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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


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