plans vegan

CUCUMBER + MINT RAITA

Serves 4 as a side (and can be doubled easily)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, plus extra to serve
½ cucumber, plus extra to serve (about 4 ounces)
1 generous cup plain Greek yogurt
large handful fresh mint leaves, shredded
1/3 teaspoon salt

Place a frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for 3 to 4 minutes, until chocolate colored, shaking the pan every now and then to ensure they toast evenly. Then lightly grind with a mortar and pestle.

Grate the cucumber and place in a sieve. Squeeze out as much water as you can over the sink, and put the cucumber in a bowl.

Add the yogurt, mint leaves, salt, and ½ teaspoon of the cumin. Mix together, then grate a little cucumber over the top and sprinkle with a little more cumin before serving.

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FRESH PICKLED TURMERIC

This is a great delicacy, and also a pickle with a purpose. Turmeric has been heralded as a hero in the kitchen, a fighter against all ills. A little of this earthy pickle on your plate will go a long way. Watch out when you’re cooking with it, though: turmeric will stain everything bright yellow, so wear gloves and an apron or face the consequences.

Makes a small jar (8 ounces)

4 ounces fresh turmeric root
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

Scrape off the turmeric skin with a teaspoon or a vegetable peeler, then cut the root into very thin slices. Place in a sterilized jar along with the lemon juice, salt, and ½ cup water. Although this is a fresh pickle, it will last for a month or two in the fridge.

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FRESH COCONUT CHUTNEY

Fresh, creamy, hot, and the perfect accompaniment to the dosas here and here. This is a fresh chutney, so it won’t keep long and ideally needs to be made on the day of eating.

NOTE: You will need a blender for this recipe.

Serves 2

1 Indian green chile
1¾ cups fresh coconut (see here)
¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
10 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender with 2/3 cup of hot water, and taste. It should be creamy and sweet, with a balanced level of salt and a soft heat, so adjust as you wish before serving.

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