Cucumber, mint raita.

Here is a cooling and delicious raita flavoured with mint and a hint of garlic which goes extremely well with Biryani and Pulao. You can even serve it as a dip with kebabs and tandoori items.

Ingredients:

One bowl/ 200 gms of thick set curds

One small cucumber finely chopped

3 sprigs of mint

3 tbsps Coriander leaves

1 large clove of garlic

1 green chilly

Salt

A few drops of lemon juice

Method:

Whisk the thick set curd well. Add salt and keep aside. Grind the garlic, chilly, mint and coriander leaves to a fine paste with three tablespoons of curds. Drop it into the curd. Add the chopped cucumber and lemon juice. Mix well. Serve chilled.

Copyright © 2022 by Vinaya Prabhu. All rights reserved.

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Carrots in brine

One of the brined vegetables that goes well with Dal rice, curd rice or even in wraps or as a topping over salads is the versatile carrot. I love mine spiced with a few green chillies and ginger added to them. You may also use sliced garlic or baby onions if you wish to.

Ingredients:

4 carrots sliced into strips

3 green chillies slit but kept intact at the base

2 inch piece of ginger either sliced or just crushed

1 lemon sliced into thin roundels

200 ml water

1 tbsp salt

5 tbsps vinegar

Method:

Arrange the carrots, green chillies , ginger and sliced lemon into a thoroughly washed and dried glass bottle. Drop in the water, salt and vinegar. Screw on the cap or use an air tight bottle. Leave it outside for a day and then refrigerate it. You can start using them from the third day onwards.

Note: I have not boiled the water to make brine as I have used just four carrots. Always boil the water to which salt has been added to brine larger quantities of carrot or any vegetable.

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Sprouted Moong Bhel

This is a healthy sprouted Moong/ Green gram Bhel which is not just delicious but filling as well. It is not like the regular Bhel poori which is spiced with tangy and spicy chutneys. This is more like a salad which when added to puffed rice/ kurmura makes for a healthy and filling snack. My heartfelt thanks to my friend Devi Pai for sharing her recipe with me.

Ingredients:

1 cup sprouted Moong

1 tomato chopped fine

1 small cucumber chopped fine

1 large onion minced

1 small carrot grated

Juice of one lemon

2 green chillies minced

Sev as required

Kurmura as required

Salt

1/2 tsp Chaat Masala

5 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves

Method:

Tip all the chopped vegetables in a bowl along with the sprouted moong. Crush the minced chilly with a little salt and add it along with the lemon juice and Chaat masala. Mix thoroughly. Add a portion of this to some puffed rice, and serve immediately garnished with coriander leaves and sev.

Serves four.

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Guava and Peanut salad

This guava and Peanut salad can be served along with a meal or eaten just wrapped in a Chapati. Tone down the spices and you can eat it as is. This lovely recipe shared by my friend Shweta Sabnis is a must try.

Ingredients:

1 large guava chopped

10 roasted peanuts halved

1/2 tsp chilly powder

A pinch of turmeric powder

1 tbsp grated jaggery

Salt

For the tempering:

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

A pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida

A sprig of curry leaves

Method:

Tip the chopped guava, peanuts, chilly powder, turmeric, grated jaggery and salt in a bowl. Mix well and refrigerate. Heat the oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard and after it splutters add the cumin seeds. After they splutter add the Asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow the seasoning to cool a little before tipping it into the salad. Mix well and serve chilled.

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Bell pepper and corn salsa

The taste of the crunchy Bell peppers with boiled soft corn, tomatoes and a dash of lime can be wrapped up in a tortilla or a Chapati, enjoyed as a salad or can even be used as a sandwich filling along with some mayonnaise. This lovely recipe by my friend Neetha Pai is one of my favourites as it’s healthy, easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Ingredients:

1 each of green, yellow and red Bell peppers chopped fine

1 large tomato chopped fine

1 large onion chopped fine

Juice of half a lemon

Pepper and salt to taste

1 cup of boiled sweet corn

Method:

Mix all the chopped vegetables and sweet corn and season with pepper and salt. Drizzle some lime juice, mix and serve immediately.

Note: chop the vegetables just a few minutes before serving to retain the crunch. If you like your salsa a little mushy then you may chop it and season it beforehand. The salt added helps the Bell peppers and onions to release water.

Serves two.

Copyright © 2021 by Vinaya Prabhu. All rights reserved.

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Okra Curd Pacchadi

One needs no accompaniment to rice other than maybe a Papad or pickle when you serve it with this Okra Curd Pacchadi. I simply love this recipe shared by my friend Geetha Navaneeth as it can not only be prepared quickly, but is a quick fix solution when having guests.

Ingredients:

15 Okra/ Lady’s finger chopped into half inch bits

1 cup / 200 ml curds/ yoghurt

A pinch of turmeric

Salt

A quarter of a coconut grated

2 green chillies

1tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp oil to saute the Okra

For the tempering:

1 tsp coconut oil or oil of choice

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Urad dal/ split black gram

A large pinch of Hing/ asafoetida

1 dry red chilly broken into two

1 sprig curry leaves

Method:

Heat oil in a pan . Tip in the chopped okra, turmeric and salt and roast on a gentle flame till it turns crisp. Keep aside. Grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds to a fine paste. Add it to the okra along with the curds. Mix well. Heat oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard and after it splutters add the Urad dal. After the urad dal turns a golden brown add the red chilly bits, asafoetida and curry leaves. Toss. Drop the seasoning to the okra Curd Pacchadi. Mix and check for salt. Do be careful as salt has been added while roasting the okra.

Serves two.

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Green apple pickle/ salad

What’s in a name? Call it a salad or a pickle, this one is a winner all the way. You require the Granny Smith apples for this preparation. If not available then you may use any apple which is tart. I was fortunate enough to find some on Big Basket, so lost no time in ordering them to try out the lovely recipe of this salad shared by my friend Alka Pai.

Ingredients:

2 Apples

1/ 4 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard

7 seeds of Fenugreek

2 Byadgi chillies

1 tsp Chana dal/ split Bengal gram

A large pinch of Asafoetida

A sprig of curry leaves

1 tsp oil

A tsp of jaggery syrup

Method:

Chop up the apples and sprinkle them with salt. Mix , cover and leave aside. Salt prevents oxidation and the apples retain their colour. Heat the oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard and after it splutters add the Chana dal. Roast it to a golden brown. Add the Byadgi chillies, Fenugreek, asafoetida and curry leaves. Toss for a minute, remove and allow the mixture to cool thoroughly. Grind it to a fine powder. Tip in required quantity of the powder onto the apples. Drizzle with the jaggery syrup. Mix thoroughly and enjoy the salad as is or with a meal.

Serves 2.

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Vodi kismuri-2

This crunchy, tasty Vodi kismuri is best enjoyed with a Dal rice. Vodi are Onion fryums the recipe of which I have shared in my website. You can also buy the sun-dried ones available and fry them. This kismuri is usually made of the Vodi which is broken while handling. I have already posted the version which I generally make. This recipe was shared by my friend Nandini Supriya Bhat. This one needs to be prepared just a few minutes prior to a meal as making it beforehand turns it soggy.

Ingredients:

1 medium sized bowl of fried onion Vodi crushed

1 large onion chopped fine

1/2 of a medium sized carrot grated

1 green chilly minced

Salt

1tsp coconut oil/ optional

Method:

Crush the minced chilly and salt together and tip them into a bowl. Add the grated carrot , onion and mix well. Drop in the crushed Vodi, mix and serve immediately. You may serve it drizzled with a little coconut oil. Recipe link to the Onion Vodi is given below.

https://vinayasculinarydelights.com/onion-fryums-vodi-recipe/

This proportion serves 3.

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Colourful salad

The recipe of this extremely colourful and delicious salad was shared by my friend Nandita Basroor. Inspite of no spice being used, you need no subzi or any curry as accompaniment if you prepare this. Wrap it in a Roti, use it as a filling in a sandwich or enjoy it with a Dal rice.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup each of the following vegetables chopped fine

Cabbage

Tomatoes

Onion

1 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves

Juice of half a lemon

Salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Method:

Mix the above mentioned chopped vegetables and drizzle the lemon juice over them. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate. Add sugar and salt a couple of minutes before serving. Adding them beforehand makes the salad soggy and it loses it’s crunch.

Serves one.

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Radish Raita/ Mulyacha Chatka

This tempting Raita of Radish and raw Moong dal/ Split Green gram is not only healthy but also very versatile. It can be served as an accompaniment with a meal or eaten with a Roti or can be used as a spread over bread. Be careful to use thick curds while making it. My heartfelt thanks to Suresh Sawant ji who shared this recipe with me.

Ingredients:

2 small tender radishes, peeled and grated

3 tbsps of Moong dal washed and soaked for about an hour.

2 green chillies minced

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

1/4 tsp sugar

Salt

200 ml or one small bowl of thick curd/ yoghurt

For the tempering:

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp Mustard

1/2 tsp Jeera/ cumin seeds

A pinch of Hing/ asafoetida

Method:

Whisk the curds well. Squeeze the grated radish. Drain out the water from the moong dal. Drop in the squeezed radish and drained moong dal into the curds. Crush the green chilly with salt and add that too along with sugar and the finely chopped coriander leaves. Heat oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard and after it splutters add the Jeera and Hing. Pour the seasoning into the raita/ chatka. Serve it chilled.

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