Panir Sabat Moong (mung beans with panir cheese)

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20190404_194309_hdrYet another recipe lifted entire from the pages of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi.

Yamuna’s preface reads “This earthy, high-protein bean dish, typical in the Punjab, is ideal for the cold winter months, and can be the main attraction of lunch. Although it goes well with hot rice, I especially recommend it with hot flatbreads…”.

  • 1 c whole mung, aduki, or urad dal beans
  • 3 c water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • .25-.5 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika
  • .5 tbsp brown sugar, shaved jaggery (Indian cone), or piloncillo (Mexican cone) sugar
  • 1.5 tsp finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root
  • 6 tbsp ghee, or a mixture of vegetable oil and salted butter
  • 6 oz. fresh panir cheese, cut into half-inch (0.5″) cubes (ed. or more, because more pan-toasted panir is always good)
  • .5 tsp cumin seeds
  • .25-.5 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 medium firm ripe tomatoes, diced (or one 14.5 oz can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes)
  • 3 tbsp yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley or coriander
  • 6 lemon or lime wedges or twists (for garnishing)
  • 6 tomato flowers (for garnishing)
  1. Sort and wash the beans. Place the beans in a bowl, cover with at least 1.5 inches of hot water, and soak at least 5 hours or overnight. Drain.
  2. Bring 3 cubs of water to a boil in a heavy 2-3 quart/liter saucepan over high heat. Add the turmeric, cayenne or paprika, sweetener, ginger root, and 1 tbsp of the ghee. Add the beans, reduce the heat to low, and partially cover. Gently simmer for 1-1.25 hrs or until the beans are butter-soft but not mashed or broken. Remove from the heat. Place 1 c of the cooked beans and liquid in a blender or food professor and blend until smooth. Pour this paste back into the pot of beans.
  3. Heat the remaining ghee in a wok or trying pan over moderate heat. When it is hot, add the cheese cubes and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, constantly turning the cubes to brown them evenly on all sides. As they turn crisp and golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and drop them into the cooked beans.
  4. Fry the cumin seeds until they turn brown. Toss in the asafoetida powder and garam masala and immediately add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they dry into a thick, moist paste that separates from the ghee. Scrape the tomatoes into the cooked beans, add the yogurt or sour crea and salt, and gently mix.
  5. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with lemon juice and minced herb. If desired, drizzle with melted ghee or butter. Serve with lemon or lime wedges or twists, alternating them with small tomato flowers, arranged around the edge of the serving dish.

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This recipe was adapted from the original found on p. 77 of Yamuna Devi’s indispensible “Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking.”


For the beans:

  • 2.5c dried red kidney beans
  • 6c water
  • 1 small cassia or bay leaf
  • .25tsp turmeric
  • .25 tsp cayenne or paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee

Remaining ingredients:

  • 2.5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • .5 tsp fennel seeds
  • .5 tsp ajwain seeds (aka Bishop’s Weed)
  • 2-3 tbsp scraped, finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root
  • .5c water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 5 tbsp ghee or peanut oil
  • Fresh paneer cheese (6-12 oz)
  • 4 medium firm ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • .25c chopped fresh parsley or coriander

Soak the kidney beans in 4 cups of water for at least 7 hours or overnight at room temperature.

Drain the beans in a colander, collecting the soaking water in a bowl. Add enough cold water to make 6 cubs and put it along with the beans and the other ingredients for cooking them, in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and gently simmer over low heat for 1.5-3 hours or until the beans are soft and tender but not broken down.

Mash .75c of the cooked beans to a puree. The cooking liquid should be quite thick. If not, ladle out the tender beans with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Gently boil the sauce until it is reduced until about 1.5c. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and the ajwain seeds in an electric coffee mill or a stone mortar and pestle and reduce them to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl.

Place the ginger root and .5c of water in a blender, cover and blend on high speed until the mixture is a smooth liquid. Pour it into the powdered spices and add the garam masala, turmeric, salt, and lemon or lime juice, then stir. The mixture should have the consistency of thin cream. Add water if it is too thick.

Heat 5 tbsp ghee or oil in a 3-4 qt casserole or nonstick heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When it is hot, drop in the paneer cheese and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes, carefully turning the cubes with a spatula or spoon until they are browned on all sides. As the cubes brown, transfer them to a dish.

Pour the spice paste into the ghee or oil and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 8 minutes more or until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick paste and the ghee or oil separates from the mixture.

Add the whole cooked beans, mashed beans, fried cheese cubes, and 1.5c of the cooking liquid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Before serving, stir in 1 tbsp of ghee or butter and the minced herb.

I have omitted some of the pressure-cooker instructions from the original.

Mac’n’Yease: An Attempt at the Plum Bistro Classic

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There are a lot of takes on the ‘problem’ of vegan mac & cheese, but local vegan bistro Plum has it dialed in just right. Here’s another blogger’s effort to deconstruct the recipe, with photos.

The Dough Also Rises


In early August, I had my first experience of Plum, the fabulous Seattle vegan restaurant. I had never heard of Plum until some Amazon browsing brought me to their new cookbook. I was so excited about the look of the cookbook and the food that I bought the cookbook before ever visiting the restaurant. Now having eaten at Plum and cooked from the book, I can fully vouch for both.

Anyone who knows Plum also knows their classic dish: Mac’n’Yease (a vegan macaroni and cheese). I am not one of these in-the-know folks, but luckily I had my friend LJ there to fill me in on its infamy. In fact, it’s such a well-known Plum specialty that they don’t even give away the recipe in the cookbook…which led to this weekend’s culinary adventure. LJ and I, who had brainstormed the recipe together, made it as a special treat for…

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Herb, Chard & Feta Soup

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A recipe from Bon Appetit. Our end result was creamy; redolent of mint.



    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 pound Swiss chard leaves (center ribs and stems removed) or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
    • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
    • 1 tablespoon dried mint
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    • 5 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and mint), divided
    • 4 ounces feta, crumbled, divided Note: The tangier the better: look for goat or sheep’s milk feta.
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Fresh lemon juice (optional)
    • Olive oil (optional)


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft (do not brown), 7–8 minutes. Stir in chard, broth, parsley, cilantro, fresh and dried mint, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing. Note: I carefully processed the entire batch in the pot using an immersion blender.

Place 1/3 of yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm soup; whisk until smooth. Repeat process twice more, adding a total of 1 cup more soup. Whisk yogurt mixture into soup in saucepan. Stir 1/4 cup herbs and half of feta into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining 1/4 cup herbs and 2 oz. feta. Drizzle with oil, if desired.

Vegetarian Chard Soup

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Vegetarian Chard Soup, recipe courtesy

Just made a pot of this to stave off the chill of a rapidly-advancing Northwest fall. Utilizing a convenient mix of prepared and fresh foods, this soup (found at was quick, easy, and delicious.


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 large chard leaves, stalks separated (leaves should be in 1- to 3-inch pieces, stalks sliced to ¼-½ inch pieces)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth/stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini (or any white) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: Parmesan cheese, grated


  • Sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add chard stalks, stir and sauté until they are starting to get soft. Add garlic and chard leaves. {See my note below. I would add the stalks here, but save the leaves for later.} Cover and stir occasionally, cook on medium heat for 10-15 min. (until the leaves begin to shrink).
  • Add stock/broth, tomatoes, beans and potato, plus 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes, uncovered.
  • Add 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Portion into bowls, and once served, top with grated Parmesan cheese.


  • I ran my immersion blender through the soup for :15-:30s or so to produce a richer broth; was quite pleased with the result.

Corn Basil Cakes

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Corn Basil Cakes - Recipe courtesy PCC Natural Markets
Corn Basil Cakes – Recipe courtesy PCC Natural Markets


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • High-heat oil, for cooking


Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs and butter, stirring just enough to combine. Fold in corn, basil, Parmesan and shallot.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and coat with a thin layer of oil. Drop batter by the 1/4 cup into the skillet, cooking until cakes are golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes per side.


Basil is the featured flavor of this dish, so nothing less than lots of fresh basil will do. We fried these in just a little olive oil and they came out fine. Peanut oil would work every bit as well too IMO.

Fresh basil tofu stir fry

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Spicy Fresh Basil Tofu Stir Fry
Spicy Fresh Basil Tofu Stir Fry

I had a pound of fried Than Son tofu from Uwajimaya in my fridge at risk of becoming un-fresh, a basil plant in need of debushing, and a son demanding something stir-fried on the double. A quick scan of available tofu fresh basil stir fry recipes revealed this gem, which I adapted for our purposes. The original includes a mess of greens in lieu of the carrots & green beans I had on hand, which also sounds good.

Spicy Fresh Basil Tofu Stir Fry


  • 500-750g fried ‘restaurant style’ tofu (or an equivalent amount of fresh firm pressed, cut into 1.5″ cubes, and fried in hot peanut oil until golden & crisp)
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 large red chilies, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 200g carrot, sliced
  • 200g green beans, trimmed
  • .5 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 c. light soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1/4 c. Mirin
  • 1 c. basil leaves, chopped
  • cooked brown rice Note: I use Gen-Ji-Mai Quick Cooking Nutri-Whole Grain Premium Brown Rice b/c it doesn’t send my Type 1 Diabetic daughter’s blood glucose through the roof.


  1. Steam the carrots and green beans 5m.
  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet (or non stick frying pan or large wok) over high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the fried tofu and cook just 3-4 minutes or until becomes golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil, chili, garlic, ginger and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Return the tofu to the pan and add the carrots & green beans; stir fry until up-to-temperature.
  4. Add the soy sauce, stock and wine. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Note: Add a little ( .5 tsp) corn starch if the sauce takes too long to thicken.
  5. Top with the basil and serve over brown rice.

Serves 4.


  1. 1 c. Gen-Ji-Mai Quick Cooking Nutri-Whole Grain Premium Brown Rice (2*.25c uncooked is 2*.5 cooked) 70g CHO; 4g fiber; 2g total fat; 6g protein
  2. 250g fried tofu 25g CHO; 0g fiber; 18g total fat; 31g protein
  3. 1/16 c. Mirin 3.5g CHO; 0g fiber; 0g total fat; 0g protein
  4. 1/8 c. vegetable stock .5g CHO; .5g fiber; 0g total fat; 0g protein
  5. 1/16 c. soy sauce 0g CHO; 0g fiber; 0g fat; 2g protein
  6. 50g carrot 4g CHO; 1.5g fiber; 0g fat; .5g protein
  7. 50g green beans 3.5 g CHO;  1.5g fiber; 0g fat; .5g protein
  8. 106g CHO;   7.5G fiber;   20g total fat;   40g protein

Vegan fish sauce recipe

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Finally, a suitably pungent vegan fish sauce! Our thanks to the informed bloggers at The Kitchn for the R&D and the recommendation. I’m making some alongside a batch of seitan I’m making later this weekend; surely enjoying vegan pad thai come Monday.

Vegan Fish Sauce
(makes about 3 cups)

1 1/2 cups shredded seaweed (I use wakame)
6 cups water
6 fat cloves garlic, crushed but not peeled
1 T peppercorns
1 cup mushroom soy sauce
1 T miso

Combine wakame, garlic, peppercorns and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Strain and return the liquid back to the pot. Add soy sauce, bring back to a boil and cook until mixture is reduced and almost unbearable salty. Remove from heat and stir in miso.

Decant into a bottle and keep in the refrigerator. Use one-for-one to replace fish sauce in vegan recipes.

A world of difficult-to-reproduce-as-vegan dishes from southeast Asia come a little closer to a delicious reality.

A new seitan recipe, this for a lighter-colored end product

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The things you find on the intertubes. I’m going to try this as a light seitan, visually more chicken-y than my dark, tamari-infused version.

Seitan for the Rest of Us

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten (approx. 10 oz)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 1 Tbsp. Better than Boullion, chicken flavor (or three faux-chicken boullion cubes)
  • 1 Tbsp. white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely grated
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl, and wet ingredients (including the garlic and lemon zest) in another bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture a bit at a time until it’s all combined. Knead very gently, just enough to combine the ingredients. Form the dough into a log or ball and let it rest for five minutes. Wrap the dough tightly in aluminum foil, twisting each end like a candy wrapper. Place the wrapped dough on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes.

via Gardein, My New Back-Up When the Seitan Gets Too Ruff.

Hijiki Tofu Burgers with brown rice & carrot ginger dressing (ala Dojo Restaurant; NYC)

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Tofu Hijiki Burger with Brown Rice, Salad, and Carrot Ginger Dressing from the world-famous Dojo Restaurant in New York City, NY, USA.

Adapted from Moosewood’s adaptation of the Hijiki Tofu Burger at the world-famous Dojo Restaurant in New York City. This is one of the best vegetarian meals I’ve ever had, and has always been. During my short stay in NYC I divided my scant food budget between Dojo and Sonar Gaow, an inexpensive Indian place on 6th Street in the East Village.

Tofu Hijiki Burger
  • 1/4 c dried hijiki
  • 1 c carrot, grated
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 oz firm tofu, pressed
  • 1/2 c scallions, minced
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 c light miso (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  1. Set the hijiki to soak in a bowl of lukewarm water
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Generously oil a baking sheet.
  3. Sauté carrots, garlic and ginger in the oil for 5 min, until carrots are limp.
  4. Mash or crumble tofu into fine but not insubstantial pieces (equivalent to a .25″ dice).
  5. Add cooked carrots, scallions, sesame seeds, miso and sesame oil to the tofu; stir well.
  6. Drain the hijiki well and stir into mixture.
  7. Using about 1/2 c per burger, form the mixture into flat, disc-shaped patties. (You may take this opportunity to lightly oil the patties, as with a spray of olive oil, to help them brown in the oven).
  8. Bake until firm and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce) – use gluten-free if that’s a concern for you
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Blend everything in a food processor until smooth. Keeps in the fridge a few days but you may have to remix it as the oil may separate.