Indian Vegetarian Cookery

I did a meal for friends yesterday and was asked for the recipes. As I have typed out the recipes, I thought that I would share them with my RedBubble friends. The recipes originate from a book by Yamuna Devi

Fresh Coriander Chutney (Dhaniya Chatni)
Makes about 240ml

1 tsp (5ml) cumin seeds
3 tbs (45ml) sesame seeds
25g of freshly grated coconut or 40g chopped almonds
240ml trimmed fresh coriander, lightly packed
1-2 hot green chillies, seeded and chopped
½-inch (1.5cm) fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2tbs (30ml) water
60ml sour cream or yoghurt
1tbs (15ml) raw sugar, molasses or jaggery
1 tsp (5ml) salt

1)Place the cumin seeds, sesame seeds and coconut or almonds in a heavy frying pan and dry-roast over low heat until the coconut or almonds darken a few shades.
2)Transfer to a food processor with metal blade or liquidiser along with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. The chutney should resemble runny apple sauce in consistency. You may have to add a little more water to achieve this. It can be kept for a few days if well sealed and refrigerated.

Ginger Yoghurt Rice (Dahi Bhat)
Makes about 5 servings

95g basmati rice
400-480ml water
2tbs (30ml) unsalted butter or ghee
300ml plain yoghurt, buttermilk or sour cream
½tsp-1tsp (2.5ml-5ml) salt
1tsp (5ml) minced fresh ginger root

1)Clean the rice by placing in a bowl and adding cold water, swirl the rice around with your fingers to release the starch which turns the water milky. Repeat the process until no more residue comes from the rice and the water remains clear. Drain the rice and allow it to air dry.
2)Bring the water to a boil in a 1½-quart/litre nonstick saucepan. Stir in the rice and reduce the heat to very low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently simmer without stirring for 20-25 minutes by which time the rice should be light and fluffy and all the water absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 5 minutes to allow the fragile grains to firm up.
3)Spoon the cooked rice into a flat dish, add the butter and salt, gently mix and allow to cool.
4)Just before serving gently fold in the yoghurt (or alternative) and ginger

Courgette (zucchini) Boats Stuffed With Herbed Quinoa pilaf (Kotu Bhara Louki)
Makes about 8 servings

4 large courgettes, about 8½ inches (21.5cm) long and 2 inches (5cm) wide, or 8 smaller courgettes about 6 inches (15cm) long
4tbs (60ml) unsalted butter or olive oil
1-2 seeded and minced hot green chillies
105g quinoa, buckwheat or kasha
30ml chopped fresh coriander or dill
320ml vegetable stock or water
⅛tsp (0.5ml) freshly ground pepper or cayenne pepper
6-8 high-quality saffron threads
½-1tsp (2.5-5ml) salt
120ml sour cream
30g sliced almonds
paprika or cayenne pepper for garnishing

1)Cut each courgette in half lengthways, then cut ⅓inch (1cm) deep around the inside edge of each half, leaving a ¼-inch (6mm) shell. Take a teaspoon and scoop out the loosened pulp, which is placed in a clean cloth and twisted to extract as much moisture as possible. Sprinkle the inside of the boats with salt and place upside down on several layers of paper towels.
2)Heat 3tbs(45ml) of the butter or olive oil in a 2-litre/quart pan over moderate heat. Add the courgette pulp and chillies and fry until softened and dry. Add the quinoa, buckwheat or kasha and continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the water or stock, herb, pepper or cayenne, saffron and salt. When the liquid begins to boil, cover, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the sour cream.
3)Dry the inside of each courgette boat with paper towels and then spoon in the stuffing, distributing evenly. Warm the remaining butter or oil and then brush it on to each boat. Sprinkle each boat with sliced almonds and a touch of paprika. Place a rack into a baking tray and lay the boats in a single layer. Pour water into the tray until it is ¼-inch (6mm) deep.
4)Bake in a pre-heated oven at180ºC (350ºF) until the shells are fork tender 20-25 minutes.
5)Serve with a simple tomato sauce (see recipe) below

Tomato Sauce (Taza Tamatar Sas)
Makes about 480ml

about 2Ibs (1kg) medium sized plum tomatoes or same amount of passata
3tbs (45ml) of ghee or a mixture of olive oil and unsalted butter
1-inch (2.5cm) peeled fresh ginger root, cut into 4 slices
½-tsp (2.5ml) asafetida powder (yellow powder or hing)
8-10 curry leaves (preferably fresh)
½-1tsp (2.5-5ml) salt
½tsp (2ml) brown sugar or jaggery
½tsp paprika or ¼tsp cayenne pepper

1)Peel and seed the tomatoes, cut into chunks and liquidise until smooth. If you immerse the tomatoes in boiling water they become much easier to peel.
2)Place the ghee or oil and butter mixture into a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the ginger and let it sizzle for about 30 secs. Drop in the asafetida and curry leaves and in seconds stir in the tomato pulp or passata. Be careful it does spatter a lot. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly 5-10 minutes. Remove the ginger slices before serving.

Spinach Pakora (Palak Pakora)
Serves 6-8
100g sifted chickpea flour (gram flour) sifted before weighing. I sift directly into the bowl of my kitchen scales
40g rice flour
1½ tsp (7.5ml) ajwain seeds (lovage seeds)
½tsp (2ml) cayenne pepper or paprika
½-1tsp salt
1ml baking powder
½tsp turmeric
1tsp coriander powder
Enough cold lager to make a thin batter about the consistency of light cream (about 150ml)
25-30 medium sized spinach leaves (about ½pound/ 230g)
Ghee or vegetable oil for deep frying

1)Combine the flours, ajwain seeds, cayenne or paprika, baking powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Gradually add the lager whisking all the time until it reaches the right consistency (light cream.)
2)Heat the ghee or oil for deep frying. Place the spinach leaves, batter and a bowl of clean water next to the stove along with several layers of paper towel for draining the finished pakoras. The bowl of water is for rinsing the batter from your fingers.
3)When the oil reaches 175ºC (350F) Dip a spinach leaf into the batter. Remove and allow the excess batter to drip off momentarily before placing in the hot oil. Repeat with 3 or 4 more spinach leaves. Fry them for about 1 min per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess oil off on the paper towels. Repeat the process until all the pakoras are done. After the pakoras are drained they can be placed in the oven at 120ºC for up to 30 minutes to keep them warm

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