Vegan Vada Pao Rolls (Low Fat Version)

Vada Pav/ Pao, growing up in Bombay (now Mumbai) was one of my favourite foods.  This humble Indian burger is made with a soft and fluffy bread roll A.K.A. Pav/ Pao (here’s my recipe) filled with a spicy potato patty and some peanut & red chilli powder often, garnished with little pieces of red onion. Being hawker food, the spicy potato patty is deep-fried and delicious (as I realized on my most recent trip!).

Trying to recreate this at home, my first change was to either Air Fry or oven bake the patty. As I made my favourite dough recipe for the rolls, I had the potatoes boiled and ready with all the spices. The mashed potato mixture was easy to shape into marble sized balls all ready to bake, when I decided to use the dough to enclosing the potato mixture to make stuffed rolls, for faster cooking! Genius, I’m thinking but I’m sure there are other versions of this “Vada Pav” roll out there 🙂 Happy baking!

 

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Vegan Vada Pao Rolls

Vegan, nut-free and low fat recipe.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seed Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 2 Green Chillies, minced finely
  • 8 - 10 Curry Leaves, torn roughly
  • 2 medium sized Potatoes, boiled
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a deep pan, add the mustard seeds and cover.

  2. Cook until the seeds pop and then toss in the cumin seeds, coriander seed powder, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and turmeric powder. 
  3. Add the potatoes and salt and mix together until well combined. Take off the heat and cool before dividing the potato mixture into 12 golf ball sized round portions. Set aside to cool.
  4. Divide the dough into round balls and flatten to a circle about 5" wide. 
  5. Put the spicy potato mixture in the centre and gently bring the sides up to seal the dough. Use a drop of water to stick the edges of the dough, if required. 
  6. Place the prepared rolls on a baking tray lined with nonstick paper and cover with a clean tea towel. 
  7. Set aside to rise in a warm place for half an hour. 
  8. In the meanwhile heat the oven on a fan forced setting to 200°C. 
  9. After 30 minutes, remove the tea towel from the rolls and spray with non stick spray. 
  10. Bake in a hot oven at 180°C for 20 - 25 minutes. 
  11. Tastes great warm or, after cooling with a warm drink. Happy baking 😊

 

Vegan Vegetable Samosa Pies

I have exciting news, the lovely folks at Pampas pastry actually like my puff pastry Pizza recipe so much that I won a Sunbeam Traditional Pie Maker. This just got delivered the past week and of course, I’ve been brimming with all kinds of ideas. My first set of pies went off like hot pies…. or, was that supposed to be hot cakes?! I used a simple Vegetable Samosa filling and they worked out fabulously. The good news is that I also found a Pampas pastry with lesser fat that is perfect for this recipe. Here are a few pictures of my pretty pies and the new pie maker! 

 

Quick Vegetable Samosa Pies
Yields 4
A delicious, quick and lower fat alternative to deep fried vegetable samosas. Vegan and nut-free.
Ingredients
  1. Reduced Fat Puff Pastry - 4 sheets
  2. Onion, chopped finely - 1/2 cup
  3. Garlic Cloves, minced - 1 teaspoon
  4. Boiled Potatoes, diced - 1 cup
  5. Carrots, peeled and diced - 1/2 cup
  6. Frozen Green Peas - 1/2 cup
  7. Green Beans, sliced finely - 1/2 cup
  8. Cumin Seed Powder - 1 teaspoon
  9. Fennel Seeds - 1 teaspoon
  10. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  11. Kitchen King Masala - 1 teaspoon
  12. Red Chilli Flakes - 1/2 teaspoon, optional
  13. Fresh Coriander Leaves & Stalks, minced - 2 tablespoons
  14. Salt, to taste
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Instructions
  1. Thaw the puff pastry in the pack.
  2. Microwave the Green Peas and diced carrot for 3 minutes in a bowl.
  3. In a mixing bowl, tip the boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, coriander, spices and salt. Mix well till the mixture comes together as a lumpy mass.
  4. Cut out 2 rounds of pastry, a larger one for the base and a smaller one for the top. (My pie maker comes with a pastry cutter helpfully, taking out all the guess work).
  5. Layer the larger pastry circle on the bottom of the pie maker carefully and add 2 heaped tablespoons of the vegetable filling.
  6. Cover with the smaller pastry circle on the top and close the pie maker.
  7. Turn on the pie maker and set to desired crust colour and crispness.
  8. These pies took approximately 12 minutes to cook even though I hadn't preheated the pie maker. The pies were a beautiful golden brown around the 15 minute mark.
  9. Carefully remove from the pie maker and cool a few minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. I used vegan, pre-rolled reduced fat puff pastry sheets for a quick snack.
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Masala Vegan http://masalavegan.com/

Vegan Spicy Sichuan/ Schezuan Noodles (Indo-Chinese Recipe)

Indo – Chinese dishes refer to a special brand of Chinese dishes that are only available in India! This particular brand of noodles that I had bought is quite popular across most Indian stores here and, has been widely available for some time now. As a family we seem to love eating noodles in some form every week, from buckwheat noodles to rice stick noodles in Pad Thai. This Sichuan or Schezuan noodle recipe was taken from the back of the noodle packet and turned out delicious! We ate our noodles with this scrumptious Chili Garlic Eggplant. The noodles need to be cooked separately before adding to a wok full of vegetables. I increased the amount of vegetables used to 2.5 cups per noodle cake. How can eating more than 2 cups of veggies be a bad thing?!

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Here’s a close-up of the recipe (apologies for the bad photo),

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Notes,
  • The Schezwan Chutney in the recipe was substituted with 3 tablespoons of hot chilli – garlic paste + 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
  • The noodles have to pre-cooked by placing the noodle cakes in double the quantity of boiling water for 6 – 8 minutes.
  • I did not have any scallions for garnish and we didn’t miss it too much with all the vegetables.
  • Substituting with gluten-free noodles in a spicy vegetable base should also work, provided you are a spice and chili 🌶 fiend 😛

I’m curious to know if anyone else has a favourite recipe gotten off the packaging 😊  Please chip in below, thanks!

 

 

Vegan Dumplings in Creamy Curry (Malai Kofta)

Malai Kofta is a famous Indian dish. Traditionally made with deep fried dairy based cottage cheese dumplings dunked into a cream based gravy. My vegan version lightens this scrumptious recipe by air frying the dumplings. Also, using sunflower butter to thicken the gravy provides the perfect creamy base replacing  dairy completely. Gluten free bread works well in place of normal bread too.

The Koftas –

We need,

  • Bread Slices – 8 to 10 ( I used leftover sourdough!)
  • Boiled Potatoes – 2
  • Corn Flour – 2 tablespoons
  • Dry Mango Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, to taste

Directions,

  1. Tear up the bread slices (about 1 cup) and soak in 1/2 cup of water to soften.
  2. Mash the potatoes and mix into the bread mixture.
  3. Mix in the spices and salt.
  4. Sprinkle cornflour and make a soft dough
  5. Air fry or, bake in a hot oven for 15 – 18 minutes at 185 degrees Celsius.
  6. Set aside to cool.

The Gravy –

We need,

  • Onion, roughly chopped – 1 big
  • Garlic Cloves – 3 to 4
  • Ginger – 3 ” piece
  • Green Chillies – 2
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Tomato Paste – 4 tablespoons
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) – 2 teaspoons
  • Sunflower Butter – 3 to 4 tablespoons
  • Water, warm – 1.5 to 2 cups
  • Salt, to taste

Spices:

  • Cumin, Coriander, Green Cardamom & Fennel Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves – 4 to 5
  • Cinnamon – 1″ piece

Directions,

  1. Blend the onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies and fenugreek leaves together into a smooth paste, using very little water.
  2. Heat oil and cook the above paste on a slow flame stirring constantly until the edges start to brown.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes on a slow flame.
  4. Roast the spices in the meantime and powder.
  5. Add the spice powder to the tomato onion gravy, merrily bubbling away!
  6. Stir in the Sun butter until well mixed.
  7. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the dumplings ( koftas) and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves, cashews or fried shallots, if preferred.

Serve warm with Cumin Fried Rice or, plain Layered Flat Bread (Parathas).

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I’m curious to know what your favourite Indian restaurant style recipe is, in the comments below 😄 Thanks!

 

Vegan Savoury Rice Flakes (Kanda Batata Pohe)

 

Rice flakes or Pohe, flavoured with onions and potatoes and, garnished with coconut, green peas and coriander was a popular breakfast dish in India when I grew up. Large quantities were made so that, some could be packed for later into lunch boxes. Savoury, spiced lentil noodles (Shev/ Bhuja mix), roasted spiced nuts and lemon wedges were served alongside to add even more nutrition and flavour.

We need,

  • Flattened Thick Rice Flakes – 2 cups
  • Boiled Potatoes, diced – 1/2 cup  1 tbsp oil
  • Green Peas, cooked – 1//2 cup
  • Onion, chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Black Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 8 to 10
  • Green Chillies, minced finely – 1 to 2
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, to taste

Garnishing,

  • Coriander, finely chopped – 2 tablespoons
  • Desiccated Coconut – 4 tablespoons
  • Bhuja/ Shev Mix to sprinkle on top
  • Limes/ Lemons, sliced into wedges to squeeze over the mix.

 

Directions,

  1. Wash and soak the rice flakes in water for 10 minutes, drain the excess water and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a ddeep thick bottomed pan or wok and add the mustard seeds.
  3. After the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies, asafoetida, turmeric and onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent.
  4. Add the boiled potatoes and peas and cook until golden.
  5. Mix in the rice flakes and season with salt on a slow flame for a few minutes.
  6. Sprinkle coriander and coconut on the top and take off the heat.
  7. Garnish with crisp lentil noodles and lemon wedges.

Enjoy!

Vegan Vegetable Puffs

I have memories of eating these puffs for the first time from a bakery close to my father’s office. The flakey light cover encasing the most spicy vegetable mixture that sent me running for a glass of water is something I’ll always remember! Now that I’m several continents away from the little corner bakery that used to churn out these goodies, I make these at home for my family and try to recreate those bygone memories.

We need,

  • Puff Pastry Sheets – 2
  • Onion, finely chopped – 3 tablespoons
  • Potatoes, diced & cooked –2 medium
  • Carrot, chopped finely – 2 tablespoons
  • Green Peas, steamed – 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger, minced finely – 1″ piece
  • Garlic Clove, minced finely – 4
  • Green Chillies, minced finely – 2
  • Curry Leaves, chopped finely – 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder –1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Coriander, chopped finely – 2 tablespoons
  • Dry Mango Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Non Stick Spray
  • Salt, to taste

Directions,

  1. I tend to microwave steam cook the potatoes, carrots and peas while rolling out the puff pastry.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the cooked vegetables, herbs and,  mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and prepare a baking tray lined with wax paper.
  4. Using a pastry cutter cut the pastry sheet into 4 squares approximately 5″ wide.
  5. Place a spoonful of the vegetable mixture in the centre and fold over.
  6. Seal the edges with a wet fork (fork dipped in a little water).
  7. Spray the tops with nonstick spray before baking.
  8. Bake in a hot oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool before serving as the filling tends to get quite hot! Tomato ketchup and, a cup of tea are perfect accompaniments.

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I’d love to know your favourite childhood puff pastry snack memories in the comments below 😊

 

Vegan Cheese Toasted Sandwiches

There are a few things more satisfying than biting into a piping hot toasted sandwich or, “Jaffles”, as they are called in Australia with molten cheese oozing out. Dunking them into some hot and spicy tomato ketchup simply takes the whole dish up a whole notch!

These are main kinds of cheese that I use,

My trusty George Foreman grill of course is responsible for the right degree of melted cheese to crusty toasted bread ratio. The “Tofutti” melts faster but, the Bio Cheese has a more authentic cheese flavour.

We need for 4 sandwiches,

  • Wholemeal Bread Slices – 8
  • Vegan Spread (I used Nuttelex) – 3  to 4 tablespoons
  • Vegan Cheese Slices – 4
  • Black Pepper powder, optional
  • Nonstick Spray
  • Hot & Spicy Tomato Ketchup to dunk in

Directions,

  1. Spread the vegan spread on 2 slices.
  2. Sprinkle black pepper and insert a single slice of vegan cheese inside the sandwich.
  3. Spray with non stick spray on the outside.
  4. Grill for 5 minutes and serve hot with hot & spicy  tomato ketchup.

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I would love to know your favourite toasted sandwich fillings in the comments below 😊

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Genie at Bunny eats Design.

Brown Chickpeas Curry (Kale Chana – Vegan & Gluten Free)

Brown Chickpeas are the darker and tastier cousins of white chickpeas used commonly in Chana Masala. Popularly known as Kala Chana, they are eaten in myriad forms like sprouts, soaked and boiled for salads, milled to make a healthy gluten free flour. High in protein and low glycemic index (G.I.) makes this perfect for vegans and those wanting to increase their protein intake.

I have always used a pressure cooker for speedy cooking after soaking the chickpeas overnight. The open pan method takes a good hour or so, of constant stirring and checking, while pressure cooking cuts that time to half with no babysitting!

To make,

  • Brown Chickpeas, soaked overnight – 2 cups
  • Onions, medium sized, puréed – 2
  • Tomato paste – 4 tablespoons
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Green Chillies, minced – 2, lesser as per preference
  • Garam Masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Water – 6 cups
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped for garnish

Directions,

  1. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add onion purée and sauté till golden.
  2. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, turmeric and Garam masala and, roast well.
  3. Mix in the tomato and ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas, water and salt, mix well and close the cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes depending on your cooker. (Mine cooks in 20 minutes)

Sprinkle with coriander leaves after checking if the chickpeas are cooked thoroughly. Cooked brown chickpeas retain their shape but, are easily squished with the back of a spoon.

Enjoy hot with rotis or, steamed rice!

Vegan Glutenfree Omlette/ Besan Chila

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Ahhh… an oxymoron I hear you say. How on earth can an Omelette be vegan?! Well, if you make it with chickpea flour + your choice of favourite veggies + garnishing = Vegan Omlette! Great to eat by itself, or with flatbread or, in a salad. Add in any vegetable as long as they are chopped finely. Mushrooms, cabbage, zucchini also taste good. Garnishing can be coriander leaves or, shallots or, other greens.

We need,

  • Chickpea / Gram flour – 1 cup
  • Onion, chopped finely – 1/2 cup
  • Red Bell Pepper, chopped finely – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato, chopped finely – 1/2 cup
  • Garlic cloves, sliced finely – 4
  • Ginger, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
  • Green Chillies, finely sliced – 1 to 2
  • Turmeric, powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves, minced finely – 5 to 6
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 1.5 to 2 cups
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

To make,

  1. Add all the ingredients into a big mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Gradually whisk in the water to make a runny batter. I used a little over 1.5 cups of water. Set aside.
  3. Get your favourite thick bottomed pan out (I used my trusty cast iron pan) and heat with the oil until well coated.
  4. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter into the heated pan and spread around.
  5. Cook on medium heat until golden brown and flip over to lightly cook the other side.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until batter finishes.

Tastes excellent hot or cold with some tomato ketchup and your choice of bread. Enjoy!

I would love to know your favourite vegetables and garnishing for omelettes below.

Hawker Style Vegan Indian Vegetable Chili/ Pav Bhaji

Bhaji Pao“, an all time favourite street food this medley of potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper and green peas is available from food hawkers across India. I use this recipe as an excellent way of finishing up all the lingering vegetables at the end of the week 😃 This is a low fat vegan version as, oodles of butter are used in the original version.

To make 6 servings,

  • Potatoes, chopped – 1 cup
  • Cauliflower, chopped – 1 cup
  • Bell Pepper, chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Beans, sliced – 1/2 cup
  • Carrots, chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Green Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Onion, chopped – 1 medium sized
  • Tomato Paste – 3 tablespoons
  • Garlic Cloves, minced – 4 to 5
  • Ginger, minced – 2″ inch piece
  • Red Chillies, deseeded & sliced – 1 or 2, as preferred
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander Leaves, chopped finely – 2 tablespoons

SPICE MIX : Roast 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamom seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg until aromatic. Cool and grind to a fine powder.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed deep pan and coat well ( I used my trusty pressure cooker!)
  • Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chillie until aromatic.
  • Add the spice mix and stir in the turmeric and tomato paste.
  • Stir in all the vegetables and season with salt.
  • Add in the water and cover cooked until the veggies are soft and can be mashed with the back of a spatula.
  • Take off the heat and mash the vegetables well.
  • Sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with “Pao/ Pav” rolls, red onion slices and lemon juice sprinkled over the top. Enjoy!