Hazelnut Cheese at VegFest 2010

Since nut and seed cheeses are made of raw nuts and seeds which have been put through a fermentation process, they are rich in enzymes, nutrients and lactobacilli (the good kind of bacterial cultures). A most delectable way to put probiotics into your system! :)

I've been wanting to experiment with nut cheese making for a while now but I was under the impression that it is a difficult task and that it needs some 'exotic' ingredients like miso or dulse. That was until I saw this recipe by Dr. Nandita Shah on the Sharan India website. From the first step until the cheese is ready for consumption it takes a few days so it is time consuming process, but the effort which you need to put into it is hardly much. With patience, anyone can make raw, vegan cheeses right in their home. And as we already know, homemade is always the tastiest and healthiest option. :)

So couple of days ago, on a whim I decided to attempt making nut cheese. Luckily, I already had a little bit of rejuvelac on hand and it was enough for the small, experimental quantity I intended to begin with. I decided to go for hazelnuts. Firstly because I was out of cashews and almonds and secondly because hazelnut cheese is the only kind I'd ever tasted (and loved!).

I pretty much followed Dr. Nandita's recipe except that after the cheese was ready, I pressed out the water from the it by putting it into a cloth bag inside a colander and placing a weight over it overnight. I preferred the taste and texture of the pressed version more than the softer kind.

For flavoring, I used nutritional yeast, salt, oregano, a pinch of turmeric for color and a dash of chilli powder (hey, come on, I had to Indianize it at least a wee bit).

So here it is, my very first batch of Raw Vegan Hazelnut Cheese! :)

Raw Vegan Hazelnut Cheese

It's the first of many more to come. I wouldn't call it perfect but it was gosh darned scrumptious! Notice that I say 'was' (past tense)? It's because we gobbled up almost the whole batch during lunch. :D

Next time I'll be tweaking things. I plan to use a combination of nuts and seeds. I'll be blending them into a more creamy finish. And I'll be adding the spices before the fermentation process begins.

Earlier today I was reading up more about making home made raw, vegan cheeses in this amazing, highly informative post. I found the part where it speaks of cheese 'seasons' and moon cycles extremely interesting. I already try to do certain things based on the moon cycle in my day to day life and it makes complete sense to me that the behavior of the lactobacilli would be dependent upon them too.

After having read that post, I'm all riled up and really looking forward to more successful adventures in raw, vegan nut and cheese making. Can't wait to get the next batch started! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Raw Vegan Mango Pistachio Ice Cream

This one is soooooo easy peasy to make! Doesn't look like it and definitely doesn't taste like it. It's so delicious that you'd think it took hours of labor. Well, I didn't even need to make the effort of pulling out the ice cream maker for it. :oP

When you start with just plain fruits you can get a sorbet out of it. Well sorbets are light and slightly icy and can be nice sometimes, but they are just not ice creams! However, by adding a nut into the mix, you can achieve the kind of rich, creamy texture that all ice creams should have.

The beauty of this raw ice cream is that it has only healthy ingredients and you can eat as many scoops as you like without guilt (unless you're allergic to nuts).

Raw Vegan Mango Pistachio Ice Cream

3 very ripe mangoes (I used large Alphonsos)
1/4 cup plain, raw pistachios (without the shells) + 1-2 tsp (chopped/sliced)
Raw agave nectar to taste

Peel, cube and chill the mangoes in the fridge for a day.
Soak the 1/4 C pistas in filtered water for 5-6 hours.
Drain the pistas completely and chuck the water away.
Place the pistas in a blender/grinder/food processor and grind well.
Add the mangoes and blend some more, until you get a creamy mixture (it'll have the color of avocado).
Squirt in a little bit of the raw agave nectar and blend again.
Taste, add more agave if you desire and blend more.
Transfer to a freezer safe container, add sliced pista and whip with hand whisk for a few minutes.
Freeze overnight.
Transfer to fridge and leave for about an hour to soften it. Serve with an ice cream scoop. Enjoy! :)

Note: You can refreeze it after you've had your fill and then leave it in the fridge again for a while before eating each time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hesaru Kaalu Sprouts - The BEST vegan snack ever!!

Mom used to make these often when we were in school and we used to carry dabba fulls to eat during our snack break. Of course long before the 11 am bell rang the little boxes were sneakily opened under the desk and handfuls were passed around. Surreptitiously munching on Hesaru Kaalu (Mung Bean) Sprouts made even the most boring class pleasurable! :)

When there are little kids at home a certain magic exists which makes all kinds of yummy treats appear constantly without anyone having to ask for them. No adult 'child' can make that happen! LOL So naturally after the school years were over, as all other snacks, these also became rare. Mom still made us anything we asked for but the asking in itself reduced. We got busy with our lives - tiffin breaks and special evening snacks receded to the background of our priorities.

The Mung Bean Sprout resurfaced only during certain festivals or wedding feasts in the form of the molike kosumbari - a sprout salad of sorts.

Last week I went into a health food trip because I had just recovered from being sick and figured I needed to replenish my body's nutrient content. In between the raw carrots & cucumbers and the fresh fruits & juices I suddenly remembered the Mung Bean Sprout! I just had to make a batch!!

Contrary to common belief, these sprouts are not difficult to make at all!

Mung Bean Sprouts

Take a cupful of dry Mung Beans and wash well.
Soak in about thrice the quantity of water for 8 hours or so (overnight is a good idea).
Drain completely and put in a container and close the lid.
Leave in a dark place for a day (not in the fridge).
Open the lid... Voila Sprouts!!
Store in fridge and consume as soon as possible - an effortless task I might add :)

It's as easy as that! :)

Each mouthful of sprouts is a delicious mix of fresh flavor and mild sweetness. I might be able to stop myself from munching on chips after a single mouthful, but Hesaru Kaalu Sprouts.. IMPOSSIBLE!!

The whole batch I made got polished off in no time. Some of it was eaten plan, some of it was turned into Kosumbari. Either way, it was yummy. And the amount of nutrition it contains makes it a perfect healthy snack!

In the hope that more people will choose this often over the regular junk food, here is the Kosumbari recipe.


Mung Bean Sprout Salad - A South Indian speciality.

1 C Sprouts
1/2 C Chopped Cucumber
1/2 C Grated Fresh Coconut
1/4 C Grated Carrot
1/2 t Fresh Green Chilly Paste (adjust quantity according to how much spice you can handle)
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 pinch Hing (Asafoteida)
Salt (preferably seas salt) to taste
Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Put everything in a bowl and mix together with your hand using a light squeezing motion to get the flavors to blend well.