How to make Idlis from scratch

Idlis are soft and fluffy steamed rice cakes, made from a fermented batter. Serve them hot with a nourishing sambhar and a tangy chutney.

Idlis - with homemade Idli batter

If you’ve never heard about idlis before, you are in for an absolute treat. They are little steamed savoury rice cakes that are made from a fermented batter and are relished with a piping hot sambhar (lentil and vegetable stew) and a tangy coconut chutney.

Back when I lived it Mumbai, these idlis, like a lot of other South Indian snacks were readily available in local South Indian restaurants as well as little street food stands that dot the city. It was really easy to pop in to one of these joints for a piping hot plate of them. So needless to say, while we really enjoyed South Indian food, back then, I never even thought of making them at home. Ofcourse if you’re ever overcome with a feeling of adventure and feel the urge to try making them at home, you could buy the batter from a lot of little local shops. I did buy the batter a few times, but only ever to make Dosa – another South Indian treat that I’ll share with you very soon.

That being said, most South Indian homes, make their batter from scratch. I somehow never got around to trying that out. Until I moved to Sydney, that is. Here, you can still go visit an Indian restaurant and most of them serve up some South Indian food. Some Indian grocery stores stock the fermented batter too. The only catch is, you may have to travel a bit to get to one such restaurant or store. Also, if you do find one, it can be quite pricey. I mean, I always knew what went into the batter. There was nothing stopping me from trying it out at home. So, a few years ago, that’s exactly what we did.

Making good Idlis from scratch is a fairly simple process. It is a little lengthy, but it’s mostly hands-off time to let the batter ferment and such. There is very little hands-on time involved.

There are three basic elements that make a great Idli plate –

  1. The Idlis – Today I’m going to share with you my tried and tested process for making the batter from scratch and how I make soft and fluffy Idlis using this batter.
  2. Sambhar – A Sambhar is a lentil and vegetable stew that’s really easy to make. I’ve shared my recipe in the past. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out here – Vegetable Sambhar
  3. Tangy Coconut Chutney – This no cook recipe uses just a few ingredients and can be served alongside a variety of South Indian meals and snacks like Dosas, Vadas and so on. You can check out my go-to chutney recipe here.

The Idli batter –

Making the batter is a fairly simple process. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure you get the best results.

What type of rice can be used?

For best results, use Idli rice. Idli rice will be labelled as such and is quite easy to find in most Indian grocery stores. Idli rice is a short grain variety of rice that is par-boiled. Being par-boiled doesnt mean it will look soft or semi cooked. It will still look and feel like uncooked rice and you will find it stocked with other varieties of rice.

If you can’t find Idli rice, use another short or medium grain rice. I would not recommend Basmati rice for this.

The rice to lentil ratio –

I personally find that a 1:4 ratio works best. I’ve tried a few other variations but this gives me the best results. So for every 1 part of urad dal (hulled and split black lentils), I use 4 parts of rice.

Grinding the batter –

Ideally a wet grinder is used to grind the grains into a batter. I currently use my Vitamix blender to grind the grains and it works beautifully. You can also use any other high-speed blender.

If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you will still be able to make the batter in a regular blender. You will just need to grind it in smaller batches. I have successfully used my old Phillips blender in the past.

Fermenting the batter –

The fermentation process can be a little fickle from time to time. Also, depending on weather conditions, the time taken to ferment your batter can also differ. I’ve had to experiment with the process quite a few times to figure out what works best. These tips should give you an idea of what to expect.

The batter needs a warm environment to ferment. If it’s warm where you are, the batter can simply be left on your kitchen counter to ferment. But if it is cooler, leave the batter in a warm spot in your house.

For me, unless it’s a hot day here in Sydney, I usually place the batter in my unheated oven and leave it there to ferment for about 8 hours. During winter, I warm up my oven for a couple of minutes at 100ºC, just till the oven is at room temperature (or what a summertime room temperature would feel like), turn the oven off and leave the batter to ferment in there.

How to tell if you’re batter is fermented?

The batter will have increased in volume. This increase is fairly significant, so make sure you use a large vessel for this. You will also notice that the top layer of the batter is slightly frothy. Your batter will also have developed a slightly fermented aroma.

If you don’t notice these changes to your batter, leave it to ferment for another couple of hours or so. There are times where it has taken me upto 10-11 hours for the batter to ferment.

How to make Idlis from scratch

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: BreakfastDifficulty: Medium
Yield

3

dozen
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Soaking Time

3

minutes
Fermenting Time

8

hours

Idlis are soft and fluffy steamed rice cakes, made from a fermented batter. Serve them hot with a nourishing sambhar and a tangy chutney.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Idli rice

  • 3/4 cup urad dal (hulled and split black lentils)

  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

  • Salt, to taste

Directions

  • Wash the rice, dal and fenugreek seeds with cold running water about 3-4 times or until the water runs clear.
  • Place the washed grains and fenugreek in a large bow. Add some fresh water to the bowl. Use enough water to cover the grains by about 2 inches. Leave this to soak for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours of soaking, grind it to a batter using a little of the soaking liquid as needed. You need a thick batter, almost like the consistency of a pancake batter. You may need to do this in batches.
  • Transfer the batter to a steel stockpot or large vessel. (The vessel should be large enough to hold about double the quantity of the batter, because the batter will expand as it ferments.) Cover the vessel and set aside in a warm spot for about 8 – 10 hours to ferment. (Please refer to the section on “Fermenting the batter” in the post above.)
  • Once the batter has fermented, remove as much batter as needed for immediate use in another bowl. Store the rest of the batter in the fridge for future use. You can store the batter for about 3-4 days.
  • To make the Idlis –
  • Work with the batter that you intend to use immediately. To this batter, add a little salt to taste.
  • Grease an Idli stand with a little oil.
  • Ladle the batter into the idli moulds till they are filled about 80%. The Idlis will rise and expand during cooking.
  • Steam the Idlis for about 15 minutes on medium heat till they have cooked through. Pierce the idlis through the centre with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the idlis are ready to serve. If it is still a little sticky, cook for a couple of minutes more or till done.
  • Take the stand out of the steamer and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Demould idlis by running the blunt edge of a butter knife around the edges to loosen it from the mould. Serve hot!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Please note, the number of Idlis will depend on the size of the mould you use.
  • Idlis are best eaten immediately after cooking, but any leftovers can be refrigerated and steamed till re-heated thoroughly and eaten the next day.

How to make Vegan Basil Pesto

This Vegan Basil Pesto is packed with flavour and is great in salads, sandwiches and pasta. Use your abundant Basil Harvest to make it.

Summertime means an abundance of fresh Basil. If you don’t grow your own yet, you should consider it. Its a great way to have basil on hand all through summer to add to your pasta, pizzas and sandwiches. You can also make your very own Pesto at home.

Fresh Basil Harvest

If you follow a plant based diet, you’ve probably noticed that most of the Pesto options in stores are just not for you. They all have Parmesan cheese in it. And if you’re in Australia, another thing that you may have noticed is, if you can find a Vegan option, it is usually way more expensive. Tell me it’s not just me that feels that way.

Well the good news is, you can make your own Basil Pesto at home in literally under 5 minutes. And today, I’m going to show you how.

Typically, this pesto is made with pine nuts. However, pine nuts can be expensive. So to make this recipe accessible for all, today I’m using walnuts in the recipe. You can use either. Both options are equally delicious.

This Vegan Basil Pesto has bags of flavour and is a great little condiment to have on hand. I use it in sandwiches, salads and in Pasta recipes too.

If you’re making your own batch of Pesto at home, you should try my easy Homemade Vegan Parmesan recipe too. It’s another great little condiment to have on hand.

Vegan Basil Pesto

Recipe by Trisha VazDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

10

minutes

This Vegan Basil Pesto is packed with flavour and is great in salads, sandwiches and pasta. Use your abundant Basil Harvest to make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast

  • 1/4 cup Walnuts

  • Juice of 1/4 lime, or to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Place all the ingredients except the oil in the jar of your food processor and blitz.
  • With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Scrape down the sides of the jar at the halfway mark and blitz again, till you’re left with a coarse paste.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Store in a clean, dry, airtight bottle in the fridge and use as needed.

Recipe Video

How to Make Vegan Mayonnaise

A must-have condiment, this Vegan mayonnaise recipe is simple and easy, and is perfect for sandwiches, burgers and salads.

As the days start to warm up, I start craving lighter food. Here in Australia, our summers can get pretty intense and on those hot days, I don’t really feel like cooking. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same. Thats where all the salads, sandwiches and grilling comes to the rescue. You’re probably wondering what salads, sandwiches and grilling does someone on a plant-based diet do. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised to know that there’s so much that can be done. And these recipes are beautiful, flavourful and you won’t even miss the meat / dairy etc. I’m going to share a few of those recipes with you in the days to come.

Vegan Mayo

Today, I’m going to start with the basics – a good Mayonnaise recipe. Most burgers, sandwiches and even some salads call for some Mayo. And while you can purchase a jar of vegan mayo in the shops, its usually around the $7-8 mark, which I find quite pricey. After you’ve made a batch at home, you can be sure you’ll never reach for a store-bought jar again.

My vegan Mayo recipe uses just a handful of pantry staples and comes together in about 30 seconds. Yup, you heard that correctly. In the time it takes me to type this post out, I would’ve probably whipped up a dozen batches of this mayo, if not more.

I use an immersion blender to whip up my Mayo and this makes the whole process super easy. Here’s another handy tip for you – if you can find a jar with a mouth wide enough to fit your immersion blender, you can make and store your mayo in the same jar. So there’s minimal washing too. I store my Mayo in an airtight glass jar in the fridge and it easily lasts for a couple of weeks.

Why Vegan Mayo?

For those on a plant-based diet, its the only way to go. But even if you’re not strictly plant-based, some folks are allergic to eggs and a lot of folks don’t like the idea of raw eggs in the mayo.

In any case, this mayonnaise has a much longer shelf life than the kind that uses eggs. You’ll be amazed at the taste and texture. If you personally didn’t make this stuff, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that it is vegan.

I really hope you try this recipe out.

Here are a few ways in which I use this Mayo –
Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Wasabi Mayonnaise in Vegan Sushi Bowls

How to Make Vegan Mayonnaise

Recipe by Trisha VazCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

5

minutes

A must-have condiment, this Vegan mayonnaise recipe is simple and easy, and is perfect for sandwiches, burgers and salads.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Soy milk

  • 1 cup sunflower oil

  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon mustard

  • 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • A little salt, to taste

Directions

  • Place all the ingredients in a clean, dry jar. Use an immersion blender and place the head at the bottom of the jar. Blitz everything together and slowly and gradually lift the immersion blender to the top. As you move the blender, the oil and milk will emulsify and in seconds you’ll be left with a gorgeous batch of Mayonnaise.
  • Store in a clean, dry, airtight container in the fridge and use as needed.

Recipe Video

How to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This Vegan Parmesan Cheese has a bold, complex flavour that makes it a fantastic plant-based replacement for Parmesan cheese.

It’s January 2021. I’m sure you know that perfectly well. What you probably may or may not know is that every January there is a movement called Veganuary that hundreds of thousands of people the world over participate in. Veganuary = Vegan + January.

There are a number of different reasons why people take part. Some take this as an opportunity to start their vegan journey. Others want to make a small commitment for a month to check and see how it works for them. Irrespective of the reason, I find it very heartening to see the number of people making the switch to a vegan life-style.

When I decided to go Vegan, I thought that I’d miss Cheese the most. See back then, I loved my cheese. And not just cheese, but butter, ghee and dairy as a whole. While we didn’t consume much meat even then, dairy and eggs were big in our household. But what I found very interesting is that as my body adapted to eating more plant based food, I never really missed the dairy or the eggs for that matter.

That being said, every once in a while, especially when a make a big pot of pasta, I find that there’s a little something missing. Yes, I’m talking about the last little grate of Parmesan Cheese. I started subbing everybody’s favourite nutritional yeast (aka Nooch) and now if I have pasta without it, I definitely feel that somethings missing. It’s amazing how the mind and body adapt. While Nutritional Yeast is a good substitute, when I was working on this recipe, I knew that this Vegan Parmesan Cheese would take my Vegan Pasta experience to the next level. It has these little salty pops much like Parmesan Cheese does and the nooch does its cheesy bit, making this the ultimate replacement for Parmesan Cheese.

Vegan-Parmesan-Cheese

While you can find a number of Vegan Cheese products in store, they cost a pretty penny. And not just that, sometimes they have a bunch of ingredients that I’m not very comfortable consuming. That where my vegan Parmesan recipe comes in. This recipe is a fantastic one, if I should say so myself. It uses just 4 ingredients (all basic vegan pantry staples – no funny business here) and takes a couple of minutes to make, at most.

This Vegan Parmesan Cheese has become a staple in my home and I hope this recipe helps you too.

How to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese at home

Recipe by Trisha VazCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

5

minutes

This Vegan Parmesan Cheese has a bold, complex flavour that makes it a fantastic plant-based replacement for Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients to your spice or dry grinder. Blitz it in short bursts till it reaches a coarse sand like consistency.
  • Store in a clean, dry glass jar in the refrigerator.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • You can use a food processor to blend all the ingredients too.

Kale Salad – perfect for the Holidays

A vibrant and colourful salad that’s so full of flavour, this light and refreshing Kale Salad makes a stunning addition to your Holiday menu.

In most parts of the Northern Hemisphere, the Holiday Menu consists of warm and hearty mains and sides. Not here. In Australia, we’re smack bang in the middle of summer at the moment. And while a lot of households will have a roast of some sort, a lot of the food made for the day is light and fresh. At this time of the year, the weather is beautiful and everyone wants to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family. No one wants to spend the day slaving away in the kitchen.

And while most of the meal is usually meticulously planned, it sometimes happens that a salad in thrown together in a hurry. You don’t want to do that. A salad is light, refreshing and can be healthy, if you choose to make it that way. This Kale Salad that I’m going to share with you today ticks all those boxes.

Kale Salad

And while a lot of folks don’t often enjoy Kale in any form, let alone in a salad, wait till you see this one. There’s very little prep involved. However, with a little attention, the Kale leaves get tender and super delicious. And the dressing is light and simple but so flavourful. This is one of my all-time favourite salads.

Can this salad be made in advance?

Most of the prep for this salad can be done a day ahead, with just the final touches and assembly done on the day you intend to serve it up.

The process of de-stemming (is that even a word? Let’s pretend that it is) the Kale and tear the leaves is probably what takes the longest. And this bit can be done on the previous day. You can also make your dressing a day or two ahead. Just make sure you whisk it all together before you dress the salad.

The rest of the salad comes together in a few minutes.

So let’s take a look at the recipe now, shall we?

Kale Salad

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: SaladsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes

A vibrant and colourful salad that’s so full of flavour, this light and refreshing Kale Salad makes a stunning addition to your Holiday menu.

Ingredients

  • For the salad –
  • 4-6 stalks of Kale

  • 1 large carrot (or 2 small carrots), grated

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • For the dressing –
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped / grated

  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup

  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon Hot English mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Prep the kale by tearing away the thick stalk in the middle of each leaf and tearing the leafy greens into smaller pieces. Wash and drain well. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing till well incorporated. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Pour a tablespoon of the dressing over the prepped kale leaves and massage the leaves for 2-3 minutes. At the end of this 2-3 massage, all the leaves should appear a nice vibrant green and should be covered with all the dressing. If the leaves feel too dry while massaging, add another spoonful of the dressing and continue the process.
  • Now add all the other ingredients to the bowl. Drizzle a little more of the dressing over the salad as needed and toss well. Serve up.

Recipe Video

Vegan Chilli – A recipe that’s easy and hearty

Made using Kidney beans and corn, this recipe for a wholesome, vegan Chilli is always a flavour-packed, crowd-pleaser.

Easy & Hearty Vegan Chilli

To me, very few things are as comforting as a big bowl of this vegan chilli on a cold, wet day. If I’m being honest, I can devour a bowlful of this any time of the year.

If you’re someone like me, who enjoys a good chilli, you really should try this recipe. For a recipe that is as simple as this one is, it is packed with flavour the recipe makes a fairly big batch. That’s always a win in my book, because that means leftovers.

Let’s talk about the beans, shall we?

I’ve made this vegan chilli quite a few times and I’ve even tried it with a bunch of different beans. Today, I’ve kept it simple and used kidney beans, but in the past I have made this with black beans and even a mix of both. Every single time, this recipe turns out delicious. There is a slight change in the overall flavour when you use a different variety of beans, but the chilli still turns out really well.

I prefer cooking my beans from scratch. I use dried beans, soak it overnight and pressure cook it the next day. But you can just as easily use the tinned variety. I find that the flavour of dry beans cooking from scratch a lot better.

How “hot” is hot?

When you look at today’s recipe, you’ll see that I’ve used a bunch of different chilly options. That being said, this still doesn’t turn out too spicy. Each chilly element lends a different type of heat to the dish and it balances the flavours really well.

Obviously, you can adjust the amount of each of them to suit your taste and make it as hot as you’d like it, or not. ?

With all those details dealt with, this recipe is a super simple one. Even if you’ve never cooked before, you’ll easily pull off this recipe. You end up with a big batch of chilli that is packed with flavour and it’s so much better than anything you can find in the stores. Go ahead! Try it.

I served up my chilli with some homemade Jalapeño cornbread (recipe coming soon), coconut yogurt, some avocado, some freshly sliced jalapeño and some fresh coriander. And to taste, I sprinkle some red chilly flakes, salt and lemon juice. These toppings take this already amazing chilli up a notch. This is the kind of stuff I love with my chilli. What sort of toppings do you like? Leave me a comment and let me know.


If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration using beans, check out these recipes –
Black Bean and Corn Tacos
Black Bean Burgers

Easy & Hearty Vegan Chilli

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Made using Kidney beans and corn, this recipe for a wholesome, vegan Chilli is always a flavour-packed, crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked Kidney beans (make sure they’re cooked till just about done)

  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 green capsicum, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 tsp garlic paste

  • 1 tsp chilly powder (a mild variety)

  • 1/8 tsp extra hot Cayenne pepper powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 cup passata or 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tsp Vegetable stock powder (or 1 litre of vegetable stock)

  • 1 tsp Vegemite

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 litre hot water (leave this out, if you’re using liquid stock)

  • 1 cup corn kernels

  • Chopped coriander, to garnish

  • Toppings –
  • Coconut yogurt

  • Sliced jalapeño

  • Sliced avocado

  • Jalapeño cornbread

  • Red chilly flakes, to taste

  • Salt, to season the avocado

  • Lemon juice, to taste

  • Fresh coriander, chopped

Directions

  • Heat a large pot on medium heat. To the pot add oil and onions and sauté till the onions have just started to soften.
  • Add the chopped capsicum, carrot and celery and stir well. Let the veggies cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes till they sweat and start to soften.
  • Add garlic paste and stir well. Fry it off for about 30 seconds.
  • Now, add the chilly powder, cayenne pepper powder, smoked paprika, cumin powder and oregano and stir to coat all the vegetables with the spices.
  • Add the passata and let it cook off for about another minute.
  • To this, add the vegetable stock powder, Vegemite and salt. Stir well. Add 1 litre of hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Stir through.
  • Now add the cooked beans and bring this to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between.
  • Add the corn and sugar. Check for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Stir well. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or till the corn has cooked through.
  • Garnish with some chopped fresh coriander (leaves and stalks).

    Serve hot!
  • Serving suggestion –
  • Ladle some chilli into a bowl.
  • Dollop 1-2 tbsp coconut yogurt (You can also use vegan sour cream).
  • Sprinkle some red chilly flakes, to taste.
  • Top with some thinly sliced jalapeño, to taste.
  • Place some avocado slices on top.
  • Sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander.
  • Season the avocado with a little salt.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over the avocado and the chilli.
    Serve up.

.Recipe Video

Vegan Banana Bread – the only recipe you’ll ever need

This Vegan Banana Bread recipe is a simple, one bowl recipe which results in a moist, spongy and delicious Banana Bread.

I’ve always had a fondness for baking and it’s been this way ever since I can remember. However, when I decided to embrace more of a plant-based diet, a lot of my go-to baking recipes couldn’t be used and needed to be altered. You may have noticed that I haven’t shared very many plant-based cake or cookie recipes yet. I’ve been working on my recipes to make sure that they are just as good as the more conventional recipes, if not better.

So for the first of many, I’m going to share my Vegan Banana Bread recipe with you today. This is one EPIC recipe. And I’m not just saying that. Everything comes together in one bowl, no fancy equipment or gadgets needed and you end up with a loaf of banana bread that is ‘to-die-for’. My husband and I were totally amazed by this recipe.

In the past, I’ve tried a number of banana bread recipes (remember this one or this one), but I think this one beats them all. For a recipe that is so simple, the rewards are pretty great.


Start of by mashing the bananas really well.

Next, add the sugar and oil and mix thoroughly.

Now, add the flax egg and vanilla and mix through.

Add the dry ingredients and fold through.

Lastly, fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into your prepped loaf tin and bake.

That’s it. Now you’ve arrived at the hardest part of the recipe, the waiting. You sit back, wait for your banana bread to bake and then wait for it to cool completely before cutting into it.

So if you have a bunch of bananas on your kitchen counter, that have passed their prime, don’t let them go to waste. Make this delicious banana bread. If you’re buying bananas especially for this recipe, make sure they’ve ripened well. They should have a few black spots on the skin, it means they’ll be sweeter and add better flavour to your banana bread. If they haven’t reached that stage yet, I would highly recommend leaving them on the counter for a couple of days before making this recipe.

I really hope you try this recipe out. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, you can leave them out. If you’d like to add a little decadence to your banana bread, add some chocolate chips to it. Either way, I promise you, this is the only banana bread recipe you’ll ever need.

Even if you don’t necessarily follow a plant-based diet, you will love it. You wont miss the eggs and the butter one bit.

Let’s head on over to the recipe now, shall we?

Vegan Banana Bread

Recipe by Trisha Vaz
Prep time

20

minutes
Baking time

40

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

10

minutes

This Vegan Banana Bread recipe is a simple, one bowl recipe which results in a moist, spongy and delicious Banana Bread.

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe Bananas

  • 1 tbsp flax meal

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup oil

  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Directions

  • To make the flax egg, in a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp water at room temperature. Stir well. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
  • Line a loaf with with baking paper and lightly grease it.
  • In a large mixing bowl, peel and mash the bananas.
  • Add the sugar and oil to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the flax egg and the vanilla and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients (the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder). Lightly mix the dry ingredients and then incorporate it with the wet ingredients using the cut and fold technique. (Refer to the recipe video for a demonstration.)
  • Lastly, add the chopped walnuts and gently fold through till they have distributed evenly, taking care to not over-mix the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or till a skewer pierced through the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before slicing.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

How to make bread rolls
Bread Rolls

Believe me when I say, there’s nothing better than taking a batch of freshly baked bread out of the oven. Except of course, eating it. Have you ever tried baking bread at home, from scratch? I know a lot of people feel intimidated by the thought of yeast. I was a member of that club for a very long time. But I can tell you this much, if you keep a few things in mind, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of bread baking. Moreover, there are so many varieties to try.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one that I fall back on frequently to make bread rolls. It’s a very basic bread recipe and makes a great starting point, if you haven’t baked bread before.

Things to keep in mind –

  • Yeast – Make sure that your yeast is viable. This is easy to do. Place the quantity specified in the recipe in a bowl with warm water and sugar. When rested for about 5 minutes, the yeast gets bubbly and frothy, signalling that it is still viable. If it doesn’t froth up, you may need to replace your yeast.
  • Using warm water – Make sure that your water is warm, not hot. You should be able to keep your finger submerged in the warm water comfortably. If you cannot, the water is too hot, and it will kill the yeast.
  • Kneading the dough – Kneading the dough takes a little time. You need to do this patiently. This helps build gluten fibres, which in turn will help your bread rise well.
  • Resting time – Bread almost always, cannot be rushed, unless you’re making a quick bread. The time needed to rest (prove) your dough depends on the ambient temperature. Resting the dough in a warm spot in the kitchen will help it rise. If it is really cold where you are, consider keeping it by a window that gets a lot of sun or in the oven with just the light on.

Keep these vital points in mind when you’re making bread and you will see great results. Bread making gets better with practice. If your first batch doesn’t turn out spectacular, don’t worry, the next batch will be better, since you now know what to expect. So now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s move on to the recipe.

How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Recipe by Trisha Vaz
Yields

12

Rolls
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Resting Time

2

hours

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant dried yeast

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1/4 cup warm water + 1 cup warm water (approx.) to knead the dough

  • 3 cups plain flour / all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • In a little bowl, place the warm water and add sugar and yeast to it. Stir to mix a little. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the flour and salt. Mix through.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and sugar solution. Mix it in with the flour. Add more warm water gradually and knead to a smooth, soft dough. (I had to use just over 1 cup of water) Once the dough comes together, continue kneading for about 5 minutes. You will find the dough gets a little more stretchy than it first was.
  • Drizzle oil and knead it into the dough.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of the bowl and place the dough in it. I lightly oil the top of the dough too. This keeps it from drying out. Cover and set aside in a warm spot in the for about an hour or till the dough has doubled in size.
  • Knock the dough back to get rid of the air bubbles and roll to a ball. Cut into portions and roll out into smooth balls. Place them about an inch apart in a lightly greased baking pan.
  • Cover and leave it in a warm spot for the second rise. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Brush the top of the bread rolls with some water and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
  • As soon as the bread is baked, take it out of the oven, brush some butter over the top and cover the pan for around 5 minutes with a clean tea towel. This traps the steam in and keeps the rolls soft.
  • Then take the rolls out of the pan and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • This is a vegan friendly recipe. I used a vegan butter, but feel free to use a butter of your choice.

Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Black Bean and Sweet Corn kernels come together to make amazing flavor-packed tacos, using a taco-seasoning made from scratch.

Black Bean and Corn Tacos
Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe that is so simple and easy to put together, and results in such an extremely flavorful dish, you are going to be blown away.

That was a bold statement to start off with, right? Well, that’s because it’s the truth. Everybody needs a few recipes like this in their arsenal, because let’s face it, life can get hectic and recipes like this make it easy to get dinner on the table in a hurry. I know a lot of folks do ‘Taco Tuesday’. We personally don’t, but that’s just because we enjoy Tacos whenever we feel like it.

Tacos are usually associated with meat fillings, usually chicken, beef, pork and sometimes even fish or shrimp. But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a really good taco if you follow a plant-based diet. And today’s recipe is going to show you just that.

We’ll be making a quick black bean and corn taco mix and a chunky guacamole to fill our tacos with. For the black bean mix, I use half a cup of dried black beans. These beans are soaked overnight and then pressure cooked the next day. I have a stovetop pressure cooker that gets the job done in under ten minutes. This works out so much better than buying canned beans because there is less waste, it works out to be more economical and I feel the beans are so much tastier. Try it out, if you have a pressure cooker or an instant pot. If not, you can simply use a can of black beans.

Black bean and Corn Tacos - taco mix

My chunky guacamole is also a very basic and simple recipe. It combines the richness of the avocado with the punchy flavors of a pico de gallo or a salsa. And like me, if you just need to serve 1 or 2 people, save the half of the avocado that has the pit still in it, squeeze some lime juice all over the cut surface, pop it into an avocado saver if you have one, or simply cover it with some cling film and pop it into the fridge for the next meal or the next day. This reduces the browning of the avocado. Do you have any tips for storing half an avocado? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to be able to store it without having to use any single use plastic.

Black bean and Corn Tacos - guacamole

Assembling your tacos is one of the most fun parts of this recipe. You can add whatever your heart desires to your taco. Here’s what I use to make up my tacos –

  • Hard corn taco shells
  • Black bean and corn mix
  • Chunky guacamole
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Plant based sour cream
  • Finely shredded lettuce

If you love a good taco, you simply have to try it out and I hope you love it as much as we do. This recipe makes enough of the bean mix for 12-15 tacos. If you’re serving 12-15 tacos in one sitting, double the guacamole recipe.

Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Soaking time

8

hours

Black Bean and Sweet Corn kernels come together to make amazing flavor-packed tacos, using a taco-seasoning made from scratch.

Ingredients

  • For the Black Bean and Corn Taco Mix –
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans OR 1 can black beans

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels

  • 1/2 onion, sliced

  • 1/2 capsicum, sliced (See note)

  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • A pinch of extra hot cayenne pepper powder (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 tbsp Chipotle Sauce

  • 1-2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves and stalks

  • For the guacamole –
  • 1/2 large avocado

  • 2 tbsp of chopped onion

  • 1/2 large tomato, diced

  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves and stalks, chopped

  • Salt, to taste

  • Lime juice, to taste

  • For the Tacos –
  • Hard corn taco shells

  • Pickled jalapenos

  • Sour cream

  • Shredded lettuce

Directions

  • To make the black bean and corn mix –
  • Wash and soak the black beans for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain the water, rinse through and cook till beans are done. (I cooked the beans in a stovetop pressure cooker and they get ready in under 10 minutes.)
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till they’ve slightly softened.
  • Next, add the capsicum and let them saute for about a minute.
  • Add in the garlic and stir fry well till the garlic is nice and fragrant. Be careful and make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • When the garlic turns fragrant add the paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper powders and the dried oregano. Stir well.
  • Add in the chipotle sauce and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the black beans (that have been previously cooked) and the corn (I use frozen corn) to the pan and stir well.
  • Let this cook off for a couple of minutes or until the beans and corn has heated through.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Once most of the liquid from the pan has been absorbed, take the pan off the heat.
  • Top it off with the chopped coriander.
  • To make the guacamole –
  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  • To make the tacos –
  • Heat the taco shells according to the packet instructions.
  • Layer the black bean and corn mix, the guacamole, pickled jalapenos, sour cream and shredded lettuce and serve up.

    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • The 2 servings mentioned at the start of the recipe is for 2 servings of 4 tacos each (Roughly about 8 tacos). This recipe makes enough of the black bean mix for 12-15 tacos. If you are serving 12-15 tacos in one sitting, you may want to double the guacamole recipe.
  • The black bean and corn mix works really well in burritos and quesadillas too.
  • You can use 1/2 a capsicum of your choice or you can use smaller sweet peppers instead. In all you’ll need about 1/2 a large capsicums worth of peppers. You can adjust this amount to suit your liking.

Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps

Spiced cauliflower florets, a coriander chutney and pickled onions, wrapped in tortillas make the perfect Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps for any meal.

Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps - Assembly

If you love Indian food, you’re probably familiar with the ever-so-popular Tandoori Chicken. It’s one of those dishes most people order when they’re at an Indian restaurant. Since we’ve been trying to follow a plant-based diet, I’ve been looking at using those familiar flavors to create a recipe that is not just easy to put together, but is super delicious and can be used for meal prep too. Make way for these Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps. These flavor-packed nuggets are going to rock your world.

Every element of these wraps is homemade and they’re all super simple to make. You can actually make every single element ahead of time and then just reheat when you want to serve it up. To put these wraps together, we’re going to look at all the elements you need –

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Homemade Flour Tortillas

I’ve shared a detailed post on making some delicious flour tortillas from scratch. If you haven’t seen that yet, you can find it here – Homemade Flour Tortillas

The tandoori spiced cauliflower is a great little recipe in itself. You can serve the cauliflower up as an appetizer along with some of the coriander lime chutney.

Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower
Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower

The original chutney is a diary yogurt based recipe. But to keep this recipe plant-based all the way through, I’ve made a few substitutions to make this chutney completely plant-based too.

Coriander lime chutney
Coriander lime chutney

And lastly, the quick pickled red onions are a absolute treat. They add a great kick to the flavors of this wrap. And it comes together in 20-30 minutes, all while you’re making the other elements for the wrap. You can make a slightly bigger batch of these pickled onions and store them in a little glass jar in the fridge to use through the week. These pickled onions work so well in salad, buddha bowls and a whole lot of other recipes.

Quick pickled red onions
Quick pickled red onions

Once you’ve prepped all the little elements, all that’s now left is to assemble your wraps. To assemble our wraps, I’ve also added some salad greens and thinly sliced capsicum. Altogether, it makes for a very flavorful meal.

I do hope you get the opportunity to try this out. It will soon become a regular in your meal rotation.

Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: RecipesCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

7

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Soaking time

30

minutes

Spiced cauliflower florets, a coriander chutney and pickled onions, wrapped in tortillas make the perfect Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps for any meal.

Ingredients

  • For the Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower –
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilly powder (or any mild red chilly powder)

  • ½ tsp coriander powder

  • ¼ tsp cumin powder

  • 1/8 tsp garam masala powder

  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder

  • For the coriander lime chutney –
  • 1/4 cup cashew seeds

  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stalks

  • 10-15 mint leaves

  • 1 large clove of garlic

  • A small piece of ginger (about 1/2 tsp)

  • 1 green chilly

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • Salt to taste

  • A couple of tablespoons of water, or enough to grind to a smooth paste

  • For the quick pickled red onions –
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced thinly

  • Salt, to taste

  • Lime juice, to taste

Directions

  • To make the Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower –
  • Cut cauliflower into florets.
  • Drizzle a little oil and season with salt, to taste. Toss well.
  • Combine the garlic, chilly, coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric powders in a small bowl. Stir well to make sure they are mixed well.
  • Add the spice mix to the seasoned florets and toss to distribute the spices well. (Start with half the mix and toss well. Add more of the mix as needed.)
  • To make the coriander lime chutney –
  • Soak the cashew seeds in some hot water for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain the seeds and grind them to a paste with the rest of the chutney ingredients, using a little water, as needed to grind to a smooth paste.
  • Taste the chutney and adjust the ingredients, to suit your preferences.
  • For the quick pickled red onions –
  • Place the thinly sliced red onion in a bowl. Sprinkle a little salt over. Squeeze some lime / lemon juice over. Toss well to combine. Set this aside while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

    The pickled onions are ready to used in 20-30 minutes, about the time it will take for you to put together the other elements for these wraps.
  • To assemble the wraps –
  • Place the cauliflower, pickled red onion, coriander lime chutney, lettuce / salad greens, some finely sliced capsicum (you can use any other veggies of your choice) on a warm tortilla.

    Wrap and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • I’ve intentionally left my chutney on the thicker side, so that it doesn’t drip out of the wrap, but if you want a thinner consistency to serve up as a dressing or a dipping sauce, add a little more water, gradually, till you reach the desired consistency.