From our collection

Dinabandhu dasa
Puranjana Becomes a Woman, 1996, oil on canvas,
74 x 100 cm

(click image for more information)

  1. Saffron Rice with Cheese Balls
  2. Fried Cabbage and Potatoes
  3. Vegetable Turnovers
  4. Semolina Pudding
  5. Apple Pudding Cake
  6. Rhubarb Cake

1.Saffron Rice with Cheese Balls Kesar Paneer Pulao

350 g white basmati rice
50 g raisins
200 g pressed paneer (homemade cheese – recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron
2 teaspoons brown sugar
150 ml warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
700 ml water
50 g blanched almonds or cashews, toasted
3 teaspoons salt

• For paneer:
2 l whole milk
5 tablespoons lemon juice

First prepare the paneer. Heat the milk over medium heat in a pot large enough to allow the milk to rise as it boils without overflowing. While waiting for the milk to boil, line a strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and sit it atop a large bowl so you can collect the wheyafter the curds separate.
When the milk begins to rise, stir in the lemon juice. The curd-cheese (paneer) will begin to separate from the whey. Stir gently in one direction until the whey is clear and all the curds have separated. (If the whey is not yet clear, add a little more lemon juice and stir again.) Remove from heat and gently pour both curds and whey into the strainer. Collect the curds in the cheesecloth and rinse them under cold water for half a minute to make them firmer and to remove the lemon juice. Then press the cheesecloth-wrapped curds to remove any remaining liquid.

Wash the rice, soak it for 15 to 20 minutes in cold water, and then let drain. In the meantime, knead the paneer until it is soft, and roll it into small balls, or press it into a rectangle and cut it into cubes. Deep fry the paneer balls or cubes until they are browned all over. Drain.

Dissolve the saffron and sugar in the warm milk and add the raisins and deep-fried cheese to soak. Then melt a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir-fry the rice for 2 minutes. When the grains become lightly toasted, pour the water and salt into the rice, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to very low and steam, covered, for 10 minutes. After scooping the cheese out of the saffron milk, remove the lid and gently stir in the saffron milk mixture and the nuts. Be careful not to break the grains. Cover the pot again and steam for 10 more minutes until the rice is completely cooked. Then remove the lid and allow any remaining water to evaporate before turning off the heat.

Finally, dot the rice with butter and gently mix with a fork. Garnish with the cheese balls and serve hot.

Buy The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking here.


2. Fried Cabbage and Potatoes – Bandgobhi Alu Sabji

450 g cabbage
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, ca. 7 cm long
4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
150 ml water

Wash and shred the cabbage and let it drain. Grind the cloves, cardamom seeds (removed from the pods), and cinnamon stick into a fine powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the ghee or vegetable oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Drop in the cubed potatoes and stir-fry, scraping the bottom of the pan frequently, until the potatoes are lightly browned. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of ghee or oil into the saucepan, followed by the grated ginger, cayenne pepper, and turmeric. Fry for a few seconds, and then add the shredded cabbage. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring to incorporate the spices and to prevent scorching. Add the tomatoes, fried potatoes, salt, sugar, and water. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat until all the vegetables are tender. Before serving, sprinkle the vegetables with the previously prepared ground spices and mix gently.

Buy The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking here.


3. Vegetable Turnovers - Samosas

400 g white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 g melted butter or ghee
150 ml cold water
2 or 3 medium-sized potatoes
200 g fresh peas
1/2 cauliflower, broken into flowerets
4 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
ghee for deep-frying

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and dribble the melted butter or ghee over the top. Rub the butter or ghee into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Slowly mix in the water and gather the flour together to make a dough. Knead vigorously for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft but doesn't stick on your fingers. If it is sticky, add a little more flour. If it is too dry, add a little more water, a few drops at a time, until the dough is smooth. Gather the dough into a ball, sprinkle with a few drops of water, and cover with a damp cloth while you prepare the filling.

Peel the potatoes and dice them. Either grate the cauliflower flowerets through the largest holes of a metal grater or cut them into tiny flowerets. Boil the peas until they are tender; drain and set aside.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the cumin and fenugreek seeds in 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil. When they begin to darken a shade, toss in the grated ginger and the powdered spices and fry for a few seconds more. Add the potato cubes and stir-fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and continue to stir-fry for another 3 or 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and steam the vegetables for about 15 minutes, until they are tender (watch closely to prevent burning). Stir the peas into the mixture, season with the salt and pepper, then spread the contents of the pan on a clean surface to cool quickly while you roll out the dough.

Dust the rolling surface with flour. Form the dough into 10 balls. Roll out each to create a 15-cm circle. Slice each circle in half. Taking each half-circle, moisten the edge of its straight side from the center to one end. Bring the two ends of the straight side together to form a cone. Firmly press the dry side over the wet side to seal. Stuff the cone two-thirds full with the vegetables. Close the opening either by pinching and folding the two edges together to form a pleated top, or simply crimp closed.

Heat the ghee or oil in a deep-frying vessel over medium heat. Fry a few samosas at a time for 10 to 15 minutes, turning them often until both sides are golden brown. Remove and drain.

Buy The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking here.


4. Semolina Pudding - Suji ka Halava

650 ml water, milk, or a mixture of both
300 g sugar

10 saffron strands (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
35 g raisins
35 g hazelnuts
200 g butter
225 g semolina or farina

Combine the liquid, sugar, saffron, and nutmeg in a saucepan and boil for 1 minute. Add the raisins, lower the heat, and let simmer. Lightly deep-fry the nuts. Then chop them coarsely and set them aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the semolina and toast, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1015 minutes or until the semolina is golden brown and the butter begins to separate from the grains. Lower the heat. Now slowly pour the sweetened liquid into the grains with one hand while stirring with the other. Be careful! The mixture will sputter as the liquid hits the hot grains. Stir briskly for a moment to break up any lumps. Stir in the chopped nuts. Cover and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed into the grains and the grains begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Finally, give the halava a few quick stirs to fluff it up. Serve the halava hot or at room temperature.

Buy The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking here.


5. Apple Pudding Cake

150 g butter
300 g plain flour
150 g caster sugar
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or double cream

1 kg cooking apples
150 g sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
a pinch of ground cloves
the rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange, finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
100 g cornflour

1 quantity Chantilly Cream, mixed with a few drops bitter almond essence (see below)
50 g chopped or sliced almonds

•Chantilly Cream:
250 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

•Cake tin: one 25-cm round spring-clip tin, greased and floured
•Oven temperature: 180ºC
•Baking time: 10 minutes plus 15–20 minutes

Start by preparing the Chantilly cream. All the ingredients and utensils should be ice cold. Beat the whipping cream. When it begins to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla essence. Beat until the cream is thick and stands in peaks. Fold in a tablespoonful of cold milk and mix slowly and carefully until the cream is smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.

Prepare the pastry: rub the butter into the flour with fingertips until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. Add the sugar and cream and draw the mixture together into a dough. Press just over half the pastry into the bottom of the prepared tin. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Peel, core, and chop the apples. Cook them over low heat until soft. Mash and then allow them to cool. Mix in sugar, spices, rind, vanilla, and cornflour. Heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Press the rest of the pastry up the sides of the cooled tin. Spoon the apple mixture into the tin and bake for another 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Spread with the Chantilly cream and sprinkle the almonds on top.

Buy The Book of Eggfree Cakes here.


6. Rhubarb Cake (vegan)

100 g butter or vegetable margarine
150 g caster sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
200 g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
200 ml milk or soya milk
2 cups rhubarb pieces, cut into pieces 1.5 cm long

50 g flour
50 g caster sugar
25 g butter or vegetable margarine
50 g chopped almonds

•Cake tin: 25-cm round spring-clip tin, greased and floured
•Oven temperature: 180ºC
•Baking time: 45 minutes

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add vanilla essence, if using. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and vanilla sugar, if using. In alternate turns, gradually mix in the milk and the butter mixture. Turn into the prepared tin and cover with the rhubarb pieces.

To make the topping, mix the flour, sugar, and butter together and crumble over the rhubarb. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve plain or, on special occasions, with whipped cream.

Buy The Book of Eggfree Cakes here.