Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bread - Cheese - Pizza

It has been quite some time since I updated my blog. Not that I am not trying any new vegan dishes but I got too many other things to do so never found time to update it. So when I tried something new and found that it did turn out well, I thought I will update my blog.

Today Adithi mentioned that she was hungry and she had been asking for a pizza for quite some time. However, I cannot make a pizza in a short time. Scanning the refrigerator and pantry there was not much I could offer. There was bread but she did not want sandwiches. So, I offered to make her a bread-pizza and she agreed. Typically, I make a vegan "cheese" with silken tofu or cashews but I had neither in pantry but had pistachios though. I might try making a "cheese" with pistachios. I forewarned that the "cheese" will be greenish and she was ok. Wondering what hunger can do.

  1. Bread (I used whole wheat) - 3 slices

For vegan cheese
  1. Pistachios, shelled - 1 cup
  2. Flax seed powder - 1 tbsp
  3. All purpose flour - 1 tbsp
  4. Nutritional yeast - 1 tsp / Garlic 1/2 pod (optional)
  5. Salt - 1/2 tsp
  6. Water, warm - 1/2 cup
  1. Tomatoes, chopped - 1
  2. Onion, chopped - 1/2
  3. Olives - 1/2 cup
  4. Banana peppers - 1/2 cup
  1. Soak the dry ingredients for the cheese in 1/2 cup warm water for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Grind the ingredients for the cheese in a mixer grinder to a fine paste. Add water if the consistency is too thick. 
  3. Lay the slices of bread on a baking pan.
  4. Spread the cheese on the bread. (If I had had some tomato based sauce or pesto I would have added it here before the cheese.)
  5. Put the toppings on the cheese. 
  6. Place the tray on middle rack and put the oven on broil under low setting for about 10-15 minutes or until the "cheese" browns or the vegetable show signs of browning.
  7. Serve hot!
I wonder if I had added one more tbsp of flour or flax seeds it would have turned with a more cheesy texture. Perhaps, tapioca flour might help. I did not have a tomato sauce to make it more like a traditional pizza. Nevertheless, I should try the next time with real pizza dough instead of bread. As for the quality report, Adithi as a lacto-vegetarian, found it good. I liked it too.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Zucchini Vegetable "Sevai" / Kichchadi

This is inspired from the fact that the vegetable, zucchini can be cut into noodles or spaghetti and used as a pasta/vermicelli substitute. It is also a good substitute if trying to reduce one's calories, since 100 grams of zucchini contain only 17 calories where as same amount of cooked rice vermicelli contains 200 calories and wheat spaghetti is about 160 calories.

I have used zucchini in pesto recipes and this is the first time I am trying it in an Indian dish. Basically, I have substituted rava (semolina) in the traditional South Indian upma kichchadi recipe with zucchini "noodles". I cannot think if any vegetable locally available in India can be used as a similar substitute. Perhaps, carrots cut into long thin strips can be used as healthy "noodles".

I guess for the best results one needs to use spiralized zucchini but I just cut them into very thin strips of about 3-5 mm square.

Ingredients (serves 2)
  1. One medium size zucchini cut into long thin strips
  2. Carrots (1/4 cup chopped)
  3. Green beans (1/4 cup cut into 1 cm long)
  4. Peas (1/4 cup)
  5. Capsicum (1/4 cup)
  6. Ginger (1 tsp chopped)
  7. Green Chillies (1-2 chopped)
  8. Curry leaves 
  9. Oil
  10. Mustard seeds (1/2 tbsp)
  11. Split black gram (1/4 tbsp)
  12. Split Bengal Gram (1/4 tbsp)
  13. Asafoetida (1/4 tsp)
  14. Turmeric powder (1 pinch)
  15. Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a wide bottom pan or wok and temper the mustard seeds, black gram and Bengal gram
  2. Roast green chillies, ginger and curry leaves
  3. Stir fry the vegetables (not the zucchini)
  4. When the vegetables are half cooked, add the zucchini strips and stir them well
  5. Add the turmeric powder, salt and asafoetida
  6. Sprinkle water as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom. Zucchini, by its nature, lets out its moisture while cooking so control the water added.
  7. Stir and mix well till the zucchini is cooked al dente
 I used chutney as a side dish.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stir Fried Veggies over Farfalle

A dish I made in Dec 2008 and shared in Orkut. At last, I got the time to port it to my blog. Back then, I had not refined my Italian cuisine. So this turned out to be an Indo-Italian-Chinese fusion food. Having said that, it wasn't bad.


  1. Farfalle (any kind of pasta, noodles or even rice would do as alternative)
  2. Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower florets, carrots, onions, mushrooms, capsicum, beans, corn, peas, whatever in the freezer. Spare the okra and radishes though.)
  3. Margarine or oil or butter
  4. Soy sauce
  5. Tomato ketchup
  6. Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  7. Red chilly flakes
  8. Turmeric powder
  9. Salt


  1. Boil and cook the pasta / noodles / rice (the starch / base) and keep it ready.
  2. On a large frying pan, heat oil / butter and season with cumin and red chillies. 
  3. Add the vegetables and stir fry them till slightly roasted. 
  4. Add turmeric powder and salt. 
  5. Then add the ketchup and soy sauce to the vegetables. Keep stirring them under low heat. 
  6. You may add the water from cooked pasta to get a little sauce like consistency.
  7. Cover the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. 
  8. Transfer the pasta / noodles / rice to a serving plate and add the stir fried vegetables over it. 
  9. Add finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mint Pilaf / Pudina Pulav

Pulav or Pilaf, as I understand, is a rice based dish that has its origins somewhere in Central / South Asia and is now fairly common from Turkey to India. The idea is to slowly cook the rice with vegetables and spices so that it absorbs the flavours of the vegetables and spices.

Ingredients (to serve 2)
  1. Basmati Rice -  1 cup
  2. Mint leaves, finely chopped - 2 tbsp
  3. Your choice of vegetables, diced - 1 cup (I used carrots, multi coloured peppers, green beans, cauliflower, and mushrooms)
  4. Green chillies, finely chopped - 2 
  5. Bay leaf - 1 small, optional
  6. Cashew nuts - 4-5
  7. Pine nuts - 1 tbsp, optional
  8. Vegan vegetable spread / Vegan margrine - 1 tbsp, optional
  9. Oil - 2 tablespoon
  10. Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan / pressure cooker.
  2. Roast the cashews and pine nuts.
  3. When they turn golden brown, add the vegetables and roast them.
  4. Add mint leaves, bay leaves and rice and roast till, rice is slightly carmalised.
  5. Add salt and water and bring it to boil. 
  6. Cook under medium to low heat till the rice is cooked and the water has evaporated. 
  7. Add the vegan vegetable spread / margarine and fold the rice over and let it melt and mix evenly.
  8. Serve with a vegan raita.

Cucumber Carrot Raita

Raita is a yoghurt based "dip" that goes well with Biriyani, Fried Rice, Pulav / Pilaf. It is also delicious like a dessert.

  1. Unsweetened Soy Yoghurt -  1 cup
  2. Cucumber, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
  3. Carrots, grated  - 1/4 cup
  4. Tomatoes, finely diced  - 1/4 cup
  5. Coriander (Cilantro), chopped  - 1 tbsp
  6. Green Chillies, finely diced Or Black pepper - to taste 
  7. Salt to taste
  1. Mix together the vegetables, salt and yoghurt
  2. For best results let the raita settle for about 10 minutes and extract the flavours of the vegetables.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Vegan Dhal "Makhani"

Dhal Makhani is a signature Punjabi dish. It is nutritious given that rich in proteins from the lentils. This is my vegan version of the same.

  1. Black gram (ulundu) 1/2 cup
  2. Red kidney beans (rajma) - 1/4 cup, preferably canned 
  3. Jeera / cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  4. Oil - 1 tablespoon
  5. Tomatoe puree - 1 cup (or made from 2 tomatoes)
  6. Ginger paste - 1 tablespoon
  7. Turmeric - a pinch
  8. Corriander powder - 1 teaspoon
  9. Chilli powder - 1 tablespoon
  10. Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon
  11. Coconut milk - 1/4 cup
  12. Chopped coriander
  13. Salt to taste
  1. Soak the lentils in water for about 4 hours. Or alternatively cook the dhal in a very low flame or heat for about 30 - 40 minutes
  2. Heat the oil and season the jeera seeds
  3. Add ginger paste and fry
  4. Add tomato puree and cook covered for 3 minutes
  5. Mix the spices, salt and heat
  6. Pour the lentils and beans and cook covered for 5-6 minutes
  7. Add coconut milk  and let it simmer for a minute. 
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lazy man's Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Bele Bath (henceforth referred as BBB) is the quintessential Karnataka breakfast or a quick lunch dish. To the initiated it is a kind of Sambar rice, though this definition will not do justice to the aromatic BBB.

An authentic BBB calls for grinding of spices and some elaborate steps. However this being a lazy man's BBB, there are a lot of approximations. Nevertheless I assure you that this does stand up to an authentic Kannada Bisi Bele Bath.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Rice - 1/2 cup
Thuvaram Paruppu / pigeon pea - 1/4 cup
Vegetables - chopped into 1cm long/cube pieces - 1/2 cup
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes 
  • Cauliflower
  • Green peas
Tamarind - 1 lemon size
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard - 1 teaspoon
Ulundu / Black gram - 1 teaspoon
Venthayam / Fenugreek - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chillies 3-4
Curry leaves - if available
Corriander leaves to garnish

Sambar powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon (this is the difference between an authentic and my version)
Elakkai / Cardamom - 2-3 skin removed and crushed or ground

  1. Soak the lentils in water for about 15 minutes while you prepare the vegetables and other ingredients
  2. Parallel, soak the tamarind in another bowl of warm water
  3. Heat oil in a vessel and season with mustards, black gram, fenugreek seeds and finally curry leaves and red chillies
  4. Stir fry the vegetables for about two minutes
  5. Add the soaked lentils and rice. 
  6. Bring the ingredients to a rolling boil
  7. Add the masalas, turmeric and about a spoon of salt.
  8. Add the tamarind water. Make sure that there is about 1 cm of water above the ingredients - not more not less
  9. Bring the heat down to simmer or the lowest setting and cover the vessel
  10. Let it simmer for some 15 minutes as the water is absorbed
  11. Check if all the water is absorbed, if not open the lid and let some water evaporate. The final recipe should be slightly watery - neither be soupy nor firm like pulav.
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve after about 5 minutes