Vegan Recipes: Put a vegan twist to your favourite desi recipes! From Kofta to Biryani and more - these recipes are simply droolworthy.
These Indian vegan recipes are simply delicious and will make you drool.
India has always been a melting pot of cultures and civilizations. This reflects in the rich diversity of cuisines and culinary inclinations of the entire country. Not surprisingly, every region has its own traditional and unique food and preparation styles.
Also, with changing times, slight variations in the choice of ingredients and cooking styles have enhanced the repertoire of Indian cuisines.
In recent years, there's a growing awareness of veganism and plant-based diets. There are several options available when it comes to replacing animal-derived meat, milk, yoghurt and other products with plant-based alternatives.
Many brands have successfully replicated the taste, texture and aroma of animal products. Now, it is convenient to use healthier and eco-friendly plant-based ingredients.
Considering this, we have recreated traditional Indian cuisines with plant-based options, keeping in mind the love for authentic and rustic taste usually associated with these classic dishes. Let's take a look.
1 Vegan Tofu Bhurji
Cooking & Prep time: 15-20 Mins approx.
Bhurji is typically any scrambled mixture with tomatoes, onions and lots of spices. This delicious, flavorful and savoury dish is extremely easy to prepare and often constitutes a quick-fix option as breakfast, snacks, or a meal. The most common form of bhurji is made with egg or paneer (cottage cheese) and served with naan or roti.
Here, we are going to create a version of bhurji with an essential vegan alternative: Tofu.
Begin by heating oil in a frying pan. Add asafoetida powder and cumin seeds when the temperature is right. Add garlic and chilli to the pan, followed by onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion develops a golden-brown colour.
Add turmeric, coriander powder and red chilli powder (red chilli powder is optional since green chilli is added). Allow the spices to cook for a short period of time.
Add tomatoes and sprinkle salt over them, which helps them soften faster. Add tofu to the pan and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes with or without a lid.
Add more salt if necessary and sprinkle fresh cilantro when the bhurji is ready. Serve with toast or roti or naan.
2 Vegan Palak Paneer
Cooking and Prep Time: 30 mins - 1 hour approx.
Palak Paneer is a traditional Indian curry made with pureed spinach, cottage cheese and a blend of spices that lends an extraordinary taste to the entire preparation.
Spinach in itself doesn't have a strong flavour, but the puree has the right texture for creating a rich and flavourful curry. The addition of cottage cheese, cream and spices balances spinach's slightly bitter taste and infuses savoury flavours necessary to enhance its taste.
We have replaced cottage cheese(paneer) with tofu and dairy cream with coconut cream to make a vegan version of the dish.
Heat water in a saucepan. As soon as it starts boiling, switch off the gas and add spinach to it. After 2 mins, carefully drain the water and dip the spinach leaves in cold water for a min. This step restores the colour of the leaves and reduces its bitterness.
In a blender, puree tomatoes and the blanched spinach until it becomes a uniform mixture.
In a deep skillet, heat oil and add asafoetida, cumin seeds and ginger garlic paste. Add cut onions to the skillet and sauté till the onions are cooked. Add spices to the mixture and cook on medium heat. To this, add the tomato- spinach puree.
Cut tofu into little cubes and add them to the skillet. Add salt and let the mixture simmer until the tofu becomes soft.
If the mixture is too thick, you can add water and adjust the consistency.
Finally, add coconut cream and garnish with coriander leaves.
3 Malai Kofta with Chickpeas
Cooking and Prep Time: 1 - 1 hour 30 Mins approx.
Malai Koftas are simply delicious. The rich, creamy gravy, paired with soft, spicy and crispy dumplings, is ideal for special occasions and festivals. Koftas have various kinds of stuffed vegetables and paneer that provide them with a luxuriant, savoury taste. Here, we use boiled chickpeas and potatoes to make the dumplings and plant-based milk & cashews for the gravy.
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add asafoetida powder, cumin seed powder and ginger garlic paste. Add onions and sauté for a minute until the onions become golden.
To this, add cardamom and cinnamon powder before adding the rest of the spices: turmeric, coriander and red chilli powder.
Add tomatoes and use medium to low heat for cooking. Keep heating with regular stirring until the mixture is semi-dry.
Transfer the entire mixture to a blender and add plant-based milk and soaked cashews. Carefully blend the mix until the consistency is uniform. Depending on the thickness, you can add more milk or water for the desired consistency.
Transfer the gravy back to the saucepan and add salt & garam masala while heating on a low flame. Keep stirring for some time, and add chopped cilantro in the end.
In a large bowl, mix boiled potatoes, mashed chickpeas, cornflour, and roasted cashew powder. Add the salt and spice the entire mixture.
Knead the mix until it reaches the consistency of the dough. Prepare small, uniform balls by rolling small amounts of dough.
Use a deep-fry pan with enough oil to submerge the koftas. Start frying only when the oil temperature is right. You can test this by frying a small amount of dough. If it sizzles instantly and rises to the surface, the temperature is apt for deep-frying.
Carefully start frying the koftas 2-3 at a time. Heat until the surface is a deep brown.
Remove the koftas and place them on paper-towel-lined plates to drain excess oil.
Add the koftas to the prepared gravy, and your VeganMalai Kofta is ready.
Serve with roti, naan, or rice.
4 Vegan Keema Biryani
Cooking and Prep Time: 30 mins - 1 hour approx.
Keema Biryani is a mix of ground meat, rice and a blend of fragrant and flavoursome spices. It is one of those cuisines that is synonymous with traditional and savoury Indian food. Though every part of the country makes biryani with a distinct combination of spices and varied cooking methods, the basics remain the same.
Here, we add our own peculiarity to the cuisine with vegan, plant-based keema and create a delicious and flavourful biryani.
Place rice in a container and boil till it is cooked. Drain the water and keep it aside for the moment.
In a small bowl, mix ground meat with vegan yoghurt, half of the biryani masala, garam masala, turmeric and red chilli powder. Mix them well and allow them to rest for some time. The rest of the spices will be used later.
In another bowl, soak the saffron in non-dairy milk and let it stand for the moment
Heat oil in a large saucepan or a pot. Add cumin seeds, cardamom pods, bay leaves, ginger garlic paste and cloves. Stir fry over medium flame for a minute.
Add the remaining spices to the mixture, followed by fried onions and keema mix prepared earlier, along with salt.
Add some water and heat till the mix starts boiling.
Add cooked rice to the entire mixture and mix evenly while heating on a low flame. Place a lid over the pot/saucepan and heat for a good 8-10 minutes
Add the milk-soaked saffron to the mix and cook for another 5-7 minutes with the lid on.
Serve with raita or rasam.
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