Vegan Baked Jalebi

“Jalebi”, just the name brings up so many memories! This famous Indian pastry like sweet is made with deep-fried flour spirals dunked into steaming hot sugar syrup flavoured with green Cardamom, saffron and/ or rose-water. This is one of the sweets that are made across India with a few regional variations such as, adding in milk solids, or using fermented lentil batter, etc. My main gripe with Jalebi is that, I can never stop after eating just one and the fact, that it is not only deep-fried but, also coated with sugar syrup doubles my problems. I tried looking for baked recipes in old cookbooks and online and couldn’t find any. My Jalebi recipe is not only baked, but also uses Xylitol in place of sugar.

Decorate with flaked nuts and sift powdered xylitol on top, if desired before digging in! They taste great hot and we finished them all off so, have no updates about storing them as of now 😊 Happy baking!

Vegan, low fat, Sugarfree Jalebi
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Baked Jalebi

Vegan, sugar-free and omit nuts for garnishing to make this delicious dessert nut-free.

Priya: Priya
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Unbleached Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 cup Xylitol
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water
For the Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Xylitol
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Rose Water
  • 1 teaspoon Green Cardamom Seeds, powdered
For the Garnish
  • 2 tablespoon Xylitol, powdered
  • Flaked Almonds/ Pistachios, optional
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a large cookie sheet with non stick paper.

  2. In a deep mixing bowl, add the water, flour, nutritional yeast flake and xylitol.
  3. Mix well until there are no lumps. The batter should be thick but smooth.

  4. Fill half a cup of batter into a piping bag fitted with a wide star tip. (Use a strong zip lock bag, if there are no piping bags to be found).
  5. Gently draw spirals on the prepared cookie tray and bake for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown.
For the Syrup
  1. While the Jalebi bakes, make up the syrup by dissolving the xylitol in water and bringing to a boil. Cook for a few minutes.
  2. Take off the heat and mix on the rose water and cardamom powder. Set aside.
  3. Remove from the baked spirals from the oven and brush with the rose water syrup and allow to cool.
Garnish with powdered Xylitol and/ or flaked nuts, if using. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

 

Vegan Gram Flour & Coconut Fudge (Besan Burfee, Sugarfree)

The Indian calendar follows the luni- solar cycle and starts and finishes differently as opposed to the standard 31st of December and 1st of January. The “Hindu” new year in 2017 falls on the 29th of March. Houses are cleaned and freshened up with a variety of fresh flowers and leaves. Intricate decorations made of rice flour and/ or colored sand are set on flowers. Growing up, my mother used to install a brass pot atop a stick covered with brightly colored cloth as a symbol of victory of good over evil called “Gudi”, pronounced as goody. Flowers and mango leaves are used to decorate the Gudi And, all kinds of sweet and savoury delicacies are made. Commonly made recipes include Chakli, Puran Poli (flatbread stuffed with sweetened lentils) and delicious fudge bars, called “Burfee”.

Vegan Glutenfree Gramflour Fudge
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Vegan Gram Flour & Coconut Fudge (Besan Burfee)

Gluten-free and Sugar-free, this fudge is full of coconut goodness.

Priya: Priya
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Gram Flour/ Besan
  • 1 cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 2/3 cup Xylitol
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Green Cardamom Seeds, powdered
Instructions
  1. Line a flat tray with nonstick paper and set aside.

  2. In a deep saucepan melt the coconut oil and add the Gram flour. Roast until golden and the raw smell disappears. Remove from saucepan and set aside in a plate to cool.
  3. Roast the desiccated coconut next, on low heat until lightly browned. Remove from saucepan and mix with the roasted Gram flour.
  4. Mix the xylitol and water in the saucepan and cook until the syrup looks bubbly and thickens.
  5. Take off the heat and fold in the gram flour - coconut mixture.
  6. Toss in the cardamom powder and mix well. 
  7. Transfer this mixture evenly into the prepared tray. Tap the tray on a sturdy surface to remove any airgaps and smoothen the top.
  8. Score the fudge in diamond shaped pieces after cooling for 10 - 15 minutes.

Malpua (Vegan, Oil Free & Sugar Free)

“Holi”, the Festival of Colours fell over the past weekend. The advantage of having a holiday means being able to make something traditional for my little ones to celebrate and introduce them to the much-loved festival food that I and my better half grew up eating! “Malpua” are pancakes usually made with white flour and semolina and deep-fried before dunking into a thick sugar syrup. These delicious pancakes are made in many different ways often with heaps of dairy and sugar. This lighter take, on the traditional deep-fried “Malpua” full of clarified butter and milk solids eliminates all the oil and dairy while using wholemeal flour. Another good thing, about this recipe is not having to make a sugar syrup to dunk the pancakes and, replacing them with a lighter maple or agave syrup. I ate mine plain but, my little ones aren’t about to let go of the syrup jar any time soon 😋

Malpua
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Malpua

Vegan, wholemeal, oil free and sugar free. 

Omit the almonds to make these "Malpua" nut free and garnish with either cranberries or, pepitas.

Priya: Priya
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Self Raising Wholemeal Flour
  • 1/2 cup Semolina
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 4 tablespoons Xylitol
  • 3 teaspoons Green Fennel Seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Green Cardamom Seeds, powdered
Garnish
  • 4 tablespoons Flaked Almonds/ Pepitas, lightly roasted
  • Agave Nectar/ Maple Syrup, to pour
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, pour the warm water, coconut milk and Xylitol. Whisk well until mixed.

  2. Add the semolina and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

  3. Mix in the wholemeal flour, Fennel & Cardamom seed powders. Whisk well and set aside. The batter should be slightly thinner that cake batter. Add more water if required.

  4. Heat a non stick pan and ladle batter into little rounds.

  5. Cover and cook on low heat until a crisp golden and then flip to cook the other side lightly.

  6. Take off the pan and pour a teaspoonful of agave nectar/ maple syrup if using and sprinkle, flaked Almonds/ pepitas/ cranberries.

 

Vegan Baked Bread Gulab Jamun (Sugar Free)

Gulab Jamun“, one of the most famous Indian sweets are widely available in cans in the ethnic shops here. These deep-fried doughnut like balls dunked in sugar syrup are usually made with loads of dairy and sugar. My version bakes these little morsels in the Air Fryer and uses Xylitol in place of sugar. I used a mix of leftover wholemeal sourdough and plain gluten-free slices. Use only gluten-free bread for a completely gluten-free version.

We need,

  • Bread Slices – 8 to 10
  • Coconut Cream  (thick part) – 3/4 cup
  • Green Cardamom Seeds, powdered – 4 to 5 (reserve peels)
  • Xylitol – 1 cup + 1 tablespoon
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Flaked Almonds, as garnish

Directions,

  1. Take a mixing bowl and tear the bread into it.
  2. Add spoonfuls of coconut cream and 1 tablespoon of xylitol to the bread.
  3. Knead lightly to get a soft dough. Set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan combine 1 cup of xylitol and 2 cups of water with the Cardamom peels and place on slow heat until the xylitol crystals dissolve. Check if drops of the syrup retain shape in a bowl of cold water to get the right consistency. Once ready, take off the heat and keep the syrup warm.
  5. Roll the bread dough into lemon sized balls in the meanwhile and shape into lime sized round or, oval shapes.
  6. Bake the bread balls in the Air Fryer For 15 – 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Flip over and cook for another 5 minutes for even browning.
  7. Once baked, dunk the hot bread balls into the prepared xylitol syrup.
  8. Allow to soak in the syrup for at least 6 hours.

Can be eaten warm or cold depending on your preference! I love them cold from the fridge but the husband insists on eating warm ones. Happy cooking and, a very Happy Diwali to those who celebrate!

Vegan Baked Gulab Jamun

4 Ingredient Vegan Apple Halwa/ Pudding (No Added Sugar & Gluten Free)

“Diwali”, the Festival of Lights, celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. Celebrated as a week-long festival venerating wealth, nature, family, prosperity and abundance, little lamps/ candles are lit along the perimeter of the house, light decorations are put up around the main door and intricate drawings called “Rangoli” are drawn on the floor. Festival food consisting of sweet and savoury versions occupy an important spot in everyone’s heart. A very Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating this joyous occasion 🏵!

Apples are naturally sweet and cook beautifully into a luscious paste, thickened with almond flour for this pudding. I chopped up half the apples and puréed the rest for a grainy consistency. Roasting the apple pieces gives this dessert a beautiful golden colour and, a rich apple caramel flavour. The flavour definitely improves with time and the pudding tastes great warm or, cold.

We need,
  • Red Delicious Apples – 4 (2 finely chopped & 2 puréed)
  • Almond Flour – 1/2 cup
  • Almond Milk – 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Roasted Almonds, chopped – 1 tablespoon (optional for garnishing)
Directions,
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a thick bottomed deep pan.
  2. Add the apple pieces and roast until golden.
  3. Mix in the apple purée into the pan on low heat.
  4. Gradually add almond flour by the spoonful to prevent lumps.
  5. Stir in the almond milk and cook on a low flame until the mixture comes together and leaves the sides.

Serve warm or cold with desired toppings! I topped mine with Thandaisyrup. Happy cooking 😊

 

Vegan Almond Spiced Milk "Thandai"

Welcome to my new home!

Thandai” is a delectable drink made with powdered almonds, spices and saffron for festive occasions and served at weddings as a welcome drink.  Usually made by reducing full cream dairy milk, I’ve substituted almond milk which provides a gorgeous texture to this drink, most non dairy milks work just as well. The dry spice mix stores well in the refrigerator up to 3 months.

We need,
For the dry spice mix
  • White Poppy Seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Green Fennel Seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Almonds – 2 tablespoons
  • Green Cardamom Pods – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Black Pepper – 1/4 tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tablespoon
  • Saffron Strands – 4 to 5
To serve –

Almond Milk – 1 cup + 2 heaped teaspoons of above spice mix
Sweetener Of Choice – 1 heaped teaspoon per cup

Directions,
  1. Dry grind the spice mix ingredients into a fine powder and store in an air tight glass jar in the fridge.
  2. To assemble, add 2 heaped teaspoons of the spice mix and sweetener per cup of almond milk and bring to a gentle boil.

Thandai tastes delicious as a warm or, cold drink. The dry spice mix stores well and furthermore, used to flavour puddings – both Halwa and Kheer.

Mango Semolina Pudding A.K.A. Mango Sheera

Semolina based puddings also, called “Sheera” are popular choices for breakfast, afternoon tea and, as a quick dessert that can be put together under half an hour. With the Indian festival season that falls at this time of the year, there’s always something to celebrate. I had a can of sweetened Alphonso mango pulp that I chanced upon the last time I was at the Indian store. The little ones helpfully offered to deal with it with a can opener and a couple of spoons but, were pacified with the promise of a pudding!

We need,

  • Semolina, coarse – 1/2 cup
  • Sweetened Mango Pulp – 2 cups
  • Xylitol – 1 tablespoon
  • Warm Water – 1/2 cup
  • Green Cardamom Pods, powdered – 4 to 5
  • Coconut Oil – 2 tablespoons

Directions,

  1. In a thick bottomed pan roast the semolina until golden and aromatic. Set aside on a flat plate to cool.
  2. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and coat the pan well.
  3. Add the mango pulp and cook slightly till the raw smell evaporates.
  4. When the pulp starts to bubble up add the roasted semolina by the spoonful and mix well removing any lumps.
  5. Add the water and Xylitol while stirring constantly.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it starts to come together like a dough leaving the sides of the pan.
  7. Take off the heat and sprinkle the cardamom powder and remaining coconut oil.
  8. Remove into serving bowl while warm.

Serve warm, or at room temperature. I would love to know your favourite fruit based desserts in the comments below!

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Vegan Semolina Saffron Fudge (Rava Burfi) (Sugar & Oil Free)

Burfiis essentially a sweet fudge that is made during Indian festive celebrations and happy occasions. There are many variation of this fudge made with nuts, different kinds of flours, often with dairy and a lot of fat. This quick fudge variation is not only sugar and oil free but, is also ready under an hour. The saffron strands lend a beautiful colour and gorgeous flavour that is simply enchanting!

We need,

  • Semolina – 1 cup
  • Xylitol – 2/3 cup (Increase or decrease depending on desired sweetness)
  • Saffron, strands – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water – 1 + 1/2 cup
  • Non stick spray to grease the plate
  • Flaked Almonds – 2 tablespoons (optional for garnishing)

Directions,

  1. Dry roast the semolina until aromatic in a thick bottomed pan.
  2. In the mean while mix Xylitol with 1 cup of water.
  3. Dissolve the saffron in the remaining 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Add the xylitol syrup to the roasted semolina. Cook on low heat until resembling thick batter.
  5. Stir in the saffron syrup and stir well to ensure no lumps form.
  6. The fudge is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan and resembles the consistency of thick dough.
  7. Spray a flat plate or, slice pan depending on desired thickness of the fudge, with non stick spray.
  8. Take off the heat and spread into the prepared plate/ pan.
  9. Smoothen the top and press flaked almonds on.
  10. Cut into diamond shaped pieces and cool in the fridge for half hour to set.

This fudge stores well in the fridge for a few days, if it lasts that long! Happy cooking 😊

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Vegan Quinoa Saffron Kheer

Growing up in an Indian household meant being able to enjoy “Kheer” as it was known on my mother’s side or, “Payasam” as it was called at my father’s place, for all happy and festive occasions. My experiments with quinoa and overcoming its mildly bitter – soapy taste continue. Today, I have a luscious “Kheer” pudding made with almond meal, saffron and quinoa cooked in coconut milk.

We need,

  • White Quinoa, cooked – 1 cup
  • Almond Meal – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Coconut Milk – 3 cups
  • Saffron, a big pinch
  • Almonds, sliced – 10 to 12, for garnishing (Optional)

Directions,

  1. Heat 2.5 cups of coconut milk with the sugar and quinoa.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle heat.
  3. When the coconut milk starts to thicken, about 15 – 20 minutes, add the almond meal.
  4. Mix well and make sure all the lumps are dissolved.
  5. Warm the remaining coconut milk and mix the saffron in.
  6. When the quinoa looks fluffy and the coconut milk has boiled down to half, stir in the saffron – coconut milk mixture.
  7. Take off the heat and garnish with sliced almonds.

Enjoy warm or, cold from the fridge the next day, tastes awesome either way!

 

"Nankhatai" A.K.A. Cardamom Short Bread (Vegan & Sugar Free)

These delicious cardamom flavoured shortbread biscuits are believed to have been introduced in India by the Britishers. Perfect to snack on or, dunk into a warm drink, traditionally use white flour, clarified butter & powdered sugar. My adaptation of this very famous recipe uses wholemeal flour, a dairy free spread and Xylitol. Many variations and substitutions in the type of flours and sweeteners used exist. The recipe is quite forgiving as long as the rough ratios of flour: sweetener: fat stay the same. Almond slivers, cashew or pistachio pieces are commonly used as decorative garnishing but have been left out in this version.

We need,

  • Wholemeal Self Raising Flour (substitute with gluten free blend in case of allergies)  – 1½ cups
  • Fine Chickpea/ Gram Flour (Besan, from the Indian store) – 2 tablespoons
  • Powdered Xylitol – ¾ cup
  • Green Cardamom Seeds, roasted and finely powdered – 1 teaspoon
  • Dairy Free Spread (I used plain Nuttelex) – ¾ cup

Directions,

  1. Preheat the oven to to 180º Celsius and line a flat tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flours, xylitol and cardamom powder.
  3. Rub the non diary spread into the dry mixture till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  4. Knead into a smooth dough for a few minutes.
  5. Take 1 tablespoonful of the dough and roll into smooth round balls.
  6. Place these on the prepared tray.
  7. Bake on a fan forced setting for 15 – 18 minutes. The bottom of the biscuits should look golden.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven and let the cookies cool on the tray for atleast half an hour.
  9. Store in  airtight box once cooled.

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These shortbread are very moreish and don’t last long. Enjoy!