Tag Archives: Vegan

Carrots, Peas with Dill – Lucknow inspired

Here is another food story inspired my the memories of many winters in spent in Lucknow, India in my grandfather’s house and the houses of my uncles and aunts throughout the state of UP.

Somehow the archives of food snapshots in your mind brings a nostalgia filled smile and some strangeness. The simplicity of meals prepared in my grandparents house still seems so pure to me. There was a large family to feed so little ingredients went a long way. The laughter and the joy of togetherness at the lunch table in Hussaingunj with a simple meal of Dal and Vegetables is instilled in my memory to this day. There was always the abundance of “romali” (paper thin) roti that our “bua” ( god bless her) cooked in bulk over on a sawdust stove in a dark kitchen.

Bringing one of those vegetables to life in this blog is homage to the lady who cooked our meals,  “bua” and my grandparents who also inspired us to be creative, smart, simple and good humans.

The house was defining and built character in every child, teenager and adult that spent time within its walls. The picture is recent but a fossil of an amazing before. 

The house of memories – Lucknow, India

It is an honor to be to hosting the Fiesta Friday this week where I can showcase the beautiful memories of food. Looking forward to the dishes that you all will bring to the party so please join us!!

Gajar Matar with Dill

  • Difficulty: easy
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Vegetables with Dill - Lucknow Inspired


Credit: foodforthesoul00.com

Ingredients

  • Mustard Oil ( or any preferred oil) – 2 tbsp
  • Carrots – 2 cups chopped small
  • Potato – 1 cup chopped fine
  • Dill – 1 1/2 cup Fresh chopped fine
  • Green peas – 1 cup frozen
  • Cumin seeds – 1tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Chili Powder  – 1tsp ( or manage the heat to taste)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt to taste


Directions

  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. If using mustard oil, it need to be smoking before you add the next ingredients
  • Add the cumin and mustard seeds and let them pop of a few seconds.
  • Add the carrots and potatoes and sauté for about 5 mins
  • Add the spices and cover an cook until the carrots and potatoes are almost done ( probably 15 mins)
  • Taste and adjust the salt if needed
  • Add peas and then add dill leaves.
  • Mix well and cook covered for another 5 mins until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice and serve with fresh rotis or rice. I have served with rice and beans with a side of pickle

the door to childhood….
Carrots and Peas with dill and spices

Station Wale Aloo – Simple Potato curry

What is that title you may say 🙂

Let me explain by a trip down memory lane…Throughout childhood,  my family embarked on the winter trip from the icy cold winter in Srinagar, Kashmir to the weirdly uncomfortable winter in Lucknow, UP to bask in the sunshine of my grandparents.

Once winter descended in Kashmir and school wrapped up for winter vacation, it became bitterly cold, electricity was a novelty for the most part and activity was limited to playing in the snow or running around the house making up games. We would then prepare to make the trek to spend the winter with our grandparents and extended family in Lucknow.

Lucknow houses were big and open which reluctantly welcomed a moderate winter but full of warmth and laughter from the cousins, uncles and aunts that waited anxiously for our arrival each year.

My siblings and I absolutely loved the adventurous trip… so I am getting to my story that ties to the recipe….The yearly adventure first involved getting to the city of Jammu from Srinagar which could be a long bus or car ride ( airplane in later years). Then the famous “express” train which would take 2 days from Jammu to Lucknow. A day in life in trains in India  was sweet, surreal, seductive, scary, inspiring, dismal, reflective and never ending all at the same time.  To this date if I close my eyes, I can feel the wind (and the dust) through the grilled train windows.

The train ceremoniously stopped at numerous railway stations during this journey at strange hours of the night and day and I would eagerly await the one that called out the potato curry and puris (fried bread).

That gets me to the point of Station Wale Aloo. The simple potato curry being served for a couple of pennies through the grilled train windows at indistinct stations is a memory that is deep rooted.

Food memories reside deep within your soul and can be recreated through flashbacks and visuals and the sense of smell and taste through time and experiences. I have not been on a train in India for about 25 years  but this is my version in my American kitchen weaved together from magical childhood memories

It is essentially potatoes in curry with no onions or garlic. You can omit the oil as well if you like.

A simple vegan dish that will nourish your soul.

Station Wale Aloo

Credit: foodforthesoul00.com

Ingredients

 

  • 4 -5 Boiled potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes – pureed or 1/2 canned tomato pureed
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp methi ( Fenugreek) seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 5-10 curry leaves ( optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Hing ( Asafetida)
  • Oil if using ( 1 tbsp)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


Directions

 

  1. Boil the potatoes until tender. You can remove the skin if thick or leave it on depending on the potato. . I use my hands to break the potatoes into chunks ( 1 inch or so) and set aside. You can chop if you like.
  2. Soak the methi ( Fenugreek) seeds in warm water for about 20 mins and grind.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. If not using oil you can add the spices directly to the pan and monitor that they do not burn.
  4. Add cumin, Hing, curry leaves and green chilies and sauté for a minute
  5. Add the ground methi seeds and fry for a few second and then the pureed tomatoes and ginger.
  6. Cook everything for 5 minutes and add the rest of the spices.
  7. Add vegetable broth and then the potatoes.
  8. Cook everything until it gets to a thick gravy consistency
  9. Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro.
  10. I have served with this with sprouted wheat and lentil roti…but the choice of puris(fried bread) or rice would be great too.

Dal chilla – savory lentil crepes

Its hot and humid but soaking in the warmth while browsing cookbooks is how I tend to enjoy my weekend afternoon. I was looking a vegan lunch idea and stumbled upon so many wonderful “Chilla” recipes, These crepes called “Chilla” or “Cheela” are so simple, wholesome and savory that I couldn’t wait to experiment with a version of my own.

I have used 3 types of lentils here…Urad, Masoor and Chana and some rice flour. You could use soaked rice as well but I had the rice flour in my pantry so went with it.

The lentils have been washed and soaked for a few hours. They were then ground into a paste along with the rice flour and then I let the batter ferment overnight. I just put it in my cool  oven.  It was so cool to see it bubble and rising by the morning.

Once the batter is fermented, add the herbs and spices and use water to bring out the consistency of pancake batter.

Cooked on both sides to a warm golden brown and served simply with coconut yoghurt raita and pickles was just perfect.

The recipe measurements below are just setting some guardrails but  this is not an exact science. Feel free to experiment and taste along the way!

Chilla - Lentil Crepes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Wholesome Savory Treat

Credit: foodforthesoul00.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Urad Dal/Lentil
  • 1/2 cup Masoor Dal/Lentil
  • 1/2 cup Chana Dal/Lentil
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 1 inch Finely chopped ginger
  • 3 -4 Finely chopped red or green onions
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil

Directions

 

  • Wash the lentils thoroughly and soak for 4 hours

 

  • Grind the lentils in a food processor, add the rice flour and blend until a batter like consistency
  • Let ferment in a cool oven overnight
  • The batter will rise a little which will tell you that it has some fermentation. Add the herbs, veggies and spices and use some water to bring it to a pancake consistency
  • Heat the griddle or cast iron pan until quite hot. Keep the heat to medium and pour in the batter. Use a teaspoon to oil the edges and the middle. Once bubbles start to form and the edges are brown, flip the pancake/crepe and cook the other side for a couple of minutes.
  • The crepes should be soft and warm brown.
  • Serve hot and deliciously!

Sharing at at Angie’s Fiesta Friday # 283. Thanks to the co-hosts  Antonia @ Zoale and  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

Farro, Chickpeas and veggie bowl

Beautiful and vibrant spring is here and its time to embrace all the positive energy it brings with it.  Spring is the time for rejuvenating your mind, body and soul. Morning walks under blossoms and lush green trees, farmers markets, planting flowers and seeds, and of course cooking nourishing balanced food. The Yin and the Yang work together to balance your spirit.

This is a macrobiotic vegan bowl that will leave you full and happy. If you prep everything it will supply lunches for the week.

So what does it have?

  • Farro
  • Chickpeas cooked in spices
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Edamame
  • Fermented Carrots and Cabbage
  • Cilantro and green onions

Farro

Farro is a beautiful ancient grain full of protein, fiber and iron. Buy organic and cook per instructions. I soak it for an hour and cook it in the rice cooker at brown rice setting

Chickpeas

Soak 2 cups chickpeas overnight and then cook in the pressure cooker until just soft.

Add coconut oil in  a pan. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and mustard seed and with whole red chilies. Add curry leaves if you have them and let them splutter. Add 1/2 tsp cayenne and 1/2 tsp turmeric and saute. Add the chickpeas and let them cook until the liquid is gone adding salt to taste. Add 1/2 garam masala and lemon juice to finish.

Roasted veggies

I used eggplant, peppers, sweet potatoes and onions smothered with salt, pepper and avocado oil. Roast at 375 degree oven for 30 mins.

Edamame

Cook shelled edamame per instruction

I had fermented cabbage and carrot but you can use store bought fermented veggies.

Chop cilantro and green onion and use lemon juice to top the bowl off.

Assemble as it pleases you and enjoy this gorgeous bowl!

Sharing at Angies Fiesta Friday where Antonia @ Zoale.com is the cohost

The Green Soup

How this feeds the soul…

Fresh organic broccoli, spinach, peas, onions, garlic, and fresh herb make this not only delicious but a gift for the body.

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I also added a green chili for heat and some cumin for earthiness.

Some nutritional yeast at the end is optional but does add super flavor.

Vegan deliciousness at its best

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Here goes the recipe

The Green Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Fresh organic broccoli, spinach, peas, onions, garlic and fresh herb makes this delicious

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of Organic broccoli
  • 2-3 cups fresh organic spinach
  • 1 cups frozen peas
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 cloves of whole peeled garlic
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • A bunch of parsley and oregano
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast ( optional)
  • Avocado oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • Toasted pine nuts

Directions

  • Wash and chop the broccoli, stems and all
  • Add the avocado oil to a deep pan and heat
  • Add garlic and let it sizzle just a bit without turning brown
  • Add onions and broccoli and stir for 2 -3 minutes
  • Add spinach and green chilies and continue to cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the frozen peas, fresh herbs and let the mixture combine
  • Add about 2 cups of water ( adjust), salt, pepper and cumin
  • Let everything cook for about 10 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and taste for salt, adjust if needed
  • Get the mixture into your blender with the nutritional yeast and puree
  • Serve topped with a bit of the avocado oil, pine nuts and fresh black pepper.
  • This soup is amazing !!!!

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Sharing with my friends at Fiesta Friday where co-hosts this week are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Debanita @ Canvassed Recipes

Roasted Beets and Bean Burger

This burger is such an explosion of taste and nutrients that you would not miss any animal protein whatsoever.

 

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The intensity of taste was deepened by roasting the beets in a 350-degree oven for about 35 minutes along with one head of garlic. Roasting beets is something I do on a regular basis and keep in the fridge for salads and sides. Just wash and wrap the whole beet in foil and throw them in the oven, could not be simpler… The foil helps keep the red liquid in check.

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The beans were soaked overnight and then pressure cooked for about 15 mins. The binding in this burger in the addition of a few tablespoons of ground oats or potato flour. I found that coarsely grinding the beans and walnuts also held up the burger well.

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The next layer of taste is the fresh herbs – basil, parsley, and oregano – whatever you have on hand

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And it is Fiesta Friday co-hosting week which I am very excited about. This is when I spend my weekend going through some amazing recipes and bloggers. If you have not visited yet click right here to join Angie’s Fiesta Friday My co-host this week is Debanita @ Canvassed Recipes. Do stop by and visit her fabulous blog.

 

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Let’s get to the recipe then…

 

Roasted Beets and Bean Burger

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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A Vegan GF burger

Credit: foodforthesoul00.com

Ingredients

2 whole organic beets

1 whole head of garlic ( or 1 tsp garlic powder)

1 1/2 cup black beans soaked overnight

1 red onion

1 whole green chili

1 tsp cumin powder

1 cup walnuts

1 cup of fresh herbs ( Basil, parsley, oregano)

1/2 to 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats or 2-3  tbsp potato flour

Oil for frying

Salt to taste

 

Directions

Wrap the beets in foil and roast in a 350-degree oven for 35 mins.

Slice the top of the garlic head, drizzle some olive oil, wrap in foil and put in the same oven as the beets.

Pressure cook the soaked beans until tender and drain

Grind the walnuts and the oats into a meal in separate bowls

Grate the beets in the large bowl.

Coarsely grind the red onion and chili and add to the bowl

Coarsely grind 3/4 of the beans and add to the bowl. Add the remaining beans

Add the walnut meal spices and the herbs and mix well.

Add the oats (or potato starch) a little bit at a time until the mixture comes together to form a patty. You don’t have to use up all the binding…just enough

Shape into patties and pan fry about 4 mins on each side.

You can serve them on your favorite bun with your favorite toppings. I have kept this low carb and gluten-free by serving on lettuce with homemade basil pesto and avocado slices, red onion, and tomatoes with a sprinkle of feta.

I also found that making these ahead of time and chilling in the fridge overnight helps the patties hold their shape. These patties freeze really well.

 

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Cauliflower and Summer Pumpkin Curry

A fragrant summer curry with garden vegetables and coconut milk is perfect for this long weekend. Harvesting my tomatoes, peppers and these pretty heirloom summer pumpkins have helped me rejuvenate after long days of work.

IMG_1009The recipe for this glorious curry is fairly simple, just use fresh organic ingredients and they will transform the taste.

IMG_1006A little tip for the pumpkins: Use a fork to poke holes all around and put in the microwave for 3 minutes. Use a towel to hold and slice off the peels. Cut in half and scoop the seeds out. If your pumpkins have a soft cover then just peel them without the use of a microwave.

 

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Cauliflower and summer pumpkin curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a savory tomato coconut curry with cauliflower and pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Cauliflower – cut in florets
  • 2 small pumpkins
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch fresh ginger – grated
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 green chilies – chopped
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1 cup of organic coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida or hing(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of half lemon
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Mustard oil ( or oil of your choice)

Directions

  1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender
  2. You can cut the cauliflower in florets
  3. Use a fork to poke holes all around and put in the microwave for 3 minutes. Use a towel to hold and slice off the peels. Cut in half and scoop the seeds out. Slice the pumpkin halves. If your pumpkins have a soft cover then just peel them without the use of a microwave.
  4. In a pan warm up another 3 tbsp of oil, add cumin, mustard and let then pop for a few seconds, add green chilies, curry leaves cloves, grated ginger, and asafetida, and
  5. Add pureed tomatoes and let the mixture cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add  turmeric, chilies powder  and let the mixture cook until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes
  7. Add the coconut milk and mix well
  8. Add the vegetables and let them cook until the desired softness
  9. Top with lemon juice and fresh cilantro.

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Sharing at Fiesta Friday where co-hosts this week areAntonia @ Zoale.com and Lathi @ From Lathi’s Kitchen