Homemade almond milk, especially when extracted from the “desi” variety, makes for a delightful alternative to dairy milk with its mild sweetness and delicate nutty flavor. While preparing almond milk is a simple process, it’s an entirely different story when it comes to setting curd. I was not able make a decent batch of almond curd until I discovered this magical ingredient called agar agar or China grass, a vegan alternative to gelatin that’s derived from red algae. Interestingly, as I read more about the ingredient, I realized that agar agar—an exciting new discovery for me, a Delhiite—has been commonly used in the southern part of India for several decades! Agar agar helps to stabilize and thicken the almond milk, yielding soft, mildly tangy, perfectly set curd.
I made this vegan strawberry cheesecake to celebrate my blog’s birthday in February 2020. However, I forgot to post the recipe! A couple of days ago, a friend asked if I had any intention of sharing the recipe or not, and it suddenly hit me that it’s actually been a full ten months since I made the cheesecake featured here. So, here we go without any further delay!
As of today, I use only dates and jaggery as sweeteners in my recipes, but this cheesecake was developed way back when I was fine with eating white sugar occasionally. You can use bura or khand (unrefined/raw sugar) instead. I love cooking with strawberries; the sweet, fruity aroma of strawberries stewing in their own juice makes your kitchen smell so heavenly! Even though this dessert looks kinda “fancy,” it is very easy to make and a crowd-pleaser. This recipe has been successfully taste-tested on picky-eating non-vegans who actually went for seconds, so go ahead and make a batch if you have guests coming over 🙂
So, my friend Pareen and I decide to get together and bake a cake in her kitchen for her parents who happen to be non-vegans. I am thinking of baking my regular chocolate cake when her mom announces that she doesn’t like chocolate cake. Uh oh. I can’t think of any other version that could be baked without prior preparation.
“Now what?” I ask Pareen. “Let’s make a marble cake,” she says. “Marble cake?! Sounds too fancy, uh?!” I give her a bewildered look. She smiles gently. “It’s simple,” she continues, “You just tell me how to make vanilla cake batter and chocolate cake batter, and I’ll take care of the marbling.” Now… I only know how to make a chocolate cake and have never made a vanilla cake before! However, given the situation, I don’t have any option other than coming up with one on the spot. Thankfully, things work out in our favor and the resultant cake is loved by her parents. For the marble cake recipe + more awesome vegan stuff, follow Pareen’s Instagram handle Pareen’s Plant Based Living.
Imagine a homemade vegan frosting that tastes like “kaju katli & marzipan in a creamy form” 🙂 That’s exactly what this Vegan Vanilla Cashew Cream tastes like, according to a Facebook friend. Thanks for putting it so nicely—I couldn’t have said it better!
Smooth, decadent, delicately flavored and mildly sweetened, this vegan vanilla frosting is something you can whip up in a matter of minutes provided you have soaked cashews in hand. While a few varieties of dairy-free frosting are readily available in the market, they’re often loaded with preservatives, emulsifiers, and palm oil. I’d rather make my own frosting as it’s so easy to make and hardly takes a couple of minutes. Plus, it’s so creamy & tasty 🙂 This is the frosting I slather on my Vegan Vanilla Cake that’s pretty much a hit with both vegans and non-vegans.
Note: Try this Vegan Pan Pizza if you don’t have an oven.
Making a vegan pizza at home is very easy–and a lot of fun! You can assemble one in no time if you are using store-bought pizza bases, ready-made vegan pizza sauce, and a commercial vegan cheese. However, if you’re unable to get any of these in the markets or would like to make a pizza from scratch, then also it’s not a major chore. Making a homemade pizza is a process I thoroughly enjoy, and I’m sure you would too 🙂
Full of crunchy nuts, sweet bits of dried fruits and nutrition-packed seeds, trail mixes are among the perfect snacks to keep in the kitchen–just grab a healthy handful whenever you’re hungry between meals instead of munching on unhealthy snacks. Homemade trail mixes are way better than store-bought ones for many reasons. Not only can you customize them to your preferences, but you can also keep a tab on the amounts of oil, salt, and sugar that goes into them.
Baking a chocolate cake is one of my absolute favorite things to do 🙂 !! I find the entire process so therapeutic, starting from preparing the wet ingredients, sifting the flour, mixing the batter, and then lovingly putting the cake tin into the warm, pre-heated oven with a heart full of hope that it would turn out good. Baking something chocolaty always puts me in a happy mental space, a blissful, “vibey” state of mind I wish I could sustain forever… And that feeling when someone arrives at your door when the oven is doing her magic and says, “Wow! What’s baking? Smells so divine!” So heart-meltingly precious, right 🙂 ??
If you’re someone who loves to host get-togethers, potlucks, and fun, casual parties at your place, then this recipe is dedicated to you 🙂
This delicious pasta bake with a creamy “cheese” sauce and a delightfully crispy breadcrumb topping is a certified crowd-pleaser that’s super easy to make. However, what I love the most about this dish is that you can prepare it several hours in advance. Just keep it in the fridge for up to a day in advance and bake just before serving. So convenient, right? You can also easily double the recipe if desired.
In July 2019, I volunteered for some time at Peepal Farm in Dhanotu, where I met some really wonderful people from different parts of the world. I developed an especially close friendship with this lovely lady from Argentina—Josefina—who felt like someone I have known forever despite hailing from a culture so different from the one I was raised in. I left the farm a few days before she did, and we promised to keep in touch.
She visited Delhi in late September and we were both delighted to meet again! I wanted to impress her (ahem!) with an Indian meal. She loves tofu, so a tofu-based dish was naturally on the menu. I remembered she had once talked fondly about having “chopped vegetables floating in a cold yogurt sauce” on her previous visit to India before she went vegan. Of course, I knew what she was referring to & decided to make her a vegan version (my specialty—yayy! I’ll impress this lady!!) And since I’m really bad at making rotis, I wasn’t taking any chance (NOT with this woman!) and chose to go the safe way with a simple veggie pulao.
A few months ago, I read about the health benefits of sunflower seeds for the first time. They are chock-full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and are a good source of fiber, essential fatty acids, and minerals like zinc and manganese. I felt it would be good to start including sunflower seeds in my diet. Since I often eat granola or muesli with milk, I thought of making sunflower seed milk for my breakfast. Besides being vegan and healthy, this milk is also suitable for those who are allergic to tree nuts.
Sunflower seed milk has got a mild nutty flavor and a barely-there floral undertone. It tastes good chilled, flavored with a pinch of elaichi powder; poured over cereal/granola; or blended with fruits into a smoothie. You can also sweeten it with date paste if desired.