Vegetarian Indian Food Recipes

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Baigan Bharta Recipe (Indian Eggplant Dip) Recipe

If you're an artichoke and spinach dip lover and don't feel guilty about the calories, baigan bharta is for you. Eggplants are chopped into small pieces, boiled until softened and drained. Then they are sautéed in oil until all the liquid has evaporated. After that, the eggplants are flavored with onions and many Indian spices. Once the mixture cools completely, yogurt is added and folded into the eggplant mixture. Raw onion is also added for a little bite to the Indian-style dip. Though non-traditional, I also add fromage blanc, which helps give a creamy and rich texture to the dip; it's also lower in calories and has less cholesterol than cream cheese.

Today was Game 1 of the World Series, featuring our hometown San Francisco Giants. I made this dish and served it with warm tortillas chips for Lulu and the girls to munch on while they watched the game. I don’t understand baseball, but I can definitely say that the food was a home run. That’s a baseball term, right?

Eggplant Dip Recipe with Picture


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Mattar Tofu Paneer (Indian Tofu Recipe) Recipe

Mattar paneer is a dish made with peas and Indian cheese. This time, I decided to make the same flavorful dish, but with fewer calories. To accomplish this, I substituted firm tofu in place of traditional paneer cheese.

I fried cubes of tofu the same way as I would paneer, then simmered them in a delectable, creamy onion and tomato curry sauce with green peas. If you’re looking to make a foray into veganism, this is the perfect way to start (see tips).

Of course, if - like my father-in-law - you feel cheated by the absence of golden chunks of fried cheese, you can always try the traditional mattar paneer recipe. I won’t tell!


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Dahi Bhalla Recipe (Indian Lentil Fritters in Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Dahi bhalla is a very common dish in Indian cuisine. Hot fried lentil fritters are soaked in cold water, gently pressed then smothered in a thick yogurt sauce. What makes the dish so special is the combination of sweet tamarind chutney that marries very well with the tanginess of the yogurt. It can be eaten as a snack or appetizer. The dish may be fried, but it’s packed with nutrition so you can enjoy it without feeling that guilty.

For added flavor, I added both chopped dates and date syrup to the tamarind chutney. This dish can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute, which is very convenient. Serve with cilantro and mint chutney on the side and you'll have yourself a very flavorful appetizer.


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Cucumber Raita (Indian Yogurt Recipe) Recipe

Raita is an Indian condiment made with yogurt (dahi in Urdu). It's used in Indian cuisine as an "antidote" to spicy food. But the yogurt not only cuts the heat, it tastes great too.

Traditionally, raita is seasoned with cilantro, ground cumin, mint and red chili powder. For more texture, I added finely diced raw vegetables such as Persian cucumbers and tomatoes.

If you fancy a change of pace, you can try my “fusion” raita that uses a lot of French flavors and techniques. My husband Lulu loves it with khichdi!


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Masoor Dal Recipe (Yellow Dal) Recipe

Masoor Dal Recipe (Yellow Dal)

09.12.10 by Jackie

Masoor dal is an Indian dish made with coral-colored lentils. Lentils are a very common ingredient in the Indian diet because they provide a great amount of protein for a vegetarian diet. The lentils are mixed with chopped tomatoes, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, onions and curry leaves, then slow-cooked at low temperature.

I think I mentionned that this last summer, we had a terrible planting season this year because of gopher infestations in our garden. We did get a few tomatoes from potted tomato plants Lulu added to the garden later in the season. I gathered that last little crop of Sweet 100 tomatoes and used them for the dal. The natural sweetness from the tomatoes works very well in the dish. It's a simple recipe but both tasty and healthy, and it's also ideal for a vegetarian diet. Serve the legume with a starch and a complete meal is ready.


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