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Healthy Recipes

​Two Vegan Indian Recipes from my Gujarati Mother in Law

By Healthy Recipes, Yoga LifestyleNo Comments

 

 

The first thing my in-laws asked my husband after he’d put them into near-cardiac arrest telling them that I was 1) American and 2) not of Indian descent was, “Is she vegetarian?” As Gujarati Jains, ahimsa (non-harm) is at the core of their faith, life—and diet.

Fortunately, this other kind of Indian is vegetarian (and vegan in the US). Vegetarianism flew in the face of my upbringing as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation where hunting is imbued into culture, but as we grow, increase our knowledge and expand our experiences, we are consistently re-aligning our values.

However, vegetarianism in authentic Indian households is worlds apart from what many of us westerners experience on a daily basis. Both my mother-in-law and my husband are phenomenal cooks. Here are two of my favorite vegetarian recipes including a savory and sweet option.

Both recipes are surprisingly simple, although for some the ingredients might seem unfamiliar, overwhelming, or difficult to get. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with an Indian store, they will have everything you need (if not, ordering online is always an option). When it comes to spices, it’s always simplest and most affordable to trust Indian stores in my experience.

 

Spicy Moong Dahl

 


* Image shown is for yellow dahl but this recipe calls for black moong dahl

 

INGREDIENTS
1 cup split moong dahl (presara pappu)
3 Cups Water
1/4 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilis
2 dry red chilis
1 tsp ginger, grated
10 curry leaves
big pinch asafetida (also known as ting)
to taste salt
1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 onion

DIRECTIONS
1. Pre-soak dahl in water as long as possible (2 hours is ideal).
2. Cook dahl in water in pressure cooker until soft.
3. Heat oil in pot and add cumin seeds; cook until brown but do not burn.
4. Shred red chilis and add to pot (you can leave seeds or de-seed depending on how much spice you want).
5. Dice and add green chilis, curry leaves, ginger.
6. Add turmeric and diced onion, asafetida.
7. Stir and immediately add to dahl.
8. Check to be sure there is enough water in dahl throughout process. Dahl can be made either thick (like yogurt) or more watered down (like a soup). This depends on your preference. Water can always be added to taste.
9. Add salt to taste. This recipe is from my friend who is Gujarati Jain in Mumbai. I was told this recipe is meant to be a bit bland and they often add a good amount of salt.
10. Simmer for 10 minutes. Right before serving add squeezed lemon.

NOTES:

I’ve found that pressure cookers have different “personalities” and it’s best to just watch the dahl to see when it’s soft and to monitor water levels.

As noted in the directions, I’ve found most people like a good amount of salt added to this dahl, but that is up to taste and health.

It is best served with white rice.

 

 

HALWA/SHEERA INDIAN DESSERT

 

*This dessert dish is called different things in different parts of India, but it’s delicious and very easy to make.

 

INGREDIENTS
1 cup Semolina
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Ghee (or unsalted butter)
2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Cashew halves/pieces
1/4 Cup Raisins
4 Pods Cardamom
4 Sticks Cloves
2 Sticks Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
1. Melt the ghee or butter in a flat-bottomed pan and add the cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. I’ve been able to find most ingredients at stores like Whole Foods/Trader Joes but you may have to go to an Indian grocer. I have substituted cardamom powder in lieu of pods and it has tasted fine.
2. Fry cashew nuts and raisins along with spices in the ghee/butter until light brown.
3. Add the semolina and stir until there are no dry spots in the semolina.
4. Add water and mix well.
5. Cover the pan and keep on low flame for 2 minutes or until the water is absorbed and semolina is cooked.
6. Add the sugar and stir well on low flame until bubbles start popping through semolina.
7. Cover pan and keep on low flame one more minute.
8. Serve while warm.

CONCLUSION
Many Indian foods and entire cuisines (depending on the community) are inherently vegetarian. Anthony Bourdain once said that Indian food was the one food where he didn’t have issues eating vegetarian. By adopting more vegetarian recipes and dishes into your diet, you can enjoy a more varied experience and the ayurvedic benefits that often come with it. For instance, turmeric is an excellent immunity booster and can be added to virtually any savory Indian dish. Most importantly, have fun, experiment, and play—cooking and food should be joyful.

 

 

 

 

 

2 Simple Vegan Soup Recipes For Fall

By Healthy Recipes, Yoga LifestyleNo Comments


Boost Your Immunity with 2 Simple Vegan Soups This Fall Season

Stay healthy this fall season with two simple vegan curry sweet potato soups. Both of these recipes are rich and flavorful – and loaded with immune boosting nutrients your body needs this cold season to fight off colds and infections. Studies have shown that a plant based diet can do wonders to your health including, reducing your risk of cancer, lowering heart disease, reducing high blood pressure, boosting your gut health, maintaining a healthy weight, and improving your immunity. Something as easy as adding just one plant-based meal to your weekly dinner rotation can improve your health. Eating vegan also doesn’t have to be complicated or take too much time to prepare. The easy soup recipes below take less than 30 minutes to make with minimal prep work. They can even be made ahead of time and enjoyed throughout the week. Enjoy these soups on a cold fall day after yoga class and a warm bath, for dinner time, or even lunch time. Enjoy dear yogis!

Namaste,
Christa Clark

Creamy Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Easy Vegan Soup Recipes 20 Minutes For Fall - Yoga

This delicious creamy soup will warm you up from the inside out, making your belly and body smile! Sweet potatoes are naturally loaded with lots of Vitamin A, which helps to fight off infections. The radishes in this soup are high in Vitamin C, which also powerfully detoxifies your body to promote a healthy immune system. We add in curry powder, a powerful antioxidant for cancer and also for fighting off bacterial infections. We combine all of these amazing powerful foods to create a magically delicious and healthy soup!

Creamy Curried Sweet Potatoe Soup | Makes 6 + Servings

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes


Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or veg broth for oil free)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 7 radishes, sliced and diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (tamari or coconut aminos)
  • red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste

Peaceful Preparations:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Next, add the sweet potato, radishes and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes. Add the curry powder and sauté until coated.
  2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the veggies are soft.
  3. Blend until creamy with an immersion blender or cool and use a blender in batches.
  4. Add soy sauce and simmer until heated throughout, about 4 minutes. Garnish with red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Serve hot with love!

Curry Sweet Potato & Chick Pea Soup

Easy Vegan Soup Recipes 20 Minutes For Fall - Yoga

This simple, no fuss, Curry Sweet Potato & Chick Pea Soup is a hearty, satisfying, and comforting recipe that will warm you up even on the coldest fall days. This vegan soup recipe is extremely high in fiber and vitamins including Vitamin A, K, C and E. The healthy ingredients included in it all help to boost the immunity, is high in nutrients, and full of powerful antioxidants. The chick peas are also a great source of plant based protein that contain cholesterol lowering agents. The natural protein helps to keep us fuller longer which aids in maintaining a healthy weight and also nourishes our muscles. Over all this soup is a powerful anti-inflammation winner for a healthy mind and body!

Curry Sweet Potato & Chick Pea Soup | Makes 6 + Servings

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 3 medium carrots – diced
  • 3 celery stalks – diced
  • 1 red bell pepper – diced
  • 1 large sweet potato – diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1″ knob of ginger – minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric and Paprika
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 1/2 cups chick peas
  • 1 – 170g organic tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peaceful Preparations:

  1. Sauté the onions, carrots, celery and red bell pepper for 5 minutes in a medium to large pot with a splash of vegetable broth.
  2. Add the minced garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Mix together.
  3. Add 6 cups of vegetable broth and the diced sweet potato. Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, cooking for a total of 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, remove the lid, add the chick peas and tomato paste. Mix well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the 1/4 cup minced herbs, mix in. Serve hot! I sprinkled ours with a touch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a sprig of parsley.

**Note For Both Recipes: You can use what you have on hand.

Guest Post By YogaRenew YTT Graduate, Christa Clark

“My name is Christa Clark, I run a vegan blog artisticvegan.com and practice yoga daily. I’ve had a personal yoga practice for over 11 years. I love how yoga has helped me through thick and thin, my mat and breath are always there. I became a structural integrator along the way and worked alongside my husband to open Gravity Body Academy, an online school for structural integration. In that process I fell in love with online teaching and learning. When I found Yoga Renew it felt like the perfect opportunity to become a certified teacher. I loved that I could fit it into my schedule and do it from home. Thank you YogaRenew for turning a dream into reality! I now offer yoga classes on the Artistic Vegan YouTube Channel, at artisticvegan.vhx.tv, and have tons of free vegan recipes at artisticvegan.com.