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N & N

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Recipes

Our South Indian recipes

Rich Red Kidney Bean Stew (Rajma)

Neeru Ravi

saucy red kidney bean stew

Rajma: the ultimate comfort food. Soft, creamy and satisfying, scooped up with strips of soft flatbreads or fluffy quinoa soaking up all the rich, savoury juices.

We've tried it with friends, family, colleagues, and this has always been a hit! Perfect for a sumptuous dinner party, or a very joyful lunchbox. The deep flavours from fresh coriander, earthy cumin, sweet tomatoes, spicy black pepper and other spices make a wonderful rich gravy, which envelops the soft red kidney beans in a warm, red blanket.

It make a great filling for an Indian inspired burrito, with some fresh guacamole and creamy, vegan cashew cheese. Or try with a bowl of hot and creamy millet, topped with a generous drizzle of nutty tahini.

Enjoy!

Serves: 4
Time: 45 mins (+ 15 mins if you want to let it stand to let the flavours marry)

Ingredients

  • 1 large white onion

  • 1 cup chopped coriander

  • 1 box baby plum tomatoes

  • 1 box cherry tomatoes

  • 2 tins drained cooked red kidney beans

  • 1 1/2 heaped tsps coriander powder

  • 1 1/2 heaped tsps cumin powder

  • 1 heaped tsp amchoor (dried mango powder commonly available in all Sri Lankan / Indian stores)

  • 1/4 tsp dried red chilli flakes

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper corns

  • 1/4 tsp salt + more according to your taste

  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil

  • 1 inch ginger

  • 1/2 green chilli

Method:

  1. Peel the ginger and chop it finely. Also chop the green chilli and onions finely

  2. In a large wok, heat the oil, add the green chilli and ginger and fry for 30 seconds

  3. Add the onion and sautee on a high heat for 10 mins or until soft and browned

  4. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the tomatoes with the black pepper corns- the consistency should be fairly liquid

  5. Pour 3/4 of the tomato puree into the wok with the onions, green chilli and ginger

  6. Wash the coriander and add (stalks and all) to the remaining tomato puree in the blender. Blitz for 10 seconds so the coriander is chopped. Don't blend for too long otherwise the coriander will become bitter

  7. Add the coriander tomato puree to the wok and stir well

  8. Now for the spices: add the cumin powder, coriander powder, amchoor, red chilli flakes and salt

  9. Stir well and let the mixture simmer on a medium heat for 15-20 mins to let the tomatoes cook and the flavours meld. The longer you let the mixture cook, the more intense and developed the flavours will become

  10. Drain the kidney beans and rinse well in cold water. Put them in a microwave proof bowl and microwave them for 5 mins until they have softened a little. Then add to the gravy

  11. Simmer again on a low heat for 5 mins to let some of the excess water boil off

  12. Taste and add more salt if necessary

You can eat it straight away or if you have time, let it stand for 15 mins. This resting time allows the spices to marry with the ingredients and enhances and intensifies the flavour.

After 15 mins, lightly warm the rajma and serve.

Cranberry Pickle

Neeru Ravi

Cranberry pickle-v2.jpg

Lots of cranberries left over from Christmas?

Why not try this quick and simple spicy cranberry pickle to turn those leftovers into a spicy treat!

With only six ingredients and 10 mins to make, it’s the perfect recipe to whip up in the holiday downtime.

In South India, this type of pickle is commonly made with tart, green mangoes, which are grated and spiced with chilli, asafoetida and mustard seeds to make a brilliantly orange side dish.

Simmered with Indian spices, the cranberries become soft and juicy, and soak up all the savoury flavours. The brilliant red of the cranberries also adds a dazzling extra dimension to the pickle!

Try it out and let us know what you think!

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Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Cranberries 300 g

  • oil 1/8 cup (sesame or sunflower)

  • mustard seeds 1/4 TSP

  • asafoetida 1/8 to 1/4 TSP

  • chilli powder 1/4 to 1/2 TSP

  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash the cranberries and crush them slightly

  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cranberries and stir, crushing them as you go along

  • When they are soft, padd the other ingredients and cook in medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.

  • Leave to cool and store in the fridge in an airtight container

Turmeric Roast Cauliflower

Neeru Ravi

Golden and delicious! This 6 ingredient spiced cauliflower dish is simple, wholesome and super tasty.

We've spiced it with turmeric for golden earthiness, chilli powder for some heat and asafoetida for a South Indian twist.

Serve up as a sumptuous side dish to your main meal or for a fusion twist, stuff inside hot pitta pockets with some hummus or tahini lime sauce as a quick snack or lunch. 

Roasting in the oven gives the cauliflower a caramelised sweetness, crispy brown edges, and a soft, buttery, melt-in-the mouth softness. Delicious!

N & N

turmeric roast cauliflower, vegan, healthy

Serves: 3

Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 tsps oil

Method:

  • Break the cauliflower into small florets
  • Place in a baking tray and pour over the oil
  • Add the spices and mix well
  • Roast at 200°C for 20 mins
  • Serve hot!

Cardamom Spiced Meringue Cookies

Neeru Ravi

Vegan meringues are a new discovery for us. It's been the holy grail of vegan cooking for a long time  - how do you find a replacement for a dish made fully out of egg whites? Recently, we discovered aqua faba (or the cooking liquid from chickpeas) which is the perfect vegan alternative to egg whites. 

It's mind blowing how an ingredient that is usually thrown away can have such amazing properties! When whipped, this clear liquid magically transforms into pillowy, white clouds, exactly like whipped egg whites.

In South India, there are some little meringue cookies with a single cashew nut inside that are a popular sweet treat with coffee. We've seem them often and salivated over the thought of them, but never been able to eat them. Using aqua faba, we've created our own version -  this time, studded with juicy cranberries, dark chocolate and crunchy pistachios and flavoured with aromatic cardamom. These cookies are luxurious, but very light and crunchy and melt perfectly in the mouth.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is the simplicity of the baking - bake for 5 mins and then turn the oven off and leave overnight. They cook (i.e. dry out) in the residual heat, and by the morning they are perfectly done and ready to go. No fuss, and minimal effort. 

This recipe is also gluten free as well as vegan, so a perfect dessert for groups of guests with different dietary requirements.

Try it out and tell us what you think!

N & N

vegan meringue cookies, cardamom

Time: 20 mins + (8 hours overnight)

Serves: 15-20

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsps Aqua faba (chickpea cooking liquid)
  • 1/2 tsps Cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup Icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup Chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Chopped pistachios

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C
  2. Whisk the aquafaba with the cream of tartar using an electric whisk on a medium speed for 3-5 mins, until soft, fluffy peaks form
  3. Add in the sugar, vanilla and cardamom and continue whisking until stiff peaks form- you'll know because when you lift the whisk out of the bowl, the mixture should hold its shape and won't fall back into the bowl. Scrape down the sides as you go, to ensure everything is mixed well
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate, cranberries and pistachios - be very careful not to knock out the air you've worked so hard to create in the mixture!
  5. Spoon into 1.5 inch circles on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave 1/2 inch of space between each cookie as they will expand as they bake
  6. Bake for 5 mins, then turn the oven off and leave overnight or for approx 8 hours. Don't open the oven door during this time! It's tempting to sneak a peak, but worth it to wait :)

Store in an airtight container to maintain the crispness - that is, if you haven't eaten them all straight away!

 

Classic Chickpea Sundal

Neeru Ravi

Soft, fluffy chickpeas, flavoured with aromatic coconut, spicy chilli, ginger, savoury curry leaves and asafoetida.

This simple, warm salad is super quick to make, delicious and packed full of flavour and protein. It's a very traditional South Indian recipe, often offered in temples and at religious and cultural festivals. 

It makes a delicious side dish or a very filling snack that you can whip up in no time. We've used frozen, fresh grated coconut, which is readily available in Indian stores in the freezer section. It gives a lovely texture, taste, and freshness to the dish.

We're also excited to share that you can find a video for this recipe on our shiny, new YouTube channel! 

Try it out and tell us what you think!

N & N

classic chickpea salad, vegan, south indian, healthy

 

Serves: 3

Time: ~15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar (540g) cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup frozen grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chilli
  • 4 curry leaves
  • salt to taste

Method:

1. Finely chop the ginger and chilli
2. Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds
3. When they pop, add the curry leaves, ginger, chilli and stir fry for a few mins
4. Add the chickpeas and mix well
5. Add in the asafoetida and stir
6. Sprinkle over the frozen grated coconut and mix
7. Stir fry for 1 min and then turn off the heat

Green Beans Stir Fry

Neeru Ravi

Soft, succulent green beans, gently spiced with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, salt and fresh grated coconut. 

This dish couldn't be simpler to make and more satisfying to eat. It can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, and tastes fresh, light and delicious.

It make a wonderful accompaniment to a meal of sambhar and rice or also tastes delicious piled inside of warm toasted pitta breads spread with some spicy pickle.

It's a family staple in our house, and a quick and easy way to add vegetables to any meal. Another common twist on this dish is to add some diced carrot with the beans to add further crunch, colour and taste.

The cumin and coconut compliment the green beans beautifully, enhancing the natural flavour of the beans and adding an extra nutty, earthy flavour.

We use frozen grated coconut which makes this dish even quicker and easier. It's readily available in most ethnic and Sri Lankan stores. 

Enjoy!

N&N

Beans Curry: Quick easy recipe, on Onelifetwoways, a South Indian vegan food blog
Beans 4.JPG

Serves: 3

Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

Beans Curry: Quick easy recipe, on Onelifetwoways, a South Indian vegan food blog
  • 400 g green beans
  • 3 tsps grated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup water

Method:

  1. Top and tail the green beans and cut into 1cm thick pieces
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the cumin seeds and toast until light brown
  3. Tumble in the green beans and sautee on a high heat for 2 mins
  4. Turn down the heat, pour over the water, add the salt and cover
  5. Cook gently for 5-7 min, until the beans are soft and the water is fully absorbed
  6. Add the grated coconut, mix in fully and turn the heat off

Serve up hot!

Beans Curry: Quick easy recipe, on Onelifetwoways, a South Indian vegan food blog

Life Changing Chole

Neeru Ravi

chole, chickpea stew with tomato, onion and coriander gravy

What does life changing chole even mean? Well, we think that once you've tried this recipe and seen how delicious, quick, easy and inexpensive it is to make, you'll never look back! It technically isn't South Indian, but it's a favourite dish in our house and we wanted to share it with you all.

Our friends, who have tried the chole in many restaurants around London including Michelin starred spots, have told us that they think this recipe tops them all! The secret they say, is in the sauce.

There are so many things we love about this dish. First of all, it's bursting with rich, sumptuous flavours: sweet tomatoes, aromatic cumin and coriander, hot ginger and chilli, tangy dried mango powder and fresh coriander. The recipe below is mild/medium spice level, but you can tailor the spicing according to your heat tolerance. Whatever spice level you choose, the tomatoes add a lovely sweetness which works beautifully with the spices.

Second, it's super simple to make and very easily scalable for your packed lunches, dinner parties, family gatherings etc. Taking just 35 mins from chopping board to dining table, it's the perfect go to recipe to have up your sleeve.

We love to rustle up a big batch of chole on Sundays for packed lunches and simple weeknight dinners. It keeps really well in the fridge and actually tastes better the next day as the flavours get a chance to marry and really soak into the chickpeas. 

Thirdly, it's packed full of protein from the chickpeas - it's a great recipe if you're looking to add more protein into your diet in a delicious and healthy way. Pair this with some quinoa for added protein and you've got yourself a winning balanced meal. 

What more need we say? You just have to try it out and see for yourself.

N&N x

Makes: 4-6 servings (depending on how big you like your portion sizes!)

Time: 35 mins (+ 15 mins if you want to let it stand to let the flavours marry)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 boxes baby plum tomatoes (we got them from Iceland with each box weighing ~340g)
  • 2 tins drained cooked chickpeas (typically with drained weight of ~240g)
  • 1 1/2 heaped tsps coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 heaped tsps cumin powder
  • 1 heaped tsp amchoor (dried mango powder commonly available in all Sri Lankan / Indian stores)
  • 1/4 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt + more according to your taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 green chilli

Method:

  1. Peel the ginger and chop it finely. Also chop the green chilli and onions finely
  2. In a large wok, heat the oil, add the green chilli and ginger and fry for 30 seconds
  3. Add the onion and sautee on a high heat for 10 mins or until soft and browned
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the tomatoes - the consistency should be fairly liquid
  5. Pour 3/4 of the tomato puree into the wok with the onions, green chilli and ginger
  6. Wash the coriander and add (stalks and all) to the remaining tomato puree in the blender. Blitz for 10 seconds so the coriander is chopped. Don't blend for too long otherwise the coriander will become bitter
  7. Add the coriander tomato puree to the wok and stir well
  8. Now for the spices: add the cumin powder, coriander powder, amchoor, red chilli flakes and salt
  9. Stir well and let the mixture simmer on a medium heat for 10 mins to let the tomatoes cook and the flavours meld
  10. Drain the chickpeas and rinse well in cold water to remove excess salt as tinned chickpeas are usually stored in brine. Then add the chickpeas to the tomato gravy
  11. Simmer again on a low heat for 5 mins to let some of the excess water boil off
  12. Taste and add more salt if necessary

You can eat it straight away or if you have time, let it stand for 15 mins. This resting time allows the spices to marry with the ingredients and enhances and intensifies the flavour. Trust us, it's well worth the wait.

After 15 mins, lightly warm the chole and serve with quinoa/brown/red rice, or some chappatis. 

Enjoy!

Cumin Spiced Okra Curry

Neeru Ravi

Okra, or ladies finger as they are commonly known, is one of our favourite vegetables. It’s a distinct vegetable, both in terms of taste and texture, and is very popular in South Indian cooking, appearing in sambhar and different curries.

One of our favourite ways to eat Okra is in this incredibly simple 5 ingredient dish.  We’ve gently spiced the okra with cumin, mustard seeds and salt, and we think that this is all you need to bring out the flavours and create a delicious dish.

This okra curry makes a super side dish to go alongside some rice and sambhar or to scoop up with pieces of dosa. Or you can also just eat it by the cupful like we love to!

Slowly roasting the okra over a low heat is the best way to yield a soft, succulent and almost caramelised curry. So take a bit of time over it – we guarantee its well worth it.

N&N x

Ingredients

5 cups chopped Okra
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Slice off the top hard stems of the okra fingers and then chop up into 1cm thick pieces. The insides are a bit slimy, so either wear gloves or rub a tiny bit of oil on your hands beforehand to prevent your hands getting sticky
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large wok on a high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the cumin seeds and stir for 30 secs
  3. Tumble in the okra and stir fry on a high heat for 2-3 mins
  4. Turn the heat right down to very low and cover the pan
  5. Stir every 5 mins – the okra at the bottom should brown and caramelise slowly, so don’t stir too often. But also be careful not to let it burn!
  6. Keep tasting it and after about 15-20 mins it should be uniformly soft, browned and caramelised.

Season with salt and stir well. Serve HOT.