As promised, here are some vegetarian recipes to inspire you this holiday. They come are from Om West’s potluck brunch of Dec. 12th.

Graham’s Masoor Dhal

  • 4 tablespoons oil (Graham uses extra-virgin olive; not very Indian but a nice flavour contribution)
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 whole cardamoms
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon stick; 1 inch (2.5cm) long each
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Fresh ginger root, peeled & chopped; piece about 1.5 inches by 1 inch
  • 2 fresh green finger chiles, de-seeded & cored, then finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 1/3 cups of Masoor lentils (they’re very orange when uncooked)
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • Pinch of salt

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cloves, cardamoms, and cinnamon and fry until the cardamoms split open. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, chiles, and garam masala. Cook for 5 minutes; medium heat. Add the lentils, stir thoroughly to incorporate the other ingredients, and cook for 1 minute. Add enough water to come about 1 1/4 inches above the lentils. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Remove cinnamon sticks, but keep aside to add as a garnish, along with a dried red chile if you have one for the presentation. (Serves 4)

Bon apetit!


Mango Chutney (also from Graham)

  • 6 green mangos, still firm to the touch and too bitter to eat
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 red finger chiles, de-seeded & cored, then roughly chopped. Hot red Thai chiles are perfect. The cooking & pickling process will relieve most of the ‘fire’.
  • 1/2 pint (300 ml) malt vinegar
  • 14 ozs (400 gms) sugar
  • 1 1/2 ozs (40 gms) fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 4 ozs (100 gms) mixed unsalted nuts and raisins, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

+ Pickling jars, sterilized. They must be glass top mason type jars. Metal top jars will react with the vinegar.

Peel the mangos and grate the flesh into a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and set aside for 30 minutes.Grind the chiles (mortar & pestle is best), then add a little of the malt vinegar to form a paste. Place the remaining vinegar in a pan, add the sugar, and gently simmer untill sugar dissolves. Squeeze the grated mangos with the back of a spoon to extract the juice. Discard the juice. Add the mango flesh to the pan and gently simmer for another 6 minutes. Add the crushed garlic to the ginger root and mix these 2 ingredients well. Add the mixture to the pan and stir in. Add the chile paste to the pan and mix well.Add the cumin seed and ground coriander to the pan. Cook the mixture for 12 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Stir in the nut and raisin mix and cook a further 4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Then Bottle the cooled chutney in the jars and seal. Refrigerate for 1 week minimum before unsealing the jars.


FOR DESSERT, try these Amazing Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies from Nathalie…


  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 to 2/3 maple syrup (depending on desired “wetness” of cookies)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit/ chocolate chip/ peanut butter chip.. (chop, if dried fruits used are big like apricot or plums)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or other nuts
*Ideally use all organic ingredients!

Blend wet and dry ingredients separately and then mix together. Cook for 10 – 12 mins at 350.

Yum Yum


Here are a few pics from our lovely community pot luck:

(Bruce, Real and Marta, my mom in our community kitchen enjoying the spread.)
(Jas & Yas– two peas in pod…)


(Om Westers feasting!)

Oh yes, check out this link. It’s an awesome five minute Ted Talk given by this young kid about the nature of food and the agriculture industry: