Category Archives: Vegan

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane tortilla

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As you know I love cooking with what’s in season, go visit the local markets, pick up some produce, get some inspiration, bring it back to the kitchen and make something fun. This time when I visited India in Summer, although it was ultra blistering hot, I mean we are talking 108F and 90F at night, it did not stop me from going to the market.

I picked up some raw jackfruit, mangoes from the market and on the way home stopped off to grab a drink of fresh sugar cane juice. As I was driving home, I started thinking about my summer vacations growing up.

It used to be super hot where I grew up, but we still enjoyed our afternoons. A everlasting game of monopoly, carom board, playing cards and endless conversations were so much fun. Every summer we also visited my Nani (maternal grandma). She lived in Mumbai and the train ride to her place used to be another event we looked forward to every summer.

My Mom is a great cook and an amazing planner.  So she would pack perfect food for all our train journeys. One of the dishes was this roti/poli/tortilla made from sugar cane juice, called ‘Rasachi Dashmi’.  It not only tasted awesome but was perfect for the train journey as it stayed good without any refrigeration and tasted great cold.

My nani would always have alphonso  mangoes waiting for us along with other things from konkan and she would make the best Poli in the world. We would devour the mangoes with poli and ghee.

Kokam, Tadgola and so much more. Fragrant yellow jackfruit would fill the air. I will share more recipes using the ripe or yellow jackfruit soon.

One of those things was raw/green jackfruit. She would make the best bhaji with it, with lots of red chilies and tender cashews.

My nani is no more, but her memories I cherish through various foods. My kids are not so lucky to just hop on a train and visit their Nani, my Mom. The 10K miles is a long distance to cover. But we always take family trips in vacations, sometimes local, sometimes even staycations but always make time for family.

I know how important it is to spend time and make memories. We are all big time foodies so more often than not the destinations are picked based on the variety of food we get to eat. We love to explore local cuisines and produce, always a local market visit is included in the vacation plan.

One of the favorite destinations is Mexico, I just love Mexico. Its nice and warm, people are very friendly, I can speak the language and most of all, amazing food. I can visit Mexico many times and nto get tired.

Mexican food is probably my second most favorite food after Indian food. Whenever we visit Mexico, II make sure we go to the local markets and try some amazing dishes. Last time we visited this restaurant in Maztlan, El Precidio and everything there was incredible.

 

 

I love Mexican food as it highlights seasonal produce, perfect balance of spice, sweet, savory and just satisfying meal. I love the use chilies in many ways, I love how they use traditional cooking methods to get some complex flavors in dishes like Mole.

One of the most commonly known Mexican foods is Tacos. Simple yet flavorful, incredibly versatile.

Today’s dish is inspired by the  summer vacations, both mine and my kids’s and its tribute to the local produce.

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane juice tortilla

 

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I would love to know about your summer memories and foods. Please share in comments.

 

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Pineapple sasave- sasam

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Summer vacations are even more focused on food in my household. We love making new dishes using abundant produce. We all look forward to elaborate meals on the patio accompanied with some jazz in the back ground. I have been meaning to blog this for a long time, but when I was planning the menu today, this just fit right in, so here it is

Last time when we visited India, we visited family in Goa. For those who dont know where Goa is, it is a western coastal state of India. Known for its beautiful vibrant beaches and amazing sea food, this state offers a great cuisine. Since Portuguese settled here, the goan cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese cuisine. There are  some recipes that are typical of the christian household and some that are more  Hindu cuisine. No matter which one you pick, it is great food for sure .

The family we visited, Didi who is the lady of the house, is amazing cook. She had made a spread that we enjoyed so much. Her home is also very beautiful, courtyard, brick walls, it is so inviting and warm. One of the recipes she made is Ananas Sasave- pineapple curry.

PIneapple

Pineapple

In summer, I love cooking with fruits and Pineapple goes so well with so many things. Tangy, sweet I love it in many dishes.

This dish has everything, a bit of sweet, a bit of sour, a bit of spice and everything nice. It is very easy to make and tastes good hot or room temperature. I love to eat it with piping hot rice and a dash of ghee. It is very easy to make, comes together in 15 mins.

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I made this as a part of the meal, prawn curry, raw banana Kaape, rice and papad.

Ingredients:

sasam ingredients

sasam ingredients

 

Paste

1 cup of fresh grated coconut

1 tsp of mustard seeds

1 small piece of tamarind

1-2 green chilies

For tempering

1 tbsp oil ( I used coconut oil)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 pinch of asafetida

1 spring of curry leaves

1 dry red chili

Other 

3 cups of cubed pineapple

1 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

Method

Make a fine paste of all the ingredients listed under paste. The finer the better, but use as little water as possible.

You can add water later, but try to grind with a little amount.

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Heat the pan and heat coconut oil, make sure you cook on medium heat otherwise the oil can smoke.

Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chilies. saute for a few secs, and add pineapple pieces. Add salt, stir and cook for a few minutes covered.

Add the ground paste and cook on low heat. Add jaggery and taste for salt.

Your sasave is ready.

This dish awakens all the senses, it is  a riot of flavors  in your mouth.

 

Goan Thali

Goan Thali

 

 

Soya Pyaaz Ki Seekh kabob

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I love summers. Abundant produce, long days and backyard barbecues. I love anything and everything that comes off the grill. The smoky aroma it imparts to the food is so appetizing. We have grilled all the way till October, even when it is raining with an umbrella in the hand, umbrella not for us but for the grill 😉

Today it was a gorgeous evening, the first moon was in the sky. It marks the beginning of Ramdan.  It was not too hot, prefect temperature to have a meal on the patio.


I love summer produce and can almost go vegetarian in summer but then the kabobs call my name, and I melt.

This recipe today sort of helps me be vegetarian on Monday. It is perfect for the #meatlessmondays and the grill.

I love watching all food shows but there are some favorites and master chef is one of them. I loved the indian version more because there was Vikas Khanna and there was Ranveer Brar ;). Recently I got a chance to meet with Vikas Khanna( thanks to a dear friend)


A local organization Women’s now is hosting a cooking competition  and Ranveer will be the judge, so now I can not wait to meet Ranveer.

Today’s recipe is based on his recipe. I made a few tweaks, it is a keeper


Ingredients

1.5 cup soya chunks or 1 cup granules

1 large potato

1/2 onion finely chopped

1-2 green chilies chopped

1 tsp Shahi Jeera

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 pinch cardamom powder

1-2 drops of liquid smoke

A few mint leaves chopped

Cilantro chopped

Salt to taste

Method

  • Boil the potato, peel and mash well.
  • Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 15-20 mins. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  • Pulse in the food processor to get a minced meat like consistency.
  • In a pan heat the oil, add jeera when the oil is hot. Sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and chilies and sauté on medium heat till brown.
  • Add these onions to the soya mixture along with potatoes and rest of the ingredients.
  • Make patties and shallow fry in a pan or make long rolls and shape lo a kabob on a skewer. Cook till crispy outside.
  • Remember everything else is cooked so make sure you don’t let the kabob dry out.

I served it with a Rose-strawberry coconut smoothie with chia seeds, it seemed to somehow compliment the colors of the sky.

Savory butternut squash

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I have been making an effort to eat local and eat what is in season. To help with this initiative, I only shop at the farmer’s market as much as I can. The only exceptions are curry leaves and mango.

My kids sometimes complain that I always find some type of squash in the market, they are right, you will always find some kind of squash in the market. The butternut squash is typically available in fall. The market I go to, one farmer carries organic apples and different kinds of squashes. I love butternut squash since it holds its shape fairly well even after cooking.

When I was ready to cook this squash, my friend Hrushikesh posted this recipe. This recipe reminded me of the subji that is served as a Prasad ( a blessing) at a a very famous temple. I visited it when I was in 7th grade. I fondly remember sitting on the floor and eating this subji with thick whole wheat rotis on a plate made with dried leaves. I did not know what Bio degradable or compostable meant, now I appreciate that plate even more.

So I decided to try the recipe right away and the outcome was delicious. It can be easily tweaked to be eaten as a fasting food as well.

Savory butternut squash

Pumpkin Subji

Ingredients

3/4 kgs of pumpkin chopped in squares of about 2″ x 2″ (peels on)
3/4 cup  grated dried coconut
1 tbsp Poppy seeds ( खसखस )
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 medium sized dried chillies
1 tbsp  cashews chopped
10-15 fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Corriander powder
1 full stem of curry leaves
2 tbsp Raisins
1/2 cup of water

For tempering
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of asafoetida

Method

Peel the squash and cut in cubes.

If you are using pumpkin, you can leave the skin on as it helps keep the cubes intact and does not get mushy.

Heat the oil in a wok. When hot, add cumin seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida.

Add the raisins, curry leaves, green & red chillies, cashew nuts, fenugreek seeds,poppy seeds and roast it for about 2 mins.

Now add 1 tsp of corriander powder (the remaining 1 tsp goes in at the end) and roast it for another minute or slow on a low flame.

Add a few drops of water if it starts to burn.

You can add more chillies if you like, since the squash has its natural sweet taste, sugar or jaggery is not required
Now add the cut pumpkin cubes, there’s no need to steam it as these cubes do get cooked well.

Add 1/4 cup of water and cover this with a lid for about 3-4 mins. Check after that add some more water and let it cook for another 4-5 mins or until done.

Add the roasted dry coconut & 1 tsp of Dhaniya powder.

Cook it till its done.

Serve it hot with roti or Teekhi puris.