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July 25, 2011

Indian Recipes

Humane Society International

  • N.G. Jaysimha

India is home to the largest number of vegetarians in the world, and Indian vegetarian cuisine is famous for its rich diversity of spices. 

While many Indian dishes require complex mixtures of ground spices, many can be made using a simpler mix of spices available in grocery stores and markets around the world. 

Here are some easy-to-make dishes using readily available ingredients.



Potato Bondas

Makes 15 bondas

3 potatoes, peeled and mashed
olive oil or any plant-based oil
cumin seeds (optional)
1/2 onion (finely chopped)
2 green chilies (finely chopped)
1/4 cup coriander leaves (finely chopped, optional)
1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon rice flour

1. In a pan, add two teaspoons of oil, one teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of cumin seeds, 1/2 finely chopped onion, two finely chopped green chilies and 1/4 cup of finely chopped coriander leaves.
2. Add the mashed potatoes to the pan.
3. Add salt to taste, and mix all ingredients together.
4. Once the potato mixture has cooled, separate out into small, round balls. 
5. In a separate bowl, add one teaspoon of red chili powder and one tablespoon of rice flour to one cup of chickpea flour. 
6. Add water to the flour mix and stir until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Add salt to taste.
7. Dip each potato ball in the batter and deep-fry in oil until golden brown.

Mint Chutney

1 bunch fresh mint
1/2 inch piece of ginger root
4 tablespoons of coconut flakes (optional)
salt to taste
1 green chili
4 tablespoons lime juice or lemon juice
1/2 cup water

1. Add all ingredients together in a blender or food processor, with a few tablespoons of water.
2. Blend/process and add water as you blend to make it the consistency of pancake batter.

Main course

Vegetable Palau

Serves 2-3

1 cup of long grain rice (preferably Basmati Rice, if available)
1/4 cup mint
1/2 cup coriander (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 inch piece ginger (finely chopped)
1 piece of garlic
2 green chilies (finely chopped)
1 cup vegetables of your choice (carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, potatoes), cut into small pieces
1/2 stick of cinnamon (ground)
1 tsp black pepper (ground)
2 pods of cardamom
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
salt (to taste)
cashews, roasted (optional)

1. Cook rice until it is 50 percent done.
2. Blend mint, cilantro, ginger, garlic, black pepper, chilies, cinnamon, and half the onion into a fine paste.
3. Put paste into a separate pan, and add bay leaves and the remainder of the onion. Let it simmer for two minutes.
4. Then add in rice, vegetables, cardamom and salt.
5. Add water and cook until rice and vegetables are soft and ready to serve.
6. Garnish with roasted cashews.


Serves 2-3

1 cup of lentils (your choice)
2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 green chili (finely chopped)
1/4 onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup coriander leaves (finely chopped)
1 tomato
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
1 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1. Cook lentils in a pan until soft and cooked all the way through. Add salt while cooking.
2. In a separate pan, heat the mustard seeds, turmeric, asafedita and cumin seeds in oil until the mustard seeds start to sputter.
3. Add green chilies and onion to the mixture and sauté for a few minutes.
4. Mix the sautéed mixture together with the dal.
5. Add tomatoes and a bit of water, and cook until the tomatoes are finished.
6. Remove from heat and mix in lemon juice.
7. Garnish with coriander.


Kaju (Cashew) Burfi

Makes 20 pieces

2 cups cashew nuts
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water

1. Grind the cashew nuts to powder and lightly roast the powder over low heat for two to three minutes.
2. In a separate pot, boil the sugar and water together into a thick syrup. Remove pot from heat.
3. Slowly add the roasted cashew powder to the syrup, mixing continuously to avoid the formation of lumps.
4. Once the mixture has the consistency of cookie dough, spread it onto a greased plate.
5. Once it cools, it will solidify so you can cut into pieces and serve.