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December 9, 2019

Rougaille -a spicy Creole Dip } Mauritian Cuisine | Gluten Free and Vegan Dips

Rougaille (pronounced as roo-gahyor Red Sauce or Spicy Sauce as its known in Mauritian Cuisine is believed to be a hot (pun intended!) favourite amongst the locals. Mauritian Cuisine is a blend of Indian, Arabic, French /  Creole cuisine.  This dip is almost a National Cuisine like the Roti /Farata. 

This week @ FoodieMondayBloghop under the @224DueSouth Theme (suggested by yours truly), we are exploring dishes from the Southern Hemisphere  where we have close to 20+ countries and so many hundred cuisines. Today, I have Mauritian theme as the chosen country, from where I had posted Gram Bouilli - a vegan and GF snack featuring chickpeas as the main ingredient. 

Today's dip is not just served with any snack (or gajaks as the local deep-fried snacks are known), but is also a base for many gravies with shrimp, fish, chicken and other protein. Dhal Puri is another favourite amongst the locals, which I wanted to serve with this dip, but instead made a paratha (or a flatbread - that recipe with a secret vegetable coming up soon :-)). 

The dip was just right for us, although spice in Mauritian Cuisine is primarily from Green chillies rather than Chilly powder. The original recipes use a lot more oil, which would lend a consistency like this Homemade Spicy Schezwan Sauce, but I felt it was right oil for us.    

More GF, Vegan Dips like this include :

  1. 5-min Dahiwali Hari Chutney - a Zero Cook, GF Dip for Kebabs and Tikkas
  2. Video Recipe - Amba Khatta from Orissa | GF & Vegan Raw Mango Condiment
  3. Indian Spice Roasted Carrot Hummus | Vegan, GF and Plant Based
  4. Xnipec Salsa (Jain version) | Mexican Dip
  5. Chilli Cinnamon Almond Dip
  6. Tomato Mint Coriander Chutney (Salsa) | Vegan,GF (oil free too)
  7. Tomato Thokku (tomato pickle)
  8. Vegan Almond Basil Pesto | Vegan and GF
  9. Beetroot Hummus | GF, Vegan 
  10. Muhammara with a twist !!
  11. Papaya Ginger Lime Relish
  12. Baba Ganoush

Let's get to today's recipe: 
Rougaille - a spicy , Tomato based Vegan and GF dip from Creole Cuisine
Prep time - 5 min, Cook time - 15 mins
Course : Dip , spice level - Medium

Red, Ripe tomatoes - 4 large
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Thyme - fresh / dried (I used the latter, but the former is preferred) - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Finely chopped thai red chillies - 1 small (adjust spice)
Oil - 2 TBSP
Finely Chopped Coriander leaves - 1tsp (I didn't add)


How to make:
Wash and chop tomatoes (I pureed them into largish chunks). In a pan, heat oil, add the ginger garlic paste and the pureed tomatoes. Add salt. Cook and cover till mushy. 
Add the thai red chillies, thyme and add 1-2 TBSP of water and cook again till it coats the back of a spoon. 
Serve with veg crudites / potato wedges or even Dhal Roti or Roti Farata . (Or store as a base for making Creole gravies with any protein)

December 3, 2019

21 Vegetarian Soups You Need To Make This Winter - Mostly Vegan and GF !!

As winter slowly creeps in around us (while some places are completely snowed in, people in few other cities/ countries are slowly pulling out the woollies from the wardrobe), its time for some warm Soups and stews. 

Here's a list of my top 21 favourite soups (yes, we are a Soup loving family, so there's always a new soup around the corner).

All of them are vegetarian and to a large extent vegan and GF too

Few things common about ALL these soups are :

- they are healthy, nutritious with no additives / colouring added
- works as a great appetiser, and in some cases, an entire meal by itself 
- they are homemade from scratch. 
- no artificial thickeners used
- are hearty and filling 
- great for kids and adults alike (with customisation)
- made with everyday kitchen staples (no fancy equipment / ingredients)
- works great as a winter warmer
- always uses seasonal, local produce 

I hope you as a soup lover (or still experimenting) in the kitchen, you will love these ... please do leave a line in the comment section below on which soup you loved most, and what vegetarian soup would you like to see on this blog.. 

Let's get soup(ing) (In Alphabetic Order)

Baked Potato and Chickpea Soup

Carrot Lentil Soup

Cheddar and Burnt Garlic Cauliflower soup

Corn and Spinach Soup

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

Laxanosoupa (Greek Cabbage Soup) - Vegan + GF

Lemon Coriander Soup (Low cal Clear soup)

Matar ka Shorba (Cream of Peas Soup)

Moroccan Harira

Oven Roasted Vegetable Soup

December 2, 2019

Rajma Sweet Potato Tikki | Vegan snack | Winter Special

Come winter, there's an abundance of veggies in the market. If I were a chef, my favourite ingredient in my kitchen would be vegetables - I love buying, chopping and cooking with veggies : the more the merrier. In fact, amma (mom) would call me "Purchase Manager" (and that title has stuck till date). Mumbai has a very short and mild winter, but some markets do bring out beautiful produce. 

Today's dish - Rajma Sweet Potato Tikki - is also one of my family's favourites. Made with the season's bounty of fresh Rajma, this is protein-loaded. My good friend Shweta gave me these some time ago, and as we are fans of Tikkis / Cutlets, this made a great tea time / post-school snack.

Perfect for the Legume/Dal theme that @Aruna gave us this week for @FoodiesMondayBloghop- #CrunchyMunchyDal. Sweet potato gives this the perfect starch for binding. This along with the other veggies makes it fibre rich and even suitable for a bite or two for diabetics too !

and this is how Fresh Rajma looks:)

And then we make delicious #WinterDishes like:

Undhiyoo (I am just waiting for the all the veggies to come into the market to make this!!)

Oven Roasted Vegetable Soup, and a WHOLE LOT of Soups !!

Avarekaalu Saaru (Hyacinth beans sambhar - a traditional dish of Karnataka during Winters)

Garlic Pepper Rasam

Badami Saag Paneer

Loads of my mom's recipe for Gajar Halwa

Methi Kadhi (my fav!)

Let's get to the recipe: 

Rajma (Kidney Beans)-Sweet Potato Tikki - Vegan snack (Can be GF too!)
Course : Snack / Appetiser , Cuisine : Indian

Prep time - 20 mins, Standing time - 15 mins, Cook time - 15 mins, 
Makes - 10 to 12 cutlets / Tikki

What you need:
Fresh Rajma (Dried beans could be soaked, cooked soft and used too) - 1 cup (240 ml)
Sweet Potato - 1 medium (100 grams)
Mixed veggies - 1/4 cup (I used Shredded cabbage, french beans, green peas)
Salt - to taste
Oil - to baste + pan fry (about 5-6 TBSP in all)
Mixed spices (use according to taste) - turmeric, red chilli pwdr, dhaniya powder, roasted jeera powder, chaat masala, garam masala
Green chillies - finely chopped - 1/2 tsp (skip if serving to kids)
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp (opt. but recommended)
Bread crumbs - 1 cup (split use - skip for GF version, use Arrowroot powder instead, in smaller quantities)
Finely minced mint leaves + coriander - 1/4 cup
Split cashews - 10 to 12  (opt. but recommended)

How to (Check out the step by step pic collage above too):

  1. If using fresh rajma, shell them from the cover. In a colander (which would fit into your pressure cooker), add the freshly shelled rajma, all the veggies and pressure cook for 2 whistles.  Let the pressure come down on its own and the veggies cool completely. 
  2. In a large bowl, take the cooked veggies, mash them with a potato smasher or wooden pellet (you may use your fingers too). Add the salt, chillies, ginger, mint, coriander and all the spices (to taste) and mix well. 
  3. At this point, it would be sticky, so add half of the breadcrumbs and bind together (GF version - add a tsp or two of arrowroot powder to bind). Let it come together as a dough. 
  4. Taste and adjsut salt and spice. 
  5. Pinch medium sized roundels and flatten lightly between greased palms to a tikki / cutlet shape. Repeat for other tikkis. 
  6. Refrigerate for 10-15 min (This step is optional but recommended, the low temperature helps the tikkis to contract a bit and ensures it doesn't break while frying) : at this point, if you aren't making them immediately, freeze for further use. However, I havent tried freezing them, so please let me know via a comment below how long these can be frozen. 
  7. Once they are chilled enough, heat a grill pan /tava/ skillet and grease it generously.  
  8. Press a halved cashew onto each tikki, roll each in the remaining bread crumb and place in the skillet and gently fry till both sides are golden brown and crispy.
  9. Serve hot with Ketchup and / or Green chutney


November 25, 2019

Mediterranean Style Oven Roasted Veggies

While researching,  I found that the phrase "Mediterranean Diet" is actually defined as a noun (in English Language) as "a diet of a type traditional in Mediterranean countries, characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein, and thought to confer health benefits." 

A Mediterranean diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain. Our hostess Archana for this week at #FoodieMondayBlogHop has suggested #222MystiqueMediterranan as the theme.  

I love buying and prepping veggies a lot, and as a family, soups and salads are always on the menu plans as a stand alone snack or appetiser. Today's dish is a baked crisp (or chips if you prefer). Its completely vegan and GF and can be added to your #Thanksgiving or #Xmas meal spread. My kids loved the crisps and it just flew off the baking tray. I have mildly spiced it, but you may add any spices that you / your family prefers. 

Prepping the veggies and marination is the only time consuming task here, else the winter veggies are a perfect time to make this Gluten free , vegan snack.

Similar flourless bakes on the blog include:

Baked Falafels

Baked Tandoori Gobhi

Baked Vazhakkai Varuval (baked raw plantain chips)

Baked Gobhi Mussallam

Prep time - 20 mins, Baking time - 17 mins approx. per batch*, Serves - 2


(*Baking time differs from oven to oven*)

Carrots - 100 grams
Beets - 100 grams ( I used 1 really large beet)
Sweet potato - 100 grams
Potato - 1 large (cut into wedges)
Olive oil - 3 TBSP
Salt  - to taste
Spices and herbs (all to taste) : sumac, dried rosemary, dried chilli flakes, white pepper, black pepper, dried oregano, 

Peel and wipe the veggies of all extra moisture with paper napkins. Let them air dry on tissues for 5-7 mins. 
Cut the veggies into long strips / batons. In a bowl, add the veggies, spices and half the oil+salt and mix well. Cover and marinate for 30 mins. 
Preheat oven to 170C. grease the lined tray with 1 tsp oil. 
Spread the marinated veggies without overlapping on the baking tray. Sprinkle remaining oil and salt and bake for 17-18 mins (or until they are crisp) , turning them over midway.
(Airfryer also works for this dish)
Serve immediately as is or sprinkling more pepper / red chilli flakes on top. Enjoy :)

November 15, 2019

Pazham Vaattiyathu – Caramelized Plaintains : A Guestpost by Rafeeda | Guestpost Series #21

In the world of Virtual friendships, its often assumed tht the real is virtual and the virtual is real. Blogging since 2011 has taken me virtually to so many cuisines, so many kitchens and so many hearts. 

One such amazing person is Rafeeda who shares her lip smacking heirloom recipe - Pazham Vaattiyathu - with us on this month's edition of Guestposts here at SizzlingTastebuds. If you are a newcomer to this blog or curious to read earlier heirloom Guestposts by many of my wonderful blogger friends , head here.

Rafeeda is a wonderful blogger bringing both world cuisine and her family style Malabar style cooking at her blog -
The Big Sweet Tooth

She so kindly consented to do this amazing recipe and guestpost and shares with us some wonderful memories in her inimitable, friendly banter. Thank you Rafeeda for doing this.. Over to her in her own words...


A very big hello to the readers of “The Sizzling Tastebuds”… 

I am excited to be on Kalyani’s space as a guest this month. Kalyani’s is one of the earliest blogs I had followed when I was hit by the cooking bug, way back in 2012, if I am not mistaken. I had bookmarked a lot of interesting vegetarian recipes during that time from her blog and even cooked some. In fact, I must say that hers was among the handful of blogs which actually motivated me to start my little space. When her email came with an invite to be a guest on her space, I blinked tw-ice, just wanting to believe that I have actually received an email! So here I am… :-

A little about myself – my name is Rafeeda, a Keralite who has been bought up in UAE, which is literally my second home. I am a working mother of two fast growing girls. My blog, “The Big Sweet Tooth” was started just to keep my interest in cooking, since I am a very lazy cook and can get bored very fast. I have been blogging for five plus years now and it has been a roller coaster ride so far. My blog, though has variety of recipes, tries to focus of keeping a note of Malabar recipes as well as Emirati cuisine as well.

Kalyani had mentioned that she would like me to bring along a forgotten/ rare recipe that my family cooks. I had a hard time trying to figure out what I would give her. After brainstorming lots of ideas, my mind suddenly went to this super simple dish umma used to make when we had impromptu guests. Now, every Keralite home would have stock of nenthrapazhams/ ripe plantains at any given time. It serves as a quick breakfast if you wake up late, a perfect snack for afternoon tea-time or even a filling dinner if you are not in a mood to feast! We either boil our plantains till soft, or make them in this form, or fry them up – an international favorite! The recipe is actually too simple, that I was a little ashamed to give this as a post. But thinking about it, I realized that sometimes it is the thought and feeling that matter behind a recipe, more than the recipe itself at times!

Umma would cut the nenthrapazhams into strips. She would then heat up generous amount of RKG ghee or coconut oil, depending upon what is available. She would fry up both the sides, sprinkling sugar as she goes till it gets a very caramelized appearance. I have noticed that nowadays people post this recipe calling them banana coins, where the pazham is sliced into roundels or if sliced long, then rolled up in a fancy shape and held on with a toothpick. Whatever it is, the method of making still remains the same. Super simple, yet so addictive…

I sincerely have no clue what this dish is called, so I call it Pazham Vaattiyath for naming sake. We would call it “naavu”, which means “tongue”, since they do look like them. And like all kids, we would wait for the guests to return back the plate with something in it so that we could attack it. Alas, it would come back empty because the combination of it hot with a cup of sulaimani is unparalleled! We would then nag her and then she would lazily make some just for us. Despite being really simple, umma would refrain making it for us citing how unhealthy it is due to the amount of ghee and sugar that goes into making this. :D

Lurking for some time in my thoughts, I decided to make this for the girls and HD. Thank God for instant home delivery, I landed up with a couple of nicely ripe plantains and quickly made them. As soon as the shot was done, the plate was wiped clean by them. HD then remarked, “I remember umma making this very long back. Why haven’t you made it in such a long time?” I gave him the same response that umma would give us. ;)

Pazham Vaattiyathu – Caramelized Plaintains
Serves 2


2 ripe plantains
1 tbsp ghee
Sugar as required


Peel the plantains and cut them into long strips.
Heat the ghee in a frying pan and layer one side of the plantains. Sprinkle some sugar on the top side and flip after a minute.
Sprinkle some more sugar on the flipped side and cook both sides till sufficiently caramelized.
Drain onto a plate and serve hot.


You can use ghee or coconut oil for frying.
We sometimes sprinkle some freshly grated coconut and a sprinkling of cardamom powder for added flavor.

Thank you so much Kalyani for waking up something that was so conveniently forgotten… J I am still feeling guilty of keeping it really simple, but I sincerely hope you will like this post. Wishing you only the best in your blogging journey forward, and once again thank you for having me around here…

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