Saturday, 19 October 2013

Kitchen of Love #2 is out!


We're really excited that the long-awaited sequel to Kitchen of Love- see here- is finally out! -And as before, The Yogi Vegetarian was involved. You will find our masala chai recipe in there, and we also lent a hand to the editorial team by writing the glossary! Whereas the first book, while containing recipes, was more of a guide to expressing spirituality and devotion to Krishna through offering food, this one is more recipes.
Kitchen of Love is part of a planned series of books featuring world cuisine recipes that follow the yogic diet (no onions, garlic, meat, fish or eggs) and features many vegan recipes. There may be a completely vegan book out in the future too. Anyone who is interested in how food ties in with spirituality and personal development, or who just wants to try out a healthier, more compassionate way of eating will love these life-changing books.
The original Kitchen of Love is available from Amazon, priced from £10.99 to £14.95. We will let you know asap how you can get hold of your own copy of the new Kitchen of Love.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Shahi Tofu- vegan, gluten free

Shahi tofu is equally good with rice or chapattis- but don't forget to add plenty of veggies/ salad for a balanced meal!
This dish has been on our "Must Make" list for months now, but  it was well worth the wait! A rich festive dish from the Mughlai tradition of North India, we gave it the YogiVeg treatment by veganising it- we used tofu instead of paneer, soy-based kefir/ yoghurt instead of dairy yoghurt, and in a futile attempt to lower the fat content, we did not fry the tofu. Despite this, however, it remains  decadently creamy thanks to a generous amount of ground cashew nuts. With festivals such as Diwali and Christmas on the horizon, can you afford not to have this easy but impressive recipe in your entertaining repertoire?

Recipe serves 5:
tofu made with 3l soya milk, pressed until firm then cubed (or about 400g firm tofu)
1/2 cup cashews, ground as finely as possible
400g fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp powdered ginger (or the equivalent in grated fresh ginger- I had run out or I would have used this)
a pinch-1/2 tsp chilli powder, according to your taste (you can always add minced fresh chillis too if you like)
2 tabs coconut oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tabs powdered coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
a pinch of compound hing
2 tsps cumin seeds
1/2 cup soya yoghurt (I used a home made one using kefir grains as the starter)
1 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsps seasalt (or to your taste)
  • Puree the tomatoes ginger and chilli in a blender or food processor.
  • Temper all the remaining spices in the oil apart from the garam masala, add the tomato mixture, the salt and bring to a simmer.
  • While it is simmering, grill the tofu cubes in a minimal amount of oil, turning from time to time, until mostly golden- brown but not tough; this will help to prevent them falling to pieces when you add them to the sauce. 
  • Add the ground cashews, the garam masala and the yoghurt.
  • Finally, carefully add the tofu pieces, warm thoroughly, avoiding stirring if you can, and serve hot. I have seen versions of this garnished with chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, which I probably would have done had I happened to have any in the fridge.

If you like the look of this, you may also like:

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

How to 17 : Make Alternative fried Onions

Looks pretty convincing, huh? (From a distance)
Why would you need an alternative to onions? You might ask- well, as many of you will already know, at The Yogi Vegetarian we promote the sattvic, yogic diet which precludes onions and garlic (also leeks and chives). If you click on the above link you will get a brief explanation of why. One of the questions I am most often asked is how to adapt a favourite vegetarian or vegan recipe that starts off- as so many do- with frying onions. Well here is the answer- use this alternative, made from white cabbage, salt and some seasonings. Hing (asafoetida) lends the pungency and the cabbage the sulphurous notes. The sweetness of fried onions can be easily emulated by using something like agave nectar. (I have tried unrefined brown sugar but it can stick to the pan and become scorched.)

This recipe makes the equivalent of 2 chopped fried onions:
225g white cabbage
2 tabs oil (coconut or rice bran are both stable at frying temperature)
1 1/2 rounded tsps hing
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tab dark soy sauce
1 scant 1/2 tsp seasalt (depends on the strength of the soy sauce)

1: Gather your ingredients together...

2: Shred the cabbage so that it resembles sliced onion in size and shape.

3: Gently stir-fry the cabbage in the oil over a medium heat, until it is just starting to brown.

4: It should be beginning to soften, like this.

5: Add the rest of the ingredients, soy sauce last. 

6: After a few minutes, your fried onions cabbage will look like this. You can now continue with your recipe as normal.
With this particular batch, I added some spices and a dash more oil, some fresh tomatoes and lots of chopped veg and turned them into a curry. You could add them to veggieburgers or hot dogs along with the relishes and salad, or add some chopped fresh chillis to the pan then garnish your favourite dal with them. They are also a good way to start off a home made soup.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Chocolate Cookie Brownies- vegan and veg versions

I'd like to introduce you to our daughter Radha, who has a blog over on Tumblr (not about cooking though). As well as being a budding artist and writer, she is also, on the rare occasions when she graces the kitchen with her presence, pretty amazing at cookery. Like all the family, she is pure veg (no meat, fish or eggs) but is not vegan like me and my husband. Consequently, her recipe contains milk and butter, but is easily vegan-ised, and so she has added a vegan version too (in italics). The other kids declared her "The next Nigella, only healthier" after tasting these brownies! We hope you enjoy them too, so without further ado here is the recipe:

150g butter/ vegan marg
200g light brown sugar
100g muscovado sugar
75g cocoa powder
150g plain white flour with 1 tsp bicarb
a pinch of salt
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsps egg replacer (we use Orgran No Egg in our house)
 Milk/ plant milk for mixing
 Cookies for topping, broken into large chunks

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Melt butter and stir in sugar over low heat.
  • Mix in flour and bicarb.
  • Add No Egg and almond essence.
  • Stir in enough milk to make the mixture dropping consistency.
  • Turn into a prepared tin, scatter the top with cookie pieces and bake for 20-25 mins. The cake tester will come out with gooey mixture on but they will be cooked on top- that's what you want. 
  • Dust with icing sugar (Silver Spoon brand is veggie and vegan-friendly- white cane sugars aren't because of the bone charcoal used in processing them).