WHAT'S COOKING: Exquisite vegetarian food with a distinctly Indian flavour

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

WHAT'S COOKING:  Exquisite vegetarian food with a distinctly Indian flavour

Beetroot, carrot peanut salad from Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan

These recipes feature in Chetna Makan’s latest cookbook which puts a veggie spin on healthy Indian food.

Jackfruit rice khichdi recipe
(Serves 4)
For the rice:
100g green lentils
250g basmati rice
For the jackfruit:
2tbsp sunflower oil
1 x 400g tin of jackfruit in water, drained and thinly sliced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, sliced 2.5cm thick
1½tsp salt
1tsp garam masala
½tsp chilli powder

1. Bring 2.2 litres of water to the boil in a deep pan and add the lentils. Cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, until the lentils begin to soften. Add the rice to the same pan and continue cooking on low-to-medium heat for eight minutes, until the rice is tender. Drain the lot and leave to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a wide pan and add the jackfruit. Cook on a low-to-medium heat for 10 minutes, until the jackfruit turns golden.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onions and cook on a low heat for 10–15 minutes, until golden.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper and cook for five minutes, until the tomatoes have softened. Add the salt, garam masala and chilli powder and mix well.

Beetroot salad recipe with carrot and peanut
(Serves 4)
For the salad:
50g roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
4 raw beetroot, about 400g, grated
1 red onion, finely chopped
20g fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
2tbsp lime juice
½tsp salt
For the tadka:
1tbsp groundnut oil
1tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped

1. Use a pestle and mortar to coarsely crush the peanuts, then put them into a bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.
2. To make the tadka, heat the oil in a small pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add the green chillies, give them a stir, then take the pan off the heat.
3. Pour the tadka over the salad, toss well and serve. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

Cheese and potato chapatti sandwich recipe
(Makes 4)
For the chapattis:
200g chapatti flour, plus extra for dusting
¼tsp salt
140ml water
For the filling:
100g paneer, grated
50g Cheddar cheese, grated
1 small potato, boiled and grated
¼tsp salt
¼tsp chilli powder
½tsp amchoor (mango powder)
1 small green chilli, finely chopped
10g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
For toasting the sandwiches:
Sunflower oil
Black mustard seeds
1. To make the chapattis, put the flour and salt into a bowl and gradually add just enough of the water (or a little more, if necessary) to form a soft dough. Knead for two minutes, then cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
2. Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface to a circle 15–18cm across. Heat a skillet until hot, and cook each chapatti for one minute each side on a low-to-medium heat, until slightly golden.
3. To make the filling, combine the ingredients in a bowl.
4. To toast the sandwiches, use the same skillet you used to cook the chapattis. Drizzle with a tiny bit of oil and, once hot, add a pinch of mustard seeds. When they start to sizzle, lay a chapatti in the pan and spread with a quarter of the filling. Place another chapatti on top and cook for a minute on a low-to-medium heat, until the underside is golden. Turn and cook for a minute on the other side.