Indian Vegetarian Cooking Recipes

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Basic Vegetarian Recipes


Chilli Chutney Recipe - Home Made

A simple and easy chilli chutney recipe. (Eat your heart out Jamie Oliver!).

4 Ripe Tomatoes Halved
2 Small Red Onions Chopped Finely
2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
4 Teaspoons Grated Root Ginger
1/2 Cup Lime Juice
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
4 Chillies Chopped Finely or Prepared Chillis
You can buy all the ingredients at your local supermarket!
Preheat oven to hot and place the halved tomatoes, cut side up on a lightly oiled oven tray. Bake for around 30 minutes and allow to cool slightly. Chop them roughly. In a saucepan combine all the ingredients, stirring over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a simmer (uncovered) until thickened.

Imlee / Tamarind Juice

What is Tamarind? - Tamarind Tamarindus indica whos name comes from the Arabic: tamar hind meaning "Indian date". The Tamarind is a tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon, having only a single species. The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are used extensively in cuisines around the world.


3oz / 75g / ½ cup dried tamarind
8 fl oz / 225 ml / 1 cup hot water


1. Soak the tamarind in the water for about 30 minutes.

2. Squeeze well to draw out all the pulp. Strain and use as required.

By adjusting the amount of water you can change the consistency.

Onion Mixture


2 large onions
3 tomatoes
½ in / 3 ½ cm root ginger
5 cloves of garlic
3-4 green chilies
4 tsp white vinegar


Blend all the ingredients together until you have a smooth paste. Poor into an airtight bottle and keep in the refrigerator until needed. It will keep for up to two weeks.

Dahi /Yogurt


2 pints / 1.15 litres / 5 cups
2½ tsp yogurt


1. Bring the milk to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Let it cool so that it just feels warm.

2. Place the yogurt in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly add in the lukewarm milk and stir gently. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place overnight. Chill.

Roasted Cumin


2 tbsp whole cumin seeds


1. Place the cumin seeds in a small pan over a medium heat and dry roast them, stirring constantly. The seeds will turn a few shades darker. (Take care not to burn them).

2. Cool and grind. Store in a spice bottle until required. Coriander seeds and dried red chilies can be roasted and ground in a similar manner and stored.

Panir / Home made cottage cheese

What is Panir / Paneer? - Paneer is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. It is of Indian origin often referred in the Vedas dating back to 6000 BC. In eastern parts of India, it is generally called Chhena. It is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar, or any other food acids.

Unlike many cheeses in the world, the making of paneer does not involve rennet as the coagulation agent, thus making it completely lacto-vegetarian and providing one of the sources of protein for vegetarians in India. It is generally unsalted.


6 pints / 3½ litres / 15 cups
7 fl oz / 200 ml / scant cup warm water
3 fl oz / 75 ml / ⅜ cup white vinegar


1. Bring the milk to boil, stirring constantly, over high heat. Remove from heat.

2. Combine he water and vinegar.

3. Slowly add the vinegar solution to the boiled milk. As soon as the milk curdles do not add any more.

4. Put three to four layers of cheesecloth on a sieve and strain the curdled milk. Tie up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Hang it up to drain thoroughly. Use in savoury and sweet dishes. Makes 21 oz / 575 g / approx 3½ cups panir.

Garam Masala

What is Garam Masala? The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with wide variety across India. Varying combinations of these and other spices are used in different garam masala recipes in accordance to region and personal taste, and none is considered more authentic than another. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together.

A typical Indian version of garam masala is: black & white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black & white cumin seeds, black, brown & green, cardamom pods.


3 tbsp cardamom seeds
3 x 1 in / 2½ cinnamon sticks
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp cloves
¼ of a nutmeg


Grind all the spices together until they are finely ground. Store in a spice bottle until required. (The ingredients may be added in different proportions to suit individual tastes).

Ghee / Clarified Butter

What is Ghee? - Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in South Asia and is commonly used in South Asian (Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Pakistani) cuisine and ritual.


1 lb / 450 g unsalted butter


1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the white residue turns golden and settles at the bottom.

2. Remove from the heat, strain and cool.

3. Pour into an airtight container and store in a cool place.


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Read about Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Sumana Ray

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