A lot of people think that it's difficult to abstain from eating meat but if it is done in the right way as well as eating meat free products it can be a very healthy life style.
Here are a few of the vegetarian dishes that I can recommend as a daily meal, snack or even a dessert.
One of my favourites that I can definitely say I could eat often are barfi, which is a milk based sweet. There are different types of barfi that you can get but popular and common varieties are besan barfi (made from gram flour), Kaaju barfi (made with cahews), Pista barfi (made with pistachios), and sing barfi (made with peanuts). The main ingredients of barfi include condensed milk and sugar. You can find flavoured barfi, which are enhanced by the flavours of fruit such as mango or coconut or nuts, for example cashews or pistachios, and spices like cardamom or rose water.
My other favourite is a ice cream type of dessert called kulfi. Kulfi looks like your typical ice cream you would have but its made to be more denser and creamier. Traditional kulfi you would find are: rose, mango, cardamom, saffron and pistachio.
A vegetarian dish that I absolutely love and would eat regularly is Saag Aloo which is Spinach and Potato curry, growing up I would ask for this to be made especially when I use to visit family.
Here's a helpful recipe to make this lovely dish:
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 400 g spinach
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic clove, coarsley chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- olive oil
Fry the cumin seeds in a heavy bottomed pan in a bit of oil and butter until just starting to brown. Add the onion and fry until it too starts to brown. Add the potato, garlic, turmeric, ginger and garam masala and fry until the potato starts to soften.
Unless you are using a non-stick pan, you may need to add water and cover to keep the potato from sticking and to help it cook. The first time I did this 1/2 cup at a time and it took about 20-30 minutes but I now prefer to parboil the potatoes, which means you add less water and it only takes about 10 minutes to finish off from this point.
Add the spinach or chard and cook until it collapses over the potato and season to taste.
Another dish that I love is aloo ghobi, which is the same as the saag aloo but is using cauliflower instead of spinach, however I like to add spinach into it just to give it another depth of taste.
Finally the last thing I can recommend is mixed vegetable subji.
- Mixed vegetables - 4 cups (cauliflower, broccoli, baby carrots, capsicum)
- Onion - 1 medium minced
- Garlic pods - 2 minced
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
- Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/3 tsp
- Salt- to taste (use garlic salt for flavour)
In a wide pan heat oil, add the minced garlic and onions saute for 3 minutes until the onions are well cooked.
Tip in the veggies, add salt and cook covered for 5 minutes until the veggies are nice and soft. (I used frozen veggies, if you are using fresh then sprinkle little water for the veggies to cook)
Add in the spice powders - red chilli, turmeric, cumin and mash the veggies at random using the spoon . Cook covered for 2-3 minutes until the flavours blend well.
Indian meat dishes to be continued in my next blog...