Inspiration for Vegetarian Recipes

As you all know, Indian cuisine will always be my favorite cuisine. It will always have a special place in...

As you all know, Indian cuisine will always be my favorite cuisine. It will always have a special place in my heart. However, we are living in different times. Our lifestyle has changed with the emerging culture. The same thing is happening with food. I like that the norms are changing. My family, especially my grandkids, are not happy just with traditional Indian food; they need variety, just like me. I experiment with the different food from different cultures, staying true to my guidelines. Thus, the challenge comes. I have never tried some of these dishes. Finding vegetarian dishes in any given cuisine is not that big of a problem; the problem is finding recipes without onion and garlic. I go on google and YouTube, searching for recipes and creating a dish that makes sense to me. First, I try different sauces. I think that makes it easy to create the dishes for that cuisine. My family gets to try my creations and give me their honest opinions.  They are all brutally honest with their opinions.  Some are hits and some not so much! Believe me, it is not easy to take these hard rejections because I have spent many hours on making these recipes.  Italian is easy; they like marinara sauce, white sauce, pesto, all of which can be used in so many different dishes. I am also very fond of Mexican cuisine! Using salsa and enchilada sauce, many dishes can be made: enchiladas, burritos, taco salad, and many more.   

I also have my version of Asian peanut sauce which tastes great in Asian bowls, salads, and wraps. This is a favorite of my oldest granddaughter! I use these sauces in my recipes while making different dishes. Alex has been asking me to do the videos just for the different sauces just like I do for Indian chutneys. It will be easy to refer to when you are doing the next recipe and don’t have to repeat the sauce again. Keeping that in mind, I just did the recipe for pesto sauce. The next curry sauce I am trying is Thai Red curry sauce.

Manjula Jain



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    March 16, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for all your work.
    Without your site, I’d be much more lost in cooking without onion or garlic.
    I come from a long tradition of Ligurian innowners, whose main sauce is pesto. My great-grandmother apparently used to put one raw garlic clove each in her pesto for every person at the table…my uncle, who is the main cook at the restaurant, does not use it that much but still a lot. After I had to take medications for a health issue I cannot probably go without, if ever, for a long time, I started having stomach problems when eating onion or garlic, which I was used to put everywhere, liberally, the more the merrier. The medications eroded my stomach lining so vegetables from the allium family were hurting my stomach walls. Onion and garlic are a bit indigestible for everybody, but they became painful and very indigestible to me, I had to ditch them. And then I remembered your site. I am extremely grateful to you, Manjula, because substituting onion and garlic is perhaps the most challenging thing in the kitchen! Not going vegetarian or vegan. Now, in a sauce such as tomato sauce, here is what I’d use: a bit of double tomato concentrate, fried in a small pool of oil, a soffritto made of fennel bulb, celery and carrot, fresh bay leaf, a very small splash of balsamic vinegar to enhance the taste, a pinch of sugar (preferably brown) if needed. Dried porcini mushrooms are very flavorful and can be added if soaked, as well as the soaking water if needed. It’s like a bit of a concentrated broth.

      Manjula Jain
      March 20, 2021 at 11:16 am

      Thanks and I will try some of your suggestion

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