Vegetarian varieties

Published On: November 24, 2017 08:53 AM NPT

You might think you need chicken, eggs, or fish to cook tasty dishes but you would be surprised as to what you can do with some simple veggie ingredients. “It is actually an easy job to cook meatless dishes. If you think about it, vegetarians have a lot of choices. All you need to do is discard a single item ‘meat’ from the meals and your vegetarian food is ready. And when it comes to taste, what else can beat the wide ranges of flavors extracted from the unlimited list of veggies,” says Anil Maharjan, chef and mentor at National Institute of Culinary Arts (NICA).  

Maharjan says that vegetarian dishes are always underestimated and many think it will be tasteless and lacking in nutrients because they do not contain any meat. But the reality is very different. According to him, you should make it a point to enjoy vegetarian delicacies every once in a while to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and different types of cancers. “Try not having meat at least a few days a week,” he says adding that vegetarian options are endless and these dishes take minimal effort to make and are cheap too. Here, he shares some basic recipes that he thinks everyone should know to whip up quick, easy vegetarian meals. Maharjan guarantees that non-vegetarians too will love these simple dishes. 

Cauliflower mornay

•    300gm cauliflower
•    20gm butter
•    1tbs chopped onion and garlic
•    250ml béchamel sauce
•    Salt and pepper to taste

Separate cauliflower florets, and 
blanch it in salted water. Take a pan with a heavy bottom and melt some butter. Gradually sauté the chopped onions with cloves of garlic and add the cauliflower followed by the béchamel sauce. Adjust the seasonings according to taste. Cook till the florets turn brownish and serve immediately. You can substitute cauliflower with other veggies like carrots and beans and follow the same process to cook it.


•    20ml olive oil
•    150gm bell pepper
•    50gm zucchini
•    50gm aubergine
•    100gm tomato
•    Basil, thyme, oregano, salt and 
    pepper to taste
•    1 onion
•    2 cloves of garlic

Begin by heating a pan drizzled with olive oil. Add some chopped garlic with onions and let it sweat for a while.  After they become tender, add tomato, zucchini and bell pepper. Cover the pan and let it cook in medium heat. Then add the herbs and cover it again. Lastly, mix the only remaining ingredient, aubergine. Cook the dish in simmering heat without covering it for a while. Before serving, season with salt and pepper.

Sweet French crepe

•    2 packets skim milk
•    1.5kg all-purpose flour
•    1/2 cup butter
•    1/4 cups vanilla extract
•    400gm white sugar
•    Nutella, banana, honey, nuts(Optional)
•    Salt to taste

Put the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Cover the batter and let it cool in the refrigerator for about an hour. After an hour, heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small portion of butter in the pan and twirl it around until it lightly coats the surface. Make sure the layer is very thin. Pour in a little bit of batter and cook until the first side becomes brown. Then flip and cook the other side for 45 seconds to a minute. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter. Before serving, fill in with jam, honey, sugar, chocolate, hazelnut spread, bananas, or anything sweet that you want to enjoy from your pantry.

Pommes croquettes

•    500gm potatoes
•    30ml milk
•    20gm butter
•    100gm flour
•    150gm breadcrumbs
•    Oil for deep-frying
•    Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, peel and rewash the potatoes. Uniformly cut it into pieces and cook in lightly salted water until it softens. Drain off the water and cover it. In low heat let the potatoes cook and dry. Then transfer the potatoes in a clean pan. Add butter  (and margarine if you want to) and stir it with a wooden spatula. Simultaneously, prepare a batter of flour and breadcrumbs. Adjust the seasonings. Take a small portion of mashed potato and make small round balls. Coat it with the batter and then deep-fry it. When the potatoes turn golden brown, take it out and serve hot.

Russian salad

•    1/2 cup of green peas
•    2 carrots
•    1/2 cup beans
•    2 potatoes
•    2/3 tablespoon of mayonnaise
•    Salt, pepper, mustard powder to taste

Like any other salad, this is very easy to make. Simply boil or steam the chopped vegetables. When it gets a bit tender, remove from heat and drain the vegetables. Leave them for few minutes to chill. When it cools down, mix the sauce, salt, black pepper and mustard powder together with the veggies. Again chill the dish and serve.



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