More Veggie Recipes

My cookbook collection is growing out of control. Several of the books, I might only use two or three recipes, so really I ought to photocopy them and sell or donate the books. My latest acquisitions are Prashad by Kaushy Patel (based on what she serves at Prashad), and The Dal Cookbook by Krishna Dutta, which enticed me because I’m always looking out for new tasty pulses recipes. All of the following recipes are copied here without permission and of course I will remove them if the authors or publishers ask.

Rasam with Gourd and Toor Lentils
2 tablespoons coconut oil or sesame oil
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
thumb-sized piece of root ginger, pulverised into a paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
200g gourd or squash, cut into small cubes
250g toor dal
1 tablespoon tamarind puree
10-12 fresh or dried curry leaves
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chilli (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot, throw in the mustard seeds. A few seconds later add the onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric and chilli powder. When they become creamy and translucent, add the dal with 500ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the dal is cooked. Stir in the gourd and the tamarind puree and simmer until the gourd is cooked (5-10 minutes). Add the curry leaves and crushed chilli near the end of the cooking time, cover the pan and take it off the heat. The consistency should be on the thick side, like baked beans. Serve hot with rice.

Green Banana Satay
100g red-skinned peanuts, finely chopped or blended
2 teaspoons chickpea flour, sieved
1.25 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2-4 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
100ml sunflower oil
4 green unripe bananas, in their skins, washed and dried

3-5 fresh green chillies, seeds in
3-6 garlic cloves
4cm root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
pinch of salt

Crush the chillies, garlic and ginger together with a pinch of salt to make a fine masala paste.

Put the chopped peanuts and chickpea flour into a bowl and mix together well, using your fingertips. If you feel you might want to take your contact lenses out in the next couple of hours, [b]do it now[/b]. Add the masala paste, salt, sugar, coriander, cumin, fresh coriander, turmeric, cumin seeds and oil, and mix them into the flour and peanuts, using your hands. Work everything into a rich paste then set aside for 15 minutes.

Do not peel the bananas. Chop them into thirds, then cut each piece lengthways into quarters, leaving the last centimetre or so intact at one end to hold them together. Open the banana pieces and spread the cut surfaces with the paste. Place the pieces in a large frying pan, and scoop any leftover paste into the pan and dot between the banana pieces.  Place the pan over a high heat and cook for 1 minute. Pour 300ml warm water into the bowl, swill it around to loosen the last of the paste, and pour carefully into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and leave to cook for one minute. Reduce the heat to very low and leave to cook for 13-15 minutes, carefully turning the banana pieces every 3-5 minutes. Serve with paratha and tomato relish.

Chana Dal with Bottle Gourd

300g chana dal (Bengal gram, split skinned black chickpeas)
150ml sunflower oil, plus 1 teaspoon
4 dried red chillies
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 teaspoons carom seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 medium bottle gourd, peeled and chopped into 1.5cm cubes
1 teaspoon turmeric
2-4 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

2-6 fresh green chillies, seeds in
2-4 garlic cloves
3cm root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
pinch of salt

Rinse the chana dal 3 times in warm water then put it into a large pan with 1 litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to foam. Skim the froth from the surface add the teaspoon of oil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, three-quarters covered, for about 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding another 250ml boiling water as and when needed to keep the dal covered. When the dal is soft and cooked through, drain and set aside.

Crush the chillies, garlic and ginger together with the pinch of salt to make a fine masala paste.

Heat the 150ml oil in a large pan for 30 seconds over a medium heat, then add the dried chillies. As soon as they start to brown, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the carom seeds, asafoetida and gourd. Mix gently, then stir in the masala paste, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, salt and sugar. Pour in 200ml boiling water, stir, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. Add another 100ml boiling water, cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every so often.

Add the dal to the bottle gourd mix, stir gently and cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat. Remove from the heat, stir in the garam masala sprinkle with the chopped coriander, and leave to rest, covered, for at least ten minutes. Reheat, serve with puri and rai marcha.

Moong Dal with Cauliflower

250g small split yellow moong dal (do not put them into soak the night before, you don’t need to)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 medium cauliflower, divided into small florets
2 tablespoons ghee
4 small green cardamom pods
2 small cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon fresh root ginger, grated
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander

Dry fry or toast the dal in a deep frying pan without oil until a nutty aroma rises and set aside for a couple of minutes. Pour 700ml warm water ino a heavy saucepan, add the dal and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, add the turmeric, cumin and chilli, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t dry out and add boiling water if necessary. Once teh dal is soft, add the cauliflower and cook for four more minutes. Set aside.

Put the ghee into a deep frying pan. When hot, crush the cardamom pods, split the cinnamon sticks, and toss them in. Add the crushed ginger with tomato puree and blend with a whisk. As the aroma rises, tip them into the pan of cooked dal and stir well. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle the coriander leaves on top and put the lid back on the pan. Serve with rice or parathas.


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