Gluten-free Amaranth Crackers

These pseudo-cheesy pseudocereal crackers with their crumbly texture and a delectable eathy-nutty flavour are surprisingly easy to make. Crackers strike me as the type of pantry project that is seemingly way more high-effort than it actually is. I suppose it’s because picking up a pack at the grocery store feels easier than everything else.

You will be able to make these with untroubled ease even if you’ve never baked anything in your life. Unlike other pastries, this one does not intimidate. The dough is mixed up in the processor and rolls effortlessly. And I re-squidge and re-roll to the bitter end. A fork can be used to make quaint dotted perforations on the crackers and very satisfying work it is, too. But should you want to skip it, they will turn out just as good.

What you will need – (for 24-26 crackers )
  • Amaranth flour – 120 g (1 cup)
  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoon (45 ml)
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon (or use 2-3 fresh cloves, grated)
  • Onion powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh Rosemary – 2 sprigs (about 1 tablespoon leaves), roughly chopped
  • Fresh Thyme – 3-4 sprigs, picked
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
  • Nutritional yeast – 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • Water – 3 tablespoon
Method –
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse to combine. The mix will be clumpy and will likely not come together into a ball. Take the mixture out and knead gently for 2-3 mins. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add a little more flour if needed.
  3. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to roughly 0.5cm thick, use a sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut out the crackers. This dough, unlike all other pastry doughs, does not change characteristics once rolled. So resquidge and re-roll till the wee end. Waste nothing.
  4. Prick lightly with a fork to prevent them from puffing up.
    (You might be able to tell from the photograph that I completely forgot to do this, but the puffy ones tasted just as good)
  5. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-14 mins or until lightly golden around the edges.
  6. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.

Storage notes –

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. (They’ll be eaten way before that)

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

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Vegan Mushroom & Rice Soup

This is a very laissez-faire recipe actually: the aromatic broth can be made days ahead and can be frozen too. Packed full of flavour, it offers a cornucopia of delectation and does so persuasively that I use it as the base for many recipes.

If you can’t get bok choy, don’t be put off making this; baby spinach, napa cabbage, red cabbage, celery, sorrel or mustard greens could be substituted. Similarly, replace rice with other cooked grain or millets. And this recipe is worth bearing in mind even when your starting point is not meat: if you were to bung in some prawns or leftover chicken at the end, this would make for a fabulous dinner for omnivores.

What you will need – (for 4 servings)

For the broth:

  1. Shiitake mushrooms – 6-7 dried (roughly 80g)
  2. Peanut oil – 2 tablespoon
  3. Red onion – 1 medium (roughly 60g), quartered
  4. Carrot – 2 medium (roughly 120g), chopped in large chunks
  5. Lemongrass stalks – 2, bashed with the back of a knife and trimmed to 1 inch pieces
  6. Galangal root – 2 inch, sliced thick
  7. Garlic cloves – 5-6, unpeeled, smashed
  8. Bird’s eye chillies – 3-4 (1 gram), slit
  9. Kaffir lime leaves – 4-5, torn
  10. Water – 5 cups or as needed
  11. Spring onion – 2 stalks, white parts removed
  12. Soy Sauce – 3 tablespoon
  13. Rice Wine Vinegar – 3 tablespoon
  14. Coconut Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  15. Black peppercorns – 6-7, roughly crushed
  16. Star anise – 3
  17. Sea Salt flakes – 1/2 teaspoon

For add on:

  1. Rice – 1/3 cup, uncooked (I use unpolished sonamasoori, but any brown rice should work just as well)
  2. White button mushrooms – 7-8, sliced (roughly 80 g)
  3. Shiitake mushroom tops – 6-7 (reserved from the broth)
  4. Carrot – 1 small, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  5. Baby Bok choy – 1, stems and leaves chopped into 1 inch chunks
  6. A few sprigs of fresh coriander and some chopped spring onion
  7. Chilli oil and toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Method –
  1. Soak Shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for atleast an hour. Once rehydrated, separate stalks from the tops and reserve everything, soaking liquid included.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy pan on medium heat and add quartered onions. Leave untouched for 2 mins or till the onions are lightly browned. This golden carapace helps build flavour, careful not to burn it to a blackened crisp.
  3. Now add garlic, lemongrass, galangal root and carrots. Sauté for 5 mins.
  4. Once the carrots have lightly brown edges, add in soaking liquid and stalks from the shiitake mushrooms, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, coconut sugar, black peppercorns, star anise, spring onion and sea salt. Top with 5 cups water or more, enough to cover everything.
  5. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the rice, sauté white button mushrooms and bok choy stems. Set aside.
  7. Once the broth is done, strain with a fine mesh strainer.
  8. Add to a bowl and top with add ons as desired. I prefer to add 1/4 cup cooked rice per serving and lots of bok choy.
  9. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, chilli oil and serve

Storage notes –

Broth can be made and kept for 4-5 days in the fridge or frozen for up to a month.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

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Sweet Sunshine Soup

If you are looking for food to feel cheered, this would be the answer. And if the sprightly, mood-boosting yellowness of it is not enough of a clincher, it might help to know it’s a doddle to make. The silkiness comes from the pumpkin and carrots which are quickly blitzed in a hot oven, then blended with some coconut milk. There’s nothing more to it, given that you can excuse the tweeness of the title and it’s a soup to banish the blues.

I tend to always have a stash of roasted veggies in the fridge and that’s certainly a case of cracking convenience. But even if you were to roast the vegetables to order, you need to do nothing else while they’re in the oven, and not much after.

I like this velvety smooth with a scattering of seeds though you can make it as liquidized or as rough as you please. And if you’re poutily pursuing protein, you should obviously take the legume route.

What you will need – (for 4 servings)

  • Pumpkin – 100 g, seeds removed
  • Carrots – 600g (about 6 medium sized), slit in half lengthwise
  • Garlic cloves – 4-5 lightly bashed
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon 
  • Paprika/Chilli flakes – 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Chilli powder – 1/4 teaspoon 
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh thyme – 3-4 sprigs
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Coconut milk – 400 ml (approx 2 cups), or use veggie broth for a thinner consistency
  • For Garnish: Fresh herbs, microgreens, sundried tomatoes, nuts or seeds (optional)
Method –
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a small bowl mix together cumin, paprika, chilli powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle sliced pumpkin and carrots with olive oil (I leave the pumpkin skin on while roasting because I find it easier to remove once baked; if you want to peel it before, please do). Sprinkle the spice mix, bashed garlic cloves and thyme. Toss so everything is well coated. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 mins. The edges will have lightly browned. Once done, take the sheet out and allow to cool for 10 mins.
  4. Remove thyme sprigs and add the rest to a blender.
  5. Top with coconut milk and pulse to achieve a smooth consistency.
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Garnish with microgreens or seeds and a little drizzle of coconut milk or olive oil and serve.

Storage notes –

Keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

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Aubergines stuffed with Lentils

This creation is inspired by the classic stuffed aubergine dish from the Ottoman cuisine – Imam Baylidi. The aubergines are simmered in olive oil and though it is quite a delightful dish, I find it rather oily. For this recipe, I cook the aubergines in a skillet first and then roast in the oven.

What you will need – (for 2 massive servings)
  1. Aubergines – 2 large, halved lengthwise
  2. Cooked masoor (red) lentils – 1 cup
  3. Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
  4. Tomatoes – 4 large, puréed
  5. Garlic – 1 large clove, finely chopped
  6. Harissa paste – 1-1.5 tablespoons (can sub with Gochujang paste)
  7. Rosemary – 1 sprig
  8. Broth – 3/4th cup
  9. Olive oil – 2 + 2 tablespoons
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Grated parmesan or cheddar (optional) – 1/4th cup

For garnish –
Fresh coriander and toasted sesame seeds

Method –
  • Slit aubergines lengthwise and score in a criss-cross. Drizzle with salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on medium flame and place the aubergines slit-side down.
    Cook till the skin begins to wrinkle (about 7 mins).
  • Take the aubergines out of the pan and scoop out a little flesh from the centre to create a cavity. Set aside. (You only want to scoop out the tender bits in the centre. There should be enough flesh remaining on all sides.)
  • In the meantime, preheat oven to 180°C.
  • In the same pan add remaining oil, garlic, chopped onions and rosemary. Sauté on medium heat till the onions become translucent.
  • Add tomato purée, salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 mins.
  • Now add cooked lentils, scooped aubergine flesh and harissa. Stir to combine.
  • Add broth to the pan, bring to a boil and simmer till thickened.
  • Add this mix into the aubergines and roast at 180°C for 30 mins or until the aubergine is completely cooked.
  • Garnish with grated cheese and fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Serve as is or alongside a vibrant salad or rice or cauliflower rice or quinoa.

Storage notes –

The stuffing can be stored for upto 3 days. Advisable to cook the eggplants when you’re ready to eat.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

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Vegan no-bake Chocolate Coconut Tart

Making a raw no bake crust and a ganache filling is my simple solution to avoid pastry making. And the result is an unbelievably effortless, gloriously delicious, decadent tart.

I cannot express how much I despise tart crusts or cheesecake base made with crushed up packaged cookies. And it is not just because I don’t think very highly of packaged food but also because you have so much freedom when you make it from scratch.

What you will need – (for an 8 inch tart)

For the crust –

  1. Rolled oats⁣ – 1 cup
  2. Shredded coconut⁣ – ½ cup
  3. Medjool dates⁣ – 1 cup, deseeded
  4. Unsweetened cacao powder⁣ – ⅓ cup
  5. Honey/maple syrup⁣ – 3 tablespoons
  6. Generous pinch of salt⁣

For the filling –

  1. Full-fat coconut cream (or fresh cream for non vegan version)⁣ – 1½ cups
  2. Dark chocolate (I like to use sugar-free 85% dark couverture)⁣ – 80 grams, chopped
  3. Honey/maple syrup⁣ – ⅓ cup (adjust according to the sweetness of your chocolate)
  4. Vanilla extract⁣ – 1 teaspoon
Method –
  • Blitz all the ‘crust’ ingredients in a food processor until the dates are finely pulsed and the mixture begins to clump. It will look like a coarse crumble and when you squeeze a spoonful with the palms of your hand, it should hold its shape.
  • Transfer mix to a greased tin, use the back of a spoon or a bowl to press the mixture down. Make sure it’s compact and even.
  • Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • In the meantime, prepare the filling. Add chopped chocolate to a double boiler and melt. Once melted, set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat coconut cream. Stir continuously to avoid it from sticking. Turn off the heat just before it comes to a boil.
  • Add honey and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Add filling to the chilled tart shell.
  • Chill in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
  • Garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy. ⁣

Storage notes –

Store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

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Coconut Lime Banana Bread

Overripe, squishy, spotty bananas are just banana bread that you haven’t made yet. And since everyone seems to have over ripe bananas at the moment, I thought it’s the perfect time to add a slightly different banana bread recipe.

What you will need –
  1. Bananas – 4 medium, over-ripe
  2. Egg – 1 large
    (For Vegan option – mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed powder with 2.5 tablespoons of water)
  3. Light oil – 2 tablespoons (vegetable/canola)
  4. Light coconut milk – 1/2 cup
    (Sub with any other milk for non-coconut version)
  5. Zest of 1 lime
  6. Lime juice – 3 tablespoons
  7. All purpose flour – 1 cup 
  8. Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup 
  9. Oat flour – 1/2 cup
  10. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  11. Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  12. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  13. Honey – 1/2 cup (Adjust to taste)
Method –
  1. Preheat oven for 160°C.
  2. Mash together the 4 bananas in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk egg, oil, coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and honey (if you like your bread on the sweet side) into the mashed bananas. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until completely incorporated.
  6. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil/butter. Pour batter into pan. Slice a banana length-wise and top the batter (optional).
  7. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from middle. Let cool on a rack before slicing.

Storage notes –

Once cooled, store in an airtight box in the fridge for up to 5 days.


If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

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Lentil and carrot cakes

The only kind of recipes that are my favourite are the ones allowing for tons of room for customisation. I love how creative you can be with these lentil cakes. They’re bursting with savoury flavours, hearty texture, and oodles of plant based protein. They’re also gluten-free and accidentally vegan.

They work for canapés, burger patties, vegan meatballs or as mains, depending on how large you make them. ⁣

What you will need – (for 12 cakes)
  1. Whole/Split Masoor dal (red lentils) – 1 cup, washed
  2. Carrots – 2 cups, finely chopped
  3. Rolled oats – 1 cup, divided
  4. Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  5. Garlic cloves – 3-4
  6. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  7. Smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon (Can also use cayenne pepper)
  8. Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  9. Salt & pepper to taste
  10. Spinach – 1-1.5 cups, chopped
  11. Olive Oil for brushing
  12. Nuts and seeds of choice – 1/3 cup
    (optional but highly recommended)
    I used a mix of sunflower, hemp, pumpkin and flax
Method –
  1. Rinse lentils thoroughly, till the water runs clear. Add to a pot with 2 cups of water and boil till tender. Do not overcook.
  2. In the meantime, steam carrots for about 15-20 mins. They should be tender but not mushy.
  3. To a food processor, add lentils, steamed carrots, onion, garlic, lemon juice, spices and half cup oats. Reserve the other half for later.
  4. Process in short bursts of a few seconds. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and repeat till all ingredients are well incorporated. The mixture should be chunky not doughy.
  5. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining oats, spinach, nuts and seeds. Mix well.
  6. To make patties, use a large spoon or a 1/4th cup measure to scoop out the mix in the palms of your hand. I made them 1 inch thick and about 3 inches wide. But you can roll them bigger or smaller or even make balls.
    (Use slightly wet hands to prevent the mixture from sticking.)
  7. Lightly brush with oil on both sides and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 25-30 minutes. If your patties are smaller or rolling balls, reduce baking time accordingly.

Serving notes :

These can be served as is with a dip or used as burger patties.
To make the dip, combine 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of tahina, finely chopped coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper with just enough water to achieve a creamy consistency.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Vegan Persian lentil stew

What I love most about Persian cuisine is balance, not just of flavours but also of textures and temperatures. In most dishes you’ll find sweet, salty and sour flavours in perfect harmony. Soft dishes like stews are often paired with crunchy rice, nuts, potatoes or raw vegetables. And each meal is served with an abundance of fresh herbs.

Some of my favourite stews are Khoresh-e Gheymeh, Khoresh-e Bademjoon, khoresh-e fesenjoon and this Khoresh-e Bamiyeh.

As much as I believe that some recipes should be cooked, enjoyed and celebrated just the way they were decades ago, passed down from grandmothers to mothers and to daughters, desperate times call for desperate measures. Here is the vegan adaptation of Khoresh-e Bamiyeh.

What you will need –
  1. Pigeon Pea Lentils – 1 cup (washed till the water runs clear)
  2. Tomato Sauce – 1/2 cup (sub with 4 large fresh tomatoes + 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
  3. Onions – 1 large, chopped
  4. Dried limes (Limoo amani) – 2, crushed (sub with 1.5 tablespoons tamarind paste)
  5. Pomegranate molasses – 1.5 tablespoons (sub with 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar)
  6. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Coriander powder – 1.5 teaspoon
  8. Ground cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Garlic – 4 large cloves, minced
  10. Bay leaf – 1 large, torn
  11. Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  12. Okra – 250 – 300 gms
  13. Vegetable broth – 3 cups
  14. Salt – a generous pinch

(Substituting dried lime and pomegranate molasses is only recommended in truly desperate times such as this lockdown. Both ingredients are easily available at specialty food stores but are also easy to make at home.)

Method –
  1. Heat a large, heavy bottom pot with a lid, add oil, garlic and onions. Sauté for 7-8 mins, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the diced tomato sauce, bay leaf, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon. Sauté for 5 mins to allow the spices to bloom.
  3. Add washed lentils, broth and dried limes. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pot, bring it up to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Let it cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add pomegranate molasses and okra. Cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs – coriander/spring onions/ dill/ parsley.

Serving notes :

Best paired with a fresh cucumber – yogurt – pomegranate salad and rice Tahdig but can also be served with plain basmati rice.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!