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.

Panchmel Daal (Vegan Mixed Lentil Curry)

Panch” in Hindi refers to the number ‘5′ and is pronounced rhyming with the word “bunch”. “Mel” is pronounced as “male” and refers to a mixture. This creamy North Indian Lentil Curry is made up of five different kinds of lentils cooked together to concoct a mouth-watering delicacy. I’ve used Split and whole white lentils (Urad Daal) with dried pigeon peas (Toovar Daal), split dried Mung beans, red lentils (Masoor Daal) and yellow split chickpeas (Chana Daal). This is the perfect place to use my Garam Masala! We ate our Panchmel Daal with Roti and a quick salad.

 

Panchmel Daal

(Vegan, gluten & nut free. Omit onion & garlic for an allium free dish.)

INGREDIENTS – 

  • Split White Lentils – 1/2 cup
  • Whole Peeled Black Lentils – 1/4 cup
  • Yellow Split Mung – 1/2 cup
  • Red Lentils – 1/2 cup
  • Split Chickpeas – 1/4 cup
  • Oil – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Cumin Seeds, lightly crushed – 1 teaspoon
  • Carom Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander Seeds, lightly crushed – 1 teaspoon
  • Onion, thinly sliced – 1 medium
  • Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced – 2
  • Fresh Ginger Root, minced – 1 teaspoon
  • Tomato, deseeded and diced finely – 1 medium
  • Fresh Green Chillies, deseeded & sliced thinly – 2
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves & Stalks – 2 tablespoons, heaped
  • Water – 4 cups + 1/2 cup optional
  • Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS – 

  1. Soak the lentils for an hour and rinse in fresh water until the water runs clear.
  2. In a deep pressure pan, heat the oil and coat the base of the pan.
  3. Toss in the lightly crushed cumin, carom and coriander seeds.
  4. Caramelise the sliced onions with the spices before tossing in the ginger, garlic and chillies.
  5. Add in the diced tomato and cook until softened.
  6. Mix in the turmeric and Garam Masala. Cook until aromatic.
  7. Add the lentils and mix well with the above mixture.
  8. Pour in the water and season with salt.
  9. Bring the lentils to a boil and clip the lid on to the pressure cooker pan.
  10. Cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes and take off the heat.
  11. Release pressure and check consistency. Add more water if required.
  12. Simmer on low heat for 5 – 7 minutes and sprinkle the fresh coriander.
    Serve hot.

NOTES – 

Add in the green Chillies with seeds if wanting a hotter dish!
Tastes great with plain steamed rice or flatbread.
If cooking on an open pan then the cooking time increases to 45 – 50 minutes.

Kala Chana Dopyaza (Black Chickpeas in Onion Gravy)

“Kala Chana” refers to dried brown nutty tasting Chickpeas in Hindi while, “Do Pyaza” literally translates to two onions. Black or Brown Chickpeas are completely different flavour wise from the white Chickpeas used in Chana Masala. This warming dish consists a rich onion gravy mixed with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, turmeric and green chillies as a base for the chickpeas. I must mention that this recipe does need a bit of pre-planning as the dried chickpeas need to soak for 12 to 14 hours or, at least overnight in warm water. Tastes best served warm with Roti, or steamed Rice or, even plain Quinoa.

Kala Chana Do Pyaza

(Vegan, gluten-free and protein rich. Black Chickpeas are a great source of protein and a great way to get your daily fibre, copper, folate and manganese.)

INGREDIENTS – 

Soaked Black Chickpeas – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Carom Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Black Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric – 3/4 teaspoon

For the Masala Paste:
Onions, roughly chopped – 2 medium
Garlic Cloves, peeled – 3 to 4
Fresh Ginger Root, peeled – 1″ piece
Green Chillies, broken into large pieces – 2 (reduce or, omit if not a 🌶 fan!)
Tomato Paste – 2 tablespoons
Warm Water – 3 cups water for cooking
Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS – 

Rinse the soaked black chickpeas until the water runs clear.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add in mustard seeds. Cook until they pop.
Mix in the cumin & carom seeds. Cook until they crackle.
In the meanwhile grind the onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies together them to a fine paste in the food processor.
Stir in the onion paste and cook until the mixture smells aromatic and looks golden.
Toss in the turmeric powder and tomato paste. Mix well and cook until the spice mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Mix in the rinsed Chickpeas and salt into the above mixture.
Add warm water and bring to a boil.
Clip the pressure cooker lid and cook on high/ full pressure for 15 – 18 minutes.
Take off the heat and let the pressure cooker cool naturally.
Check if the Chickpeas are cooked by squashing against the back of a spoon as, these tend to keep their form even after they are cooked.
Serve warm with Roti or, steamed rice, or plain Quinoa.

NOTES – 

Garnish with Coriander leaves if desired. I used Alfaalfa sprouts as garnish which totally rocked!

 

Split Black Lentil Curry, Onion & Garlic Free

Split black lentils, also called “Chilkewali Urad Dal” in Hindi cooks to a creamy flavoured mass with a slightly sticky texture. A great source of fibre and trace minerals, these pretty lentils are easy to cook and digest.  Boiling and tempering this dal with simple spices such as cumin, ginger, asafoetida and turmeric make for a quick dish that comes together quickly in a pressure cooker. The longest step of this recipe is pre-soaking the dal for at least an hour before cooking. Optional additions to this scrumptious Daal are, diced tomato pieces, minced fresh coriander and green chillies. Tastes great with rice, flatbread or, even a quick salad. Happy cooking!

Chilkewali Urad Daal/ Split Black Lentils

(A quick and flavour some Daal recipe using split black lentils.)

INGREDIENTS – 

Split Black Lentils – 1 cup
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh Ginger Root, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
Water – 2.5 cups
Salt, to taste
Tomato, diced – 1 cup for garnishing (Optional, but tastes really good)

DIRECTIONS – 

Wash the split black lentils and soak for 1 hour. Rinse well until the water runs clear and drain before cooking.
In a deep pan (pressure cooker pot) heat the oil and coat the base.
Add in asafoetida powder and roast for a minute.
Toss in the cumin seeds and cook until golden.
Mix in turmeric and the minced ginger and cook for a few minutes until the raw smell goes away.
Stir the drained split black lentils and coat in the above mixture.
Add water and mix well.
Season with salt and cover the pot. Bring to a boil and cook on full pressure for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool the pan.
Dice the tomato if using to add to the Daal.

NOTES – 

Serve warm, garnished with Coriander if desired. I used diced tomato pieces as garnishing which tasted delicious.
Tastes great with rice, bread or, by the itself with some salad.

Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce, Vegan & Airfryer Recipe

Tofu Teriyaki comes from Japan and, is a combination of two words – “Teri” meaning shiny and “Yaki” refers to the cooking method, i.e. pan cooked. Tofu in all its myriad forms and consistencies is a great option to quickly conjure up weeknight dinners. As much as, I love silken tofu in all my sauces and cakes, firm tofu definitely has a place in my weekly shopping list, fridge and of course in my tummy! This quick Tofu Teriyaki comes together in minutes and tastes great with plain rice or Quinoa. Using my Airfryer to bake the tofu chunks is even easier after assembling the sauce, or to use as a marinade. The sauce essentially consists of equal parts of Mirin (a sweet fermented rice vinegar ), Soy sauce and Sake (rice wine with alcohol). Mirin does contain some amount of alcohol too but in a much lesser percentage as compared to Sake. To make my recipe child friendly, I’ve substituted Mirin with a mix of Coconut Syrup and Apple Cider Vinegar and, completely omitted Sake.

Vegan Tofu Teriyaki

(Vegan. Contains soy. Use gluten free corn flour to avoid gluten.)

INGREDIENTS – 

Firm Tofu – 450 grams cut into even pieces
Soy Sauce – 1/2 cup
Coconut Syrup – 1/3 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
Water – 1/3 cup
Garlic Clove, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
Ginger Root, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
Corn Flour – 1 heaped teaspoon
Toasted Sesame Oil – 2 teaspoons

DIRECTIONS – 

Add everything except the tofu cubes into a mixing bowl and whisk well.
Set the tofu cubes in a foil lined tray.
Drizzle the Teriyaki sauce over the tofu until covered.
Bake in the Airfryer at 200° Celsius for 25 to 30 minutes until the tofu is beautiful golden brown.
In the meanwhile, heat the remaining Teriyaki sauce gently in a saucepan until slightly thickened.
Remove baked tofu from the Airfryer and top with the cooked Teriyaki sauce.

NOTES – 

Top with toasted sesame seeds and finely sliced scallions if desired.
Tastes great with Quinoa or, as a light meal with salad and bread.

Spicy Split Gram Stir Fry A.K.A. Chana Dal Usli (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Split gram lentils or, split chickpea/ garbanzo beans called “Chana Dal” in Hindi, are a great source of protein. Most Indian stores sell these lentils in two forms, a raw form and a roasted one. The roasted form is commonly used as a base for making “Chutney” and Dips.

  • Split Gram Lentils – 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Dried Red Chillies – 2 medium sized
  • Asafoetida – 1 teaspoon
  • Curry Leaves, fresh – 8 to 10
  • Turmeric Powder – 1
  • Desiccated Coconut – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water – 1.5 to 2 cups
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves & Stalks, minced finely for garnish – 2 tablespoons
  • Grated Coconut (optional, but recommended) for topping – 1 tablespoon

Directions,

  1. Soak the split gram lentils for 3 to 4 hours, rinse and drain.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a deep pan (I used my 3 Litre pressure pan).
  3. Add the mustard seeds to the warm oil and cover till they pop.
  4. Sprinkle the asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves into the oil. Cover!
  5. Mix in turmeric powder and desiccated coconut, cook until aromatic.
  6. Tip in the lentils and season with salt.
  7. Cover the lentils with water till they are just about under the water line.
  8. Bring to a boil and close the lid. Cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. Take off the heat immediately and remove steam (or,  it turns mushy!).
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and/ or, grated coconut.

Tastes great warm or at room temperature. I tend to eat this protein rich dish by itself, but the rest of the family, often pairs it with “Pulao” rice or, flatbread.

Please check out these recipes by clicking on Pulaoand Roti“. Thank you and happy cooking 😊 

 

 

Vegan Kidney Beans Stir Fry/ Sundal (Gluten Free)

This quick “Sundal” or, “Usli” recipe uses canned kidney beans and desiccated coconut to make a quick protein-rich stir fry flavoured with some ginger, asafoetida, turmeric, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Tastes great by itself or, with extra chopped veggies as a salad lunch. Not using onion and garlic helps increase the shelf life of this delicious dish. 

We need,
  • Kidney Beans – 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • Coconut Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Black Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Curry Leaves, torn roughly – 5 to 6
  • Fresh Ginger Root, minced – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt, to season
  • Desiccated Coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilli, sliced – 1 (Optional for garnishing)
Directions,
  1. In a thick skillet, heat the coconut oil.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they pop.
  3. Take off the heat and add the ginger, curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  4. Mix well and add the rinsed and drained kidney beans. Season with salt.
  5. Set back on the hob and cook on a slow flame until everything is well mixed.

Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and the sliced chilli before serving. Happy cooking!

If you enjoyed this dish, please check out my other “Sundal” recipe 😊

Vegan Kidney Beans Curry A.K.A. Rajmah Masala (No Onion & Garlic)

 “Karva Chauth” is an Indian fasting festival falling just before “Diwali”, the Festival of Lights. It is customary for married women across Northern India praying for their husband’s long and prosperous life to not consume any solid or liquid food after sunrise until the  moon rises. There are different variations in the traditions followed, from one region to another and, among families. The fasting ends with a lot of food and celebration late in the night with a variety of sweet and savoury food. Traditionally onion and garlic are not used and, rich carbs and plant proteins are eaten, before and after the fast. This is the perfect recipe to take for a potluck feast to share around with friends and family.

We need,

  • Kidney Beans, soaked in water for at least 6 hours – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato Paste – 3 tablespoons
  • Water – 4 to 5 cups
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander Paste – 2 tablespoons

To dry roast, cool and grind into a spice paste –

  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon Bark – 1″ piece
  • Black Cardamom – 1
  • Cloves – 4 to 5
  • Asafoetida – 1 teaspoon
  • Green Chilli, roughly chopped – 1 medium
  • Fresh Ginger Root – 1″ piece

Directions,

  1. Take a thick bottom deep pan, (I used my pressure pan) and dry roast the dry spices on low heat for 4 – 5 minutes. Cool before processing to a fine powder.
  2. Add the ginger, chilli and a tablespoon of water to the above spice powder to make a thick spice paste.
  3. Heat oil in the pressure pan and roast the spice paste until aromatic.
  4. Add tomato paste to the spices and cook until the raw smell goes away.
  5. Rinse the soaked kidney beans in fresh water 2 – 3 times and drain.
  6. Add the drained beans to the above mix and coat well with the spice paste.
  7. Season with salt and add water.
  8. Clip on the pressure cooker lid and cook on high for at least 15 minutes, till the beans are cooked. If using an open pan, then cover and cook for at least 30 –  45 minutes (this is for beans that have been pre-soaked).
  9. Open the pressure pan and check if the beans are soft cooked. Mash a few beans to thicken the gravy and cook until happy with the consistency (I usually prefer a soupy consistency).
  10. Take off the heat and mix in the coriander paste.

Note: The longer this gravy sits the better it tastes. I tend to make it at least a day before serving. Serve hot with steamed rice and a fresh salad. Happy Karva Chauth to the ones who follow the festival, may it be a blessed and joyous occasion!

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Mung, Rice & Vegetable Stew A.K.A. Khichari (Vegan & Gluten Free)

This hearty dish featuring basmati rice, split or whole mung beans or red lentils and, vegetables found in the fridge and freezer, is a comforting dish that can either be on the drier side porridge like or, a thick stew that is mopped up with rotis or bread. My mother always made “Khichadi” without onion and garlic as she said it was an Ayurvedic recipe that was supposed to help the body to heal from inside…. I on the other hand am more concerned about the accompaniments to go with this dish, a big pile of “Papad” or, “Poppadums” is a necessity or, potato crisps or chips can be substituted instead and, some cold coconut or soy yogurt to serve. A lemon wedge to sprinkle lemon juice over all and sundry to jazz up the flavours just before digging in is also mandatory!

We need,

  • Split Mung Beans, rinsed and soaked – 1/4 cup
  • Brown or White Long Grain Basmati, rinsed and soaked – 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Curry Leaves – 6 to 8
  • Tomato, finely chopped – 1 medium
  • Fresh Ginger Root, minced – 1 tablespoon
  • Mixed Vegetables (fresh or frozen) ( I used potato, carrot, beans, peas & broccoli) –  2 cups
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Green Cardamom Pods – 4
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Warm Water – 4 to 5 cups spending on consistency
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves & Stalks, sliced finely – 2 tablespoons for garnishing

Directions,

  1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan (I used my pressure cooker).
  2. Add the mustard seeds into the oil and wait for them to pop.
  3. Mix in the cumin seeds, cardamom pods and turmeric powder.
  4. Stir in the asafoetida, ginger and curry leaves.
  5. Add the tomato and cook until softened.
  6. Mix in the rice and lentils and coat well in the spice mix.
  7. Stir in the vegetables and add salt.
  8. Cover with 4 cups of water and mix well.
  9. Add in more water if required and cover the pan.
  10. If using a saucepan then bring to a boil over high heat and reduce the heat and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.
  11. If using the pressure cooker then, cover and cook on high for 10 – 15 minutes.
  12. Take off the heat and cool. Add another cupful of warm water if required at this stage.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot!

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Spicy Brown Chickpeas Stir Fry A.K.A. Kala Chana Usli (Vegan & Gluten Free)

October 1st, 2016 marks the beginning of the official festival season in India and, the most confusing time of the year for me! For the next month or so, all the major festivals are observed starting with, the worship of the female embodiment of energy or, “Durga Puja”, all the way to the Festival of Lights, “Diwali”. When I lived at home, my mother usually did everything, followed rituals, made holiday treats and kept tabs on what needed to be done, etc., etc. An added bonus was that, these days were usually public holidays in India.

Fast forward to my current confused life, where I constantly miss one occasion or, the other because, A) It’s a working and school day and, B) I had absolutely no idea! To alleviate my current clueless state and perpetual state of confusion, I’ve decided not to buy any onions or garlic for the next month (as onions and garlic are not to be eaten during festivals) and make a sweet dish every alternate day! Nailed it!!

Here’s what I’m eating today. To make this, we need

  • Black/ Brown Chickpeas, soaked overnight (~8 hours) – 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Ginger Root, grated – 2 teaspoons
  • Green Chillies, finely sliced – 1 to 2
  • Fresh Curry Leaves, torn up roughly – 10 to 12
  • Desiccated Coconut Flakes – 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Warm Water – 3 to 3.5 cups
  • Salt, to taste

Directions,

Note: Using a pressure cooker to make chickpeas is highly recommended as it not only cooks them thoroughly but also keeps the flavour intact.

  1. Heat coconut oil in the pressure pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds and cover the pan till the seeds stop popping and sputtering.
  3. Mix in the cumin seeds and roast until aromatic.
  4. Tip in the ginger, chillies and curry leaves. Mix well.
  5. Stir in turmeric powder and desiccated coconut. Cook until golden.
  6. Add the rinsed and drained brown chickpeas and coat in the above mix.
  7. Season with salt and add 3 cups of water.
  8. Bring to a boil and place the lid. Add extra water at this stage if the chickpeas look dry.
  9. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes and take off the heat.

Garnish with grated coconut or, roasted nuts if desired. Tastes great warm or cold by itself, or accompanied with steamed rice. I’m curious to know if anyone else has faced the same situation when following traditions and cottons during a festival season in the comments 😊 Thank you for reading and happy cooking!