Category Archives: Entree

Rajgara Canapes

Rajgara Canapes

Miniature parathas topped with stir-fried aloo ki subzi and spiked up with a dollop of green chutney

Ingredients:

For the paratha canapes

  • 1 cup rajaira flour, more as necessary
  • 1/2 cup grated bottle gourd (doodhi / lauki)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • oil for cooking
  • salt to taste

For the aloo subzi

  • 2 cups boiled and diced potatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 to 2 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

For the garnish

Method:

For the paratha canapes

  1. Mix all the ingredients and knead into a soft dough using water only if required
  2. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions
  3. Roll out each portion thinly into a circle of 1 to 2 inches diameter
  4. Cook each paratha canape on both sides using a non-stick pan on low-medium heat until brown spots appear on the surface. Keep aside.

For the aloo subzi

  1. Heat the oil in a non- stick pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and allow them to crackle. Add asafetida
  2. Add the green chilies, potatoes, turmeric powder and salt, mix well and cook for a minute
  3. Add the coriander, mix well and keep aside

Put it together

  1. Arrange the paratha canapés on a serving platter, top each one with a spoonful of the aloo subzi
  2. Top with a dollop of green chutney
  3. Serve garnished with grated coconut

Serves: 2

Skillet Lasagna

skillet lasagna

Ingredients:

For marinara sauce

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste / sauce
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt, if the canned tomatoes are unsalted or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar

Rest of the ingredients:

  • 8 oz lasagna plates
  • 3-4 medium size zucchini / squash, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

Marinara sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan
  2. Add onions and saute for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add garlic and herbs and stir for 1 minute
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste white wine, black pepper, sugar, salt (to taste) and parsley leaves
  5. Bring the sauce to boil, reduce heat and let it simmer on medium / low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring it every couple of minutes

Lasagna

Break lasagna plates into quarters and cook in boiling water till desired softness. Else could pressure cook it (3 whistles). Once cooked, wash with cool water and keep aside

Cheese

In a bowl, mix the cheeses with chopped parsley

Steps:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat, add olive oil and saute zucchini on both sides, till very lightly brown and then keep aside
  2. Similarly saute red bell pepper and keep aside
  3. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce in the skillet and then place a layer of lasagna on top of it
  4. On top of lasagna, layer the cooked vegetables and pour some sauce to cover the lasagna and vegetables
  5. Similarly, make more layers of lasagna, vegetable and sauce
  6. Scoop up large spoonfuls of cheese mixture and place on top of lasagna layers
  7. Cover and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes
  8. Serve hot with your favorite Italian bread by the side!

Serves: 4

Inspiration source: The Pampered Chef

Tempeh Stir Fry

tempeh stir fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 red chili, finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions (scallions) sliced on the diagonal
  • 300 g (101/2 oz) tempeh, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) cubes
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) baby bok choy
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) Chinese broccoli, chopped
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) toasted cashew nuts

Method:

  1. Heat the oils in a wok over high heat, add the garlic, ginger, chili and spring onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the onion is soft
  2. Add the tempeh and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove and keep warm
  3. Add half the greens and 1 tablespoon water to the wok and cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes, or until wilted. Remove and repeat with the remaining greens and more water
  4. Return the greens and tempeh to the wok, add the sauce and vinegar until warm. Top with coriander and nuts.

Serves: 4

Vegetable Florentine

Veg Florentine

Ingredients:

  • Mixed vegetables (French beans, carrots, green peas) – 3 cups, boiled / steamed
  • White sauce – 3 cups
  • Grated cooking cheese – 5 Tbs. I used Amul (Indian brand) cheese. It’s a very tasty cheddar cheese!

White Sauce

  • Butter – 2 Tbs
  • Whole wheat flour – 3 Tbs
  • Whole milk – 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

White Sauce

  1. Melt butter in a deep skillet over low / medium heat
  2. Sprinkle flour on butter and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring, till it is light brown in color and gives sweet fragrance
  3. Note: Be careful as the flour can start sticking to the skillet bottom and burn
  4. Remove from heat and gradually add the milk, constantly blending the cooked flour with the milk
  5. Return the skillet to heat and cook over medium heat, stirring throughout until the sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper and mix well

Putting together and baking

  1. Add some salt (to taste) to the cooked vegetables and mix well
  2. Heat the oven at about 425 F
  3. Take 1/3 of the mixed vegetables and spread them in a baking dish
  4. Spread 1/3 of white sauce on top of the vegetables
  5. Spread 1/3 of cooking cheese on top of white sauce
  6. Similarly, add 2 more layers of the ingredients in the same order
  7. Layer rest of the cheese on top
  8. Bake in hot oven for 15 minutes
  9. Switch the oven to broil mode at 450 F for 4-5 minutes till the top is light brown
  10. Note: Check regularly to make sure that the top doesn’t get too deep brown in color
  11. Serve hot

Serves: 4

Inspiration source: The Joys of Vegetarian Cooking by Tarla Dalal

Remarks: This baked dish makes for an ideal chilly winter evening meal!

Chili with Polenta

Chili with Polenta

Chili with Polenta

Ingredients:

Chili

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped leek
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 can (19 oz / 540 ml) tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/2 cup canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil

Polenta

  • 1 (18 oz) package prepared polenta cylinder

Method:

Chili

  1. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat
  2. Add garlic, leeks, celery, sweet potatoes and red bell peppers and cook for 4 minutes
  3. Stir in tomatoes, beans, fennel seeds, chili powder and basil
  4. Add 1 cup water and bring to boil
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender

Polenta

  1. Cut polenta into 1/2 inch thick disks / slices
  2. On a nonstick flat plat, cook polenta slices on both sides till they become light brown

Serve

Place cooked polenta slices on a serving plate and pour generous portion of chili. Serve hot.

Serves: 4

Inspiration source:

Light Vegetarian Cooking by Rose Reisman, page 106

Undhiyu – Surti

Undhiyu

Undhiyu

Ingredients:

Vegetables

  • 1 pack of Deep’s Surti Undhiu mix. This is a mix of frozen vegetables traditionally used in any undhiyu
  • Optionally you could opt for fresh vegetables such as
  • 50 g papdi lilva (soya bean peas are a decent alternative)
  • 50 g papdi
  • 100 g potatoes, cut in 2 cm cubes
  • 100 g sweet potatoes, cut in 2 cm cubes
  • 100 g small eggplants, cross slit half way
  • 100 g purple yam, cut in 2 cm cubes
  • ½ cup fresh or 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves

Spicing

  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 1/4 tsp ajavain seeds
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt or to taste

Cooking

  • 2 tbsp peanut oil

Method:

  1. Pre-cook all the hard to cook vegetables, such as frozen beans, to desired softness
  2. Mix the spicing with the chopped vegetables in a large bowl till the vegetables are uniformly coated with the spicing
  3. Heat oil in a large pan
  4. Add the spiced vegetables to the oil and stir fry it for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add a cup of water, cover the pan and cook the vegetables for 25-30 minutes on medium heat. Gently turn the vegetables during this period, making sure they don’t get burnt at the bottom. Add more water as necessary (couple of tbsp at a time) without making it too wet.
  6. When the vegetables are thoroughly cooked, take the pan off the heat
  7. Serve with Indian bread such as chapatti or puri

Serves: 4

Enchiladas

Enchiladas

Enchiladas

Ingredients:

Wrapping:

  • Tortilla or even substitute like Indian chapatti

Stuffing:

  • Beans
    • Vegetarian refried beans / black beans, 1 can – 14 oz / 425 g
    • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
    • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Cilantro rice
    • Rice, 2 cups, washed
    • Cilantro 1 small bunch, washed, finely chopped
    • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
    • Lime / lemon juice, 1 tbsp
    • Green chili, finely chopped
    • Salt to taste

Topping:

  • Sauce
    • Tomato sauce, 1 can – 14 oz / 425 g can
    • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
    • Red chili powder, 1 tsp
    • Dry Oregano powder, 1 tsp
    • Sugar, 1 tsp
    • Salt to taste
  • Black olives, 1 cup, sliced
  • Onions, ½ cup, sliced
  • Potato, steam cooked, peeled and sliced
  • Mexican four cheese blend (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby and Mozzarella), 4 oz / 110 g, grated

Method:

Beans

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and when hot add cumin seeds
  2. When the seeds start popping / become lightly brown, add the cooked beans
  3. Stir the beans for 2-3 minutes and keep aside

Rice

  1. Cook rice to desired softness and then let it cool
  2. Stir in oil, cilantro, lime juice, chili and salt

Sauce

  1. In a pan, head the oil
  2. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, Oregano powder, sugar, salt and bring to boil

Putting together

  1. Lightly warm the tortilla / rotis and put them on a working surface
  2. Grease the baking dish with olive oil
  3. Pour a thin layer of sauce to prevent the tortilla from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish
  4. Add beans and rice in a tortilla, fold it and put it in the baking plate
  5. Once all the tortillas are stuffed and placed in the baking plate, cover them with the sauce
  6. Top tortillas with sliced onions, olives, diced tomatoes and cover with the cheese
  7. Bake the enchiladas at 350 F till the cheese melts and becomes lightly brown and the sauce starts bubbling.
  8. Serve hot!

Serves: 4

Laksa

LaksaIngredients:

  • 3.5 oz (100 gm) noodles
  • 3.5 oz (100 gm) Laksa paste. I used Assam Laksa Paste (vegetarian) produced by Foo Yuan Vegetarian Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
  • 3 tsp peanut oil
  • 14 fl oz (about 400 ml) vegetable broth
  • 14 fl oz (about 400 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 stem lemongrass, cut into 4/5 parts
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • ½ lb bok choy or any other such Chinese green, chopped in large pieces
  • 5 oz (about 150 gm) bean sprouts
  • You can add other vegetables such as long beans, etc. I added cauliflower too!
  • 3 oz (80 gm) fried tofu
  • 1 piece of Chinese long donut, heated in oven till they become crispy and then cut into 1 inch long pieces
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:

  1. Cut fried tofu in 1 inch by 1 inch pieces
  2. Sauté the tofu pieces in 1 tsp oil on medium heat for 5 minutes and then keep aside
  3. Saute bok choy in 1 tsp oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then keep aside
  4. Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes until tender
  5. Remove the noodle, drain under cold running water and then keep aside
  6. In a pot, heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat and add Laksa paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  7. Stir in the stock and coconut milk and add the lemongrass. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes
  8. Add broccoli and any other vegetables you are adding to Laksa and let it cook for 5-6 minutes till vegetables are cooked to desired level

Serves: 4

Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Edamame

Couscous with chickpeas, tomatoes and edamameIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp dry basil)
  • 1 can chickpeas (16 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz), un-drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous (whole wheat)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped green onions (about a bunch)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add edamame, red pepper, black pepper and garlic; cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup water, basil, chickpeas, and tomatoes; simmer for 15 minutes
  3. Add 1 3/4 cups water and salt, bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the couscous. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes
  4. Stir in onions and feta; toss well. Serve immediately