Vegetarianism

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Teachings on Vegetarianism:
“I have been stressing the vital importance of people giving up this habit of eating non-vegetarian food even from my boyhood days. Meat eating fosters animal qualities in man making him descend to the demoniac level; it is a heart-rending sight to see cows being slaughtered to serve as food for man. The cow has been worshiped as mother in Bharat since ancient times… Cow-slaughter is reougnant to the culture of this country. The provision of drinking water to the people and putting an end to the killing of animals for food are two prime needs for the country to regain its pristine glory. Violence in any form is evil and to kill innocent animals in tantamount to blatant savagery. I bless the prime Minister (of India) and expect him to get there two things accomplished during his tenure.” Sanathana Sarathi December 1994 p. 322
“There are certain habits. Members of the Organization should have some good habits. Jaisa Anna, Vaisa Mann – as is the food, so is the thought. As is the feeling so is the experience – Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati. So we have to partake of food in a proper way. It is because of food that we have all sorts of durguna, duralochana and duschinta- bad habits, bad thoughts. So give up smoking. Also eschewing drinking. This alcoholism and smoking are ruining your health. One without health cannot achieve any small thing. Meat eating is also very bad. If you partake animal food, you will develop animal qualities. As is the food, so is the head. So you should have regulation of food. Then the fourth one is gambling. Those in the spiritual field should immediately give up smoking, drinking, meat eating and gambling. All these four are bad qualities. You take this meat eating. Many people have to kill the animals because of your non-vegetarianism. You are responsible for the death of those animals. They are killed because you eat them. This is a sin. What a sin to kill innocent animals and eat them.” (Divine Discourse, 21 Nov 1995)
“It is a fact that plants also have life like animals. But animals are endowed with mind, and nervous systems too while the plants do not possess the same. The animals cry and weep when they are being killed. It is not the case with plants; as such, equating killing of animals and destruction of plants is faulty logic. Further, killing the animals and eating their flesh leads to the creeping or dissemination of the animal qualities and behavior in to the man (meaning that man acquires the beastly qualities by eating animal flesh). Thus follows our acquiring the beastly qualities – tamasic nature – of the buffalos or the sheep. Hence, meat eating should be discarded. Food conditions the nature of the mind. Mind guides the thinking. Thinking results in action. Actions lead to commensurate or matching results and effects. This chain of action between the food we eat and the results of our actions highlights the fact that meat eating leads to beastly actions and the concomitant evil effects.” ..Sathya Sai, The Avatar of Love, p. 132

Vegetarian Recipes

Red Pumpkin Chutney

Pumpkins have a natural orange colour which give them a unique characteristic like carrots, namely, beta carotene. Beta carotene is a good anti oxidant for the body, which helps in the protection of certain types of cancer, heart diseases and also in degenerative aspects of aging.
This chutney is an accompaniment, which can be served with white rice.

Ingredients

Red Pumpkin (Skin peeled) – 1 cup
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste.

Method

Peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut them into 1 inch cubes.
Put ½ tsp oil in a non-stick pan and once it is hot, add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the pumpkin cubes and fry for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the pan from fire and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take ½ tsp oil in a pan and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.

Note: By using a non stick pan one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

Brinjal Chutney

Brinjals are a very good source of calcium and potassium. They also contain a high content of water and fiber. This chutney pleases even those averse to brinjal. So, go ahead and get the brinjals from your fridge onto your counter and get the best of nutrition into your tummies.

Ingredients

Brinjal cut – 1 cup
Jaggery – ½ tsp.
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds(Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1tbsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size.
Salt to taste.

Method

Cut the brinjals into1 inch cubes.
Add 1 tbsp oil in the pan and once it is hot add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this add the brinjal cubes and fry for 3-5 mins.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt, jaggery and grind to a paste.
Tasty brinjal chutney is ready to be served with rice or rotis.

Coconut chutney

A very simple and ready-to-eat chutney with no frills. Have a few basic ingredients on hand and you’re sure to impress a wide audience with your South Indian culinary skills.

Ingredients

Coconut – 1 cup.
Bengal gram dhal(Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Grate the coconut.
Dry roast the ingredients except salt, coconut and tamarind.
Grind all the ingredients together with coconut.
Instead of imli, add mango pieces and little jaggery. This will give it a sweet and sour taste.
This can be made with tamarind alone instead of mango and jaggery.
This coconut chutney can be served with plain white rice.

Just set your imagination rolling and you are sure to see many flavours to your recipe.

Coriander Sandwich Chutney

Coriander has many health benefits. It aids in digestion and is a rich source of iron, magnesium and other vital nutrients. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, which builds our immunity. Adding lemon to the greens would help retain the green colour. Above all, the flavour and aroma that it brings to any food is unbeatable. A handful of coriander leaves for garnishing would add finality to any recipe. This coriander sandwich chutney acts as a perfect spread to sandwiches, bringing an Indian flavour to the recipe.

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar – a pinch
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Put the coriander leaves and the other ingredients in the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve it on sandwiches or on dhoklas.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

Pudhina Chutney

Mint has many health benefits other than being a mouth freshener, it is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, B12. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of vitamin C which builds our immunity. Adding lemon juice into greens will help preserve the green colour. The aroma of mint would brighten your morning and helps you stay refreshed.

This Pudhina chutney is another easy spread which would come in handy at times of “grab-and-go”, when you are hard pressed for time. Take a spoonful, spread it on slices of bread and keep marching. You have a fantastic breakfast on hand.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

Ingredients

Pudhina (Mint Leaves)– 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbs
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar-a pinch
Jeera(Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Put the mint leaves and the other ingredients in the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve these chutneys on sandwiches or with rice.

Coriander Pickle chutney:

(Can be used as a pickle)

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (Cleaned)
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – ½ tsp
Oil – 1tsp
Tamarind – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Temper the mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies in 1/4 tsp of oil.
Stir fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the coriander leaves and fry for sometime.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once the leaves are cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take 3/4 tsp oil and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.
Serve with plain rice or with rotis.

Note: By using a non stick pan, one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

RICE VARIETIES

Here is a simple list of rice varieties that can help you get started with cooking. They range from a simple jeera rice to a totally different cuisine in Chinese Fried Rice to a sumptuous one pot meal “khichidis”.

SIMPLE JEERA RICE

A very simple and easy rice which can be accompanied by any side dish or eaten with salads too. The ingredients are easily available on hand and this can be made in a jiffy.

Ingredients

Raw rice (basmati) – 1 cup
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a pressure pan and add jeera.
When it crackles, add the rice and fry for 5 minutes till a nice smell emerges.
Now add boiling water and close the lid.
Wait for 2 whistles and switch off the stove.
For open cooking, the ingredients can be added to any pan keeping the flame very low.
The pan is closed with a lid and within 20 minutes, the rice would be ready.
Serve hot with any masala.

Points to keep in mind:
If it is basmati rice, the rice water ratio is 1:1. For other raw rice, it is 1:2 ratio.
Keeping the flame low is very important in open cooking, as all the water would get absorbed quite fast and there are chances of the rice getting burnt.

ONION RICE

This aromatic rice receives any guest with a warm welcome. The smell of onions in rice is heavenly.

Ingredients

Onions – 3 (big)
Rice – 1 cup
Brinji leaf / Bay leaf(Tej Patta) – 2
Oil
Salt to taste

Method

Cut onions into thin long slices.
Add 3 tsp of oil, tej patta and add onions.
Fry for 3 mins till the onions become golden brown. The browner it is, the tastier it becomes.
Add boiling water, close the lid and cook for 15 mins in low flame.
Keep checking regularly to avoid burning.
Onion rice can be served with or without any accompaniment.
Garnish with thin onion rings cut out from a whole onion.

Points to keep in mind: Please avoid pressure cooker.
The rice water ratio is the same as in jeera rice recipe.

CHINESE FRIED RICE

Does cooking and eating the same kind of food, bother you too much? Do your folks at home complain of monotony? Have you a feeling that you’ve been standing too much in front of the stove without producing anything interesting for the table? Well, it’s time to shun away all those and surprise everyone, including you, with this wonderful rice. The best feature about Chinese fried rice is that it doesn’t require much time and retains all the vitamins of the vegetables by cooking them on high flame. So, get started with yet another different cuisine, which, sure would be a super duper hit at the table.

Ingredients

Rice – 1 cup
Spring onions, cabbage, carrots, capsicum (shredded) – 1 full cup
Ajino moto – ½ tsp (optional)
Soya Sauce – 2 or 3 tsp
Chilli sauce (or hot and sweet chilli sauce) – 3 tsp
Ginger – ¼ inch (cut into thin slices)
Garlic- a few pods(cut into thin slices)
Oil- 1tbsp

Method

Cook the rice and keep it aside.
Heat a non-stick pan in high flame and add oil.
Add ginger, garlic and fry for 1 min.
Add the shredded vegetables and salt.
Fry in high flame continuously.
Now add soya sauce, chilli sauce and sauté in high flame.
Add the rice, toss with the vegetables for 2 mins.
Garnish with sliced onions and parsley.
Chinese fried rice is now ready to be served.

TOMATO RICE

Ingredients

Tomatoes – 4 (red and ripe)
Cooked rice – 2 cups
Peanuts – 2tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
Onions – 2
Curry leaves – a few

For masala powder:

Red Gram / Chana dhal – 2 tsp
Red chillies –3
Coriander seeds – 3 tbs
Fry all these in oil and grind it into a powder.

Method

Cut the tomatoes into cubes. Slice the onions.
In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, chana dhal, peanuts, curry leaves.
When it splutters, add onions. Fry for 2 mins.
Add cut tomatoes. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Water would ooze out of the tomatoes.
Add 1 tsp chilli powder and then add the ground powder.
The paste or gravy is ready to be mixed with rice.
Add the cooked rice. Garnish with coriander.

PUDHINA RICE

Ingredients

Mint – 1 bundle
Red chillies – 3
Tamarind – a small marble size
Cooked rice – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tsp
Bengal gram dhal – 1 tsp

Method

Separate the mint leaves from the stalk and clean them thoroughly.
Grind the leaves, chillies, tamarind with salt to a paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When they crackle, add Bengal gram dhal and asafetida.
Allow the dhal to brown a bit and then add the mint paste.
Fry for a few minutes to let the raw smell disappear.
Add cooked rice to the gravy and mix well with a fork, so that the rice does not get mushy.
Aromatic rice is ready to be served with a simple yoghurt dip/ raita or papads.

VEGETABLE PULAV RICE

A simple, yet highly nutritious rice with the right amount of spices, vegetables and carbs to give any lunch the required calories. A bit of spice is necessary to ward off all the allergies of the body enabling it to face everyday challenges without a dissent. After all, don’t we regularly state, “Want to spice up your life?” Spices contain a good amount of antioxidants and phyto nutrients to fight diseases and give the body immunity.

Ingredients

Vegetables – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Raw Rice – 1 cup
Big Elachi/ cardamom – 1
Brinji leaf/ tej patta/ bay leaf – 1
Lavang / cloves –2 or 3
Garlic – 5 or 6 pods
Ginger – a small piece
Green Chillies – 2 or 3
Coriander leaves – 1 small bunch
Raw coriander seeds – 2tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Oil – 2tbsp
Salt to taste

Method

Cut the vegetables into cubes or long thin slices.
Wash and clean the rice.
Grind garlic, chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and raw coriander seeds into a paste.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and onions and fry till the onions become golden brown.
Add the ground paste, turmeric powder and salt and fry till they leave the sides of the pan.
Fry the cut vegetables for a few minutes.
At this stage, add the cleaned raw rice and fry for a minute.
While this is being done, heat another pan with water and allow it to boil.
Add the boiling water to the rice gravy.
Keep the flame in medium. Cover and cook till the rice is done.
This highly nutritious rice can be best served with yoghurt raita (a mixture of onions, cucumber, tomatoes in yoghurt) and papads.

Points to keep in mind:

The vegetables can be carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, capsicum, potatoes, corn, mushroom depending on the availability.
If using basmati rice, then the water measurement is 1 cup for every cup of rice. For other rice, use 2 cups or 2-1/2 cups of water, depending on the amount of water the rice absorbs.
The flame of the stove has to be kept low or medium to avoid charring of the dish.
Cover the pan with a lid to enable quick cooking.

Variation:

For another version, do not grind the mixture. Just add ready made biryani masala to the pan instead of grinding.

KHICHIDI

Khichidis are wholesome meals which are packed with all the nutrients in one pot. It goes on without saying that it is a “one-pot-meal”. It has vegetables, rice for carbohydrate, dhals adding protein and oil giving it some minimal fat, thus making it a balanced meal. For lunchboxes, or a jhatpat lunch, or a healthy meal for kids, these khichidis work great and give you the satisfaction of having had a large meal.

Ingredients

Raw rice – 1 cup
Dhal – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds (Rai) – 1/2 tsp (or)
Cumin seeds (Jeera) – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 2
Vegetables (Carrot, beans, cauliflower) – 1 cup (optional)
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Water – 2 1/2 cups
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Before you proceed:

This khichidi can be made with toor dhal or yellow moong dhal or green moong dhal.
Always use 1 cup rice and ¼ cup dhal.
Soak the rice for ½ hr. (Water 2 ½ cups)
Vegetables can be uniformly cut into cubes.

Method

In a pressure cooker, add oil, mustard seeds or jeera, chillies.
At this stage, you can add vegetables if you want. Stir fry for 2 mins.
Add the rice.
Saute for a minute.
Add water, salt and turmeric.
Close the cooker and pressure cook for 3 or 4 whistles on medium flame. Your khichidi will be ready in minutes.

Points to keep in mind: Instead of jeera, you can use ajwain (omam). This gives a good smell and aids in digestion as well.

SIMPLE DHAL TADKA

You don’t need expertise in making this simple dhal. Just sauté the ingredients together and you’ll have a simple, yet aromatic and delicious dish ready in minutes. A dish rich in protein, always good for children and better for adults as well.

Ingredients

Tuar Dhal – ½ cup (pressure cooked and mashed)
Oil – 1 tsp
Ginger, garlic (optional) – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 1 or 2
Curry leaves – a twig or two
Salt to taste
Jaggery (optional)

Method

Heat the pan. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
Add finely chopped ginger, garlic, chillies, curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Add the dhal, turmeric and salt.
Add some water, if necessary, because the dhal has to be a little watery and not thick.

Points to keep in mind:
Onions and tomatoes are optional. If using them, fry them after the mustard seeds crackle till the raw smell of the onions and tomatoes go.
Choose variants like channa dhal, masoor dhal or moong dhal.

SPINACH DHAL

As the name suggests, it is a groovy gravy for chappatis/rotis or any bread varieties and certainly not to forget the easy procedure to make it. Very rich source of nutrition, especially, Vitamin A, C, E, K, iron, magnesium, calcium and folate, Spinach is a power house of vitamins and minerals. For this very reason, it is called the “captain of leafy greens” by an Arab agronomist. So, the next time you see a bundle of spinach, don’t forget to pick one to stay healthier.

Ingredients

Spinach – 1 bundle
Oil – 2 tsp
Moong dhal – 3 tbsp
Mustard seed, urad dhal – ½ tsp each
Red chillies – 2 (or as per taste)
Asafetida/Hing – a pinch
Coconut – optional

Method

Boil the spinach with moong dhal, water and salt. Salt helps the greens retain colour.
Once cooked, mash it or whip it in a whipper.
In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, urad dhal, a pinch of asafetida and red chillies.
Add the mashed spinach. Cook for 5 minutes.
If needed, add coconut for garnishing.
A very healthy, iron rich accompaniment/ gravy is ready to be served.

Salads are a very healthy source of food. But not all salads are. Colour is the key. A spectrum of colours indicates to you the spectrum of nutrients that it carries. Fresh veggies always carry fresh points. And bright colours win extra bonus points for the amount of vitamins and minerals they flock with.

Here is one easy salad which blends the colour with the goodness it offers by keeping it simple and clear.

MANGO”NUTTY” SALAD

Ingredients:

Unripe green mangoes (about 1 ¼ lb or 600g), peeled – 4 or 5
Soft brown sugar – 2 or 3 tsps (increase according to taste)
Kaffir lime leaves (cut in hair like shreds) – 2
Fresh coriander leaves(very finely chopped) – 2 tbsp
Spring onion (thinly sliced) – 1
Shallots (thinly sliced) – 3
Light soya sauce – 2 tbsp
Roasted cashews – 1/3 cup (45g)

Method

Using a shredder, grate the mango to make long, thin matchstick shreds.
Lay the mango shreds in a deep bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
Massage with your fingers for about 30 seconds.
Add all other ingredients except cashews, tossing to mix well.
Taste and if the mangoes seem too sour, add more sugar.
Add the cashews, toss and serve immediately.

Points to keep in mind: Kaffir lime leaves are available in wet market.
Pre packed roasted cashews (salt / sweet) are available in stores for easier use. Alternatively, dry roast raw cashews until golden brown.
A healthier substitute to cashews would be to use dry roasted almonds, which would provide the crunch that a salad would need and the extra nutrients to lower blood cholesterol as well.

Serves 4-6

Source: Wendy Hutton – ‘Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass’

INDIAN SALAD

This is a very basic variety of Indian salad. As already mentioned, the key to any salad is the colour. The more number of colours, the more number of nutrients it contains. Here too, we have a spectrum of green, red and orange.

Ingredients

Cucumber
Tomato
Carrots
Beetroots
Pepper powder and Salt to taste
Coriander Leaves for garnishing

Method

The measure of the vegetables can be chosen in any ratio.
Cut the vegetables in any shape and size.
Add pepper powder and salt.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

CHINESE SALAD

Ingredients

Carrots
Capsicum
Cabbage
Spring Onion – 3 tbsp
White Pepper powder and Salt to taste

Method

Grate the vegetables other than spring onion.
Cut the spring onions fine and mix together with the other vegetables.
Add white pepper and salt.

Points to keep in mind:
No tomatoes added.

CHAATS

Chaats are an integral part of snacks these days. They can be made with any combination but the basic sweet and chilli chutney are the same in every dish. The origins of chaat date back to East India where they were first eaten by people while chitchatting. That is exactly when the essence of the dish comes out, emphatically.

SWEET CHUTNEY

Ingredients

Dates (kajur, seedless) – 1 cup
Tamarind – 1 small lime size
Jaggery – ½ cup
Chilli powder – a pinch
Black sesame – ½ tsp

Method

Boil dates and tamarind and mash the pulp into a paste. If needed, strain it.
Add jaggery, chilli powder, sesame seeds and boil it for 10 mins.
The consistency should be that of a paste or a little watery than a paste.
If prepared with less water, it can be preserved in the refrigerator for a few days.

CHILLI CHUTNEY

Ingredients

Green Chillies – preferably 8(can be reduced depending on the spice level)
Lemon – 1/2
Chatni dal/ Fried grams – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Grind all the ingredients in a mixer adding the lemon juice and salt.
This can be preserved in the refrigerator for a few days.

CHANNA CHAAT

Ingredients

Green gram – 1 cup (boiled)
Potato – 1 (boiled and mashed)
Chutney (sweet and chilli) – as per taste
Sev for topping – a handful
Onions – 1 (chopped fine)
Coriander leaves – handful (chopped fine)
Everest Chaat Masala – 1 tsp or as per taste

Method

Pressure cook the green channa for one whistle or two.
Boil the potatoes and mash them or cut them into small pieces.
Add the chutneys and salt according to taste.
Add Everest chaat masala and arrange them all in layers on a plate.
Start with onions on the outer rim of the plate, followed by tomatoes, potatoes and dhal.
Drizzle the chutneys on top of the layers and sprinkle the sev along with coriander leaves.
A healthy chaat savouring all inhibitions.

Points to keep in mind:
Make sure the dhal does not get mushy. Retaining the shape of the dhal is important.

Variation:
You can use kabuli channa instead of green gram.
Samosas or aloo tikkis can also be substituted or added to the combination.
A dash of yoghurt will increase the sensitivity of your taste buds.
Cucumber, Pomegranate seeds, carrots, green apple would eventually enhance the nutritive value of the dish.
Run with your imagination and the pleasure of nailing perfectly opposing combos would be the ones which are finally relished.

SALT BISCUIT TOPPING

Ingredients

Monaco/Ritz/ any salt biscuits – 10
Potato – 1
Sweet and chilli chutneys as per taste
Sev (any type) – a handful
Onion – 1
Coriander leaves – a few twigs
Chaat masala – 1tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Boil the potatoes and mash them.
Now arrange the biscuits on a plate.
Take ½ spoon measure of mashed potato and line it on the biscuit.
Drizzle sweet and chilly chutney, onions, sev and coriander.
Serve with evening tea.

Points to keep in mind:
Just beware of the amount piled up, because the size of the biscuits are small and the measures mentioned here are just approximate.
If they become too loaded, try reducing the amount.
All chaats are to be consumed immediately. Otherwise, they become soggy and lose the crunch. Similar is the biscuit version.
They have to be made only on requests to preserve the freshness.

BOILED CORN CHAAT

Ingredients

Sweet corn boiled – ½ cup
Sprouts (green gram is good)- ¼ cup
Onion – 1 small
Coriander leaves – a little
Chaat masala – ½ tsp
Butter – ½ tsp (optional)
Sev for topping- a handful

Method

Boil the sprouts or keep it raw. Keeping it raw preserves the vitamins.
Mix the corn and sprouts together. Add butter, onions, coriander leaves, chaat masala and sev and mix them together.
A healthy evening snack is ready in minutes.

Points to keep in mind:
Chutneys are optional.

RED PUMPKIN CHUTNEY

Pumpkins have a natural orange colour which give them a unique characteristic like carrots, namely, beta carotene. Beta carotene is a good anti oxidant for the body, which helps in the protection of certain types of cancer, heart diseases and also in degenerative aspects of aging.
This chutney is an accompaniment, which can be served with white rice.

Ingredients

Red Pumpkin (Skin peeled) – 1 cup
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste.

Method

Peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut them into 1 inch cubes.
Put ½ tsp oil in a non-stick pan and once it is hot, add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the pumpkin cubes and fry for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the pan from fire and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take ½ tsp oil in a pan and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.

Points to keep in mind: By using a non stick pan one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

BRINJAL CHUTNEY

Brinjals are a very good source of calcium and potassium. They also contain a high content of water and fiber. This chutney pleases even those averse to brinjal. So, go ahead and get the brinjals from your fridge onto your counter and get the best of nutrition into your tummies.

Ingredients

Brinjal cut – 1 cup
Jaggery – ½ tsp.
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds(Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1tbsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size.
Salt to taste.

Method

Cut the brinjals into1 inch cubes.
Add 1 tbsp oil in the pan and once it is hot add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this add the brinjal cubes and fry for 3-5 mins.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt, jaggery and grind to a paste.
Tasty brinjal chutney is ready to be served with rice or rotis.

COCONUT CHUTNEY

A very simple and ready-to-eat chutney with no frills. Have a few basic ingredients on hand and you’re sure to impress a wide audience with your South Indian culinary skills.

Ingredients

Coconut – 1 cup.
Bengal gram dhal(Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Grate the coconut.
Dry roast the ingredients except salt, coconut and tamarind.
Grind all the ingredients together with coconut.
Instead of imli, add mango pieces and little jaggery. This will give it a sweet and sour taste.
This can be made with tamarind alone instead of mango and jaggery.
This coconut chutney can be served with plain white rice.

Just set your imagination rolling and you are sure to see many flavours to your recipe.

CORIANDER SANDWICH CHUTNEY

Coriander has many health benefits. It aids in digestion and is a rich source of iron, magnesium and other vital nutrients. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, which builds our immunity. Adding lemon to the greens would help retain the green colour. Above all, the flavour and aroma that it brings to any food is unbeatable. A handful of coriander leaves for garnishing would add finality to any recipe. This coriander sandwich chutney acts as a perfect spread to sandwiches, bringing an Indian flavour to the recipe.

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar – a pinch
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Transfer the coriander leaves and the other ingredients into the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve it on sandwiches or on dhoklas.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

PUDHINA CHUTNEY

Mint has many health benefits. Other than being a mouth freshener, it is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, B12. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of vitamin C which builds our immunity. Adding lemon juice into greens will help preserve the green colour. The aroma of mint would brighten your morning and helps you stay refreshed.

This Pudhina chutney is another easy spread which would come in handy at times of “grab-and-go”, when you are hard pressed for time. Take a spoonful, spread it on slices of bread and keep marching. You have a fantastic breakfast on hand.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

Ingredients

Pudhina (Mint Leaves)– 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbs
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar-a pinch
Jeera(Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Transfer the mint leaves and the other ingredients into the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve these chutneys on sandwiches or with rice.

CORIANDER PICKLE CHUTNEY

(Can be used as a pickle)

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (Cleaned)
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – ½ tsp
Oil – 1tsp
Tamarind – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Temper the mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies in 1/4 tsp of oil.
Stir fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the coriander leaves and fry for sometime.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once the leaves are cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take 3/4 tsp oil and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.
Serve with plain rice or with rotis.

Points to keep in mind: By using a non stick pan, one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

RIDGEGOURD CHUTNEY

Ridge gourd is a nutritious power house loaded with vitamins and nutrients especially, dietary fiber. A very good vegetable for weight loss.

This Peerkangai/Beerakaya/Ridge gourd as it is called is one of the best vegetables to make a chutney. It is more popular in Andhra Pradesh where it has its versatility exposed. Always check for any bitterness before you proceed with this vegetable, since it has a tendency to be bitter sometime. Otherwise, it is sweet in the inside. It is a very good accompaniment for white rice and also curd rice. Try this and you are sure to enjoy it.

Ingredients:

Ridge Gourd – 2 long ones
Urad Dhal (whole/split) – 4 tbsps
Red Chillies – 4-5 depending on the heat of the chillies
Asafetida/Hing – a small piece / 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Tamarind – less than a small lemon size.
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Before you proceed:

Wash and peel the ridges using either a peeler or a knife, since sometime, a peeler is harder to use while doing this. The skin is hard and needs to be handled wisely.
Cut them into cubes.

Method

Heat a non stick pan with oil. When it is hot, add mustard seed and allow it to crackle.
Add asafetida, urad dhal and red chillies and fry them till they become golden brown in colour. Transfer them to a separate plate.
In the same pan, with the same oil, fry the ridgegourd pieces. Firstly, water will ooze out of it. Keep the flame low and saute it till water evaporates and the vegetable gets cooked well. After it gets cooled, grind them all together to a fine paste in a mixer by adding a little salt and tamarind.
A spicy ridge gourd chutney is ready to be served with plain rice or chappatis.

Points to keep in mind: While frying the vegetable, just note that not all water need to be absorbed. A little squishiness is ok so that when you grind, you need not add extra water.
The raw smell of the vegetable should disappear. So, work towards that. It would take approximately 8 minutes for the frying.
There is no need to take the pulp out of the tamarind. You can add it just like that and if there are any seeds, do remove it.

Soups

When you are low, a simple soup makes you swallow.
When you are high, a potful of soup disappears within a blink of an eye.
When you are wroth, you’re cooled by the piping broth.
When you are happy, cook a sumptuous soup making everyone peppy.

Soups make a simple appetizer to a sumptuous one pot meal. A dinner or a lunch seldom starts without this appetizer. A simple soup provides soothing comfort to the body at times of a flu or a common cold. It is the easiest dish made rich, with the simplest of ingredients.

VEGETABLE MANCHOW SOUP

Ingredients

Vegetables (Carrot, Cabbage, Spring onion, cauliflower) – 1 cup.
Ginger and garlic: 1tbsp
Chillies: 1 or 2
Corn flour: 2 or 3 tbsp
Oil: ½ tsp
Soya sauce, chilli sauce – ½ tsp or according to taste.
Salt to taste.
Water: 3-4 cups
Croutons – optional.

Method

Shred the vegetables, thin. Grind the ginger and garlic to a paste and chop the chillies.
Add oil to a non stick pan.
Once the oil is hot, add ginger garlic paste, chillies, and vegetables. Stir fry for sometime.
Add water and bring them to a boil.
Add salt (ajinomoto optional).
Now mix corn flour in water and add to the boiling mixture, stirring gradually.
Add soya sauce and chilli sauce.
Boil for 5 minutes. A delicious refreshing soup is ready to be served piping hot with some croutons.

Points to keep in mind: You can chop garlic and ginger and add them to the vegetables, rather than grinding.
Ajinomoto is optional. You can use it to increase flavour, but, it is highly not recommended for a healthy soup.
Instead of croutons, you can substitute some dry baked noodles to provide the extra crunch to the soup.

MIXED VEGETABLE SOUP

This is similar to Vegetable Manchow Soup with a slight moving-in-and-moving-out of some ingredients. Quite wholesome with many nutrients intact, this is a must for any appetizing occasion.

Ingredients

Vegetables (Carrot, beans, cabbage, cauliflour) – ½ cup.
Whole black pepper – ½ tsp
Corn flour – 2tbsp
Butter – optional
Freshly ground pepper – ½ tsp.
Water – 2 or 3 cups
Salt to taste

Method

Shred the vegetables thin.
In a deep pot, add vegetables, water, whole black pepper, salt and allow it to boil well. Vegetable stock is ready.
Add 2 tbsp of cornflour mixed with water to the soup. Let it simmer.
Garnish with a dollop of butter and some freshly ground pepper.
Serve piping hot.

Points to keep in mind: The vegetable stock can be used as stock for various soups, thereby substituting for water and enhancing the nutrients.

RASAM SOUP

Rasam is a liquid dish which takes its position after Sambar in any South Indian meal. It is a clear liquid with very little of thickened gravy to help it distinguish visibly from it’s counterpart, Sambar. It does not have vegetable pieces except for tomatoes. Rasam serves as a good medicine for treating common cold or a flu. It makes a clear and light soup to be slurped piping hot to rejuvenate oneself.

Ingredients

Tamarind water (Imli) – 5 to 6 tsp.
Tomato – 2 medium
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Asafetida / hing – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 twig
Coriander leaves – a few twigs
Salt to taste

For the Rasam Powder:

Fresh ground pepper – 2tbsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Ginger – ½ tsp
Garlic (optional) – 3 to 4 pods

For Tadka/Seasoning:

Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Asafetida / Hing – ¼ tsp
Oil – ¼ tsp.

Before you proceed:

If you do not have tamarind paste, you can soak a small lemon sized tamarind ball in hot water and squeeze the pulp. If you have tamarind paste, just add water to it.
Grind the masala for the rasam powder. If you’re using garlic, grind it together.

Method

In a deep pan, add ½ cup of water to the tamarind water and to them add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, curry leaves and asafetida.
Boil them together for 5 minutes.
Add the ground masala to the pan. Add water to make it watery.
Reduce the flame to low.
Allow the rasam to cook and once it starts frothing up on the sides, turn off the stove.
To season, heat a pan with ¼ tsp oil. Add the ingredients for seasoning/tadka and allow it to splutter.
Transfer the tadka/seasoning to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.

MIXED VEGETABLE CURRY

This dish incorporates the goodness of a number of vegetables giving us a visually beautiful stew. Frozen cut vegetables come to the rescue here. So, when you are on a go and in a dire need to create a mouth watering yet, colourful dish for your frozen parathas or roti pratas, this one is it. Finally, this recipe gets your freezer/refrigerator replenished once a week. A good one for stock clearance!!

Ingredients

Onion- 1
Carrot , beans, cauliflower, peas mix – 1 ½ big cup.
Tomato puree– 2 tsp
Tomato – 1
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Turmeric – ½ tsp.
Oil – ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Dice the vegetables uniformly, if using fresh vegetables.
Chop onions and tomatoes fine.
Add oil to a non-stick pan.
Once it gets heated, add onion and tomatoes and stir fry for 3 minutes on high flame.
Reduce the flame and add salt, turmeric powder, masala powder, tomato paste.
Fry till the oil leaves the pan.
Add vegetables to the gravy, add ½ cup of water to cook the vegetables and close the pan.
Sprinkle water every 2 minutes, stirring well, to help the vegetables cook.
If using pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle.
Once the vegetables get cooked, the gravy is ready to be served hot and fresh with rotis and rice.

Points to keep in mind: You can use capsicum, mushrooms, baby corn, lima beans, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and French beans.

Easy Cauliflower gravy

This is by far the easiest subzi that you can make in the event of unexpected arrivals. You can pick the florets of cauliflower and peel and the cube the potatoes. Boil them along with peas while you cut onions. And you would be done with it before you know. All the measurements are approximate measures that you can always alter as per your taste.

Ingredients

Cauliflower florets – 1/2 cup
Potatoes (peeled and diced) – 1/2 cup
Frozen Peas – a handful
Onion – 1
Tomatoes -1
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander/ Dhania Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera /Cumin seeds powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Cornflour – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste.
Coriander leaves for garnishing.

Method

Cut the florets of the cauliflower(according to your liking, some prefer it big and some, small).
Peel the potato and dice them.
Boil them along with peas with a little water, either in a microwave / a stove. Cook it till half tender.
Heat a non stick pan, add oil and allow the mustard seeds to crackle.
Add jeera and saute for a few seconds.
Add onions and fry for 2-3 minutes on high flame taking care not to burn them. When they are pink, add tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes till they become a gravy.
Add the masalas and salt. Saute till they leave the sides of the pan.
Add all the boiled vegetables and saute till the masalas coat the vegetables nicely.
Add some water and while the gravy is simmering, mix 1/2 cup of water with cornflour and add to the pan.
After a few minutes, the gravy would start thickening and the consistency would be right.
Switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.

A perfect side dish for chappathis and parathas.

WATERCRESS SABZI

Watercress has become an acquired vegetable in the recent past, simply because of the nutrients it comes with and it sure tastes like any other greens. There is a crunchiness in the stalk and that gives it an added flavour. This sabzi is one of the easiest and simple ones to try when you have fewer options and this vegetable on hand.

This is one of the best antioxidants on earth and one of the ancient among the greens family, dating back to the Greek and Roman times.

Ingredients

Watercress – a bunch
Potatoes – 2
Onions – 1
Tomatoes – 1
Red Chilli powder – 1 tbsp (acc ot taste)
Garam Masala Powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera Seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method

Before you proceed with the cooking, wash the leaves and do not trim the stalk. If you feel that they are a little harder towards the end, then trim the edges. Cut the leaves finely as also the onions and tomatoes.
Boil the potatoes, peel and dice them.
Heat a non stick pan. Add oil, and once it is hot, add the jeera till it splutters. Add onions and fry till pinkish colour.
Add tomatoes and fry till they are a little soft.
Add the rest of the masalas one by one and cook them till the oil leaves the side of the pan.
Put the greens and saute for a minute. Add in tomatoes and saute till the masalas coat completely.

Add some water and cover with a lid till the greens cook well.
When they are cooked and the masalas well blended, remove from fire. Serve hot with rotis.

This is a vitamin rich food and you would surely do not want to miss out on this one. Try this soon!

VEGETARIAN BASIC BUTTER CAKE RECIPE

Cakes are a plenty and eggless cakes are countless. One such keepsake recipes for a basic butter cake is this. The ingredients are simple and available in any store. Just vary the ingredients to surprise your folks with a chocolate chip or a banana cake with much ease. You wouldn’t be termed a novice (or is it nervous) baker anymore.

Ingredients

Self raising flour – 320 gm
Butter – 187.5 gm (3/4 of 250g butter)
Condensed milk – 1 tin
Water – ¾ tin (measure in the condensed milk tin )
Treacle – 1tbsp {adds colour & sweetness to cake (available at Phoon Huat/Cold Storage)}
Vanilla essence – 1 tbsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp (optional)

Method

Preheat oven at 180˚C
Add melted butter into blender with condensed milk, water and treacle
Blend for 1 minute.
Transfer mixture into bowl and fold in the flour.
Prepare baking tin, cut greaseproof paper and spread butter all around sides of tin.
Pour in the flour mixture to the tin.
Bake cake at 180 degrees celsius for 50 mins.

Variation:
For Banana cake :
Follow the measurements as in the basic butter cake. Blend required bananas while blending the ingredients in the blender. Add walnuts just before pouring mixture into cake tin.

For Chocolate chip cake:
Stir in chocolate chips (coated in flour) just before pouring mixture into cake tin.

Points to keep in mind:

Phoon Huat is a retailer specializing in baking needs. Please go on-line to check the location of outlet. It is much more economical especially when doing large scale baking.
Treacle can be kept in fridge and used over a period of time.