Sweet Potato Paratha, Cabbage Subzi, vegan recipes

Sweet-Aloo Paratha with Dill-Flavored Cabbage Subzi

When I cook, nutrition is as important to me as taste: I am a big believer in food as medicine. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian art of holistic healing, holds it that every meal you eat should have all the six tastes in it: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. When that’s the case, not…

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Venn Pongal

Vegan Venn Pongal with Eggplant-Green-Pepper Gotsu

This week, one half of my family (Desi’s side) celebrated Pongal, the beginning of the new year for people from the state of Tamil Nadu. Like all Indian festivals, this is an occasion to guzzle down plate after plate of lovingly prepared luscious, delicious vegetarian food. There are some very special dishes that are traditionally…

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Karela Pitlai

Bitter Gourd Pitlai

The bitter gourd (karela in Hindi or pagarkai in Tamil) is a veggie that usually inspires people to extreme love or extreme distaste. It is no star looks-wise, with a warty, bumpy green skin and big flat seeds. But it is the taste, evident in the name, that evokes the strongest passions.In India, bitter gourd…

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Savory Eggless French Toast

Savory Eggless French Toast

One of my favorite snacks from my childhood, this Crispy Eggless “French Toast” is wonderfully vegan. Although I call it a “French Toast,” it doesn’t have anything in common with the original dish other than the method of preparation and the fact that the chief ingredient is bread. In this version, herbs and spices perfectly…

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Mooli Paratha

Mooli Paratha (Radish-stuffed Flatbread)

Daikon radish, called mooli or mullangi depending on where you are in India, packs a mean health punch. Extremely low in calories, this white root vegetable is said to aid digestion and contains tons of fiber. Its spicy pungent taste also makes it ideal for salads. The root is usually sold along with the leafy…

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Vegan Palak Paneer

Vegan Palak Paneer | South Indian Lemon Rice

Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian dish that is on the vegetarian menu of just about every Indian restaurant. But for those of us who are vegans, this rich and spicy spinach-based dish comes with a catch – the cubes of deep-fried Paneer, or Indian cheese, puts it on our list of can’t-haves. Enter…

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Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal with Toasted Spices, which I’m sharing today, is one of my favorite dishes. For a number of reasons: the lentils taste great and cook easily, making them perfect for busy evenings when you have little time to throw together a meal that’s both nourishing and delicious. What’s more, like all beans and lentils, they…

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Coconut Rice,

South Indian Coconut Rice

Whenever Desi and I would visit Madras, we almost always got swept up by relatives into a tour of various temples, including Sholingar and Thirupathi. Both Desi and I are not temple-goers, and my in-laws, I think, were hoping that those whirlwind tours, packed with as many deities as possible, would make up for all…

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Cabbage Kootu

Cabbage Kootu

My husband, Desi, was born and raised in Madras (or Chennai, although he insists on calling it Madras still) in a very traditional family. But when we got married, his parents and six siblings were more than welcoming to the new daughter-in-law even though she had short hair, didn’t wear saris and didn’t speak a…

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Pakora Pancakes

There are many days- too many in fact- when I have agonizing cravings for foods that are not so healthy. Like onion pakoras. A traditional Indian classic that can often be found on many restaurant menus, onion pakoras are the Indian cousin of onion rings- only much, much more flavorful and satisfying, at least to…

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Tofu Parathas

Tofu Paratha

Time was when I was afraid of tofu. In the past, my experience with tofu was limited to the times I had it in restaurants, usually Thai or Chinese, where it was typically served up in deep-fried chunks smothered in a sauce. After one dinner spent chewing endlessly, it seemed, on huge chunks of tofu,…

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Masala Mushroom Curry

This post is dedicated to my lovely friend Margo. Margo was the first friend I made after moving to the United States 11 years ago. She is one of the warmest, most intelligent and compassionate people I know. Her hubby, Jon, and she are posted overseas a few years at a time, and each time…

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