Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts

May 29, 2021

baingan bharta with potatoes


Time: 40 minutes
Dishes: rice cooker, oven or air-fryer, large skillet

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I am a huge fan of Indian food, but I am always careful when preparing it because I never seem to hit the mark that my local Indian restaurant does. It doesn't keep me from trying, though, and every once in a while, I pull it off. This is one of those times.

This is a simple preparation of Baingan Bharta (as the original recipe is, too) but I added potatoes to make it more of a meal with some toothsomeness - that and I was fondly remembering the potato dishes from the same Indian joint, and I couldn't help myself.

I also used my homemade Zsu's Curry Powder because (1) I have it and need to use it, and (2) because it tastes amazing, so why not? If you don't have it, use store bought garam masala. 

You can increase the oil to 4 tablespoons if you like, but 2 tablespoons was perfect, although I will try cutting it to 1. Adding water when the potato starts to stick to the pan helps offset using too much oil and it helps cook the potatoes. Add the water in 1/4 cup increments. It will create a bit of sauce, too, while it cooks the ingredients.

If you start cooking the eggplant first, prepare the rice second and get started on the sauté last, you will get this on the table in 40 minutes. Yes, the eggplant sounds a bit daunting, but really, all you do is toss it in the air-fryer or oven (or on the burner if you're ambitious) and cook until tender. Then peel and mash. 

Overall, a very delicious and filling meal. 

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start with the eggplant; it will take 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Cook the rice second.
  • Chop the onion and start cooking it while you peel and chop the potatoes.
  • Use a lid throughout and adjust the heat from medium to medium-low as needed.
  • Chop the tomatoes while the onion and potatoes cook.
  • Cool the eggplant only enough to peel. Peeling should be easy as the skin separates from the eggplant. 

(Printer-friendly doesn't seem to be so friendly. Just select the text between the arrows (including the white space to add margin on the top), right-click, select Print, and now it's printer-friendly. Can also be saved as PDF:  choose Save as PDF in Destination drop-down, instead of a printer.)

Baingan Bharta with Potatoes

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with rice or naan.

2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons oil

1 medium onion, finely minced 

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons curry powder, Zsu's Curry Powder homemade, or garam masala

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 cup water for Onion, divided

2 medium tomatoes, chopped 

1 small jalapeno or serrano chile, thinly slice 

1/2 cup water for Tomato

1. Eggplant: Pierce the eggplants all over. Roast the eggplants in an oven (475-F) or over a burner or in an air-fryer (400-F) until the eggplant is tender and collapses, about 20 to 30 minutes. When cool to handle, peel. Mash the eggplant and mix with lime juice.        

2. Onion: Add the oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onion, potato, garlic, curry powder, coriander, salt, and turmeric. Cook until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes, covered. Stir as needed and add some water when the potato sticks. 

3. Tomato: Add the tomato, chile and 1/2 cup water to the Onion. Cook over medium to medium-low heat, about 5 minutes.   

4. Combine: Add the Eggplant to the Tomato and stir well. Cook for 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve with rice or flat bread.  

© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

Feb 6, 2021

indian butter seitan


Time: 45 minutes
Dishes: large skillet, large bowl, air-fryer 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Excellent meal - and pretty easy, to boot! This  Indian meal is very tasty and it, too, comes with it's food lore.  Since I am using seitan, you can probably guess (or already know) that this dish is originally made with chicken. The story goes that the tandoori chicken at a restaurant was drying out as it sat waiting for customers to buy it, so the owner created a curry sauce to keep the dish tender. 

This sauce, like many North Indian sauces, tend to be made with tomato in some form or another, and this one is similar. It has tomato sauce and calls for cream. Since we are already marinating the seitan in a flavorful yogurt sauce (the tandoori part of the dish), I figured it would be great to just add it to the sauce and not need any cream at all.

This worked beautifully and tasted great! 

Be sure to make your own seitan and I give you the Making Monday version for making Easy Simple Seitan Loaf. It takes about 1 hour, including kneading, so there is no reason  not to make it. A few simple steps and you have tender, flavorful seitan, ready to make this dish.  

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Prepare the rice, if using.
  • Make the marinade first and marinate the seitan while you prepare the sauce.
  • Air-fry the seitan while the sauce simmers. 
  • Use your impeccably clean fingers to pluck the seitan from the marinade (or use a fork) and gently shake off excess marinade. 
  • Save the marinade for the sauce.

(Printer-friendly doesn't seem to be so friendly. Just select the text between the arrows (including the white space to add margin on the top), right-click, select Print, and now it's printer-friendly. Can also be saved as PDF:  choose Save as PDF in Destination drop-down, instead of a printer.)

Indian Makhani - Vegan Butter Seitan

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with rice or naan.

1 cup plain, nondairy yogurt

1-inch ginger, grated

4 cloves garlic, grated

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 pound seitan (Easy Simple Seitan or store-bought), cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon oil

1 medium onion, finely minced 

1/2 cup cashews

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup tomato sauce

4 whole cloves

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon vegan butter or vegan ghee (optional)  

1. Marinade: Add the yogurt ginger, garlic, turmeric and chili powder to a large bowl. Mix well. Stir in the seitan pieces. Set aside.       

2. Onion: Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cashews, garam masala and cumin. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. 

3. Sauce: Add the broth, tomato sauce, cloves and cinnamon stick to the Onion. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, partly covered.  

4. Air-Fry: Remove the seitan pieces from the marinade (save the Marinade). Either air-fry on 4000F for 10 minutes, or bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 450F. Add the reserved Marinade to the Sauce. Taste and add salt and pepper. Thin with water if needed. Stir in the seitan. Stir in the optional butter. Serve with rice or naan.  

© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

Jul 25, 2020

vegetable korma


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large, shallow pan, blender (or small blender) 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I'm missing Indian restaurants, so I decided to make ONE Indian meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish - Vegetable Korma. This is a coconut-type of dish with lots of vegetables and is quite delicious, so I thought, why not? Then I thought it would be even better with some naan. I have a naan recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats, which is pretty easy, so, yeah. With naan.

Then it hit me: what about some protein? A dal? Sure! So I made a lentil dal with spinach. By that point, there was no reason to let the yogurt and cucumber in the fridge go untouched, so I made the piece de resistance: Raita, which is also in that same book (which, btw, has a killer Tandoori recipe). 

So, my easy Korma dish turned into a feast. It only took about 1.5 hours to prepare, including cooking the naan (which you have to start to prepare early in the day because it needs to rise in the fridge), but it was SO worth it! You, however, can get away with the Korma and some flat bread... or rice. I knew I forgot something.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Peel the potatoes and carrots and chop, while the coriander toasts. Add them to the pan with the water.
  • Then prepare the green beans and add to the pan to cook.
  • Use a lid to cook the vegetables.
  • Then get the other ingredients out.
  • Make the onion-coconut paste.
  • Chop the zucchini and tomato last.

Vegetable Korma

Makes 4 servings 

easy/moderate (Ingredients list kicks it to moderate)

Serve with: Dal, Rice, Raita and/or flat bread, such as Roti or Naan

1. Spices: Heat a large shallow pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds and toast until they pop. Stir as needed.

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

2. Add the garam masala to the Spices and IMMEDIATELY add the water:

1 teaspoon garam masala

3 cups water

3. Vegetables: Add the vegetables to the Spices. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes over high heat.

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 large handfuls green beans, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

4.Onion-Coconut Paste: Blend in a blender as soon as possible:

2 garlic cloves

1 green chile (or 1/4 bell pepper)

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1-inch piece ginger, chopped

1/2 cup dried coconut shreds

1/2 cup water

5. Zucchini or Peas: Add the zucchini (or peas), the tomato and the Onion-Coconut Paste to the Vegetables. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, over medium-high heat.

1 large zucchini, chopped or 1 cup green peas

1 medium tomato, chopped

6. Serve: Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and serve: 

3 tablespoons minced cilantro (optional)

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Aug 22, 2016

pantry+ roasted cauliflower in coconut curry

I am going to be completely honest with you: this is a really delicious dish! It uses pan-roasted cauliflower cooked in a coconut bechamel sauce. The sauce is laced with garam masala, one of the global spice mixes I am using for the Pantry+ recipes and it is a knock out!

It also happens to be really easy and fast to make, so you should get the rice cooking right away. Use my quick, 30-minute brown rice recipe HERE to make things go as fast as possible.

This recipe needs only 5 pantry ingredients and 4 fresh ingredients.

Roasted Cauliflower in Coconut Curry:

Large skillet
Medium sauce pot

Pantry ingredients are:
Vegetable broth
Garam Masala
Coconut milk
Red chili flakes

Fresh ingredients are:
Brown Rice

It is amazing how using only one spice mixture, and cooking the spice mixture first, adds so much flavor to a dish. This certainly cuts down on a list of ingredients. Since I still have garam masala from a store-bought batch I am not supplying a recipe for it, yet, but a quick search on the web will result in a plethora of options.

I dry roast the cauliflower because I've come to notice that there is a lot of moisture in vegetables that help cook and saute them without the need for added oil as long as you dry roast them in a well-seasoned cast iron pan and use a lid. It also speeds up cooking.

Because of the lack of oil, you need to toast your flour first and then add it and the milk to a blender, instead of using a roux of oil and flour to make the thickening agent.

Whether you choose to use a roux or a blender, this sauce thickens beautifully and is very delicious. The garam masala comes through in a big way and the touch of spice from the red chili flakes offers a bit of bite. The few dates in the curry lend the sweetness that it needs. Add some fresh cilantro as a garnish to brighten up this curry and the meal is complete.

Roasted Cauliflower in Coconut Curry (a Pantry+ recipe)
Makes 4 servings
Pantry list is HERE.

1 medium head cauliflower
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
3 large dates, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup cilantro
Hot, cooked brown rice

1. Begin preparing the rice as desired. Use my quick brown rice recipe. 
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Chop the cauliflower into florets and add it to the hot skillet. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Repeat until the cauliflower is golden. Add 1/2 cup broth, cover and steam until the broth evaporates and the cauliflower is tender. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
2. Add the flour to the skillet and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and add the garam masala. Stir and cook until the masala is aromatic. Add the coconut milk to a blender and add the cooked flour. Blend until smooth. (This step is to omit oil from the recipe. You can cook the flour in 3 tablespoons of oil and whisk in the coconut milk {instead of using a blender}, if desired.)
3. Transfer the coconut mixture to the skillet, add the dates, the salt, red chili flakes and the remaining 1 cup of broth. Stir to combine and add the cauliflower. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened and the dates are tender, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Serve with the brown rice and garnished with the cilantro. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Sep 10, 2014

samosa burger + raita sauce

Day 8 of Burger Extravaganza: I present to you this samosa-inspired Indian burger with raita sauce. All the wonderful flavors and aromas you love in a samosa, not just in burger form, but healthier - no deep frying involved!

This burger is made of roasted cauliflower and potatoes, scallions and the herbs and spices you've come to love in Indian cooking - mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, curry leaves and cilantro. It is then topped with a cooling cucumber raita.

If you've never had the pleasure of cooking with curry leaves, please do yourself a wonderful favor and get to an Indian market as soon as possible. I've been known to grab a bag or two, not just for cooking, but just for the scent! It is ridiculously aromatic and so exotic. I've never smelled anything its like before and I'll sneak into the fridge to have a sniff. And if you cook with - omg, hold me back. So wonderful!

I've found that using vegan yogurt alone for a raita leaves something wanting - the texture and body of the raita is not quite right. To fix this problem, I add a few tablespoons of vegan sour cream which brings a little richness and tang that is otherwise missing.

Serve this up with some garlicked greens (recipe is in Everyday Vegan Eats, page 196) and you have an excellent meal.

If you need to get your hands on a copy of Everyday Vegan Eats (my cookbook), Vegan Heritage Press is giving one away. Giveaway ends September 14 - hurry!

You can make this recipe into 4 double-stacked burgers, or spread the love to others and make 8 single burgers. Either way, these will satisfy your craving for Indian food. At least for a little while. The craving is never actually truly satisfied.

Samosa Burger with Raita Sauce
Makes 4 burgers
3 cups small cauliflower florets
1 pound waxy potatoes, chopped into ¼- inch dice
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
3 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
4 curry leaves
¼ cup cashews
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
4 scallions, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 burger buns or ciabatta rolls or 8 focaccia slices, toasted
Raita Sauce, recipe below

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Combine the cauliflower, potatoes and vegetable broth in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mustard, coriander, cumin, chili flakes, turmeric and curry leaves, if available. Stir and cook until the seeds pop, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the curry leaves. Transfer to a small bowl or to the cooked potato mixture. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in same medium skillet over medium heat. Add the cashews and stir and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add to the potatoes.
4. Transfer the potatoes, cauliflower, spice mixture, cashews, breadcrumbs and scallions to a food processor. Pulse until combined but not pureed. Form the mixture into 8 burgers, about 2 ½ inches in diameter and ½-inch thick.
5. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burger patties, in increments, adding more oil as needed, and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
6. Make the burgers by topping a bottom bun with 2 burger patties and adding about 2 tablespoons raita. Add top of the bun and serve.

Raita Sauce
1 cup plain unsweetened plain yogurt
2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup shredded cucumber, squeezed of excess moisture
2 red radishes, shredded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.