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N & N


United Kingdom


Our South Indian recipes

Filtering by Tag: vegan

Puffed Buckwheat Bars

Neeru Ravi

buckwheat bars, healthy, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan, recipe

Crunchy, crisp, sweet and moreish. These absolutely hit the spot when you're looking for that slightly sweet snack - and our recipe saves you the guilt by using unrefined sugar!

One of our favourite South Indian snacks is the 'pori urandai' – a.k.a puffed rice ball. These sweet spheres are commonly made around November to celebrate the South Indian festival of lights - Karthikai. No not Deepavali - we have another festival of lights! Apparently one isn't enough.

In this recipe, we've swapped the puffed rice for puffed buckwheat to shake things up and add a different flavour dimension. In case you haven't tasted it before - it's a bit like popcorn! 

Buckwheat is a naturally nutritious grain with 'buck'et loads of goodness, which when popped results in crunchy little pillows. And it's gluten-free too! 

Toasting the puffed buckwheat means it stays crisp once combined with the sweet syrupy mixture and retains its crunch perfectly once set.

These bars are studded with juicy raisins and crunchy almonds for extra taste and texture. We've used one of our favourite unrefined sugars from down South - Jaggery, a dark earthy sweetener made from sugar cane. To pack in a different kind of sweetness, we've thrown in some dark agave nectar and finished it off with lots of ground cardamom for festive measure.

Shape them however you fancy- baubles, bars, triangles... and if you store them in an airtight container, they'll last you all week. Feel free to swap in whatever dried fruits or nuts you fancy. Cashews, cranberries, pecans and sultanas could all work well.

Toast, mix, set and enjoy!


N & N


Time: 35 mins
Makes: 15-20 squares


  • 4 cups toasted puffed buckwheat (You should be able to get this in most health food stores. If you can't find it, feel free to use any other puffed grain: rice, quinoa...)
  • 3/4 cup jaggery 
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 4 tbsps water
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil for greasing


  1. Toast the buckwheat in the oven at 180°C for 5 mins or until crispy (it shouldn’t colour or burn)
  2. Grease a metal dish (around ½ inch deep) with coconut oil
  3. Heat the water in a pan along with the jaggery and the agave nectar
  4. Mix and melt. It need to reaches a certain consistency in order to stick the buckwheat together and set properly. This can be a little tricky to spot. So to test if the sugar syrup has reached the correct stage, drop little spoonfuls of the hot sugar syrup into a cup of cold water. If you’re able to roll it into balls in the water then you’re good to go. Cooking isn't just about seeing, smelling and tasting, you also need to use other senses, and touch is the perfect one here!
  5. When the sugar syrup reaches this stage, add in the cardamom, toasted buckwheat, raisins and almonds and stir well to mix.
  6. Pour into the greased dish and flatten out. Or you can even shape them into balls – but be careful, the mixture will be hot!
  7. Let it set for 10 mins and then cut into squares.

Crunch away!

Spice Advice - Jaggery

Jaggery is a dark, earthy, unrefined sugar, which is made from sugar cane juice, date palm sap or a combination of the two. Unlike regular sugar, Jaggery is rich in minerals and iron. It also has a more complex structure, so is digested more  slowly and helps prevent sugar highs and lows. You should be able to find it in an Indian/Sri Lankan/Ethnic store. We suggest finding the real deal instead of trying substitutions!

Tangy Spinach Protein Crackers

Neeru Ravi

spinach, protein, crackers, healthy, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan, recipe

Thatai. A crunchy South Indian cracker that’s a super popular afternoon snack. These golden-brown, crisp discs are perfect with a cup of chai, South Indian filter coffee or simply a quick snack on the go.

Traditionally Thatai are completely gluten-free and vegan, and pack a flavour punch, with spicy chilli power, savoury asafoetida and crunchy coconut.  We love the taste, spices and texture, but we squirm at the thought of these crackers being deep-fried, which is how they are usually cooked.

So, we’ve taken the same super ingredients, and added a modern and healthy twist.

Our crackers are oven-baked, cutting out all the unnecessary oil, and we’ve added an iron boost with some rich spinach leaves.  As well as all the usual spices, our Thatai have an extra tangy bite - we’ve used a dollop of tahini-lime mayo for protein, flavour and zing.  And to make these even more nutritious, we've given our Thatai another protein hit with some black gram flour (see note below).

You can load up these versatile crackers with chutneys, dips and veggies or serve them as a crunchy snacks as is. So pack them up as your afternoon snack, try as a quick canapé for your dinner party, dip into soups and stews or devour in any way you fancy.

Flavour-packed, healthy, and easy. What more could you ask for?

We’d love to hear what you think!

N & N

spinach, protein, crackers, healthy, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan, recipe

Time: 35 mins
Makes: 15 crackers


  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsps toasted urid dal flour (black gram flour)
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsps tahini
  • juice of 1 lime
  •  4 ½ tbsps water
  • ¼ cup chopped spinach


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Mix together the rice flour, urid dal flour, salt, chilli and asafoetida
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and tahini. It should form a thick emulsion.
  4. Add the chopped spinach leaves to the flour and spice mixture and mix. Pour in the tahini and lime mixture, add the coconut oil and incorporate well. Get your hands in there if you need to break up big clumps!
  5. Add the water bit by bit and use your hands to bring the dough together. It’s a gluten free mixture so it will be a bit crumbly.
  6. Take small balls, and either flatten into discs with your hands, or roll out onto a flat surface and cut out discs using a cookie cutter. Either way works fine – flattening with your hands will give you a more rustic, rough-edged look, and cookie-cutters will give you a very round cracker.
  7. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 mins Any longer and they will burn and become dry. You’re looking for a tinge of golden brown.

They're super just hot out the oven. Load up with chutneys, curries or devour as is.

Spice Advice: Black Gram Flour (Urid Dal Flour)

Black gram, also known as black lentils, are a very high source of protein. In South India they're commonly used to make the batter for our iconic pancakes - Dosa (we'll be sharing a recipe for this soon) . Black gram is also a rich source of iron and fibre. It's available in most Indian and ethnic grocery stores, but if you're struggling to find it, you can substitute it with chickpea flour (gram flour).

Masala Brussels Sprouts

Neeru Ravi

Masala Brussels Sprouts. Crispy, roast, flavourful, green gems. You'll never look at your humble Brussels sprouts in the same way again! 

These flavour-packed green nuggets are smothered in cumin and curry powder, and are super-simple and quick to make.  The multiple layers of the Brussels sprout trap in all the spices, making them burst with flavour in your mouth. 

We've taken the classic spices we use to make curries with cauliflower and potato, and showered them on the very British and very unloved Brussels sprout. 

Make these masala sprouts once, and you'll find tens of different uses for them. We love eating them with a hot fragrant bowl of South Indian spiced coconut vegetable stew (Avial), stuffing them into pitta pockets slathered with tahini, enveloping them in a soft dosa to make a meaty wrap or tossing them into a salad with some fresh baby spinach and cherry tomatoes.

Why not swap your usual sprouts recipe for these gems?

Try it out and let us know what you think! 


N & N 

masala brussel sprouts, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan, recipe

Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4


  • 1 kg Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 1/8 -1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Wash the Brussels sprouts and cut in half
  3. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle the spices across
  4. Toss to coat and put into oven 
  5. Roast for 20 mins until brown and crispy

Savour every mouthful and try and stop yourself from eating the entire batch!

Spice Advice: Madras Curry Powder

Madras Curry Powder is an all-purpose spice mix, used for curries, soups etc. It's a blend of a large numbers of spices including turmeric, cumin, chilli, cardamom, peppercorns, fenugreek and others. It adds a rich and earthy flavour to any dish. There are two types in South India: 'Rasam' powder and 'Sambhar' powder - 'Rasam' and 'Sambhar' being two iconic South Indian soups. We'll be sharing recipes for both powders soon, so you can prepare them yourself.

Rasam: Spicy, Soulful Soup

Neeru Ravi

rasam, spicy, soup, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan

Chilly English winters cry out for Rasam. The hot, spicy and soulful soup of South India, and one of our most iconic dishes. 

Picture a South Indian version of the miso soup: a clear, wholesome and nourishing broth. Something you can drink by the cupful to warm you up, soothe a sore throat, or make you feel cosy and happy from the inside out. Like miso soup, which can be poured over vegetables, tofu and other toppings, Rasam is also commonly enjoyed with rice, vegetables, dumplings and savoury South Indian doughnuts. 

Rasam, like miso soup, is also one of those anytime, anywhere soups. Fill up a flaskful for a mid-morning warmer, start you lunch with a mug of Rasam, or snuggle up on the sofa in front of the telly with a hot tumbler-full. 

In fact, it's such a staple South Indian dish that many die-hard South Indians don't feel a meal is complete unless it includes Rasam. Need we say more? We love the stuff.

The beauty of Rasam is its simplicity.  Nothing fancy or artificial.  Just pure goodness and flavour.

Rasam is finished off with a tempering mixture - a few drops of hot fat and toasted mustard seeds. Heating the mustard seeds in fat makes them pop, releases all their flavour and elevates the taste to another level. 

In our family we have three favourite types: Tomato, Lime and Jeera. Each has it’s own loyal following: our grandma is partial to the Tomato Rasam, our mum is a die-hard Lime Rasam believer and we are staunch Jeera Rasam fans. Try them all and see which is your favourite! 

Growing up, any time we had a cold or the flu, our mum would tuck us up in bed with a bowl of our her piping hot Jeera Rasam. For us, there's no better comfort food. 

Here's our recipe for Lime Rasam, Try it out and keep a look out for the other varieties coming soon.


N & N

Time: 35 mins
Serves: 4


  • I cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 3 + 6 cups water
  • Juice of one lime
  • 8 cherry tomatoes/ one big tomato
  • 1 green chilli
  • ½ inch ginger
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 6/7 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander 
  • 1 tsp madras curry powder (see note above)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste


  1. Soak the toor dal in 3 cups of water overnight.
  2. The next day, cook the dal in a saucepan with the turmeric and cover with a lid, monitoring it closely to make sure it doesn’t catch. It should be soft and begin to break down after approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile in another pan, add 6 cups water, asafoetida, curry leaves, curry powder, salt, chopped chilli, crushed ginger and halved cherry tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Let the mixture bubble and reduce down by 1/3 on a low heat while the lentils are cooking.
  5. After the lentils are cooked, mash them well with the back of a spoon and add to the tomato, spice, water mixture.
  6. Bring it to the boil and then turn it off. Squeeze in the lime, and add the chopped coriander.
  7. To make the tempering mixture, heat the coconut oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds pop, pour the mixture into the Rasam and listen to the sizzle!

Sip a piping hot tumblerfull of this soup to ward away those winter blues.

Spice Advice: Madras Curry Powder

Traditionally we use 'Rasam Powder' to make Rasam, a very traditional blend of coriander, dried chillies, different pulses, pepper, turmeric and cumin. We'll be sharing a recipe for it soon, but in the meantime, you can use Madras Curry Powder which is an all-purpose spice mix, used for curries, soups etc. You'll easily find it in any good supermarket.

Golden Roast Potatoes

Neeru Ravi

golden roast potatoes, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan

Britain and South India share a very important common bond - the love of a good Sunday lunch. 

Positively an institution in both countries, it embodies all things warm, comforting and familial. We look forward to it all week, selecting the choicest ingredients, and on the big day roll up our sleeves to help cook and recover afterwards with a snooze on the sofa. 

Like any proper British Sunday lunch, the South Indian counterpart's vital, and unmissable dish is the roast potato. Proper, crispy, golden gems. Everyone has their secret to what makes the perfect roast potato and we want to share with you our family recipe. South Indian Spiced Potatoes.

Flavoured with turmeric, chilli powder and asafoetida, these couldn't give you a better return on your time investment. Such big flavour for such little effort and expense.  #ourkindofcooking

Typically in India, we'd use a cast iron pan, and the key to get the potatoes really crispy and golden was OIL. Lots and lots and lots of it.  We're talking close-your-eyes-and-pour kind of quantities. Well, we wanted the same golden crunch but with no where near as much oil. How? Take a tip from the Brits and roast them in the oven. 

Our spiced potatoes roasted in the oven are the next level of potato perfection.  We shake things up even more by tossing ours in olive oil for extra flavour and goodness.

And for ultimate roast potato heaven, pick out the cutest, mini-est potatoes you can, roast them whole and keep the skins on! They bag all of the flavour from the spices, and make these potatoes little golden nuggets of delight.

So roast, enjoy, and stay tuned for the rest of our guide to the healthy, modern and perfect South Indian Sunday lunch.

N & N

Time: 35 mins
Serves: 4


  • 1 kg baby new potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida (see note below)
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (add more if you like spice!)
  • 1/8 -1/4 tsp salt (according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Par boil the potatoes in boiling water for 15 mins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Drain the potatoes and scatter over a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle the spices over the top. Toss well so all the potatoes get coated and pop in the oven.
  5. Leave them in for a good 20 minutes to crisp up nicely. The turmeric gives them a beautiful golden sheen so they look like golden eggs! 

Best enjoyed sizzling hot from the oven.

Spice Advice: Asafoetida

Asafoetida is a powder, commonly used in South Indian cooking. It's a dried resin extracted from the root of a herb. The taste is really difficult to pin down, and we wouldn't recommend you taste it by itself! Mixed in with everything else, it adds a super savoury element and rounds out the flavours, so don't leave it out! It should be easily available in all good supermarkets.

Fudgy Almond Bites

Nikki Ravi

Fudgy almond bites, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan

'Barfi', a classic South Indian sweet, is often made for religious festivals, weddings, and other special occasions. No Indian sweet shop would be complete without a glistening tray of barfi displayed in the window. 

They're a delicious treat but the thought of all the sugar and ghee that goes into the traditional recipe is enough to give us a heart attack!

So we've taken the same key ingredients and given it a healthier, vegan twist!

The ingredients are just four in number: powdered nuts, palm sugar, water and fat.  Our bites use palm sugar (from the sugar palm tree), which is a raw, natural and unrefined sugar. We add a touch of coconut oil for some richness and an added flavour boost. A pinch of saffron or cardamom mixed in at the end can elevate the flavour to a whole new level. We first tried this recipe out for Deepavali and wow, were we blown away!  

There are countless variations on this recipe! Swap almonds for cashews for a creamy white barfi, give pistachios a go for a cool green hue, or opt for desiccated coconut flakes for a barfi that packs a flavour and texture punch. 

Go on, put the kettle on for a cup of masala chai and whip up a batch of these barfi bites. 

N & N

Time: 40 mins prep + 20 mins to cool
Makes: 15-20 pieces


  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom


  1. Grease a shallow metal dish with some coconut oil. The reason we say metal pan and not glass is that the almond syrup mixture that you'll pour in will be super hot and we don't want a glass explosion! 
  2. Blitz the palm sugar kernels to a smooth powder.
  3. Heat the water in a large pan and add the sugar. Dissolve and keep mixing until it reaches a one string consistency. What does this mean? Essentially when you scoop up a spoonful and tilt the spoon, the syrup should fall in a single string and not drip drip drip.
  4. Add the ground almonds and cardamom and stir vigorously. Be careful here, the sugar syrup mixture will be very hot so don't splash yourself!
  5. Pop a cooking thermometer into the mixture and keep beating until it reaches 114 °C . This is the perfect temperature that will give you soft setting barfi that still keeps its shape. 
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased dish, making sure to scrape everything into it! Use a flat bottom metal cup or spatula to flatten down the mixture so it's even and around 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Let is set for 10 mins and then slice into pretty diamond shaped pieces. Before the mixture sets, you can even scatter over almond slivers or more cardamom to add some extra crunch and flavour. 

These beauties are a unanimous favourite among our friends and family. We're sure yours will love them too.

Spice Advice: Palm Sugar

This is a special type of sugar from the sugar palm tree - note this is different to the coconut palm tree! It's made from the juice extracted from the jelly like fruit of the tree. For a comparison, they're a bit like lychees, but bigger, juicer and without the seeds. In Tamil, they're known as 'Nongu'. Palm sugar is available in all ethnic/Indian/Sri Lankan stores, and if you can't find it, substitute with coconut sugar or demerara sugar.