Vegan MoFo Week 3 – Ingredient Challenges “Turmeric”

Vegan month of food continues into week 3 of October with innovative themes- “Ingredient challenges”. One of my favourite ingredients to use in everyday cooking is Turmeric. The challenge inspired me to make – my – own deconstructucted Turmeric Latte mix which isย all the rage in cafes here at the moment. Growing up in an Indian household, milk + Turmeric with a dash of jaggery syrup called “Haldi Doodh” was a warm comforting drink that was always there to clutch in my little hands for a variety of problems from insomnia to the beginning of a cold, or bruises and body aches that came with being a little too clumsy on the day. Talking to my mother while sipping a warm glass of “Haldi Doodh was the panacea to most of my childhood problems ๐Ÿ™‚

Carrying the tradition forward, I now make fresh Turmeric root paste with a dash of black pepper, green cardamom, cinnamon, plus coconut sugar to mix into almond milk for a comforting drink for my little ones. The husband & I prefer to leave out the sweetener and whizz warm Almond Milk with my Turmeric Latte blend for a pre-bedtime drink. Grinding fresh Turmeric means covering most work surfaces, as light coloured work surfaces tend to stain a golden-yellow hue!

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Turmeric Latte - Ingredient Challenge
Vegan; Gluten-free; Sugar-free.
Priya: Priya
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Turmeric Root, peeled & chopped
  • 4 Black Peppercorn seeds
  • 2 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Quill
  • 1 cup Almond Milk, warm
  • 1 teaspoon Sweetener, optional
Instructions
  1. Lightly roast the black peppercorn, cardamom and cinnamon in a dry pan. Cool.
  2. Grind the spices to a fine powder.
  3. Add fresh turmeric root into the grinder jar and grind to a fine paste.
  4. Store in an air tight glass jar up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  5. To use, blend 1 heaped teaspoon into 1 cup of warm Almond milk until frothy and golden. Add 1 teaspoon of Xylitol or powdered Coconut sugar, to sweeten if desired.
  6. Best enjoyed warm wrapped up in a rug while curled up on a comfortable couch.

This paste works well blend into some coconut oil to use in savoury recipes or sweet dishes like my

Golden Milk Pudding.

 

 

 

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora (Vegan Yogurt Stew with Fritters)

Kadhi Pakora is a winter staple in North India served with steamed rice and garnished with vegetable fritters. It took me a long time to veganise this recipe only because most of the suggestions on google are to use tofu in some form. Now, I’m not at all against eating tofu in moderation but, now and then if I’ve been slack with grocery shopping, we end up with no tofu! This recipe came about at a time like this, with the family pitching ideas at me and brainstorming about how best to get the Kadhi right (love weekend cooking!). My younger one, of course insisted, that as long as the Pakora (fritters) were good, no one cared about the actual taste or consistency of the Kadhi/ stew! I used this Pakora recipe and this steamed rice recipe. Happy cooking ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Indian Buddha Bowl

 

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Vegan Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

Gluten free, allergy friendly and onion & garlic free.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
To blend together
  • 2.5 cups Non Dairy Milk (Soy, Rice & Coconut work well)
  • 5 tablespoons Chickpea Flour/ Besan, fine
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger Root, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • Salt, to taste
For the Spice Mix
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 7 - 8 Whole Dried Cloves
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Bark, coarsely pounded
  • 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
  • 8 Fresh Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Green Chilli, minced
Instructions
Blend the chickpea flour and the rest of the ingredients until a smooth and thin batter like mixture forms.
  1. Heat oil in a deep sauce pan and add the mustard seeds. Cover and cook until they pop.

  2. Reduce heat and add all the other spices along with the curry leaves and chilli. Roast until fragrant.

  3. Add contents of the blender to the spices in the deep pan and mix well.

  4. Cook over gentle heat until the mix comes to a rolling boil. Cover and cook for a further 8 - 10 minutes to thicken the stew.

  5. While the stew cooks get the fritters ready. I made mine in the Air Fryer.

  6. If serving with rice, then take this time to get some freshly steamed rice ready.

  7. Assemble for serving by adding rice to a deep dish or bowl first. Pour the cooked Kadhi (stew) over the rice. Finally garnish with crisp Pakoras (fritters).

 

Airfryer Vegetable Pakora & The Veggie Bullet

My Mother’s Day present this year was a “Veggie Bullet“, that can slice, chop, grate, shred and most importantly, “spiralise veggies”! I’ve been wanting a spiraliser for the longest time now, but everytime I got a manual one, something would be wrong, missing screws, broken blades, missing parts and more… Not anymore, so stay tuned for lots of spiraliser recipes, as I start my experiments ๐Ÿ˜Š

Veggie Bullet

For our first trial, after taking a family vote we decided to make Vegetable Pakora, the famous Indian fritters that everyone loves! These are a combination of shredded vegetables I had in the fridge consisting of cabbage, zucchini and white potatoes mixed with dry spices such as, green fennel, cumin, carom and coriander in a thick Besan and rice flour batter to bake in the Air Fryer. These crisp, gluten-free and hot Pakore didn’t last very long, paving the way to break out the Veggie Bullet again. There  are heaps of you tube videos on how to use the Veggie Bullet that I’ve watched before taking the plunge! Now on to the Vegetable Pakora recipe, 

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Veggie Pakora

Vegan, gluten free, onion and garlic free.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Besan/ Chickpea Flour
  • 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Carom Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen King/ Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 cup Grated Vegetables (Zucchini, Cabbage & Potato)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flours, spices, oil, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Whisk well until smooth.

  2. Fold in the grated veggies into the batter carefully. Add extra spoonfuls of water only if required, as the batter needs to be quite thick and the veggies give out moisture too!

  3. I left my batter quite thick to scoop up by the spoonful and drop into the Airfryer basket to cook for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

  4. If using an oven, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 20 to 25 minutes on a fan forced setting.

  5. Serve warm with Tomato Chutney or Ketchup ๐Ÿ˜‹

Recipe Notes

Many other veggies can also be used in this versatile baked pakora recipe, as long as the vegetables are grated or, chopped fine. Examples are, sweet potatoes, turnips, daikon, carrots and even onions to make the famous Onion Bhajji!

 

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.

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Mango & Nectarine Chutney

Vegan, gluten free and sugar free fruit chutney.

Priya: Priya
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.

 

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 mรฉlange 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.)

INGREDIENTS – 

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

DIRECTIONS – 

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.

NOTES – 

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

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

3 Ingredient Apricot Coconut Bliss Balls

These 3 ingredient Apricot Coconut bliss balls need no cooking and are vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and contain no added or processed sugar. Adding a pinch of turmeric gives a depth of flavour and a beautiful golden colour to these bliss balls. If short on time, press the Apricot mixture into a slice tray and set in the fridge before cutting. I first came across Apricot coconut bites in the health food section of my grocery store. As usual, excited by something vegan and remotely healthy in a mainstream grocery store aisle I bought some! After the package got home, I noticed the horrendous amounts of sugar and other additives in the Apricot bites. These delectable little balls are a great home-made substitute and perfect lunchbox additions. Best made with organic, sulphur free apricots. 

3 Ingredient Apricot Coconut Bliss Ball Bites

(Vegan, raw, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free and additive free!)

INGREDIENTS – 

Organic Sulphur free Apricots, deseeded – 3/4 cup
Desiccated Coconut Meal – 1 cup
Fresh Turmeric Root, peeled and sliced – 1/2 teaspoon

DIRECTIONS – 

Soak the apricots in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes and drain well.
I use my food processor bowl to process the apricots and turmeric together first until chunky.
Add the coconut meal and process until smooth (My Kitchen Aid takes about 4 to 5 minutes to do this).
Remove apricot into a mixing bowl and roll into olive sized balls.
If wanting to make Apricot Coconut bites, then line a 7″ tray with grease proof paper and spread the apricot mixture into the tray. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

NOTES – 

Use 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder if fresh turmeric isn’t easily available.
Process the coconut until buttery for best results.
Coat in 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut meal or flakes before serving, if desired.

Turmeric Spiced Brown Basmati Rice

Every now and then, we lapse into cold, windy and dreary weather despite, every marketing catalogue loudly proclaiming spring! This lovely golden hued brown Basmati rice is a steady favourite on nippy evenings with the flavours of Fennel, Mustard, Carom and Cumin Seeds, peeking through in every warm spoonful. Tastes just perfect with a hearty Daal and a quick salad perfect for a weeknight.

Turmeric Spiced Brown Basmati Rice

(Gluten & nut free, wholegrain recipe)

INGREDIENTS –

  • 2 cups Brown Basmati Rice, soaked and rinsed 5 –  6 times or, until the water runs clear
  • 1 teaspoon Rice Bran Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Carom Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 – 5 cups of warm water 

DIRECTIONS –  

  1. Heat a deep pan and coat with oil.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan and cook on high heat until the seeds pop. 
  3. Roast the remaining spices until aromatic.
  4. Mix in the rice and add salt to taste.
  5. Add water and cover the pan. Cook on a slow heat until the rice grains are cooked and fluffy. (Pre-soaked Basmati rice that I used cooked in 25 minutes. Adjust cooking times depending on the age of the rice and soaking time). 

Serve warm!

Vegan Sugarfree “Sfoof” with Turmeric & Fennel Seeds

“Sfoof or Sfouf” is a gorgeous turmeric based semolina cake that has its origins in Levantine cuisine which I absolutely love. The free use of spices and exotic flavours such as rose-water and orange blossom water is positively alluring. The best part of this cake is the lovely golden colour, seeing that turmeric is one of my favorite spices to use in desserts. Traditional versions suggest adding sesame or pine nuts and anise seeds as the ingredients along with flour, sugar and oil. I’ve substituted the sugar syrup with Xylitol and omitted the sesame seeds and nuts  for an allergy friendly version. Also, using fennel seed powder instead of the anise seeds gives this version a sweet licorice flavour which is divine! I baked the batter in my mini loaf pan for perfect portions.

Sfouf/ Sfoof – Vegan, Sugar-free & Nut Free

(A beautiful golden cake with the goodness of turmeric and fennel seeds.)

INGREDIENTS – 

Semolina – 2 cups
Self Raising Flour – 1 cup
Turmeric – 1 tablespoon
Fennel Seeds, freshly powdered – 1 tablespoon
Xylitol – 1 cup
Water – 1.5 cup
Orange Blossom Water – 1/2 tablespoon
Rose Water – 1/2 tablespoon
Oil – 1/2 cup
Non Stick Spray, to grease the cake/ loaf pan

DIRECTIONS – 

Spray either an 8″ pan or a mini loaf pan with non stick spray.
Preheat the oven on a fan forced setting to 200 degrees C.
Take a large mixing bowl and combine the semolina, flour, turmeric and fennel seed powder.
In a small saucepan, dissolve the xylitol in water and heat gently until dissolved.
Take off the heat and add the orange flower water and rose water.
Gradually add the syrup to the dry flour mixture and whisk in the oil.
Whisk gently until all the floury lumps dissolve. The batter is quite thick.
Scoop into the cake pan if using or, add 2 heaped tablespoons into each well of the mini loaf pan.
Bake at 170 degrees C for 25 to 35 minutes, or until skewer inserted in center comes out dry. The cake takes slightly longer as compared to the mini loaves.
Remove from the hot oven and cool on a baking rack.

NOTES – 

Brush the top with rose water if desired or, dust with powdered xylitol & turmeric, as I did.

Lemon Rice (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Lemon Rice is a traditional South Indian dish that can be ready under 10 minutes, if the rice used for the base is already cooked. I tend to make my lemon rice with leftover brown Basmati rice on a busy week night. For an even lazier version, use roasted peanuts that can directly added to the rice as garnishing. I tend to do this as half of my family doesn’t like eating peanuts with their food but, the other half loves peanuts in all its glorious forms! In a cinch by all means use, lime juice as the taste is remarkably similar. I’ve used some apple cider vinegar for its sour goodness and health benefits, replaceable with an equal quantity of lemon juice. 

Tastes best accompanied with some yogurt, fresh salad and pickle.

Lemon Rice

(Vegan & Gluten-free. Omit peanuts for nut-free version. Substitute with roasted Pepitas or, Sunflower Seeds.)

INGREDIENTS – 

Cooked Rice – 2 cups
Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves, torn up roughly – 6 to 8
Green Chillies, minced – 2 teaspoons
Roasted Peanuts – 1 to 2 tablespoons, optional
Desiccated Coconut Flakes – 2 tablespoons, for garnishing
Lemon Juice – 1/4 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 tablespoons
Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS – 

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or deep pan.
Add the mustard seeds and cook until they pop.
Mix in the turmeric, curry leaves and green chillies.
Toss in the rice and coat in the above mixture. Season with salt.
Mix in the apple cider vinegar and cook for a couple of minutes to let the flavours merge.
Take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Mix well.
Garnish with roasted nuts if using and coconut flakes.

NOTES – 

Serve warm with coconut yogurt and some fresh salad.
Happy cooking ๐Ÿ˜Š

Vegan Tapioca Pearls Stir Fry/ Sabudana Khichadi

“Sabudana Khichadi”, is an essential part of Indian food celebrations, particularly those involving restricted consumption of food. My first memories of these golden pearls flavoured delicately with turmeric and cumin seeds are of my mother eating this dish when observing a fast for religious reasons. Strangely enough, the rest of the family who weren’t fasting possibly, ate a little more than my poor mother did!

We need,
  • Tapioca Pearls, washed and rinsed well – 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil – 2 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Root, minced finely – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh Curry Leaves, torn roughly – 6 to 8
  • Asafoetida Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Potato, boiled and diced – 1 cup
  • Red Chillies, finely sliced –  2 teaspoons
  • Salt, to taste 
For Garnishing,

Roasted Cashews – 1 tablespoon

Fresh Coriander, finely minced – 1 tablespoon

Green Lime, sliced into wedges – 1

 

Directions,
  1. Soak the rinsed tapioca pearls in a bowl with equal amount (1 cup) of water for 1.5 to 2 hours. Drain well.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds. Cook until golden.
  3. Stir in asafoetida, curry leaves, sliced chilli and turmeric root.
  4. Mix in the potato and tapioca pearls. Cook on a low flame for 4 – 5 minutes until the tapioca pearls look shiny and not as sticky.
  5. Take off the heat and top with chopped coriander and roasted cashews.

Enjoy warm garnished with lime juice squeezed over. Happy Cooking ๐Ÿ˜Š