Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Vegan Recipe

PHOOL MAKHANA KHEER / फूल मखाना खीर (Fox nut Pudding)

Bite size pieces of white bread soaked in a bowl of sweetened warm milk used to be one of my favourite breakfasts as a kid. And when I first tasted this kheer, its texture reminded me of that bread soaked in milk; an almost rabdi like feel to it. The taste was of course different and cardamoms had made it fragrant and every spoonful was an absolute delight. Phool makhane or fox nuts are also know by other names such as gorgon nuts, lotus seeds, makhane, phool patasha, phool makhane. They are a great way to snack guilt free since they have zero fat! They are high in calcium and fibre, rich in anti oxidants, aid in digestion, strengthen the kidneys, help lower blood sugar and regulate blood pressure.

I tasted and learnt about makhane pretty much after my marriage. My mother in law used to roast them, add a little salt and black pepper and served them for snacks. You can add spices of your choice. These nuts can be enjoyed in both savoury and sweet form. The nut is pretty versatile and often used in curries, added to veggies and pilaf, and it is even used to thicken soup. This kheer is often consumed during Navratra days (Durga puja) by Hindus who observe fast for nine days and abstain from eating grains and even regular salt. So hailed is its status that an offering of this kheer is made to the Goddess Durga during the festival. Punjabis use these seeds as an offering of thanks to fire (for providing them warmth during the harsh winters) during the festival of Lohri. Grab the recipe for the kheer and enjoy it guilt free. I have used 6% milk (full fat) but you can swap it with 2% milk (toned milk) or even coconut milk to make it vegan friendly.

50 grams Makhane

1 litre plus 250 mls Milk

2½ measuring tbsp Sugar (feel free to swap it with jaggery)

1 tsp Cardamom Powder

2 – 3 tbsp Nuts of your choice

Boil milk in a thick bottom pot. (Boil on low heat to avoid it catching at the bottom and getting burnt)

While the milk is boiling, roast makhane on low heat till they slightly change color and become crunchy (i usually roast them covered, on low heat for about 10 mins and stir them every three to four minutes).

Cool the makhane and coarsely ground them using a mortar and pestle.

Once the milk has come to a boil, add the roasted and crushed makhane. Cook them on gentle heat, stirring it every now and then.

Cook till the milk becomes creamy and begins to thicken. (do not thicken too much as it will thicken further on cooling)

Switch off the heat and add sugar and cardamom.

Keep stirring to prevent formation of creamy layer on the top.

Add nuts and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note – The texture of the kheer is best enjoyed when warm or at room temperature.

Note – Check for sugar and add more if required since we use less sugar in our dessert.

Serves – 4 – 6

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IDLI w/ KATHIRIKAI GOTHSU / इडली और बैंगन की चट्नी (Steamed Lentil & Rice Cakes with Aubergine Chutney)

STEAMED RICE & LENTIL CAKES WITH SPICY, HOT, SWEET & SOUR AUBERGINE CHUTNEY

During the time when I was holding a corporate job, a colleague of mine brought a chutney that looked like the most unappetising thing I had ever laid my eyes on 😛 “I got this for you. Try this and tell me what you think about it” was all he said. His wife was a fabulous cook and despite the ‘thing’ looking so unappetising, I did not cast a doubt on her cooking skills. Yet, I gingerly picked a spoon and took a little of it and very apprehensively put the contents of the spoon in my mouth. I was knocked off by the taste of what ever I had just tasted. The appearance and the taste were diametrically opposite to each other. I greedily took a couple of spoons and started going gaga over it. Suddenly, he said to me “do you know what it is made of?” I couldn’t care less what it was made of since I loved it and given an opportunity, I would have polished and licked off the entire bowl!! “This is made from brinjal,” he said while rolling with glee and laughter. Eggplant (Brinjal) or what we call baingan, never figured anywhere on my list of palatable vegetables and my colleague knew this all too well. I was shocked by the revelation and could not utter a word for a few seconds. Brinjal could taste this good??!?!?

It was then that I came to realise, that no vegetable or any ingredient for that matter is good or bad in its taste. It all depends on how well it has been treated/ cooked and that brinjal chutney was the evidence to that belief. I thanked him for helping me change my stance about eggplant and since then there has been no looking back. My wonderful colleague even shared the recipe with me that his wife graciously wrote for me. So that is the story behind that hideous looking bowl of chutney in which you see the idlis dunked in happily! This recipe lives up to the hindi idiom of “soorat pe nahi seerat pe jao” (roughly translated to – do not go by appearance instead consider the character)

My colleague was a Tamilian and for long I didn’t know what the native name for this dish was since he simply told me to consider it brinjal khichdi or brinjal chutney and it was meant to be consumed with idlis and dosa. A little search on google told me that it is apparently called vankaya pachadi. However recently I saw someone on Instagram mentioned it as gothsu. Whatever the name, all I can tell you is, it’s really yum.

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients, however, feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients to suit your taste.

For Chutney

175 gram small Baingan (Brinjal/ Eggplant)

½ tsp grated Ginger

3 Green Chilies (mine were small sized & super hot)

1 Tomato (60 grams approx)

1½ C Water

For tempering:

1½ tbsp Oil

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

¼ tsp Cumin Seeds

½ C finely chopped Onions

1 spring Curry Leaves

1 tsp thick Tamarind Pulp (I used readymade)

¼ C Water

Salt to taste

2 tsp Jaggery powder (adjust to taste)

In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients under the chutney category and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the saucepan and let the contents boil for 15 minutes.

Switch off the heat and allow the contents to cool down a little and then blend them in a blender. Set aside.

Add the tamarind pulp to one fourth cup of water and mix it well. Sieve it and set aside.

In a frying pan or a sauce pan, heat oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. Add onions and fry till they turn transluscent. .Add curry leaves and fry till the onions turn begin to turn golden.

Add the blended brinjals to the tempering. Stir for half a minute.

Now add tamarind water and salt. Stir well and allow the contents to cook on a gentle heat to thicken the chutney a little bit (adjust to desired consistency).

Switch off the heat and stir in the jaggery powder. Taste the chutney and adjust seasonings.

 

FOR IDLIS

(RICE & LENTIL FERMENTED CAKES)

1 C Raw Rice (uncooked rice)

¾ C Urad Dal, skinless (Ivory Lentils)

Salt to taste

Pick and wash the rice & dal separately and soak them separately as well for 5 hours

Grind the dal using very little water and set aside.

Grind the rice using little water.

Mix the two together and add salt. Using very little water make a thick batter.

Cover the container. Set it aside at a warm place to ferment for for 6 – 8 hours (depending on the weather conditions) or preferably over night.

Grease the idli moulds with a little oil and pour the batter into the moulds. Add water to your idli steamer (read the user manual) and steam the idlis for 12 – 15 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the idli comes out clean. Remove from the moulds and serve with chutney of your choice.

Note: In case you do not have idli moulds, you can steam the batter in small cake tin or mould and the slice and serve the ‘idlis’.

Note: I had added turmeric to the idli batter and before pouring the batter into the mould, I had added a tempering of mustard seeds, chana dal and a few finely chopped curry leaves.

Yield: Makes 24 Idlis

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GREEN BANANA KEBAB SLIDERS / कच्चे केले के कबाब – VEGAN

This post needed to be re-uploaded here. In fact it HAD to be re-uploaded. I have been making and serving these kebabs as starters and as main course but a few days back I served these as sliders and oh boy! They were so good. I am therefore sharing this post again with updated pictures. Consider these as the vegan version of the spicy and delicate Galouti Kebabs coz to me they are the nearly-perfect counterpart to the famous galouti kebabs of the Awadhi cuisine. Awadhi cuisine has a variety of kebab delicacies but galouti kebabs are unique since they have meat that is minced so fine and then tenderized that they virtually melt in your mouth. It is actually a super soft version of shami kebabs.

Kebabs are delicately spiced meat patties that are shallow fried in ghee or clarified butter on a skillet or griddle (unlike the tandoori kebabs of Punjab which are grilled in an open clay oven).

Legend has it that the ageing ruler of Lucknow, Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daulah, lost all his teeth but not his appetite for the kebabs! To satisfy the craving of the toothless nawab, the royal chef invented a new form of kebab. He used the finest lamb meat cuts, minced them very fine and added to them tenderizing agents along with a variety of spices to bring forth the now famous galouti kebabs.

Here is vegetarian/ vegan adaptation of the famous cult dish that is the soul of the Awadhi cuisine. These kebabs are so tasty that even non-vegetarians will find it hard to resist. 😉

The only trick involved to make these kebabs is that the banana and gram dal should not be overcooked. They both should be cooked yet retain their shape and hold some resistance to pressure. If they get over cooked, you may end up with a sticky mixture to deal with!

I love the kebabs with fresh cilantro or mint-coriander chutney but since these kebabs are bursting with spices which can be a tad strong for some, I therefore serve them with some Greek yogurt to provide a cooling effect for the palate.

Here’s what you would need…

2 raw bananas (they weighed approx. 375 grams)

½ cup split Bengal gram dal

1 pod black cardamom (I used only ½ amount of seeds)

5 cloves

½ inch piece cinnamon

1 pinch mace powder

3 cloves garlic

½ inch ginger

2 green chillies

Salt to taste

½ cup fresh coriander (optional)

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

To serve:

Mint-Coriander Chutney

Tomato Sauce

½ Cup Greek Yogurt (optional) or sour cream

Soak the gram dal for an hour in warm water

Start prepping by peeling and chopping the bananas in one inch thick pieces.

Boil them in half a cup of water (I used half a cup since I pressure cooked them. You may use more water if you are boiling them in a pan)

Cook them till they are still a wee bit firm and should not be mushy.

Drain the cooked bananas and set aside.

Boil the gram dal in 3/4 cup of water till it is firm but cooked (I pressure cooked it till one whistle escaped the cooker). Drain the dal and keep aside.

In a pan roast the whole garam masala – black cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon.

Grind them to a powder using mortar and pestle

Ground the dal without using water and add cooked bananas along with the ginger, garlic, green chillies, powdered whole garam masala, mace powder, fresh coriander and salt.

Grind till everything is well incorporated.

Remove the mixture in a bowl.

Moisten your hands with a little water and scoop out the mixture and make 8 – 10 equal sized balls.

Flatten each ball and seal any cracks that may appear on the edges. (Flatten them to half an inch thickness)

Place the kebabs on a greased plate.

To Fry:

Take 3 table spoon oil (less if using non-stick pan) and when it heats, carefully add 3 – 4 kebabs to the pan.

Cook on a medium high heat.

Keep checking for the colour of the kebab.

Cook them till they become slightly brownish (about 35 seconds to 45 seconds) and then flip them over to cook the other side the same way.

Keep adding more oil if required at any stage of frying.

Remove the kebabs on a kitchen towel or absorbent sheet.

To Serve:

Arrange the kebabs on the serving plate and serve them with yogurt and chutney of your choice. For Sliders, grill or toast the buns and slather green chutney on one bun. Place the kebab on the chutney followed by some sliced tomatoes and pickled onions. Place the other bun over it and serve. Enjoy!

Note: Moisten your hands with water to work with the batter as it tends to be sticky due to the raw bananas.

Note: Feel free to adjust the spices and heat to suit your taste.

Note: If you do  not have Green yogurt, use whisked hung yogurt or sour cream.

Note: You can serve them as starters or snacks or you can serve them for main course with some flat bread such as Bakarkhani or Peshawari Naan.

(Makes 8 – 10 kebabs, depending on size)

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