Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Mmm. Food." tries Vegan!

I'm a big believer in chocolate and butter and sugar. That's how the world goes around.

But my favourite type of thing to eat? Grilled chicken breast on top of a hearty fattoush salad. Broiled teppanyaki-type fish with wilted greens and rice. Nutella.

I absolutely love light, healthy food, cooked with the freshest of ingredients and minimal cooking techniques. I abstain from posting these from the blog, because my Stats-meter always shows heavy leanings toward Falooda and Chocolate Biscuit Cake.

Even then, if the dish is good enough, I will break my own rules and post it for the world to see. Case in point: Oven Roasted Chickpeas, Muhammara and Garden Pesto Pasta.

My family is another whole story... they don't go a day without eating poultry, meat, fish or worst-case scenario, eggs. And I go rogue. I make Vegan food.

You heard me. Vegan. No meat. No eggs. No dairy. No honey, even!

The sister-in-law said even "poor" people didn't eat this way... and that she wasn't brought up eating "this type of food". The brother said he was 99.99% sure that it was unlawful to shun all that God made rightful (Muslim men love bringing up religion when it suits them). On a side note, annoyingly-ignorant match made in heaven. I told them that I wouldn't be offended if they didn't taste, and that I'd make enough only for me and my health-freak of a mother.

So for today, I give you a savoury dish and a dessert... the tiniest steps you can take into Vegan-dom. There are plenty of amazing, exclusively Vegan food blogs like Chocolate-Covered Katie (from where both recipes du jour have been adapted from) and Oh She Glows. However, if you're hesitant about starting with Chia seeds and Virgin coconut oil, these two dishes could be your happy crutches into the land of all things Vegan.

The first is my excuse for Nutella. I'm a Nutella-holic. I make my own from peanuts. I buy bottles of the stuff from a whole-sale retailer. No lie.

The second is an Italian spin on Hummus. Pizza hummus! I had to add Parmesan cheese and de-Veganise it, but that's just me.

Chocolate-Banana-Peanut butter fudge:


2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut butter (can substitute with extra peanut butter)
80 g over-ripe banana
a pinch of salt


If you want to make your own coconut butter, just whiz around 3 tbsp of freshly grated coconut in the mixie/food processor until it forms a smooth buttery/chutney-like mix.

Add the peanut butter, salt and cocoa powder, and blend some more.

Add in the overripe banana, and give it a final blitz.

Taste the mix, to see if you'd like a teensy bit of brown or white sugar.

Pour it out into a bowl and freeze until firm. You can also refrigerate and eat it like frosting/Nutella.

Pizza Hummus:

1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained (chickpeas that have been soaked and pressure-cooked)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (sub with nutritional yeast to keep it Vegan)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or regular)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 an onion (un-chopped)
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 tsps tomato paste/ketchup
salt and pepper to taste


Microwave or boil the tomatoes until the skin bursts.

 If you're microwaving, poking all over with a fork prevents them from splattering out.

In a medium sauce, heat the olive oil. Add the peeled, deseeded tomatoes, half an onion (unchopped) and the garlic with some fresh basil (if available).

Let it stew on medium heat for around 15 minutes.

Once this has cooled down, remove the onion. Blitz the rest of it in a mixie/food processor, along with the ketchup. Add in the chickpeas/garbanzo and blend will until no chunks remain.

Add in the dried basil and the cheese and give one final whirl. Taste it.

Add more olive oil for richness, extra salt, pepper and ketchup to taste. You might need more of the "pizza sauce" if the consistency isn't that of hummus.

Serve with crackers or veggie sticks.

My sister-in-law, the veggie-hater, ate the whole bowl, albeit with plenty of extra shaved parmesan.

My brother nearly cut his hands trying to get the last bits of the Chocolate-PB fudge out of the mixie cup.

I'd be more smug about the whole thing if they had bothered to save me some.


  1. Okay so I am suddenly a die hard Mediterranean food fan and I'll tell you how this happened.

    1. Your review of by the bay was exact to it's description and I loved the food there.

    2. Your fabulous shawarma with those delicate sauces and crunchy pomegranate (that's the first time in my life I enjoyed pomegranate)

    3. I went to this place called Ranoosh in Bangalore and emptied 2 bowls of hummus. You know me, you know I'm capable of it.

    Anyway, the pizza hummus looks fabulous and easy. I'm going to try it.

    Thank you :D

    1. I was 66.67% of the reason for your nascent love affair with la cuisine méditerranéenne? Yay! Come to Madras so we can go have Za'atyer! Pliss, pliss.

      And you can throw in quarter cup of readymade Italian pizza/pasta sauce if you're too pressed for time to make your own.