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Tag: Indian (page 2 of 3)

For Indian food lovers

If you want to cook something that is about as close to the tastiest Indian food you can get in a restaurant, you’ll want to try these lentils from Dino’s Alternative Vegan cookbook. This is one of those recipes I keep going back to. It’s another one you can whip together with mostly pantry items.

I had a couple of options for something green to eat on the side. Instead of keeping the green beans plain, I used the treatment Dino gives to broccoli and roasted them up in the oven. There might have been just a bit more seasoning than I needed for the amount of green beans I had, but it was amazingly good.

Madras Sri Ganesh Ram Palace

Hey, guess what? I ate out again. That’s fucking shocking, isn’t it? I’m just going to come out and say that I don’t think I could live anywhere that didn’t have a South Indian restaurant. But I want it to be a little bit inconvenient. Otherwise I’d be waddling around with an additional hundred pounds on my frame. No joke.

While we have a number of good Indian restaurants in Atlanta, Madras Sri Ganesh Ram Palace is by far my favorite. Thankfully, it’s not all that convenient for me being out by Stone Mountain and all. It is a vegetarian restaurant but there are plenty of things vegans can eat. The server will be glad to help you with any questions.

Need some convincing? That’s okay, I came prepared with food porn. I bet there are a dozen pics of Medhu Vadai floating around in my archives. What’s not to like about savory lentil flour doughnuts?

Kevin’s favorite is Gobi Manchurian: battered, deep fried cauliflower in a very spicy sweet sauce:

Dosas are a favorite of mine. So is the Chole Batura. But I like to work my way around the menu because everything is so good. This is the first time I got the Uppatham with vegetable curry. The Uppatham come with another dish on the menu that isn’t vegan, but they happily changed it out for me. And it was lovely with carrots, potatoes and other veg in a spicy sauce that was warm but didn’t blow my head off. The Uppathams did a great job of soaking up the sauce.

Uppatham extreme close up:

You’re hungry now, aren’t you?

South Indian Food Love

You know, it actually took moving to Atlanta before I had really good South Indian food. The few places I tried in San Francisco in the 90s were definitely of a Northern sort, and gringoed to boot. I will say that I’ve been back to SF since and discovered perfectly lovely South Indian food between Union Square and the Tenderloin.

Atlanta, though, has a ton of South Indian options. Even so, sometimes I like to cook it. I’m too lazy to bust out enough dishes to fill a thali, but recently I did manage two dishes and dosas. I think a full out scratch recipe for dosas isn’t hard, but making them from a box, a box less than $1, is way easier. It’s pretty tasty for a mix and will do when you’re feeling lazy from making two other dishes.

Both of these dishes come from Healthy South Indian Cooking. This is not even a vegetarian cookbook, but it has many, many vegan recipes. I’ve gotten so I don’t mind some meat recipes. Usually they can easily be veganized.

This is a blurry Potato Okra Mandi. I accidentally made two things that were pretty soupy. D’oh. This one is full of sour tamarind goodness. I’m not usually a fan of okra, but they don’t slime up in this dish.

I thought Beans Kootu was more dry last time I cooked it. Heck, it probably was. At least it wasn’t a full on soup. Sugar snap peas in a coconutty bean sauce.

And here it is all together with the dosas.

Speaking of Indian stuff in Atlanta, one of my favorite places to stock up on supplies is Taj Mahal Market. Spices, beans, mixes, chutneys, thali, etc. This week I made a quick trip up there during lunch for black mustard seeds and came back with that plus red lentils, tamarind paste, saffron, black salt, coconut milk, two dosa mixes, young jackfruit in brine, roasty tasty (peanuts covered in a bean flour coating, not fried) and rose spread:

Even if you don’t need anything, it’s worth stopping in for a browse.

VeganMofo Droppings

Even though I had my camera stolen and essential didn’t post the last week while preparing for the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, I still somehow managed to get in more than 20 VeganMofo posts. Go me! 

Anyway, I have a couple of posts in me to catch up. This one will be the random assortment of food pics I took.

This was a quickie dinner thanks to the cheezy sauce I blogged about before.


Cheezy pasta & green beans with garlic bread

Cheezy pasta & green beans with garlic bread

 This lovely grill thali from Madras Chettinaad was a tasty break from baking for the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. By the way, this is one of my go to restaurants for mixed veg/non-veg company. 


Grill Thali

Grill Thali

I had some pumpkin in the freezer that I’d roasted and some home made stock, so I thought a pumpkin soup would be a good way to use some of that up. I started with this recipe, veganized it and skipped the cream/honey part at the end altogether. Also, a lot of the comments complained about it being bland, so I added a teaspoon of cayenne, a tablespoon of cumin and used ground cloves instead of whole so I wouldn’t have to try and fish them out later. The whole teaspoon of cayenne made it pretty spicy, so go lighter or skip it if you’re not into that. Monday night we ate this with grilled teese sammiches, but I failed to take a pic. So here it is with the pj&j as I ate it tonight. If I wasn’t lazy, I’d type this up in a nice new recipe, but I am, so there.


Oh, there’s more coming. A whole pile of Boston pics and another fabulous vegan potluck.

Disaster recovery

Well, I was going to make Dal Kootu last night. But then I burned the beans in my pressure cooker. The water kept bubbling out of the steam release. Maybe I need a new pressure cooker.


the burnination

the burnination

So I flipped around Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India for another recipe I could make. I picked Vegetable Korma. It was okay, but the coconut didn’t mix up smooth enough. I think it would have have been better if I had a vitamix or if I somehow substituted in coconut milk for the shredded coconut. 

Oh yeah, now I remember why I bought a new digital camera. *sigh*

Acorn Squash Pulikulambu


Acorn Squash Pulikulambu

Acorn Squash Pulikulambu

Let it get below 80 degrees, and I immediately go into fall veggie mode. Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, stews, and soups are all on my mind. I also don’t cook enough Indian food, so this week I combined the two. This is the Acorn Squash Pulikulambu from Healthy South Indian Cooking. The dish was sweet and spicy, but not really hot. There was just enough tamarind to give a hint of sour.  Even though this cookbook  isn’t even vegetarian, there are a ton of wonderful recipes that are either naturally vegan or easily vegan. Plus they tend to be fairly healthy. Yummy and healthy, great combination!

Eating Vegan in the Bahamas

Or at least on Paradise Island and in Nassau. We stayed at Atlantis and ended up eating most meals there. If you can completely ignore how much stuff costs, you will probably be okay there. Even so, I’d suggest bringing in provisions. Here I’ll just tell you what we did. Hopefully it’ll be helpful to someone.

We got in Tuesday around lunch time. Atlantis has a Johnny Rockets on site, so we just hit that. A little shy on veggies, but it got the job done. Plus it was really filling. So when we had a function with hors d’oeuvres later, we ate the one we could eat and were good with it.

Wednesday morning we had our first diving lesson, so we wanted to eat light. Okay, I’m about to launch into a testimonial for Pro Bars about now. I already knew they were tasty. But I didn’t know they’d really hold up as a meal replacement, even through a bunch of physical activity. And they were the perfect thing to have if you don’t want a big ol’ full stomach. 

I think we just snacked a little in the afternoon and played in the water. For dinner, we went to Carmine’s in the Marina Village. It’s Italian food served family style. The waiter was very accommodating. The menu was not exactly veg friendly, but we were able to piece together something. Apparently they make their pasta, so it’s all eggy. But they did have some dried pasta on hand. I think it was gluten free. They tossed that with oil and garlic. It was okay and filled the tummy, but not even close to as good as something I could whip up at home. They have sides of veggies you can order. If you ask for steamed it’ll be vegan. So we got broccoli. I chopped some up and tossed it with my pasta. They also had an appetizer we could have which was actually really good. It was grilled portobello mushrooms on a bed of spinach (although the menu said arugula) tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I’m not a giant portobello fan, but these were really nice.

Thursday, we weren’t diving until the afternoon so we got room service. They do have soy milk, so I had granola. Kevin had plain bagels with jelly. Oh, and there are at least 2 Starbucks at Atlantis so you can get your coffee and soy milk fix. Before diving, we just had Pro Bars for lunch. Again, they held up through the activity just fine.

Thursday night we decided to venture across the bridge into Nassau for dinner. We saw an Indian restaurant, Clay Oven, on the way in from the airport and decided to try that. We’re a little spoiled when it comes to Indian food since we have some really amazing restaurants here in Atlanta. But this was good, if dumbed down a bit. But they were really nice and had a number of things they could make vegan for us. Kevin had Aloo Ghobi (potatoes & cauliflower) and I had Vegetable Korma. And we were able to have Roti as well.

Friday morning we snacked on provisions and ate leftover Indian for breakfast. I don’t remember eating lunch, but we headed into town again that night, this time to Thai Lotus. We stepped in there after Indian food the night before to see if they had anything we could eat. Again, we had options. They had tofu and would basically sub it into any of the dishes. And they were cool about leaving out the fish sauce. We had vegetable spring rolls and then Kevin had a Stir Fry Ginger with Tofu which was good, but was a pretty standard stir fry. I had the Thai Green Curry with Tofu and it was as good as any I’ve ever had. Afterwards, we headed to the ice cream shop in the Marina Village and had some sorbet.

thai lotus bahamas

Saturday morning we were diving again, so bars for breakfast. After diving we went to Johnny Rockets again for lunch. Dinner was a function. The resort caterers seem to think vegan = flavorless. But it was the veggie burgers from earlier were filling enough to carry us through so we weren’t starving.

So that’s what we ate. There’s also the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat right down the beach from Atlantis. They have a vegetarian buffet you can get for brunch or dinner. We didn’t try it because the woman sounded a little sketchy about what may or may not be vegan and gave the impression that we’d have a hard time finding out about the ingredients. But it might actually be a good option. 


Sometimes you just need chocolate cake

Eating healthy raw food is great, but sometimes, about one week a month, a girl just needs some chocolate cake. So while we had a lovely, healthy raw dinner of Sunflower Seed Paté on celery sticks and Gazpacho from Raw Food Made Easy:

sunflower seed pate


Afterwards, there was cake. I had bananas I needed to use so I asked the interwebs about chocolate banana bundt cakes. I found Memmaw’s Vegan Chocolate Banana Cake. To make it even more chocolaty, I made a half batch of the ganache from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and drizzled it on top. The cake is moist and lovely with little chocolate chip bombs throughout. I like the texture but will warn you that it’s slightly non cake like, or at least not what you’d expect in a bundt. Maybe it’s all that banana. Anyway, it’s good, but if you’re looking for light airy cake, this isn’t it. This is moist, fudgy intense chocolate yumminess.

chocolate banana bundt

I still dig Vegan Italiano, especially for quick food. The Fusilli with Beets is practically instant beyond cooking the pasta. Obviously these aren’t fusilli, but I liked the idea of little beet cubes ending up inside these guys, so that’s what I picked up.

pasta with beets

And it took me a while, but I finally busted into Healthy South Indian Cooking. It’s been sitting around here for a while waiting for me to get to it. I finally got to Taj Mahal Market last week and picked up prepared Rasam and Sambhar spice mixes just to make life a little easier. This is the Carrot Sambhar and it was lovely. And I even had to leave out fenugreek seeds because I didn’t have any. I used to so I’m not sure where they ran off to. Anyway, it was bright, lovely, complex, not terribly hot. Enough dal to give it some substance, but not so much that it gets heavy.

carrot sambhar

And the “Butter” Tofu made another appearance.

butter tofu

“Butter” Tofu

Someone blogged a while back about the fact that you can pick up Butter Chicken seasoning and the spice packet itself is vegan. So last time I was at the Indian market I picked one up with the intention of trying out a “Butter” Tofu. I finally got around to that this week.Here’s the mix I used, the tomatoes I added and the tofu. I’m not sure why the pappadums jumped in the picture…I loosely used the recipe on the back of the box. Here’s what I did: “Butter” TofuIngredients1 pound firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed2 tablespoons lemon juice1/2 packet Shan Butter Chicken Mix2 tablespoons oil 1 14oz. can whole cherry tomatoes or diced (smash them if you use whole ones)1/2 cup soy milk2 tablespoons Earth Balance Mix lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water and the 1/2 packet of seasoning mix. Pour over drained, pressed tofu and marinate 30 minutes. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add marinated tofu reserving the marinade. Fry up until browned. Add tomatoes, soy milk, and reserved marinade. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes. Add Earth Balance, stir in until melted.Eat.We ate it over basmati rice with Dino’s Collards. Nummy. 

Fake Samosas

The March issue of Real Simple had a cool quickie recipe for samosas in it that involved using pre-made pie crust dough and convenience mashed potatoes you can buy in the refrigerator section. Side note: is it really that freakin’ hard to make mashed potatoes? I mean, come on, boil, mash, eat. Anyway, I thought I’d give that a try using sweet potatoes instead of white ones. Of course all the pre-made pie crust dough at the regular grocery store was all larded up. So I just used puff pastry. I knew the texture wouldn’t be the same or anything close to authentic, but what the hell, I also knew it would be good. When is puff pastry NOT good? Plus I had a jar of mango chutney sitting around that I picked up from Taj Mahal when I was there with Leigh.

Anyway, here’s the recipe with my changes.

Quickie Sweet Potato Samosas

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 med. onion, chopped
* ¾ teaspoon salt
* ½ teaspoon pepper
* ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
* 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
* 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed
* 1 package puff pastry, thawed
* 1 jar mango chutney

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, ground red pepper and curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the sweet potatoes and peas.

Unfold the puff pastry dough and cut each piece into 6 triangles. Place a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture in the center of each piece. Gather the corners of the dough and pinch to form a point. Pinch the seams to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Bake the samosas until golden, about 25 minutes. Serve with mango chutney. And now for the pics. The innards:

sweet potato samosas innards

Ready to be baked:

sweet potato samosas ready for baking

All puffy and golden:sweet potato samosas all baked

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