Rut. It's a word that I hate but one that I often use to describe our mealtime options. To try to break out of the boring dinner options I have been testing out new recipe books. This week I was pleased to try something a bit different with Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes, a new cookbook from Indian cuisine expert Anupy Singula. We're always looking for mid-week meals and love these family recipes for vegan indian cooking.
I always correlated Indian food as being heavy or rich, so I was really excited to test out some of her healthy recipes that also happen to be vegan. Packed with plant-based dishes like South Indian Tomato and Tamarind Soup, Street Corn Chowder, Cashew Stuffed Eggplant, Spiced Peas and Paneer, Spiced Veggie Brown Rice, and so much more, the book is amazing way to discover Anupy's adaptations of popular Indian recipes. The book also includes tips on how to get started where Anupy de-bunks some Indian food myths (Indian food is spicy, unhealthy, complicated, etc) as well as a spices section (Indian food is not just curry) to a section where Anupy shares some items from her own pantry.
I loved how Anupy Singla's recipes feature the healthy benefits and flavors of Indian food without the heavy cream and butter. Throughout the book, she also demystify's Indian spices and cooking to show that Indian food can be simple and easy to make at home. Not just for vegans or vegetarians, this book is a lot of fun for families who want to break out of their own rut, add some spice to their meals, or simply cut back on meat.
Family Recipes Vegan Indian Cooking
For dinner this week I made the Masala Chickpea Burger with the String Bean and Potatoes. Both of my girls are huge chickpeas fans so I knew this would be a hit and I loved how these patties included sweet potatoes and carrots for a boost of nutrients. My daughter loved helping me make this one as I grated and she mixed our patties. For the potatoes (and these are not your run of the mill string beans and potatoes), Anupy's recipe included a boost of flavor with cumin, turmeric, ginger and cayenne. More than children being into it, I was shocked when my red-meat eating husband said that the burgers are really good. Maybe getting out of a rut isn't so tough after all.
Masala Chickpea Burger
1 cups cooked white chickpeas
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup (uncooked) yam or sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 carrot, grated (you can also use zucchini)
1/2 cup white cabbage, grated
1/2 small white onion, peeled and grated
1 piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
3/4 cup of chickpea flour
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne
2 teaspoon grounded coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons oil, plus more for pan frying
1. In a food processor, blend the chickpeas and rice until well combined.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until smooth.
3. With your hands, form the mixture into small balls and flatten them into patties. If the dough is sticky, add more flour.
4. In a shallow frying pan, heat the oil over medium-hight heat. Add the patties and heat until browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve on a hamburger bun with all of the fixings or on a large lettuce leaf for a lighter meal.
String Beans with Potatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 piece of ginger root, peeled and grated or minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup of water
4 cups of string beans
1-2 Thai, serrano or cayenne chiles
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne
1. In a heavy pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat.
2. Add the cumin and tumeric, and cook until the seeds sizzle, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the onion, ginger root, and garlic. Cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the potato and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the water to prevent sticking.
5. Add the string beans. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the chiles, salt, and red chile powder.
7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, until the beans and potato are soft.Turn off the heat and let the pan sit, covered, on the same burner for another 5 to 10 minutes.
8. Serve with white or brown basmati rice, roti or naan.
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