Around 10 years ago when I was in the USA I learnt about how cows are factory farmed in inhumane, unnatural conditions and fed with hormones. I decided to go vegan for 6 months and see how I felt. The most difficult thing for me was to get rid of the so called “Indian tea”, made by boiling milk, black tea and sugar. I had a hard time drinking bland tasteless herbal teas. But I told myself it is just a matter of 6 months, honey! Take it as an exercise of will power and self control.
And by the end of 6 months I had started liking herbal teas, my taste buds seemed to have become sensitive and not wanting a strong “kick giving” tastes. I wanted to give myself a treat with Indian tea. Started making myself the treat! And guess what…I could not bear the smell of it! I had to go out of the house while it boiled. After coming back I poured it into my cup and tried drinking it. But I felt like throwing up. Instead I threw away the tea.
I was very surprised how my taste buds had changed. Think for yourself what could be the health benefits of the Indian tea and then think for yourself what could be the health benefits of herbal teas (mint, lemongrass, bergamot, tulsi, oregano, thyme, and so many more).
Last year I went to India and my family members were forcing us to have the Indian tea. And we made fun of how it is not an Indian tea but a british tea and how we are still the slaves of the British :-). I visited a restaurant in Mysore and ordered a “Kashaya” and then it struck me that THIS is the INDIAN TEA 🙂
So I have been making herbal teas and Kashaya at home. Here is a very simple recipe. I make garam masala at home since I do not eat chillis, instead use black pepper. After sieving the garam masala I transfer the left over to a bottle (lets call it garam masala husk :-)) to use in Kashayas. Now here is the recipe for a kashaya:
1/2 tsp clove powder.
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder.
1/2 tsp black pepper powder.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
1/2 tsp cardamom powder.
1 tsp of xanthum gum powder(dinka in marathi). This gives the tea the desired thickness.
2 tsp of garam masala husk.
5 cups of water.
2 tablespoons honey.
Mix all ingredients except honey. Boil until the quality halves. Let it cool a bit and add honey and drink warm!
I stopped eating fried food many years ago. And so I could not eat sabudana vada anymore. All these years I was making only Sabudana Khicdi at home. Today I tried sabudana vada on tawa. It was super delicious and needed very less oil to cook.
1.5 Cup Tapioca Peals/Sabudana soaked overnight. Make sure to just cover the peals with water. Too much water will make them soggy.
1 Cup ground crunch peanut powder. Use a stone mortar for better taste.
1″ ginger finely chopped
5 Sprigs of Cilantro finely chopped
1 green chili finely chopped
1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 Potatoes cooked and mashed
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients well so that it makes a binding mixture. If it does not bind sprinkle some water and mix the ingredients again. Massage with the hands like you would do to make a dough.
Heat the pan, make small balls of the mixture, flatten in your palms and spread on the pan. Brush with coconut oil. Once done on one side turn over, brush with coconut oil and remove when done. Alternatively you can bake them.
Makes 15 vadas.
Serve with buttermilk. I am a vegan so I used almond milk, salt, lemon juice mixture and gave it a tadka/tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves.
Pulp left from making milk from any nuts. In the photo the nut pulp is of hazelnuts and apricot seeds – 1/2 cup
Parsely finely chopped – 1/4 cup
Finely minced garlic – 3 large cloves
Salt to taste
2 tsp of oil
1/2 cup wheat flour
Water as per need
Process: Mix all ingredients well with water and make a dough. The dough will not feel like it sticks together and that is ok because we are not going to roll it rather pat in the palms to make the patties. Let the dough sit for 15-30 minutes. Divide into equal parts and make patties using the palms. Cook them on a large flat pan all together with a lid on the patties. The lid is important to keep the patties soft and moist. Turn over and cook until done with lid on.
Ingredients for the topping:
3 medium size carrots
1/2 cup loose parsley
1/8 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 lime’s juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of salt
Process: Add all to a food processor and make a coarse mixture.
Serve: Scoop 2 tablespoons of topping onto each patty and serve. Makes 8 patties. We had it with warm nut milk of (apricot seeds, hazelnut, cacao powder, jaggery, rose-water)
I love making such kind of patties for lunch along with a large salad and a chutney. I keep trying various flours and grains for such patties. This time the recipe is:
1. 1/4 cup Barley
2. 1/4 cup Quinoa
3. 1/4 cup White dry corn pieces
4. 2 small onions chopped fine
5. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
6. Salt to taste
7. 1/2 cup water
8. 2 TBSP plantain flour
Soak first three items for 4 hours. Drain, wash, blend with water. Add the plantain flour. Mix well to make a batter, not too thin and to thick. Add rest of the ingredients and mix well. You should be able to pour the batter with a tablespoon on the pan. Turn when cooked on one side. Cook until cooked on the other side also.
Chutney: soaked and boiled tamarind with water, coriander leaves, dates, garlic – blend all together and serve with the patties.
I feel sad when I see moms giving hormone-filled milk and zero nutrition highly processed corn flakes mixed with poisonous white sugar to their little ones in morning breakfast. Here is a much easier and very quick nutritious breakfast you can provide to your kids and yourself.
1/4 cup dry white corn. (Corn can be substituted with various kinds of millets)
1 cup of assorted nuts and raisins and dates.
3 tablespoons of jaggery.
2 pinches cinnamon powder.
3 cups water.
1 tsp of coconut oil.
1 cardamom ground into powder.
Soak corn overnight.
Boil in water along with cinnamon powder until cooked.
Add cardamom powder, jaggery, oil and nuts.
Some friends have asked to share what I eat usually(vegan). In the past I have shared in google sheet, whats app. Now am trying it this way. I am not putting any effort into taking good photos so please bear with me 🙂
I usually do indian recipes but steamed version. Many things indian are not available where I live so I try to find substitutes.
Today is the last day of this journal. Hope it was helpful for my friends. Have a happy new year to you all!
I made this curry in the traditional style following below video.
And then I made the steamed version of it. Steamed food is much healthier and is Satvik in nature. Traditional recipe too was delicious but heating oil and cooking food on stove top gives it a rajasik feeling for us. So whenever I want to learn a recipe I try the traditional way and then turn it into steamed version:-)
20 drumsticks, fiber removed, chopped into long pieces
ginger garlic paste (3 garlic cloves, 1″ ginger)
split masoor lentils ( we do not get split variety here, we get only whole variety, to make with whole variety soak the lentils overnight. This time I had some split masoor lentils brought from the USA)
Mix all ingredients form 1-7, transfer to the steamer bowl and pour water to cover all ingredients.
Cook for 1.5 hours
Give tempering: heat oil in a big pan, add mustard seeds, once they start spluttering, add cumin seeds, curry leaves. With off the stove and pour the curry from the steamer boil into the pan. Serve with rice!