Asian favourites - made vegan
Author, blogger and social media foodie Sasha Gill writes from a firmly-held conviction that we can all benefit from a little bit of vegan in our lifestyle.
Sasha Gill was attracted to vegetarianism as a teenager for health reasons and has made a gradual transition into veganism. She is not a vegan evangelist, but does believe that everyone, at some time, can benefit from an aspect of vegan in their life, for their own health and that of the planet.
Of Indian and Eurasian heritage, when Sasha turned vegan, she didn’t want to miss out on the vibrant flavours of her favourite Asian dishes — so she got to work ‘veganising’ them.
Through constant experimenting, she started to create dishes just as delicious and satisfying as her street-stall favourites and family dinners; only using plants in place of meat and fish.
Studying medicine at Oxford University in the UK, far from her childhood home in Singapore, Sasha understands what it is to be short on time and budget. Most of her recipes don’t take long or demand expensive ingredients.
Jackfruit and Blue Ginger is more than a vegan recipe book —it is a true collection of Asian favourites with a vegan twist. Perfect for fans of books such as Plenty, Bosh!, and Eat Vegan.
Cauliflower samosasThis is the perfect appetiser or snack for when you have friends around — who can say no to a samosa? Sasha’s version is bursting with gloriously-curried cauliflower and peas and, to make things even easier, she uses frozen spring-roll wrappers, which you can find in the freezer aisle of most Asian supermarkets.
Makes 30 small samosas; Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes
4 tablespoons plain flour
10 square wheat spring-roll wrappers, each cut into 3 equal strips
¼ cup (60ml) plant milk (eg coconut milk)
1 tablespoon rice syrup
¼ cup (40g) sesame or poppy seeds, to garnish — optional
Mint chutney or mango chutney, to serve
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cm ginger, finely chopped
2 cups (250g) very finely chopped cauliflower
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ cup (40g) soy mince, prepared
½ cup (75g) frozen peas
½–¾ teaspoon salt
• For the filling, put a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat, then add the oil, mustard, cumin and fennel seeds and fry until fragrant and the mustard seeds start to ‘pop’.
• Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 3–5 minutes until the onions are translucent and you can smell the sizzling garlic.
• Add the cauliflower, curry powder and the drained mince and fry for a further 5 minutes.
• Now add the peas and ¼ cup (60ml) water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the filling is dry and you can see no more water in the pan, about 5–8 minutes.
• Take off the heat, stir in the salt and then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
When you’re ready to assemble the samosas, preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large baking tray.
• Mix the flour with 2½ tablespoons water to make a smooth paste. Fold and fill the samosas, then lay them on the baking tray.
• Mix the milk and syrup together to make a glaze. Brush the tops of the samosas with the glaze, and sprinkle over a few sesame or poppy seeds, if you like.
• Bake for 15–20 minutes, until the samosas are golden and crisp, then serve with chutney.