Sabji, rice, dal etc... but vegan!

Thakuraji's offering plate
It's been a long time since I last cooked at my local temple: nowadays I'm so busy that I end up baking a cake or cookies at home and taking them along. So tonight (Tuesday) I felt like having a go at home just to keep my hand in. My husband, an accomplished cook of all things Indian, pronounced this meal a success so I'm feeling quite pleased with myself, even though it took me way longer than it should have- about 2 1/4 hours to produce a meal for 7 people! The following are notes on what I did. Everything came from my store cupboard apart from the fresh veg, and it's all vegan too.

Pictured from the bottom left are:
  • Pakoras and chutney:  The chutney is actually very similar to the one I link to here, but with ginger and toasted mustard seeds instead of the herbs. This time the pakoras were made with half white self-raising flour and half chickpea flour, which gave a very crisp result. Added to the flours was 1 tsp hing, some powdered red chilli, seasalt and turmeric (haldi). I made the batter quite thick and pre-cooked broccoli and potato slices to dip in it, then used sunflower oil for deep-frying.
  • Chana Dal: I added a can of tomatoes to the cooked chana, plenty of seasalt and haldi, then toasted musrtard seeds in a little olive oil, to which I added hing and a generous handful of powdered coriander seed just before adding to the dal, Simple and tasty!
  • Sabji: I used olive oil again to gently fry cumin seeds and grated fresh ginger along with a little haldi and a selection of vegetables such as cabbage and green beans. After adding chopped fresh tomatoes and salt, I put the lid on the pot and turned the heat right down to gently sweat the sabji in its own juices- it comes out moist without getting watery. I kept the chilli out of this one as the chutney and pakoras were quite hot.
  • Chapattis: Cooked on a tava and made of 1/2 white flour and half wholemeal flour. I made sure the dough was not too dry so as to get a soft result. (Tip: I use my bread machine on dough cycle to mix and knead the chapatti dough for me while I get on with other stuff.)
  • Rice: A very simple pulao of white basmati rice, peas and toasted cashews. I added the nuts at the last minute to keep their crispness.
This is a simple, economical and nutritious meal, made healthier by the fact that there are no animal fats involved, but then maybe spoilt by the fact that there is deep-frying involved... but once in a while is okay, I feel!


  1. Yummy Recipe...I am gonna make it soon..Bookmarked it..


    1. Thanks Aarthi, reading your comment made my evening! Coming from an adept like you I consider that a huge compliment. My Indian cookery skills are quite limited really; one reason why I follow your blog :)

  2. All of the dishes on that platter look yummy and inviting and healthy :) Happy New Year dear! hope things are off to a good start for you

    1. All the dishes were very satisfying, which was the aim of the game, as I'm trying to cut down on post-dinner snacking in our house; teenagers are such hungry people! Thanks for your comment, and yes, things are off to a good start this year. Hope you too -and your family- are enjoying a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012 :)


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