Quick Indian Lemon Pickle

Lemons have all kinds of goodness and are quite scarce at this time of the year. When I do find some fresh ones, I’m determined to make the most out of them. This quick Lemon Pickle is ready literally in minutes using my trusty pressure cooker  after overnight prep. Indian pickles tend to use mustard seeds, cumin seeds and other spices in oil along with turmeric salt and sugar as a preservative.

Tastes great with plain Rice and Dal or, with some yogurt and flatbread (Roti).

Apologies for the radio silence all this time, I’ve been busy traveling and trying out all kinds of vegan food (good & bad!), shall update with pictures as soon as I can!

Indian Quick Lemon Pickle

Vegan, gluten-free & nut free.

Cuisine: Indian
Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
  • 12 Lemons, washed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
To Make
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
Prep For The Lemons
  1. Wash and dry the lemons thoroughly.

  2. Quarter and put into a big glass bowl.

  3. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Rub into the lemon pieces and cover.

  4. Let the lemon pieces marinate for 8 to 12 hours.

Pickle Making (After 12 hours)
  1. Heat oil in a pressure pan and add the mustard seeds. Cook until they pop.

  2. Stir in the rest of the spices and cook on low heat until aromatic.

  3. Mix in the marinated lemon pieces along with the juice in the glass bowl.

  4. Cover the pressure pan and cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Take off the heat immediately and allow to cool naturally.

  5. Spoon the warm pickle into a clean, sterilised glass jar and cap immediately. A vacuum seal should form as the pickle cools down.

  6. I used 2 small jars to store the pickle in as this ensures longevity of the pickle and keeps the freshness intact. 


Fig & Cardamom Jam (Sugarfree & 3 Ingredients)

Summer has quickly transitioned into Autumn but, there still a lot of summery fruits in the market. Next to mangoes, fresh figs are a family favourite. We seem to eat large quantities of most fruits though. I was looking at a couple of slightly bruised looking figs that were marked down and decided to try making some jam using Xylitol, like I did with the strawberries. Fig and green cardamom is definitely a match made in flavour heaven. This jam tastes great on pancakes, scones, as a topping for porridge and also, in the Tofutti cheese sandwiches. Now my jam never lasts for more than a few weeks in the fridge, because my younger one has the tendency to dig into jars with a spoon, particularly into jars that contain sweet things!

Vegan Sugarfree Fig & Cardamom Jam

Vegan, glutenfree, sugar-free and allergy friendly jam without pectin, or other additives. Made with just 3 ingredients!

Priya: Priya
  • 2 cups Fresh Figs, quartered
  • 3/4 cup Xylitol
  • 4 - 5 Green Cardamom Pods
  1. Separate the seeds from the cardamom pods and powder finely. Save the green husks.

  2. In a deep saucepan, add the figs, cardamom husks and Xylitol. Crush the figs and mix the xylitol in.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil and stir with a heavy wooden spoon until the xylitol dissolves.
  4. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook until the mixture thickens and looks lumpy.

  5. Take off the heat and mix in the powdered cardamom seeds.
  6. I wanted the fruit lumps to show so did not blend the jam. Pass through a blender for a smoother jam.

Pour into sterilised glass jars when still warm and cool well before clipping the lid on.

I stored the strawberry jam in the fridge where it lasted for a grand total of 10 days but, should be fine for a couple of weeks! 

This happy jam recipe is going off to Healthy Vegan Fridays, Saucy Saturdays & the Bloggers Pit Stop!

2 Ingredient Sugarfree Strawberry Jam

The abundant berries and stone fruits available really cheaply in the markets inspired this quick Sugar Free Strawberry Jam made with Xylitol. Using only 2 ingredients, this jam tastes great with pancakes, waffles, pikelets, sandwiches, wraps and rolls. Th only thing  I’d like to add is take the deepest saucepan possible because even a little amount of jam expands massively during the boiling phase. My little one  adds that, it tastes great straight from the jar too 😂 Happy Cooking 😊


2 Ingredient Sugarfree Strawberry Jam

Vegan, sugar-free, nut-free and gluten-free. Made only with 2 ingredients, this quick jam takes under 30 minutes from start to finish, plus extra for setting.

Priya: Priya
  • 4 cups Fresh Strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 cup Xylitol
  1. Wash the strawberries well and pat dry. The strawberries I got were quite small so I just had to slice off the green bit at the end. For large strawberries consider chopping up roughly.

  2. In a deep saucepan (take the deepest one you can find) add the strawberries and Xylitol.

  3. Use a heavy wooden spoon and mix the together while lightly mashing the strawberries.

  4. Heat the saucepan with the strawberry - xylitol mixture until it comes to a boil.

  5. Boil for at full heat for 2 - 3 minutes Andy remove from the hob.

  6. The jam will continue to cook and thicken even after taking off the heat. (I prefer my jam to be slightly runny and easy to spread).

  7. If wanting a thicker jam or, strawberry jelly then cook at full heat after bringing to a boil for 5 - 6 minutes.

  8. Pour into clean, sterilised jar when lukewarm. (I tend to tap the bottom of the jar on the countertop lined with a kitchen towel to get any air gaps and bubbles out).

  9. Once opened, store the jam in the fridge but sealed jars can stay at room temperature in a cool dark place up to 6 months.



Mango & Nectarine Chutney (Onion & Garlic Free)

Summer brings an abundance of ripe mangoes. After a while when the novelty starts to wear off, the mangoes get pushed to the bottom of the fruit tray in favour of the more popular stone fruits. This luscious onion and garlic free Chutney combines the tartness of red nectarines with ripe mangoes to create an absolute explosion of flavours. Mildly spiced with Cardamom seeds, cinnamon and star anise along with fresh turmeric and ginger root, tastes best spread on to a slice of freshly baked bread or, a coconut wrap with some fresh salad. I’ve used fresh turmeric root for the beautiful golden colour and fresh flavour, however a teaspoonful of dried turmeric powder could be substituted as well.

Mango & Nectarine Chutney

Vegan, gluten free and sugar free fruit chutney.

Priya: Priya
  • 1 Large Mango, ripe Chopped roughly
  • 2 Medium Nectarines Chopped finely
  • 1 Teaspoon Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Ginger Minced finely
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Turmeric Root Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 5 Pods Green Cardamom
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1/3 Cup Xylitol
  • Salt To taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes Optional, but recommended
  1. In a deep pan dry roast the cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. Pound lightly to crush them once cooked. 

    Add the oil and coat the pan. 

    Toss in the asafoetida, ginger and turmeric root and cook until aromatic.

    Lightly cook the cardamom, cinnamon & star anise until golden.

    Toss in the chopped fruit, salt and xylitol. Mix well.

    Add the vinegar and bring to a boil.

    Season with salt and cook on low heat until the Chutney starts to thicken.

    Mix in the Chilli flakes, if using.

    Take off the heat and pour into sterilised glass jars.

    Store in the refrigerator and use in 10 - 15 days.

Recipe Notes

Peaches can be substituted by peaches or, fresh apricots too.


Vegan Gluten Free Sweet Potato Cheez Sauce

My vegan sweet potato Cheez Sauce is made with… sweet potatoes! Most home recipes for vegan cheese use nuts which are no good for our school lunch boxes. Vegan cheese/ “Cheez” is not particularly cheap or available easily where I live. Once in a while, I might stumble into a vegan grocery store where overpriced (and over processed) vegan cheese in the form of slices or blocks awaits me! The worst bit in my opinion is the humongous amounts of packaging used. I do buy Bio Cheese in its grated form at one of the specialty supermarkets half an hours drive from my place as an occasional indulgence but use it in a really measured way. 

This Cheez Sauce is great as a dip, just whisk in some olive oil and warm water, as a Cheez sauce for pizza base or, drizzled over pasta. Keeps well refrigerated up to a week.


Vegan Sweet Potato Cheez Sauce


Sweet Potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed – 1 cup
Nutritional Yeast – 2/3 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
Salt, to taste
Capers/ Olives/ Red Chillies, finely sliced – 2 tablespoons (Optional to add in flavour)


Take the boiled, peeled and mashed sweet potatoes in a big bowl and dump the rest of the ingredients.
Mix well until everything is incorporated.
Scoop into a tightly lidded glass jar and store in the fridge up to a week.


Vegan, oil free, soy free, nut free, gluten free and grain free.

 If you enjoyed this post check out my Tofu based cheese sauce for pasta in my Vegan Mac & Cheez recipe here!

Tomato Coconut Blender Chutney

Traditionally this chutney is made with lovingly steamed tomatoes while the split chick pea lentils are roasted on a slow open flame. The coconut is ground along with the dry spices and lentils before being mixing with deseeded and puréed tomatoes. All great ingredients to spend a leisurely cold afternoon.

However, the hot weather means, spending too much time in the kitchen is a big no – no! Number 1 on the list is not cooking near the hob. Even though I’m blessed to have a gas-fired 5 burner hob cooktop, I do try to keep away when it gets too hot. My blender has a soup function that I thought was terribly innovative when I first got it in the middle of winter and made soups on a daily basis. The soup function hasn’t gotten used much in the past month or so. Using my blender means that this recipe can be ready under 15 minutes with none of the usual fuss! 

Tomato Coconut Chutney

(Vegan, gluten free, nut free and ready in just 15 minutes!)


Tomatoes, quartered and deseeded – 4 medium
Onion, roughly chopped – 1 medium
Green Chilli, finely minced – 1
Split Roasted Gram – 1/4 cup
Desiccated Coconut – 3/4 cup
Water – 1/2 cup (might not need all of it)
Salt, to taste

Coconut Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard Leaves – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves, torn roughly – 4 to 5


Mill the roasted split gram to a fine powder.
Add desiccated coconut and grind to a smooth powder.
Add onion, tomato, salt and green chili. Blend until smooth on the soup functionn your blender.
This takes the raw taste away and cooks it nicely in a single jar.
Check consistency and mix in water by the spoonful as needed. (I used a little lesser than the 1/2 cup).
In the meanwhile, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds. Cook until they pop.
Mix in the cumin seeds and keep on a medium flame until they brown.
Take off the heat and then mix in the curry Leaves.
Tip this dressing on top of the Tomato chutney.
Store in a tight lidded glass jar up to a week.


My blender is quite powerful at 2200 W, so blending times may differ for lower capacity. Also, I have a mill function that I’ve used to grind the roasted split gram which, can be done in a coffee grinder too.

Baingan Ka Bharta (Vegan & Gluten Free Eggplant Dip)

“Baingan Ka Bharta” brings to mind a smoky eggplant dip bursting with the flavour of fresh tomatoes and onions. Eggplant dips seem to be a favorite across cultures and cuisines from the delicious Middle Eastern Baba Ganoush to the European Ajvar. The cooking process is always the same, eggplants are chargrilled, while the tomatoes and onions are diced. This scrumptious mélange results from adding local herbs and spices, in my case some green chillies, turmeric, cumin seeds and freshly chopped coriander. Using my Airfryer to bake the eggplant while finishing up the rest of the prep makes this a quick weekday night recipe. We ate our Bharta with Roti. In the past we have also eaten this dip with plain steamed Basmati rice and Daal.

Baingan Ka Bharta

(Vegan, gluten free, nut free Indian Eggplant dip that tastes best with flatbread.)


Eggplant, peeled and diced – 1 large
Onion, diced finely – 1 large
Tomatoes, deseeded and diced – 1 cup
Olive Oil – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
Green Chillies, minced finely – 1 to 2 (depending on desired hotness)
Coriander Leaves & Stalks, minced finely – 2 tablespoons
Salt, to taste


For the Eggplant: Airfryer the peeled and diced eggplant for 25 to 30 minutes and mash with a fork when still warm.
Set aside the the mashed mix.

For the Bharta:
Grease a thick wok with oil. (I used my cast iron pan so, didn’t need much oil)
Roast the cumin seeds until they pop.
Add in the diced onions and cook until golden.
Throw in the minced chillies and mix well.
Mix in the turmeric powder and tomato. Cook until soft.
Add the mashed eggplant mix and season with salt.
Cook until everything looks mixed and smells swoon worthy!
Take off the heat and stir in the coriander.


Tastes great with roti/ chapatis or, Dal and steamed rice.

Click here for the Roti recipe.
Click here for my Daal recipe. 

Ezmé, Turkish Red Pepper & Tomato Dip

Esmé/ Ezmé” is a delicious traditional Turkish dip that is made with bright red Bell Peppers and fresh red tomatoes. The striking combination of roasted bell peppers with ripe tomatoes and garlic, flavoured with spicy red chillies is an absolute delight with vegetable sticks and flatbread. The vibrant red dip just screams spring with its fresh taste and crisp texture, which varies from chunky to a smooth dip.

Ezmé – Oil Free

(A delicious and spicy dip made with ripe, plump tomatoes and roasted red bell peppers.)


Red Bell Pepper, deseeded & chopped – 2 cups
Ripe Tomatoes, deseeded & diced – 2 cups
Red Onion, finely chopped – 3/4 cup
Garlic Cloves, peeled & minced – 2
Hot Red Chilli, minced finely – 1 to 2 depending on taste
Lime Juice – 3 to 4 tablespoons
Scallions, sliced finely – 2
Salt, to taste


Roast the bell pepper in a hot oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 – 25 minutes until the skins are slightly charred. Remove and cool. (I used my Airfryer to bake the red pepper skins at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes)
In a large mixing bowl add the tomato, onion, minced garlic, Chillies, salt and lime juice. Mix well.
Mash the roasted bell peppers roughly with a fork and add to the mixing bowl. Combine everything.
Allow the flavours to mix for at least 1 hour in the fridge in a covered bowl.
Garnish with sliced scallions and mix well before serving.


Tastes great with celery, cucumber and carrot sticks or with, toasted pita bread wedges.


Vegan Canellini Hummus (Gluten, Onion & Garlic and, Oil Free)

My cooking without onion and garlic chronicles continue with this “Hummus“recipe which, incidentally is made with Canellini Beans as I had run out of canned chickpeas. Using a knob of fresh ginger gives this dip, a great twist and the lemon juice helps freshen up the flavour. I also used flax seed powder dissolved in water to replace the oil.

We need,

  • White Canellini Beans, drained and rinsed – 1 can
  • Fresh Ginger Root, chopped – 1″ piece
  • Flax Seed Powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon Juice – 5 tablespoons
  • Warm Water – 1/2 to 1/3 cup, depending on desired consistency
  • Sunflower Butter – 4 tablespoons
  • Asafoetida – 1 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, to taste


Dump all ingredients into your blender jar and process until the dip reaches desired consistency. We prefer ours on the smoother side but, lesser processing gives a slightly chunkier dip.

Tastes great with flatbread, carrot and cucumber sticks or, by itself 😄 Happy Cooking!


Desiccated Coconut & Lentil Chutney (Vegan & Glutenfree)

This coconut chutney is a lighter and dairy free version of the traditional one. Desiccated coconut is cheap and easily available throughout the year locally eliminating the trouble of getting a fresh coconut or expensive, frozen grated coconut packs. Using split roasted gram  helps add a creamy flavour. I have used dairy free coconut kefir in this recipe but, can be substituted for any other slightly sour non dairy yogurt.

We need,

  • Desiccated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Warm Water – 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Split Roasted Gram – 3 tablespoons
  • White Onion, chopped roughly – 1 medium
  • Green Chillies, chopped – 2
  • Curry Leaves – 10 to 12
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coconut Kefir – 2 tablespoons

For the garnish,

  • Coconut Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves – 4 to 5


  1. Soak the desiccated coconut in equal amounts of warm water and rest, until all the water disappears.
  2. Powder the split roasted gram in a dry grinder into fine flour. Add into a mixing bowl.
  3. Grind the coconut mixture, onion, green chilli, curry leaves and salt together. Add little amounts of water as needed. Transfer this to the mixing bowl towel too.
  4. Add the coconut kefir and remaining water in the mixing bowl and whisk well to get a uniform consistency without any lumps.

For the garnish,

  1. In a small pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds. Wait till they pop and add the cumin seeds. Take of the heat.
  2. Add in the curry leaves and  asafoetida.
  3. Pour over the chutney mix.

Tastes best with Idlis, Dosas, Steamed rice and most other things, or even plain by itself!