The Hindi word Toor Dal is pigeon pea in English. We, Indians use a lot of lentils in our cooking as it takes care of our protein in our daily meals, especially for vegetarians. With the variety of lentils available and with the myriad of recipe ideas in our Indian cuisine, we are never lost for a dish to make for our friends and family.
This toor dal lentil curry is relatively easy to make and makes a good accompaniment for our rice dishes and our chapathis (wholewheat flat bread). As its pretty straighforward, I will not be posting step by step photos as I do with more difficult recipes.
Ingredients : (serves 3-4 as a side dish)
3/4 (three quarter) cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
3 and 1/2 (half) cups water
1/2 (half) tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried chilli (optional if you want a less spicy curry)
a pinch of asoefetida
1 small onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 green chilli (again optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 medium tomato, chopped small
1 stalk coriander leaves, chopped small
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
Salt per preference
1) Wash the toor dal, check for stones and put the dal in a pressure cooker with the water, turmeric powder and salt. After the first whistle, reduce fire to low and switch off after 10 mins. Leave to cool.
2) In a small sauce pan, heat the canola oil and fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilli and asoefetida.
3) Then add the chopped onion and fry for 2-3 mins. Next, add in the ginger garlic paste and green chilli. Fry further for 2-3 mins.
4) Add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders. Stir and fry the spice powders. Add salt per your preference.
5) Add in the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup water and let it cook and turn soft and mushy.
6) Add the cooked toor dal and stir well. Check for salt.
7) Lastly, add the chopped coriander leaves and the dried fenugreek leaves.
8) Serve warm with rice or chapathis.
When you are faced with a gluten free spouse and vegan daughters, making baked goods can be a challenge. No eggs, no butter, milk, cream and also no flour. I hardly bake because it always turns out flat - literally and taste wise! I keep to my safe territory - cooking.
Last night, I came across this recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies and attempted to make it today. I'm a big fan of peanut butter - on bread with jam, in ice creams and even in cookies. So imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe...My husband asked me to try making it gluten free as well. I had just made a batch of vegan but not gluten free brownies and it didn't feel right to not to bake for my husband something gluten free. Fortunately, I had almond flour at home and the quantity remaining in the packet was just what I needed. It turned out pretty tasty and brittle like how cookies should be. So imagine my surprise at the outcome:))
The recipe below yields large cookies so do ensure they are spaced apart. Do store it an airtight container once it cools down because it becomes soft and chewy if left outside for too long.
Ingredients (makes 22 pieces of 2inch cookies)
1 and 1/4 cups almond meal (ground almond)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan coconut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
1 tbsp water
I found this recipe below for Vegan Potato Omelette online and I tweaked it to add yellow onion and baby spinach to add flavor and nutrition. Its a very versatile dish and you can add sliced olives, capsicum or or even boiled kidney beans for added protein. And its gluten free too since we are using chickpea flour.
Ingredients (To serve 6-8 wedges)
2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 cups baby spinach
2 tsps garlic herb salt
1 tsp chilli flakes
2-3 large potatoes, steamed, skin removed and cut into small cubes
2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup (+/-) water
1) First mix the chickpea flour, salt and water to form a thick batter. Pour this over the steamed cubed potatoes and mix well.
2) Next take a saucepan or a skillet and melt the vegan butter with the olive oil. Then add in the yellow onion and fry on medium heat.
3) Next, add in the washed baby spinach.
4) This will be followed by the garlic herb salt and chilli flakes. Check for salt. Then add in the chickpea potato mix. Press it down flat with a metal spoon. Add some vegan butter on the sides and on top so that it will cook golden brown when we flip it over.
5) Loosen the sides with a spatula or a flipper. Put a flat large plate over the pan and do a quick turn. Slide the omelette back into the pan and cook the other side.
6) Enjoy this delicious omelette with baked beans and a cup of hot steaming tea.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get hold of a delicious vegan cake? As vegan cakes lack eggs, butter and milk to create that soft pillowy texture of the regular cakes, finding one which is delicious and soft is not easy. Many a times, I have bought vegan cakes and brownies but only to get home to a dry crumbly one which is not worthy of its name at all. So I decided to attempt to make one of my own albeit trepiditiously. I'm more of a cook not so much of a baker.
I came across this following recipe in veggie desserts and it turned out quite good. My vegan girls loved it and it didn't last long in the fridge! The ganache was totally lick-worthy but I felt the cake itself could use more sugar and moisture as it was a little dry. The following recipe yieds a 6x3 inch high cake which can be cut into 10 reasonably sized slices.
300ml (1 and 1/4 cups) unsweeteened dairy free milk - soy milk, almond milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
150 gm (2/3 cup) vegan butter or margarine
3 tbsp golden syrup/maple syrup
2 tsp instant coffee granules
2 and 1/4 cups (275gm) plain flour
1 cup ( 225gm) caster sugar
4 tbsps unsweetened cocoa
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup (75gm) vegan butter
1 and 2/3 cups icing sugar
4 tbsps unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsps water
1) First, preheat the oven to 180 deg C or 350 F. Lightly grease 2 round baking pans of 6x3 dimensions.
2) Get a small bowl and mix the lemon juice into the dairy free milk. Set aside to curdle into buttermilk consistency.
3) Next, get a small pot and melt the vegan butter on low heat. Add the coffee granules and golden syrup. Stir till mixed well, switch off fire and let it cool
4) Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl.
5) Now, mix in the coffee butter mixture and the curdled dairy free milk into this sieved flour mix. Mix well but don't over mix.
6) Your batter should be of slightly thick consistency.
7) Pour the batter into the 2 prepared baking tins and bake in the oven for 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
8) For the ganache, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl.
9) Slice off the top layer of one of the cakes so that the ganache can be applied evenly onto a flat cake. Start icing the top of the sliced cake. Sandwich with the other cake and spread the icing over the top of the cake. Freeze it for 30 mins to an hour to set the ganache.
10) Serve with a hot cup of plain tea to enjoy it to the fullest.
Baby Eggplants in Tangy Tomato Gravy was a hit in my Diwali gatherings in Oct and Nov last year. It is my mom's quintessential dish and I must say it is quite a flavourful one After receiving several requests for her recipe, I decided to post it here. I have tried to make it numerous times but without success. Today's version, however, seemed close to what my mom churns out for us whenever we request for our gatherings and celebrations. Choose baby eggplants as they can be fried whole and they present well but other types of eggplants can also be used as well. If you are using other types of eggplants, please note that they should be cut into 2 inches. I have used coconut milk to give the gravy its thickness and also to keep it vegan but you can substitute with cooking cream.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side dish)
500gm baby eggplants
2bsp canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large tomato, cut into medium sized chunks
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp chilli powder
Tamarind Tomato Mix
1 tsp tamarind paste dissolved in 2 cups of water
1 tsp coriander powder
3/4 (three quarters ) tsp cumin powder
1/2 (half) tsp black pepper powder
1/2 (half) tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt (or to your preference)
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsps coconut milk
coriander leaves for garnishing
1) Wash and cut the eggplants but not all the way through so it still remains intact at the stem. Soak in salted water for 10 mins. Then, drain away and rinse twice in plain water. This is to remove any bitterness present in the eggplants.
2) Prepare the tamarind tomato mix while the egglants are soaking. Dissolve 1 tsp of tamarind paste in 2 cups of water. Throw away any seeds and skin residue and only keep the tamarind solution. In this solution, add all the masala powders, tomato chunks, salt and sugar.
3) Deep fry the eggplants. This is not very healthy but I'm posting a very authentic recipe to show how it was orginally done. Please do try shallow frying or airfrying. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
4) Take a skillet or a flat pan and heat 2 tbsp canola oil. Fry the onion and curry leaves for 2-3 minutes. Add in 1 tsp chilli powder and be careful it doesn't burn.
5) At this point, add in the tamarind tomato mix and let the mix boil for 5- 10mins till the liquid is half in quantity.
6) Once the liquid has reduced in quantity, add in 2 tbsps coconut milk and stir. Followed by the fried eggplants. Its important you don't stir the eggplants too much as we are keeping them whole. Stirring them too much will dissolve them into the gravy.
7) Serve warm garnished with coriander leaves. Goes particularly well with Vegetable Korma and plain basmati rice.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.