A vegan, gluten-free, sugar free version of the popular Indian Chai recipe with a caffeine free variation. This spicy tea will brighten up your afternoon teatime and cold winter days. Enjoy with Indian Laddu sweets.
Sooji halwa or suji halwa is a delicious Indian dessert, recipe easy to make with semolina (sooji), almonds, sultanas, cardamom and saffron…
Serves: 10 people
1 ½ l water
400 g sugar
1 teaspoon saffron strands, soaked in 1 tablespoon boiling hot milk
230 g unsalted butter
330 g semolina (coarse grained)
35 g sliced almonds
1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
55 g sultanas
Combine the water, sugar and soaked saffron in a 2 liter saucepan. Place over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Melt the butter in a 2 or 3 liter saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the semolina, and slowly and rhythmically stir-fry the grains for about 20 minutes, or until they darken to a tan colour and become aromatic.
Add the sliced almonds to the grains towards the end of the toasting process.
Raise the heat under the syrup, add the cardamom and the sultanas, and bring it to a rolling boil.
Raise the heat under the semolina for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Remove the saucepan of semolina from the heat, and slowly pour the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring steadily.
The grains may spatter at first but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed.
Return the halwa to the stove and stir steadily over very low heat until the grains fully absorb the liquid, start to form into a pudding-like consistency, and pull away from the sides of the pan.
Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan and cook over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the halwa to steam for an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Palak paneer is one of the most popular North Indian curries made of blanched spinach and soft paneer.
Serves: 6 people Time: 1 hour
1 kg spinach fresh or frozen
250 g paneer
3 tablespoons oil
1-2 teaspoon(s) cumin seeds or powder
3 medium sized onions (finely chopped)
1 green chili (slit into half)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic crushed
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 cinnamon stick
4 – 6 medium size tomatoes (finely chopped) or 1 can of canned tomatoes
100 ml cream
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Grated cheese for garnish (optional)
Cook the spinach for about 5 minutes in boiling water.
Cut the paneer into small cubes and deep fry in oil till light golden brown.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add the cumin seeds. Wait till it crackles and ensure that it does not burn. Add the chopped onions and green chilies and sauté till the onions are golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the turmeric powder, chili powder, the cinnamon stick and the coriander powder and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and stir till the oil separates.
Add the spinach to this mixture along with 200 ml water. (Tip: You can use the water from cooking the spinach).
Add the cream, paneer, garam masala, sugar and salt and cook till you start to see the gravy bubbling. If the gravy seems a bit dry, you can add some more water.
Garnish with some shredded cheese (optional) in the end.
A well-known and easy Indian dish made with fresh milk. It is one of the main ingredients in the traditional Indian dish palak paneer.
3 liters milk
Juice from two lemons
Spices or fresh herbs depending on the dish (optional)
A cheese cloth or thin kitchen towel
Bring the milk to a boil or slightly below boiling temperature, add lemon juice until the liquid separates and forms small pieces looking like cottage cheese.
Place the cheesecloth in a strainer and pour the separated liquid through the cheesecloth. Cover the crumbled cheese with the cloth and place a weight on top to press out the last liquid and shape a nice ball, leave it to rest like this overnight in the fridge. Next day carefully unfold the package and lift out the paneer ball which should now be firm and not fall apart when you cut it. Cut cubes of preferred size and fry in pan with oil and spices. Serve as a side dish or in a vegetable dish.
Serves: 10 people
180 g chickpea flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 cloves garlic, crushed
300 ml water
1,6 L oil for deep frying
1 heads cauliflower florets
4 onions or paprika, sliced into rings
Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the coriander, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and garlic. Add the baking powder.
Make a well in the center of the flour. Gradually pour the water into the well and mix to form a thick, smooth batter.
Over medium high heat in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 190 degrees C° (375 degrees F).
Coat the cauliflower and onions in the batter and fry them in small batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with Chat Masala before serving.
Enjoy with Ketchup and Podina (Mint) Chutney and a cup of tea.
It is also possible to use other vegetables such as potatoes thin sliced or whole chilis for those who like it hot.