vegetable diaries

Archive for the ‘indian’ Category

spice up your butternut!

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 18, 2012

there are lots of butternuts hanging around right now.. and maybe there is even one lurking in your kitchen. thanksgiving is four days away, and if you’re wondering what to do with these little or not so little lovelies i strongly suggest you give this recipe a try! i love turning the butternuts into fries, roasts, and soups, and today i cooked up a dal-vegetable stew from madhu gadia’s cookbook, the indian vegan kitchen. i love her cookbook.. and it’s one where you will refer to again and again. you can learn more about her here. anyways, back to the dal. the result was a creamy, spicy, savory, minty (yes, minty!) and a little bit of tangy dal stew! i topped it off with a hint of fresh cilantro. i think this would be a perfect dish at a thanksgiving meal. i know first hand that vegans tend to miss out on t-u-r-k-e-y day; the day of EATING! i know that i certainly don’t want mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls for my t-day dinner. give this recipe a try and you will be sure to please your vegetable-eaters.

p.s. i doubled the recipe since i wanted to use my entire butternut squash, and i froze half of it. i also cooked it in a big pot, not a pressure cooker. i also only pre-soaked my lentils for about 1/2 hour.

p.s.s. this is by far one of my favourite dals!

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Dal-Vegetable Stew (Dhan-Saak) from The Indian Vegan Kitchen by Madhu Gadia

Dal

1/3 cup (split, hulled) toor dal

1/3 cup (split, hulled) mung dal

1/3 cup pink lentils

3 cups water

1 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 cups butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

Paste

1 tbsp garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2-1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped

1 tsp tamarind paste or 2 tbsp tamarind sauce

1/4 cup water

3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1. Combine toor dal, mung dal, and lentils. Wash in 3 to 4 changes of water and drain.

2. (For best results, cook in a pressure cooker. To cook in a skillet, see note below.) In a pressure cooker, add dal, 2 cups of water, turmeric, salt, squash, and eggplant. Cover the lid and put the pressure weight in place. Once pressure develops, reduce heat, and cook under pressure for 5 minutes. Cool the cooker until the pressure is removed. Open the lid carefully. The beans and vegetables should be very soft. Stir a few times.

3. In the meantime, prepare the paste: In a blender, combine garlic, ginger, tomatoes, cumin seeds, garam masala, coriander, cayenne pepper, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cilantro, mint leaves, tamarind paste, and water. Grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.

4. In a large fry pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and fry 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Add the paste and fry until oil separates, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Add the dal mixture to the onion paste. Stir to coat dal mixture with the spices. Add 1/2 cup water, or more as needed, for desired consistency. (Mixture should have a thick, stew-like consistency.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Serve hot over a bed of rice.

Note: To cook in a skillet:  After washing dals as instructed in step 1 above, soak the dals for 2 hours or longer. Drain dals. Combine drained dals, 4 cups of water, salt, turmeric, squash, and eggplant. Bring dal to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the dals and vegetables are very soft. Stir to smooth consistency. Follow steps 3 to 6 to finish cooking.

dal-vegetable stew

i also had a salad with fresh greens i bought from my local market.. i thinly sliced up some radishes and added balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cracked black pepper & salt. i couldn’t resist not taking a picture..

lettuces & paper thin radishes

Posted in cookbooks, gluten-free-friendly, indian, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

my appetite and the east bay: a compendium

Posted by vegetablediaries on March 2, 2010

the moderate meal at Manzanita

today i will cover three wonderful east bay eateries: Manzanita Restaurant, Vik’s Chaat Corner, and Cafe Colucci. all of them are very affordable and delicious and will summon you from far away (i write this from southern california)!

you can find my older post on Manzanita here, and as i mentioned before i find the grain at Manzanita to be a little on the mushy side. so when my friend and i had lunch we ordered our moderate meals without the grain and it was just as excellent as ever! we also didn’t waste any food. i don’t have a photo of the soup but i think it was a miso vegetable and bean soup. it was probably one of the best soups i’ve had at Manzanita.. it was hearty and loaded with veggies. the entree included split peas, dinosaur kale with some sort of dill dressing that was outstanding, steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots with a tahini dressing (i think), and a mixed green salad and beet dressing. i really enjoyed everything and it was also nice to sit outside in their sunny patio.

dosa from Vik's Chaat Corner

later that afternoon we headed to Vik’s Chaat Corner to snack on some dosa. by the way, Vik’s recently moved to a new location… don’t worry, it’s nearby to their old location. the new space is airy and huge! it seems like it will accommodate crowds better then their old place. when we visited it was a weekday around 3pm, so it was calm and their menu was limited. i recommend going on a weekend (although it will be crazy crowded) where they offer more menu items. the vegetable dosa is so tasty and only available on the weekends! the idlis, which are like little steamed rice & lentil cakes are also so yummy. i could drink the sambar and coconut chutney! oh, how i miss Vik’s!

veggie combo from Cafe Colucci

and last but not least, i give to you Cafe Colucci! i’ve had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Colucci’s and lately i seem to be loving them. when i first tried them years ago i thought their food was really good, although my favourite ethiopian restaurant lives in the city of angels– Meals By Genet. anyways, i’ve had my share of not liking Colucci’s for various reasons from service to food quality, but lately they seem to be consistently really really good. i usually tend to visit them during lunch, because the veggie combo is so cheap at only $10! i always end up leaving so incredibly stuffed!

veggie combo from Cafe Colucci

Manzanita Restaurant
4001 Linden Street
Oakland, CA 94608
510-985-8386
www.manzanitarestaurant.com

Vik’s Chaat Corner
2390 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
510-644-4432
www.vikschaatcorner.com

Cafe Colucci
6427 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
510-601-7999
www.cafecolucci.com

Posted in ethiopian, gluten-free-friendly, indian, sf bay area, vegan, vegan-friendly | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

creamed cauliflower soup- recipe

Posted by vegetablediaries on January 17, 2010

creamed cauliflower soup

This recipe is inspired from Yamuna Devi’s recipe in her cookbook “The Vegetarian Table- India.” My version uses only cauliflower and no potatoes or rice. This is perfect for a rainy day or when your throat needs something soothing and your belly needs something delicious!

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

2 smallish cauliflower heads, cut into large florets
6 ½ cups water
½ tbsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 serrano chilies, chopped
1 ½ tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
fresh ground pepper (to taste)
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Method

1. Combine the cauliflower, water, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and serrano chilies in a soup pot. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
2. When the vegetables are cooked, use an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) puree until the mixture is smooth.
3. Reheat the soup.
4. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the mustards seeds to the soup and stir. Add the chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

creamed cauliflower soup

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, indian, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

ajanta on my brain

Posted by vegetablediaries on January 14, 2010

bheh, khumbi aur matar (lotus root) at Ajanta

if you are in berkeley (solano avenue to be exact) and are in need of unique and delicious indian food for cheap (lunch=cheap, dinner=moderate), then i highly recommend eating at Ajanta. i’ve been to many indian restaurants and none of them can compare to Ajanta’s varied menu and awesome preparation of regional dishes. although they are not a vegan restaurant there are usually a few vegan lunch specials from which to choose. your lunch will include yummy aromatic rice (brown rice is an option for a little more money), kala chana (black chickpeas), or saag (pureed spinach). Ajanta’s menu changes weekly, so there are always new and interesting things to try. some things stay on the menu depending on season and popularity (i think), so if you fall in love with their sambhar like i did, then rest assured it’s been on the menu for a couple of months now… and hopefully they will keep it on! i’m also quite fond of the bheh, khumbi aur matar (lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, and peas cooked with caramelized onions, ginger, garlic and spices). however i think my favourite is their hyderabadi baingan baghare (organic eggplant slices sauteed and cooked in a sauce made with onions, sesame seeds, tamarind, coconut powder, cashew paste, ginger, garlic, and spices). i don’t have a photo but take my words that you MUST order the baingan baghare if you see it on the menu. it is so rich and the eggplants are like tender little gems that explode in your mouth.

i’ve visited Ajanta for dinner, too but nothing can beat the fantastically cheap and filling lunch specials ($10 or less!).

brown rice & kala chana at Ajanta

i love the caramelized onions on the rice…

sambhar with vegetables at Ajanta

the sambhar is a south indian dish and includes toor dal (lentils) cooked with spices, tamarind eggplant, okra, carrots and potatoes. i didn’t mention this yet but Ajanta is prepared to serve your food spicy HOT if you so desire. i ordered the sambhar “hot” but for the other dishes i recommend ordering them “medium” if you’re not used to the heat. if you like the heat then by all means you should go for HOT!

lobhia aur khumbi (curried black eye peas) at Ajanta

Ajanta
1888 Solano Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94707
510-526-4373
www.ajantarestaurant.com

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, indian, sf bay area, vegan-friendly | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

oh my dal- recipe

Posted by vegetablediaries on August 28, 2009

oh my dal with cilantro flower garnish

oh my dal with cilantro flower garnish

there are countless ways to prepare the indian classic, dal. however this recipe is simple and delicious, and only takes under 30 minutes from start to finish if you use a pressure cooker. i use a futura five liter pressure cooker and love it. you also won’t need a pantry full of spices; although this recipe is flavourful, it only contains a handful of ingredients. feel free to use any lentils you prefer. i used a combination of four of my favourite lentils and was quite pleased with the results. dal is something i subsist on daily and i encourage you to use this method when you’re looking for something fast, fresh and tasty! as an added bonus it’s also incredibly nutritious. serve this with chapati (indian griddle bread), rice or quinoa, or eat it like a soup. enjoy!

Oh My Dal

1/4 cup split urad dal
1/4 cup whole moong dal
1/4 cup masoor dal
1/4 cup toor dal
2 or 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed (i use a microplane grater)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 serrano chilies, sliced (if you like more heat, add more)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

dry lentils- urad, whole moong, toor, and masoor

dry lentils- split urad, whole moong, masoor, and toor

Sort through the dry lentils and pick out any stones or debris, then rinse well and set aside. Heat the pressure cooker on a medium flame and add the olive oil. Once the pan is hot add the cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chiles and cook for about one minute. Then add the turmeric and cook for one minute. Add the lentils and roast them with the spices for a few minutes.

roasting lentils in the pressure cooker

roasting lentils in the pressure cooker

Next add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of water. Stir to combine, then seal the lid and adjust the flame to medium-high. When the pressure cooker starts to whistle, lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes. Let the pressure come down before opening the lid, then add the fresh tomatoes and cilantro…and eat! (about 6-8 servings)

oh my dal!

oh my dal!

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, indian, recipes, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

things i miss from nyc: installment two

Posted by vegetablediaries on July 30, 2009

dosa man making up dosas in his dosa cart!

dosa man making up dosas in his dosa cart!

the dosa man has stolen my heart and the hearts of many others who frequent this shrine o’ dosas. located in washington square park at west 4th street, thiru, the dosa man will make you “purely vegetarian vegan” dosas, uttapam, samosas, and more. his most popular item is the pondicherry special, but i tried the simple sada dosa with sambar and coconut chutney. it really wowed me. thiru puts so much love and pride into his cooking; its very enjoyable to step aside and watch him take orders, create meals, and smile. what a friendly man! everything is cheap.. and t-shirts are for sale!

thiru, the dosa man

thiru, the dosa man

the sada dosa is a plain dosa. its basically a crepe made with fermented rice and lentils. you have a choice to make it spicy or not.

sada dosa with sambar and coconut chutney

sada dosa with sambar and coconut chutney

dosa man telephone: 917-710-2092

and what a lovely way to to end your dosa meal.. walk over to STOGO ice cream!!

stogo coconut vanilla and coconut chocolate ice cream

stogo coconut vanilla and coconut chocolate ice cream

oh man, stogo is the best dairy-free ice cream i have ever tried! its so rich and creamy, and their flavors are quite unique. how about vanilla goji berry crunch… the coconut vanilla and coconut chocolate are my favorites. most of the ice creams are soy, coconut, or hemp based. feeling sad? has nyc rained on your day? stogo makes life so much better. be warned, it can turn into an expensive habit but its so worth it, i think. i can’t wait to go back! babycakes nyc cupcakes and cookies are also for sale here, along with gourmet chocolates.

http://stogonyc.com/

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, indian, new york city, vegan, vegan ice cream | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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