Indian Vegetarian Recipes

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Punjabi-Style Chaat (Layers of Tomatoes, Raita, Ginger Garbanzo beans, Mint Sauce and Tamarind Chutney) Recipe

Chaat is an Indian snack. There are many varieties but they all use similar ingredients. If you think of it as in Mexican food where you see salsa, guacamole, sour cream, refried beans and cheese, repeated in many different dishes, similarly chaat is made up of a crispy fried bread called puri and garbanzo beans, tomatoes, yogurt, taramind, mint sauce and spices.

This particular version of chaat is one Lulu's aunt makes whenever she has a family get-together at her house. Since it's more constructed than many of the other chaats, it's got distinct layers. She usually serves it with potatoes as well, which I didn't have on hand; I'm going to post my personal favorite later on, which is called dahi papdi chaat.

For those of you who think Indian food is mostly butter chicken, tandoori chicken or palak paneer, there is a whole world of cuisine that I've been introduced to since I got married I never knew existed. I love South Indian food in particular and I'll try to put up some recipes from that region.


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Masoor Dal Khichdi (Indian Orange Lentil Rice) Recipe

Kitcheri is a very simple recipe that requires only a few ingredients from the pantry. It's a blend of coral-colored lentils, called masoor dal, with basmati rice and a few other typical Indian spices.

It's very nutritious for all the vegetarians in the house. The lentils provide a lot of protein. The key to a good kitcheri though is a flavorful raita, or yogurt sauce. Check back tomorrow for the recipe!


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South Indian Spicy Nut and Puffed Rice Snack (Chudwa) Recipe

Chudwa, sometimes called chevda, is for South Indians what trail-mix is for us. It's a blend of nuts, dried fruit, puffed rice and various typical Indian spices.

It's very easy to make, but like eggrolls, it's time-consuming. It's a big production. One of my sisters-in-law is in charge of assembling the ingredients. My mother-in-law is the one frying the puffed rice flakes. One other sister's job is to sprinkle the spices as soon as the ingredients are out of the oil. My job is to toss the whole thing and, last but not least, the other 2 younger sisters' job is to taste.  It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.


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Lima Beans Paneer and Saffron Basmati Rice (Vegetarian Biryani) Recipe

Vegetarian biryani is a vegetable curry with saffron basmati rice. This dish is truly authentic Indian cuisine. I always make Biryani when we have a big crowd at home. Indian food is meant to be eaten by a big group.

Paneer is an Indian cheese that you commonly fry and add to rice or vegetables. It is pretty firm and does not melt when heated. The kids love vegetarian biryani and the saffron color brings a nice ...The same dish, when prepared with meat (usually mutton, goat or chicken), is traditional wedding fare.  One of Lulu's uncles told me that if he goes to a large Indian function and doesn't get biryani he feels cheated.


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Vegetarian Cutlets (Indian Potato Latkes) Recipe

Cutlets are a slightly denser Indian version of traditional potato latkes. They are flavored with Indian seasonings like dried mint, turmeric, fried onions, and of course, spicy green peppers.

We make tray-fulls of these tasty potato patties on weekends.  It's a fun and easy recipe to make with kids to get them into the joy of cooking.


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