Indian festive recipes

As every year, although I don’t celebrate it, I found y’all vegan recipes for Indian sweets and snacks. Quote of the week:

An Indian festival means a few more words about dairy. Because of the enormous demand for dairy in sweets, everyday food and increasing costs, the sweet shops in India these days use shampoo and oil concoctions and call it milk. […] — Richa

And if you’re using powdered milk as most do here, if we forget that you killed a coupla calves in New Zealand or wherever for the milk, let’s not forget the pus and blood in the milk. You’re fasting that day, you say?

Let’s start with kaju burfi, coconut and semolina burfi (can be made gluten-free, or check out her amaranth burfi).

Gluten-free nut-free vegan black sesame laddoos, vadas and kaju katli or badam halwa (vegan version included in the latter or their kaju katli recipe) You can make coconut burfi, and low sugar or sugar-free laddoos. Sometimes folks ask me why I link to non-vegan sites, all the nut-free sugar-free, gluten free vegan recipes are not on the vegan sites, ok! Cashew is a seed by the way, I’m low-nut or nut free if I count the nut-fungus which I’m allergic to, otherwise I can have a few almonds, 12 a day is a stretch but I can have 150g cashews per day. I tolerate it better than sunflower or pumkin seeds.

Here’s the most interesting sugarfree glutenfree veganSpiced Tamarind and Date Truffles, I’d use coconut instead of sesame as Deepa suggested and then it’d totally be a digestive aid, aside from being a cool truffle. It would be sweeter and pleasant to munch on. This recipe makes me feel like making sweets for people actually.

It makes no sense at all to celebrate this in the Southern hemisphere in summer heat, why not Diwali in July? Then the whole thing is about sharing but does anyone bother to make me sugar-free or sprouted beans version of stuff? No. Relatives would make sad faces and interrogate me yet again on my diet, when I used to visit em along with my family, at most I’d drink water (bc they seriously would have nothing else to offer me that I’m not allergic to, diwali/deepavali is the official Indian junk food day). It’s true that people order their sweets etc. Only my cousin-in-law from Chennai makes everything from scratch, pretty murruku and such, and it’s not great for my food intolerances but it’s pretty, tasty and sugarfree glutenfree vegan so once a year I eat it. There’s a silver lining to being allergic to sugar and stuff (aside that my freezer is full of pre-cooked green jackfruit and vazhaithandu (banana stem) for the week so I’ll have comfort foods all week, thanks to my patti!), I haven’t had non-vegan food accidentally.

I used to think some sweets are traditionally vegan but I found only 1 vegan version of Adhirasam, on one cool blog, check the link above the quote for a big recipe list. Here it’s made with white rice and castor sugar, not healthy but people love their carbs.

Dhal Boorelu See the junk food is supposed to be quite healthy (or at least loaded with protein).

For those of us for whom it’s only tamarind or mango season here, here’s a puliyodharai, pulisadam or pulihora recipe. Peanuts and dhal are totally optional, there are original versions without. I must try it again and I’ll defo try mangaisadam or green mango rice soon. I said I’ll make it for my gran who has never had it.


Milks and other dairy subtitutes.

Coconut milk: About half of a brown coconut yields 2 cups freshly grated coconut, put in a small saucepan (or something one can easily pour it out of), add 500ml boiling (or not quite boiling) water, cover for 5 min then strain*. One could add tapioca flour and sweetener to reproduce the consistency and taste of other commercial plant milks. Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days when made from frozen and thawed coconut. *If you’re low on utensils, like me, strain through very thin gap of the lid if it’s one of those cooking pots with a lid fitting inside the rim.

This recipe is from dessicated coconut and seems thicker than mine.

Two possible uses for the pulp (I would add syrup to bind the latter)

Cashew milk (in comments, otherwise links to all the instructions you need for almond milk) More almond milk – You don’t need a vitamix. I recall mine keeping longer but I used to pasteurise it. I don’t make it anymore – food intolerances.How to milk an almond reports raw almond milk keeping 4 days in the fridge.

Sensory people-friendly sunflower seed milk A paint-strainer bag is apparently a fine substitute for a nut milk bag. Another recipe. If you don’t have a dehydrator, I don’t, I’d put the nut pulp in my wet ingredients instead of dry for cakes/cookies or in burgers. Same with seed pulp or try this with less zuke, I prefer to use carrots instead regardless of a colour combination I dislike because the texture turns out better.

A jar of pumpkin seed milk

Futter and butter substitutes.

Coconut butter (courtesy of Toni from BWCSA): Blend fine dried coconut until you have a smooth butter. Use as a replacement for nut-butter, or as a replacement for fat in baked goods, as icing or mixed with some cocoa powder for decadent sweet fix, in smoothies. Use a touch of agave to sweeten as desired. [It didn’t work in my Phillips coffee grinder attachment which can make other nut butter]

Soy yoghurt
500ml soya milk – 4 vegan acidophilus capsules (like Solgar) – or 2 tablespoons live soy yogurt (unpasteurised)

1. Sterilize the soya milk by heating to just below boiling point. Let it cool a bit.
2. rinse a large glass jar or vacuum flask with boiling water to sterilize it.
3. Once the milk has cooled to lukewarm, pour it into the glass and stir in the yogurt or break the capsules open and empty the powder into the glass. Place the lid on but do not close.
4. Place container near a contant source of low heat, e.g. an airing cupboard (I don’t know what that is, I simply put my jar one day in the sun, then if it’s not quite set (in winter), in warm water, keep it at about 40’C by pouring in hot water every so often), or wrap in a towel or newspaper and put it on a hot water bottle (but you do have to keep changing the hot water). The yogurt should set within 12 hours. (If the temp. drops too low, process stops or takes longer. If the temp too high, the bacteria will be killed).
5. Once set refrigerate and use within 4-5 days. Keep 2 tbsp for next batch!
Same process could be used for any yoghurt and if you’re making your coconut milk, it could be started sometime after straining.

Whipped cream:

Sweet condensed milk (from Plant, opening soon in Capetown): In sauce pan, combine 2 cans coconut milk and 1/2 cup agave nectar. Warm mixture over medium-low heat until mix begins to bubble. Continue to cook over low heat, mixing continuously until sauce is reduced to ½ , slightly golden and the consistency of a light syrup. Cool to room temperature. Store refrigerated in glass jelly jar until ready to use.

Soyannaise (from Bella Vegan Cafe, Capetown): Makes one cup – 1 x 12oz block soft tofu, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice,1 teaspoon prepared mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, pinch of Saffron or Turmeric powder for colour…optional, 3/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup sunflower or canola oil. METHOD: Process all ingredients in blender EXCEPT the oil. At high speed TRICKLE the oil into the mix until smooth and creamy looking. CHILL for an hour before serving to allow flavour to “rise”. (Add 1 tbs good quality Tomato Sauce if you want 1000 Island dressing!)

I’m allergic to 3 ingredients above, never tried it, I make Baonaise – Baobab fruit powder is sour, with a hint of sweet (mix in cold water) and ground brazil nuts have a subtle pungent flavour, I don’t think Dijon is needed and I can’t have it anyway. Blend with oil. That’s essentially my Ca-Mg supplement + Selenium and I use omega 3-6-9 oil. There’s an actual recipe on Google and I’ve bought commercial baonnaise, mine would be as good if I had onion powder.

‘Cheese’ sauce: 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes – 1/2 cup unbleached flour – 1 tsp salt – 1/2 tsp garlic powder – 2 cups water – 1/4 cup oil – 1 tsp prepared mustard. Mix nutritional yeast flakes, flour, salt, and garlic powder in a 2-quart saucepan. Whisk in water. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until mixture thickens and bubbles. Cook 30 seconds more, then remove from heat and whisk in oil and mustard. Sauce will thicken as it cools but will thin when heated.

Debbie’s Chocolate tofu mousse: 2 packages soft tofu (regular or silken) – 16 ounces bag of semi-sweet choc chips – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Let tofu sit on the counter until it’s at room temperature. This is VERY important. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the room-temperature tofu in blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla to tofu, and mix thoroughly. Chill 1 hour, and serve. Variation: Slice bananas and layer with chocolate mixture in either pudding cups or pie crust. Avo is so versatile:
as mayonnaise
or cream cheese more cashew cheese and yet more and in South Africa you can buy some amazing macadamia, cashew or other nut cheeses in Capetown or via overnight courrier.

A list of egg substitutes

Some more general recipe links: – free recipe book for picnic and party food Gluten-free has some interesting ones, not only fat-free.

En français: