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August 17, 2015

If you want to try something new this week, get inspired by Nisha Katona’s indian dishes: two delicious gluten free vegetarian recipes that you can easily prepare using any combination of vegetables.

by Nisha Katona

Vegetable Bhajis (or Vegetable “Offcut” Bhajis)
These golden nuggets of nutty spiced sweet warmth are a great way of using up the bits of vegetables that don’t make the beauty contest grade. My mother’s favourite participants are the stalks of broccoli and cauliflower and the leaves from the top of beetroot and radish. The truth is that soft, limp, fridge weary vegetables perks up to crisp and flavourful when prepared this way. These bhajis can be made in advance and simply reheated and crisped up in the oven. They also freeze brilliantly.  The added advantage is they are completely gluten free and technically vegan! How healthy is that!

broccoli bhaji
Vegetable Bhajis

Ingredients: 1 Cup of Gram Flour; 1/4 teaspoon on baking powder; 2 heaped teaspoons garamasala; 1 teaspoon; ground coriander; water ; vegetable or groundnut oil; salt to taste; coriander leaf; 1 chopped green chili or a touch of chili powder; shards of vegetable roughly cut into any size.


  • Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl except for the vegetables. Add enough water to make a mixture of the consistency of thick pancake batter. The mixture should be just thick enough NOT to drop too quickly off the spoon.
  • Add in your chopped vegetables, chopped coriander leaf and chili.
  • Heat the oil and drop spoonfuls of the mixture in to deep fry. When they are evenly golden, they are done.

You can find the video lesson of this recipe on Nisha Katona’s website.

Gluten- Free Tangy Cumin Vegetable Curry
This is a staple dish in many Indian households, where no part of the vegetable is wasted. Stalks, leaves, seed pods are all valued and treated as main ingredients. In a hot and arid subcontinent, vegetables are not picture perfect and the citrus perfumed cumin can transform the humblest vegetable. A very common method for producing ‘tang’ in curry is adding dilute English mustard paste to a dish. The heady dramatic flavours in this curry turn tired wilted vegetables into a centrepiece dish.

Ingredients: Assorted vegetables cut into 1 inch chunks; 1 tbsp vegetable or ground nut oil; 1 teaspoon cumin seeds; 1/2 teaspoon turmeric ; 1/4 teaspoon chili powder; 1/2 tin chopped tomato; 1 heaped dessert spoon of English mustard paste watered down into 1/4 of a cup; salt; 1/2 teaspoon sugar; 1/4 cup of cashew nuts (optional); chopped coriander leaf to garnish


  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they finish frying, add the vegetable chunks, prioritizing  the tougher vegetables.
  • Once they begin to soften, add the turmeric,chili, salt and sugar.
  • After about 5 minutes add the tomato and simmer the dish until the hardest vegetable is cooked to your taste.  If you wish to add cashew nuts, do so now.
  • Add the mustard paste and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander, if you have it.

This can be served as a main course with rice/chapattis/wraps or as a side dish with any meal.

You can find the video lesson of this recipe on Nisha Katona’s website.

About the Author: Nisha Katona is a food writer, Indian Cookery teacher and founder of Mowgli pataks_nisha_squar_2852765bStreet food. She has series of Youtube video tutorials that have a worldwide following. She has over  22000 twitter followers for her daily recipes and live Curry Clinics. She has recently worked on a filming project with Food Network. Professionally Nisha has worked as a Barrister for over 20 years in the area of Child Protection. In 2008 the Department of Culture, Media and Sport appointed her as trustee of National Museums Liverpool and in 2009, the Cabinet Office appointed her as an Ambassador for Diversity in Public Appointments, and in this capacity has been engaged as an expert advisor by The Guardian newspaper.

Pimp My Rice_Cover_WEL

Nisha Katona
Pimp my Rice
Available from Nourish Books from October 2015
Pre-order on Amazon.


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