Raw food – Energy balls vegan

I ain’t so much of a raw food fan myself but after having a little baby, time has become a constraint and also the energy. So I need something that I can just pop into my mouth and also gain healthy energy.

So here is my first try at making energy bites. I used another chefs recipe to make this, with a slight variation at my end. They have come out fine. Not too sweet yet enough tasty.

Recipe credit: Original recipe Ruchiskitchen.

  • Ingredients:
    1. Almonds (soaked and peeled) – 2 cups
      Deseeded Dates (not the dry ones) – 1 cup
      Dessicated coconut – 1 cup

    Method:

    Soak the almonds overnight and peel off their skin the morning. Or soak the almonds in boiling water for 15-20 min and then peel off the skin. Keep aside.

    Now remove the seeds from all dates. Keep aside. (I am cutting down on sugar so I have only used dates in this recipe for the slight sweet touch). In case you want more sugar, you can follow the original recipe from Ruchi.

    Finally one cup of Dessicated coconut.

    Add all the Ingredients to a food processor and crush until the whole mixture blends together. The mix must be slightly sticky. If not, add dates or honey.

    Make small balls out of the mixture. Roll over each ball in dessicated coconut and keep aside.

    Keep the energy bites in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

    Sabo dane ki tikki (Tapioca pearls’ snacks)

    I tried this for the first time today and tried on a friend. And she loved it. πŸ˜€

    And the second round was tried on my husband when he came home after work. And that went well too. Mission successful 🌸🌸🌸

    Ingredients:

    1. One boiled purple sweet potato (this is optional)

    2. Two boiled normal potatoes (medium to large size)

    3. Green onions (take only the green part of two green onions – finely chopped)

    4. Garlic clove (1, finely chopped)

    5. One green chilli (finely chopped)

    6. Coriander leaves (1-2 tbsp)

    7. One bowl of sabo dana (Tapioca pearls) – 100 gram – soaked in equal amount of water

    8. Salt to taste

    9. Zeera (Cumin) seeds – 1 tsp

    10. Chat masala (optional)

    11. Oil for frying

    Method:

    1. Take the soaked sabo dana and try to crush one or two sabo dana with your fingers. If it does it crush easily then let it soak more. In my case, I microwave the sabo dana for two minutes to make sure that all the sabo dana was properly soaked and soft. This should give you a kind of sticky starchy mixture. If there is excess water left then throw away the extra water and keep back the sabo dana mix. Now add mashed Potatoes, mashed sweet potato, zeera, onion green, garlic, salt, coriander, chilli and chat masala.

    Basically everything is to be mixed together.

    Mix the whole thing nicely.

    Take a little oil (approx. 2-3 tbsp) in a flat non stick pan. Put some oil on your palm. Take approx. 1.5 tbsp of mixture and shape it into a ball. Now gently press the ball and make it a bit flat. Do the same for the remaining mixture.

    Carefully arrange these flattered balls (or tikki) in the pan. Keep the flame on low-medium. Cover and cook one side for 10 min. Now remove the cover and turn the tikki upside down.

    Cook the other side under a cover for 5 min. Then take off the cover and cook this same side for another 5 min. This will make sure that the tikki is thoroughly cooked. Now increase the heat and roast the two sides until they are crispy brown. Take out the crispy tikki on a kitchen towel.

    Serve with a dip of your choice.

    Mangold recipe

    Another super food is Mangold leaves. Widely used in mediterranian cooking, this leaf is not so common in the northern parts of India where I come from. Nonetheless I gave it a try and totally loved the final result. Simple, easy and quick – this is the best recipe to prepare right after work and ensure a healthy diet.

    Ingredients:

    4-5 mangold leaves with stems washed and chopped into small pieces

    4 Potatoes chopped into small vibes

    2-3 table spoon cooking oil

    1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

    1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

    2-3 whole black pepper

    Salt to taste

    1/2 tsp red chilli powder

    1/2 tsp Turmeric

    1 tsp dried coriander powder

    1/2 tsp black salt

    Preparation:

    Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin and mustard. Also add the black pepper. Give it a few seconds till they start to crack and add potatoes. Fry on medium-high flame and when the potatoes start to become a bit brown add in the chopped leaves. Stir and let it cook for a minute. Now stir again, add all the spices and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook until the potatoes and the stems of the Mangold are completely cooked.

    Serve hot with rice or chapati.

    Amaranth recipe

    Amaranth is called the superfood of India. It is a very nutritious plant with a lot of protein, iron and calcium. And I have loving friends who have grown amaranth and then gifted some to me. I made a simple recipe today and I loved it. And so did my better half which usually is an indication that the dish is indeed tasty.

    Ingredients:

    Amaranth – around 400 gm finely chopped

    Onions – 2 medium finely chopped

    Potatoes – 4 chopped into thin (approx 0.5 cm thickness) pieces

    Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

    Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

    Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

    Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

    Dried coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

    Salt – to taste

    Garam masala – 1/4 tsp

    Fresh lime juice – 2 tbsp

    Preparation (cooking time: 30 min):

    Take 2-3 tbsp cooking oil in a skillet and add the Cumin and Mustard seeds. When they have cracked, add Onions and a punch of Salt. Fry until onions start to turn brown. At this stage add Potatoes and let it fry together with the onions. When the potato wedges start to become brown, add the amaranth leaves and stir well. Now add in all the spices. The leaves will start to lose water and start to wrap around the Potatoes. Fry for around 5 min. Finally add the lemon juice. Mix well and fry for another minute.

    And we are ready.

    Stuffed tomatoes (bharwa tamatar)

    Stuffed tomatoes reminds me of my mother’s kitchen, and the aromatic senses that engulfed our whole house when this delicacy was ready. The first time I ever tried to make this on my own (of course under my mom’s supervision) was around 10 years back. And I clearly remember that it took me 4 hours to make this recipe from start to the end. The time it took so many years ago etched a memory in my brain and I scarcely picked up this old recipe again. Though I must admit faintly I had always wished that from some where Maa would turn up with ready stuffed tomatoes and then we can have a sumptuous meal.

    Finally yesterday, the craving to eat this delicious meal just took over all my laziness, and I made it again. It took me just half the time I had thought. Yes!! thats right. I was done in 2 or may be even 1.5 hours and I loved it.

    Since I got fibromyalgia, working too long and continuous hours has been tough so I was extremely pleased with the ease and seamlessness this recipe kind of cooked itself for me yesterday. Second, I have been trying to turn vegan and this is yet another feather in the hat for vegan eating. Who says vegan is boring! Try this and you will never go down any other road again.

    So here is what we need.

    Ingredients:

    For the filling:

    1. 4 large boiled and mashed potatoes
    2. 1 large onion chopped finely
    3. 2 tablespoon cooking oil
    4. Salt to taste (I used approx. 1 tsp)
    5. Red chilli powder – approx. 1/2 tsp
    6. Garam masala powder – approx. 1/3 tsp

    For the tomato shells:

    1. 6 large and firm tomatoes – washed, dried and with the inside scooped out carefully (save the inside of the tomatoes for the gravy)
    2. Oil for deep frying – approx. 2 cups

    For the gravy:

    1. 1-2 large onion chopped
    2. 1 tomato chopped fine
    3. inside of 6 large and firm tomatoes chopped fine
    4. Shahi jeera (Royal cumin seeds) – 1.5 tsp
    5. Saunf (Fennel seeds) – 1/4 tsp
    6. Mangrel or Kalunji seeds – 1/4 tsp (optional)
    7. Bay leaves – 3
    8. Whole black pepper – 7
    9. Cooking oil – 6 tbsp
    10. Salt to taste (I used approx. 2 tsp)
    11. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
    12. Degi mrich powder – 1/3 tsp
    13. Garam masala – 2 tsp (reduce to half if you don’t want the dish very spicy)

     Method:

    First start with the filling. Mash the boiled potatoes and keep aside. Take oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions. Fry until the onions are brown (but not burnt). At this stage, add the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add all the spices and mix well. Roast this mix on the frying pan slightly and then let the mixture cool down slightly.

    Now lets create the tomato shells. Take 6 firm tomatoes, and wash them nicely. Then pat them dry. Now carefully chop the head like a cap, and don’t throw it off (for reference see the picture of finished dish. you will see that the head cap of the tomatoes is still on). Now take a knief and carefully scoop out the tomato inners. It will be slightly hard because we have chosen firm tomatoes, so be careful. If you don’t like to use the knief, you can use a spoon instead. Try not to cut through the shell, though slight (one or two) punctures through the wall are not a disaster. You are doing fine!

    Now take the tomato shells and stuff them tightly with the filling. Cover with a cap. Now we shall fry these tomatoes. Do not leave the tomatoes in the oil. That will create a mess. So don’t do that.

      

    Instead, do like this. First heat the oil in a frying wok. Take a slotted spoon (reference picture) and place a filled tomato (upside down) on the slotted spoon. Now hold this slotted spoon over the hot oil. Take a ladle in your other hand, and pour hot oil over the tomato. This will cook the tomato nicely on the outside. Keep pouring the oil until the skin comes out. Be careful and once the tomato is fried place it aside on a kitchen cloth. Do the same for all the 6 tomatoes.remove the fried skin off the tomato shells.

    Finally it is gravy time. Take around 5-6 tbsp oil in a wok. when the oil is hot, add shahi zeera, saunf, bay leaves, black pepper seeds and mangrel. Then add the chopped onions and fry until the onions are golden brown. Now it is time to add the tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes look all mushy and start to leave a little oil on the sides. Then add all the spices except half of the garam masala. Mix well. Cook another 1-2 min and now transfer the tomato shells carefully into the gravy. Sprinkle the remaining garam masala on top and cover with a tight lid.

    Slow cook the tomatoes on a very very low flame for approx. 20 min, and then switch off the flame. Let the tomatoes cook in the steam for another hour.

    Bharwa tomatoes are ready, and can be relished with chapatis, paranthas, rice. πŸ™‚

    Vegetable manchurian

    This is a fantastic dish, and I just love it. The reason I guess are two – a] I love veggies b] I use everything of the veggies without throwing away anything. Super cool!

    I made this today, and thought should pen it down for easy reference next time I cook it.

    Ingredients:

    1. 3 cups of shredded cabbage

    2. 2 cups of shredded carrots

    3. 1 cup of shredded green pepper

    4. Soya sauce

    5. Tomato sauce

    6. Chilli sauce

    7. Green chilli – 1 finely chopped

    8. Finely chopped ginger – 1 tablespoon

    9. Finely chopped coriander – 1 tablespoon

    10. Cooking oil

    11. Salt

    12. Sugar

    13. Corn starch

    Method:

    Let us start with the balls. For the balls take the shredded cabbage, carrots and pepper in a wok and add 1.5-2 cups of water to it. Add around 3 tsp salt or as per your taste. Now bring these veggies-water mix to a boil with the lid covered. Leave the veggies slightly crunchy (no overcooking). Usually 3-5 min is good time for the veggies to boil.

    Take this off the heat and let the mixture cool down. Now squeeze out all the vegetable stock from the veggies. SAVE the stock – we will use it for the gravy.

    In the squeezed veggies, add half the green chilli, chopped green coriander, 5 tablespoon corn starch. Mix well and make small balls (smaller than a ping pong ball). Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the balls. Try with one ball in the beginning. If it breaks up in the oil, add another 1-2 tbsp corn starch and try again. The balls break due to two reasons – either the corn starch is less or the oil is less hot. Make all the manchurian balls and fry until they are dark brown. Keep aside on a kitchen napkin paper.

    For the gravy, take the vegetable stock and add 2 tbsp of corn starch. Mix well so that no lumps are left. Take 2-3 tbsp oil in a wok, add the remaining green chilli and chopped ginger. Fry for half a minute. Add 1 tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp tomato sauce and 1 tbsp chilli sauce (adjust to taste). Stir fry for a minute. Now add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and add 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tbsp salt (adjust to taste) and the manchurian balls. Bring to a boil again and cook for 3-4 min.

    Manchurian is ready and best served with plain white boiled rice.

    Source: This is not my traditional food. So this is not even my original recipe and I have tried and tested different recipes from the internet before creating this version.

    Vegetable rice, pulao, tahri

    This is one of the evergreen recipes from my mom’s kitchen. I loved it as a kid and 34 years into life I adore it still. I can it this in any meal – yes even for breakfast. All I need is a nice raita (natural curd with shredded cucumber is my favorite).

    Preparation time: 20 min 

    Ingredients:

    1 chopped onion – chopped in long pieces 

    1 chopped tomato

    1 peeled and cubed potato 

    1 cup of green peas

    1 cup of basmati rice 

    1.5 cup water

    1 Bay leaf 

    1 pinch of coarsely ground black pepper 

    1 pinch of coarsely ground white pepper

    1 tsp Cumin seeds

    1 tsp Turmeric 

    1/2 tsp Red chilli powder 

    1 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya)

    1/4  tsp garam masala

    1.5 tsp Salt – adjust to taste 

    3 tbsp cooking oil (don’t take  olive oil, use raps oils or sunflower oil)

    Special utensils: Indian pressure cooker

    Method:

    Heat oil in the pressure cooker on high heat. When hot add Bay leaf, black pepper, white pepper and Cumin seeds. Stir and add onions. Stir fry until onions are brown. Now add tomatoes, potatoes and peas.  Stir. Now add rest of the spices and rice and water. Stir carefully without breaking rice. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Remove from flame and keep aside. Open when the steam inside the cooker is finished. 

    Serve hot with raita.