2 healthy and easy-to-cook vegetarian recipes that you should definitely try out
Most of us think very little innovation is possible with vegetarian dishes. In an attempt to break this myth and encourage you to eat healthy, Nandita Iyer, trained nutritionist and self-taught celebrity chef, has come up with a book of 100 healthy vegetarian recipes.
The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian (Hachette; Rs 599) has recipes that are inspired from her relentless experiments with vegetarian food. Two of them are modified recipes from her clog Saffron Trail. “I started cooking out of helplessness when I was posted in a rural hospital for my medical internship as the local food was too spicy for me to tolerate. My love for cooking was fuelled by Food TV in the US where I lived for a year. It opened my eyes to a variety of cuisines and cooking techniques. Having a ready audience in my husband, who was adventurous to try out anything I cooked also helped,” says Iyer.
The book has unique and diverse recipes such as Chickpea Za’atar Croquettes, Black-Eyed Pea Burgers, Granny’s Herbal Tea and Green Apple Rasam. The pictures look appetising too. All of them have an Indian twist to it. Says Iyer, “An Indian twist in a recipe is a good introduction of a foreign recipe to an Indian kitchen — with easier to find ingredients and more acceptability especially if you have a mix of the older generation and younger generation in one family.” Iyer likes traditional Tamil cuisine and Bengali vegetarian food the most and is a fan of chefs Ottolenghi, Nigel Slatera and Sam Sifton. Here are two recipes from her book to try out at home.
The overnight oats
1/2 cup instant oats (approx. 40 g); 1 tsp yogurt; 3/4-1 cup water or milk
THE SAUTEED APPLE
1 medium-sized apple; 1.2 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp powdered green cardamom; 2 tsp walnut bits, toasted
1. In a serving bowl, mix the oats with the yogurt and water or milk.
2. Cover with a lid and leave it on the counter top overnight.
3. You can also mix this in a glass jar with a lid.
THE SAUTEED APPLE
1. Scrub and wash the apple well.
2. Cut the apple into half and slice finely, discarding the core and seeds.
3. Heat ghee in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed pan.
4. Layer the apple slices and cook over low heat for 10.12 minutes, till golden.
5. Shake the pan and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
6. Add a spoon of water to dislodge any caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
1. Make a well in the centre of the oats.
2. Add the caramelised apples and top with cardamom powder and toasted walnuts.
3. Overnight Oats with sauteed Apples is ready.
1 tbsp groundnut oil; 2 green chillies, cut lengthwise; 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds; 1/2 tsp cumin seeds; A pinch of asafetida powder (hing); 1 medium-sized tomato, roughly chopped; 1/2 tsp turmeric powder; 3/4 tsp salt, divided
2 and 1/2 cups ash gourd (approx. 250 g), diced (1''dice); 2 cups Malabar spinach (poi), loosely packed; A generous 1/2 cup cooked whole Bengal gram (kala chana); 1 tsp chole masala; 2 tsp rice flour
1. Heat the oil in a 3.4 litre pressure cooker over moderate heat.
2. Add the green chillies, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, stir in the asafoetida powder, tomato, turmeric powder and a pinch of salt.
3. Saute over high heat for 1 minute till the tomatoes start breaking down.
4. Add the ash gourd, Malabar spinach and cooked chana along with the chole masala. Stir for another minute.
5. Pour in 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer.
6. Mix the rice flour in 2.3 tbsp of water and stir it into the simmering curry.
7. Season with the remaining salt.
8. Close the pressure cooker with the lid and the pressure weight plugged in.
9. Turn off the heat when the cooker reaches full pressure (first whistle). Open the cooker after the pressure subsides.
10. Remove into a serving bowl and serve hot with rice or rotis.