Indian Vegetarian Recipes (Collection #10: Curries, koftas, beans, naan)

Title: Vegetarian Kofta Curry

Yield: 5 servings

  • 1 Large spanish onion,chopped
  • 2 Large tomatoes,peeled and Coarsely chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves,finely chopped
  • 2 T Finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Heaping teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 T Safflower or canola oil
  • 1 t Garam masala
  • 2 White or green cardamon pods Crushed,or 1 teaspoon ground Cardamon
  • 1/2 t Ground coriander
  • 1/2 t Ground cumin
  • 1/2 t Cayenne pepper
  • 1 1.5" cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 t Salt
  • Koftas

  • 2 Green serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1 Large spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 c Whole blanched almonds (2oz.) finely chopped
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/4 c Coarsely grated carrot
  • 1/2 t Ground cumin
  • 1 Small zucchini, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2" thick
  • 1 c Vegetable oil, for deep fat Frying
  • 3/4 lb Pumpkin or butternut squash
  • Peeled, seeded, 3/4" chunks
  • 3/4 c Chickpea flour (besan)
    1. In a food processor, puree the onion and ginger until smooth, stopping to scrape the bowl.
    2. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the onion puree, cardamon and cinnamon and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin, cayenne and coriander and cook for 2 minutes.
    4. Pour in 2 cups of hot water, stir in the salt and simmer over low heat until the gravy thickens, about 25 minutes. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate. To reheat, bring to a simmer over low heat.)
    5. To serve, pour gravy into a deep platter or shallow serving bowl and arrange Koftas on top


  • Place the chiles, almonds and carrot in a nonreactive bowl.
  • Place the zucchini slices in a small strainer or sieve. Submerge the strainer in a small saucepan of boiling water and cook until the zucchini is just tender,1 to 2 minutes. Remove the strainer, reserving the saucepan of water. Rinse the zucchini under cold, running water. Transfer the zucchini to a square of cheesecloth, pull up the corners and gently but firmly squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • Return the saucepan of water to a boil, add the pumpkin chunks and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the pumpkin thoroughly, transfer to a square of cheesecloth and squeeze it gently in the same manner as the zucchini.
  • In a food processor, puree the zucchini, pumpkin and onion for 30 seconds. Scrape the puree into the mixture of chiles, almonds and carrot.Season with salt and cumin, add 1/2 cup of the chickpea flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Cover and refrigerate the kofta batter for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chickpea flour on a large platter. With lightly floured hands, form the kofta batter into 1-inch balls. Place the kofta balls on the platter and gently roll them to coat evenly with the chickpea flour.
  • In a wok, heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fat thermomter. In batches of 4, fry the koftas, stirring gently, until browned all over,1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to paper towels to drain.(The Koftas can be made up to 1 day ahead;cover and refrigerate. Rewarm on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes, until hot.)

    Try a simple, fruity California Sauvignon Blanc such as 1992 Corbett Canyon Vineyards or 1992 Geyser Peak

    Food&Wine April 1994, by Jennifer Brennan

    Potato And Peas Curry

    A large proportion of the Indian population is vegetarian. Through their thousands of years of preparing food, many wonderful recipes have been worked out. This one has been slightly modernized, but will go well with most dishes.
    1 med. onion finely sliced 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
    1 teaspoon grated ginger pinch of ground cloves and cinnamon
    1/2 cup boiling water 3 med potatoes cooked and quartered
    1 1/2 cup half cooked peas 1/2 cup yoghurt
    2 teaspoon tomato paste

    Fry onions until light brown. Add all spices and fry for 2/3 minutes. May need a dash of water here. Now add tomato paste and boiling water. Toss in potatoes, peas and salt. Simmer until peas are done. Add yoghurt and mix carefully. ...Now wasn't that was easy?

    Spicy Vegetarian Curry (Masaledar Sabzi)

    Serves 4

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 medium size tomatoes, blanched, skinned, and mashed
  • 1/2 cup tamarind water (see note)
  • 2 tbls dark brown sugar
  • For the masala:

  • 3 tbls veg. oil
  • 1 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbls shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbl sesame seeds
  • 1 tbl poppy seeds
  • First make the masala. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens. Add the rest of the masala ingredients to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture becomes reddish. Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 3/4 cups hot water, salt, and the turmeric to the pan and simmer until the potatoes are just cooked. Add the tomatoes, tamarind water, and sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves. Serve with plain boiled rice. Note: To make tamarind water, soak a small lump of tamarind in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind with your fingers, then strain off the tamarind water.

    from Ismail Merchant's Indian Cuisine

    Bir Mala's Khichari (Mung Beans and Rice)

    Bir Mala Beca teaches cooking classes at the Hare Krishna Community in Culver City. As a vegetarian cook, she focuses on how to enhance legume protein with nuts, grains or dairy products. In this recipe, she uses fried cashews, basmati rice and clarified butter.

  • 1/2 cup split peeled mung beans
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 small jalapeno chile, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 5 to 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed in warm water
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Lemon wedges
  • Yogurt
  • Place mung beans and rice in strainer and rinse well. Heat ghee in non-stick Dutch oven. Add cashews and fry until golden. Remove and set aside.

    In same oil, fry cumin, chile and ginger until lightly browned. Add turmeric and asafetida. Add cauliflower and stir until well mixed with spices. Cook gently 5 to 10 minutes. Add mung beans and rice. Add 5 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Mixture should be moist and creamy. If too dry, add remaining 1 cup water. When done, fold in salt, butter, peas, tomatoes and cashews. Serve topped with cilantro. Accompany with lemon wedges to squeeze over mixture and with yogurt. Makes 8 servings.

    Chandni Vegetarian Cuisine's North Indian Blackeyes (Lobhia)

    Move over Hoppin' John; blackeye peas is steppin' out Indian style. This dish is from Chef-owner Kuldip Chand of Chandni Vegetarian Cuisine of India in Culver City, CA. He is from the Punjab and the man knows his dals.

  • 2 cups blackeyes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (3/4-inch piece) ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • In pot soak beans overnight in water to cover generously. Next day, drain beans, cover with fresh water and bring to boil. Add salt, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Simmer until beans are just tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.

    Heat oil in deep saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger and cumin. Fry 10 minutes and add tomato. Cook another 5 minutes and add beans and cooking liquid. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are soft but not completely dissolved. Mixture should be soupy. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    Vegetable (and Malai) Kofta (Vegetable / Cheese Patties in a creamy sauce)

    This recipe is taken from a book I am currently working on. The book will deal with "Tasty Vegetarian" cooking from all parts of the world. This particular recipe is of Indian origin. I would appreciate any feedback/suggestions/inquiries

    Please e-mail them to me at: 73312,2417. Thank you. Nagesh Kuppuraju

    Those ingredients marked with an asterisk (*) can be bought from Indian Grocery shops around the country.

    Makes 4 servings. Start to finish - 30 min. to 1 hour. Preparation time - 10 min. to 1 hour.



  • Chickpea (Gram Flour) - 1/2 cup*
  • All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - 1 tsp.
  • Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp.
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp.*
  • Baking Soda - 1 tsp.
  • Zucchini Squash - 2 medium sized.
  • Cooking Oil (for deep frying) - 4 cups
  • Sauce:

  • Onion - 1 medium sized
  • Tomato Paste - 1/2 cup
  • Sourcream - 5 tbsp.
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp.
  • Coriander leaves (Cilantro) - 1/2 cup*
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Ginger root - 1/2 inch
  • Frozen Peas - 1cup.
  • Salt - to taste
  • Method

    Peel and grate zucchini squash. Squeeze out the water from it. In a mixing bowl, add the squash, flours, salt, chilli powder, garam masala and baking soda and mix well into a thick batter. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok. When hot, but not smoking, spoon the batter into the oil. Reduce flame and deep fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain over paper towels.

    In a blender, grind 1 chopped onion with coriander leaves, green chillies and ginger into a fine paste.

    In a separate vessel, heat 2 tbsp. of oil. When hot, fry the ground paste for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and water to make it into a thin paste. Cook for 5 minutes, add the peas, salt and turmeric powder.

    Add the patties to the sauce and simmmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the sour cream until desired color and consistency have been achieved.

    Suggestions & Variations

    Serve with rice pilaf or Indian bread (Naan). Mix in grated mozzarella cheese with the batter for deep frying (Malai Kofta).

    Pakora Batter


  • 1.33 cup chick pea flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • 2 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 9 tbs. cold water, as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp. baking powder, optional
  • Combine the flour, melted ghee, lemon juice, spices and salt in a bowl and mix together well. Add 5 tbs. of cold water slowly, beating it until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Slowly add another 3 tbs. water and continue to beat until well mixed. Check the consistency, it should resemble the consistency of heavy cream and easily coat a spoon. If it does not, add more water, till it does.

    Cover the batter and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to let it settle.

    Beat again for a couple of minutes to lighten the batter. Stir in the baking powder at this point if you want a cake-like crust.

    For pakoras, choose a selection of your favourite vegetables: Cauliflower florets, eggplant cut into 1/4-inch rounds, potatoes or yams cut into 1/8-inch rounds, bell peppers sliced 1/4-inch thick, zucchini cut on the diagonal, 1/4-inch thick asparagus tips blanched and dried.

    Heat 3 inches of ghee in a wok or deep skillet till hot. Dip your vegetables in the batter and one by one slip them into the hot oil. Fry until the pakoras are golden brown on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. Serves: 6.

    Adapted from Yamuna Devi, "The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking". Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.00

    Cumin Naan


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs. cold pressed corn oil
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup ackaged mash potato flakes
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp. salt, optional
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs. corn oil
  • Combine all ingredients except water, 1 tbs. corn oil and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Gradually add water while the machine is running. Process in short bursts till a thick ball is formed. Remove and knead for 5 minutes. Use flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm dark place for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Prepare grill and cover to buld up an intense heat. Cut dough into 6 portions. roll each piece into a circle 8" in diameter and as thin as a flour tortilla. Brush each piece with glaze and place glaze side down on the grill. Cover and allow to bake for 5 minutes. Brush tops with 1 tbs. corn oil and 2 minced garlic cloves, flip and allow other side to brown.

    Serves: 6.

    From "Vegetarian Times" July, 1993

    Mixed Vegetable Cutlets


  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 3 tbs. sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced & peeled
  • 1,5 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup green beans, 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded beets
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 hot green chilies, quartered
  • 2 tb wholewheat flour
  • 2/3 cup cooked chick peas
  • 2/3 cup white poppy seeds
  • 3 tbs. almonds
  • Ghee for shallow frying
  • 3 tbs. walnuts
  • Place the cauliflower, potatoes, fresh peas and green beans in the bottom of a pot and cover with water. Put the carrots, beets and celery in a steaming basket, cover and place over the pot. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Drain, saving the water. Add the frozen peas, defrosted first, to the steamed vegetables.

    In a blender, while it is running, drop in the chilies. Add the chick peas, nuts and seeds and process until the peas are mashed. Some vegetable water may facilitate this. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, fresh peas, if using, and beans. Pulse on and off till they are coarsely mashed. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the steamed vegetables, salt, pepper, turmeric and garam masala. Mix well. Divide into portions.

    Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Flatten a portion into an almond shaped cutlet, 1/2 inch thick and place on the sheet. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Whisk the soy milk, cornstarch & flour in a flat bowl until smooth. Dip each cutlet into the batter, roll in poppy seeds and set aside briefly to air dry.

    Heat ghee to a depth of 3/4 inch. Without crowding, fry the cutlets in batches for 2 minutes each side. Drain and serve. Yield: 12 servings.

    Adapted from Yamuna Devi, "The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking". Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.00. New layout by Uwe Molzahn, 1994


    Here is one of our favorite "vegetarian dish". We always include it to our menu for an indian dinner.

  • 250 grams of chickpeas (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 oinon chopped
  • 2 cm cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves, squashed
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes (from a can)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Soak chickpeas overnight, rince, cook in water until tender. Drain, KEEP THE COOKING LIQUID!

    In a frying pan heat the oil, fry onion until golden. Add cinnamon and cloves, cook a few seconds. Add garlic, ginger, chili pepper, ground coriander and cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, with the juice and cook until all liquid has evaporated.

    Add the chickpeas to the pan, mixe well, cook 5 minutes. Pour the cooking liquid of the chickpeas and simmer for 25 minutes, until all the liquid is gone.

    Sprinkle with the garam massala and cilantro.

    Can be served hot or cold.

    Vegetable Curry with Cashews


  • 1 tbs. ghee
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 oz green beans, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 fresh green chili, chopped
  • 2 tsp. coriander
  • 2 oz grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 4 oz boiling water
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 lb tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • One 3/4" piece of ginger, sliced
  • salt
  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 4 oz toasted cashews
  • 1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
  • Heat ghee in large skillet and fry the garlic and spices for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Blanch eggplants in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and dice them.

    Add all the vegetables, including the chili, to the pan. Fry gently for 7 minutes, stirring to mix thoroughly. Dissolve grated coconut in the boiling water and mix with vegetables. Add tomatoes, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

    Just before serving, stir in toasted cashews and serve over rice. Serves: 4.