**This post is dedicated to Zanna, who always inspires me to continue developing new vegan recipes even when I get lazy & go on a hiatus for months at a stretch. Thanks 🙂 **
It’s winter once again, and the vegetable market is flooded with red, juicy carrots! Like most Delhiites, I’m a big fan of carrot halwa and already have a version on my blog that is always a hit, even with those who love dairy. If you are looking for a truly rich and decadent vegan carrot halwa, do try this one.
Years ago, my friend Romit shared with me his method of making a healthy raw vegan version of “cream” by blending tender coconut meat. You could use this “cream” to make a variety of fruit-based desserts like layered parfaits, fruit cream, or soft serves. Even though the idea had been simmering in my mind for a while, I finally got around to trying this only now. And my only regret, as they say, is “why didn’t I do it earlier?” Since tender coconut meat by itself is not sweet enough, I added some dates and raisins to up the sweetness quotient.
Shrikhand is a beloved dish in India and is often enjoyed as a cooling dessert after a spicy meal. It is traditionally made with dairy curd. Thankfully, it is one of those recipes that can be veganized easily! All you have to do is replace the dairy curd with a plant-based one and you’re good to go.
I like to use my thick and creamy homemade cashew curd set with agar agar for making shrikhand. You can also use this homemade almond curd or soy curd. I’m sure store-bought vegan curds would also work well though I haven’t tried any myself. Don’t use any peanut-based curds for sweet dishes; the peanut flavor doesn’t go well in desserts.
This shrikhand takes hardly 10 minutes to whip up once you have the hung curd ready. It is so smooth and velvety and tastes divine! You can also make a luscious “fruit cream” dessert by serving a scoop of this shrikhand over a bowl of chopped assorted fruits like mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, and chiku.
Yields 2 medium servings
Time Taken: 10 minutes (active time) + 3 hours (passive time)
1 Indian teacup = 150 ml
- 5 cups cashew curd/almond curd/soy curd
- 2-3 tablespoons jaggery powder
- A big pinch of green cardamom (choti elaichi) powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped assorted nuts, for garnishing
- Line a large mesh strainer with cotton/muslin cheesecloth. Pour in the curd.
- Bring the four edges of the cloth together and twist gently to drain off the extra whey and make a knot. Place a heavy bowl over it. Now keep the entire thing in the fridge for 4-5 hours.
- Scoop out the thick “hung” curd into a mixer jar. Add jaggery powder and cardamom powder. Blend on the lowest setting for several seconds till the shrikhand achieves a uniform creamy texture. Adjust the sweetness as you go.
- Chill for a few hours and serve garnished with chopped nuts.
- Substitute jaggery powder with date paste for a naturally sweetened version.
- You can use the whey collected to make dals and gravies or to knead the dough for rotis and paratha.
Have you ever tried Italian-style hot chocolate? It’s so thick, smooth, and decadent you could actually eat it for dessert! While I love hot chocolate, it wasn’t until recently that I heard of this version. My friend Arushee sent me a YouTube link for a non-vegan version of this glorious treat. I made a few changes and veganized it. It’s a lovely warming treat to be enjoyed on a rainy or cold day!
The mango season is winding to an end, and I realized I haven’t posted even a single mango-based recipe this year! So, I decided to post something special before we bid adieu to mangoes this year. We are still getting fragrant and luscious Dasheri mangoes in my part of the country and hope you’re getting it too. For the most part, I don’t like adding sugar to fruit-based desserts, but this one is an exception. As much as I love fruity cheesecakes, I make them only occasionally as I haven’t yet figured out how to make healthy fruit-based cheesecakes that are NOT frozen, easy to make, economical, pretty to look at and taste great too. This one ticks all the other boxes except for “healthy” haha! But it’s OK to indulge sometimes, right 🙂 ?!
While I’m not a fan of sweet breakfasts, I can’t deny that a smoothie bowl is one of the most convenient ones to put together on weekdays! I like my bowl with a lot of thick, semi-frozen fruity smoothie topped with chopped fruits and a little granola. Since the store-bought granolas are filled with sugar, I prefer to make my own. Also, I’m not a fan of oats that’s often the main ingredient in most commercial granolas, so I make mine with poha!
I guess this has already been said on my blog a few times, but here it goes again: I was never a “pizza person” in my pre-vegan days. I was, and still am, someone who loves simple north Indian food–on most days, dinner is dal/subzi/roti or a big salad. However, going vegan has definitely made me more adventurous in the kitchen, and nowadays, homemade pizza is one of my favorite things to make when I have visitors. While assembling a pizza with store-bought base (mostly vegan), pizza sauce (vegan options are easily available), and vegan cheese is super simple, there’s certainly a sense of fulfillment in making your own pizza from scratch 🙂
When I first started blogging in February 2018, I promised myself that I would post at least twice every month. And I did–for a few months. One thing I realized only after starting my blog is that blogging is hard work. It isn’t “all fun & little work” as I had once imagined it to be. I mean, blogging is fun, there’s no denying that. However, it takes discipline and commitment to maintaining a blog. You need to show up regularly, and I’m not proud of admitting that I have fallen off the bandwagon more often than I would like to admit.
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Namaste, I'm Namrata :) Glad to see you here at my little blog Of Donkeys & Dhokla which is all about living a happy & fulfilling life as a middle-class vegan in India. Here you will find easy recipes and useful DIYs made with ingredients that are affordable and readily available.