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Healthy food never tasted so good!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Maha'raw'dja's Feast

On a personal note, I've been feeling tired and somewhat 'out of it' lately. Not sure as to exactly why. Perhaps too many balls in the air all at once. I've heard of others going through something similar, so maybe it's to do with the collective unconscious. Who knows? But more to the point, what does it matter? This is what's happening and my challenge is to embrace it fully and without judgment.

No Man's Land
In the middle of the night I remembered Karen Knowler's article which I shared with you last week, and it suddenly hit me! With some upcoming major changes in our lives, this is totally a transitional time for me right now, and transitions are hardly ever easy or comfortable. You know, 'dark-before-dawn'-and-all-that kinda hard. Internally, it's as though I'm sort of in between gears, not quite ready yet to make the shift to the next level. My own personal 'no man's land'.

I can also feel how this phase has been taking its toll on my creativity. Hard to be creative when you can hardly muster the energy to go about your day. All I can say is 'Thank God for freezers!' Days like these sure make me appreciate being able to dig out pizza crusts or burgers from our frozen stash of raw goodies, and come up with a quick, no-brainer meal. Raw Fast Food.

In spite of all this, on the weekend, I somehow managed to create a rawsome Indian feast. I've actually been wanting to post a raw Indian menu for a while, but somehow, the time hasn't felt right until now.

I Heart Indian Food
I first fell in love with Indian food during my 'roam around the world days', while working at an Indian restaurant in England. During my breaks as a waitress, I'd go hang out in the kitchen and watch in amazement as the cook would expertly dip the tip of his huge spoon into different spice containers (forget about measuring!) and throw it all into the pan. Culinary alchemy! Needless to say I got to eat my fare share of his delicious concoctions and became hopelessly hooked.

I was more than stoked to realize that I could still enjoy fabulous Indian-style dishes, minus the not-so-fab side effects. I'm here to share the good news: Indian food lovers rejoice and behold our amazingly delish Maha'raw'dja's Feast...

First Things First
We began our festive Indian meal with a delicate curry soup I created on the spot. Don got a head start while I was busy taking pics. "Oh, man," he says to me, "you've got a recipe, babe!" He declared (and I quote) that it's "delicious, spicy but not too much, all of the different tastes balanced to perfection, with just a hint of sweetness. One of the best soups you've made!"

Well, in case you think he's bias or something (now why would you think that?), give it a try and let me know what you think!

Carmella's Curry Soup
1/2 avocado
3 " piece cucumber
2 " piece zucchini
1/4 cup red or yellow pepper
1 celery stalk
1 green onion
1 garlic clove
Handful dill (or 1 tsp dried)
Handful cilantro
A little lemon juice
3 apricots soaked in a little water
1/2-3/4 tsp curry, or to taste
Dash cayenne
Salt, to taste
2 cups water (or more)
Apricot soak water

Blend until smooth.

Carmella's Notes: I just made it again for supper to check on my measurements and a couple of things popped to mind. Unless you have a high-speed blender, make sure the apricots are really soft so that they dissolve fully when blended. I also used more like 1 tsp of curry and it was a little overwhelming, therefore, I'd recommend you start with less and work it up to what feels right for you.

Joz just reminded me of another yummy soup I used to make a lot last summer and that fits right in with today's theme:

Curried Cauliflower Soup
From Matt Amsden's "Rawvolution"
Posted on rawsacramento.net

Water from 1 Thai coconut.
1/4 cup distilled/ spring/ filtered water.
1/4 cup stone pressed olive oil.
1/8 cup Nama Shoyu (an unpasteurized soy sauce).
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice.
2 cups cauliflower.
2-3 ribs celery.
1/3 cup raw macadamia nuts (can sub with cashews)
1/2 tsp. curry powder.
3-4 cloves peeled garlic.

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and thoroughly blend.

2. Serve garnished with chopped cauliflower florets.

Next came our entree: Samosas, Ginger Un-Steamed 'Rice' with Snow Peas, Curry Sauce and Marinated Curry Broccoli:

Samosas: Indian Finger Food
I used to adore SAD samosas: little pockets filled with a mixture of veggies and spices, and (unfortunately) deep-fried. During my visit to Calgary last January, I had the privilege to meet Raw Chef Diana Stoevelaar and her partner Manu. As I was telling them how I'd like to make some kind of wrap using fresh coconut, Manu silently went to get his cell phone and came back with this huge grin on his face. "Look at this!", he said proudly. On his tiny phone screen was a photo of a platter of raw samosas; one of Diana's most prized creations.

She then told me how she did a lot of research and experimentation, wanting to surprise Manu (who is of East Indian background) with a raw version of samosas. Well, her efforts paid off big time, as she was successful in creating a recipe that faithfully reproduces the spices used in the part of India Manu comes from. Diana said that when she presented them to him, he actually had tears in his eyes. (Ahhhhhh...Manu, you're such a sweet, lovely man!)

I was thrilled when Diana generously offered to share her samosas recipe with me. On the down side, she's also asked that I don't reveal the ingredients, as it will be featured in an upcoming raw book. But that doesn't mean you can't salivate over the photos! lol

Samosas In The Making
Needless to say that I put on my Chef's hat and made her samosas as soon as I got home. They truly are sublime! A subtly flavored coconut wrapper filled with a mixture of cauliflower, carrot, celery, sweet peas and an exotic blend of Indian spices. Heavenly!

There are different coconut wrap recipes floating around the net that would work really well as pastry for samosas. You might want to check out Vanessa Sherwood's Vietnamese Spring Rolls wrappers, posted on GLiving. Sarma Melngailis, author of "Raw Food Real World", has a very tasty samosas recipe on there too. Just make sure you spread the batter thinly and score it into 3½”x 6½” strips.

For my part, I still had some of Diana's samosas pastry in the freezer, so all I had to do was prepare the filling. I warmed up the mixture in the D for a couple of hours, uncovered, then proceeded to assemble the samosas. Alternatively, you could use your favorite 'rice' recipe (I'll be sharing mine a little further along) with some sweet peas and Indian spices. Again, Sarma's version is really delicious so you might want to give it a try.

I personally had a hard time visualizing how to make the little buggers, from just reading the instructions. Here's something to help you out in case you're in the same boat...

A'right! Let's do it!

First, place a generous tablespoon of the filling at one end of a samosas wrapper:

Fold one corner over diagonally to meet the other side, so as to form a triangle:

Continue folding like a flag...

Finish off by wetting the end of the wrapper slightly to seal.

Voila! A delicious raw samosas!

I then popped the assembled samosas in the D for a couple of hours so they were nice and warm.

The funny thing is that Luna99, of Raw Food Talk Forum, just posted about a recent meal she had at Pure Food and Wine, Sarma's raw restaurant in New York city. Wouldn't you know it, amongst all the beautiful food she ordered were Cauliflower Samosas! In fact, she's even taken a few photos and given a review of her culinary experience on her blog: All You Need Is Raw. (Cool name, by the way!)

OK, 'nuff said... Here's Sarma's recipe:

Cauliflower Samosas
By Sarma Melngailis
Posted here on Green Chefs

Makes 20 samosas

For the samosa wraps:
2 cups young coconut meat
1 ½ cups coconut water (or more)
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon sea salt

In a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender, puree the coconut with the coconut water, cayenne, and salt until completely smooth. Using an offset spatula, spread the coconut very thin on Teflex-lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 F for 2 to 4 hours, or until the surface is dry. Carefully flip over and peel away the Teflex sheets. Dehydrate further on the screen only, just to dry the underside, 15 to 30 minutes longer. The wraps should be very thin, almost transparent, and very pliable.

Carefully slide the wraps onto a flat cutting surface and cut into large rectangles, about 3 by 7 inches, and set aside.

For the filling:
1 large head cauliflower, florets only
½ cup raw macadamia nuts
1 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons Chunky Chat masala (or substitute garam masala)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
1 handful julienned cilantro

Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop into small pieces. It’s okay if they are not entirely uniform in size - they add texture.

In a high-speed blender, add the nuts, water, garam masala, Chunky Chat, and ginger and puree at high speed for 2 minutes until completely smooth. It should be the consistency of heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cauliflower, peas, and macadamia cream to a shallow glass bowl or pan and stir to combine. Place the bowl in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 115 F for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower becomes somewhat tender and the cream thickens a bit.

Toss the cilantro in with the cauliflower mixture just before filling the wraps.

For serving:
Place a heaping tbs of cauliflower filling at one end of a coconut wrapper. Fold one corner over diagonally to meet the other side, to form a triangle. Fold the samosa over and continue folding like a flag. Wet the end of the wrapper slightly to seal.

Sarma then suggests to serve these with the following sauces:

For the tamarind sauce:
1 cup soaked and strained tamarind pulp
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon nama shoyu
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt

Place the tamarind pulp, maple syrup, nama shoyu, and olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if necessary. Place in a separate bowl and set aside. This sauce may be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. It can also be frozen if you have leftovers or want to make it in advance.

For the banana tamarind sauce:
1 cup Tamarind Sauce
1 small banana
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 small red chili pepper, seeded
Pinch of sea salt

Puree the sauce ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a separate container and set aside.

For the Mango Chutney:
4 cups diced ripe mango
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 green onions, white and 1 inch of green, diced
½ small jalapeno, cored and seeded, diced
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 small handful cilantro leaves
For serving:
1 cup Mango Chutney
1 small handful mint leaves, finely julienned

In a food processor, add all of the ingredients and pulse to combine well, but keep it chunky. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days. (Makes about 4 Cups and is a nice accompaniment to other dishes or on it’s own as well.)

I served ours along with an incredibly easy and tasty curry sauce by Richard Salome. Oh my! The banana, apples and raisins called for in the recipe made me a little skeptical at first, but they really make the dish! So go ahead, surprise your taste buds... They'll be grateful that you did!

Curry Sauce
By Richard Salome
Originally posted by vegangelist on Raw Food Talk Forum

Makes 8 servings

1 cup almonds, soaked 12-24 hours, blanched
16 ounces purified water
2 medium sized Fuji apples, cored & diced
1 cup raisins, unsoaked
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons flax seed oil
2 tablespoons tamari or to taste
1 medium sized ripe banana

Place the almonds in a blender and add enough water to cover them. Blend until creamy.

Add curry, flax oil, banana, tamari and process for 20 seconds.

Then add apples and raisins by hand.

Pour sauce over veggies of choice (if using).

Stir well and place in dehydrator, covered, for at least 2 hours until warm to the touch, below 112 degrees.

This is a rich dish, and makes a wonderful Thanksgiving dish or for a special occasion.

Carmella's Notes:
This makes a LOT of sauce so you might want to halve the recipe.

As you can see, even Da Puss wanted to check it out! (Although I'm beginning to think that she just plain loves to be in front of the camera! lol)

I've served this fabulous sauce before over a mixture of chopped up broccoli, red onion, zucchini and sweet potato. Mmmmmmmmm.... It's also lovely as is, on top of a bed of 'rice'.

Not Quite Rice
Now, there are many versions of 'rice', usually calling for cauliflower. Personally, I like to use a mixture of cauliflower and parsnip as I find it takes some of the 'bite' away. For this particular feast, I came up with the following and it was one of the best I've made so far.

Ginger Un-Steamed 'Rice'
1 1/2 - 2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups parsnip
Salt, to taste
Heaping spoonful of almond butter or tahini (I used both)
1 T grated fresh ginger
A little lemon juice

Process cauliflower and parsnip in food processor until rice-size.

Mix other ingredients by hand.

Finally, I also prepared some Marinated Curry Broccoli. I put some broccoli florets and chopped stems in a bowl and tossed them in a little olive oil, Braggs, curry powder and garam masala. Then I left the whole thing, covered, in the dehydrator for a couple of hours.

I think that about wraps it up (pun intended!)

Oh, here's a photo of a previous Indian meal we've had: Samosas, Curried Broccoli and Greens, Richard's Curry Sauce, Cauliflower Rice and Peas and some left-over samosas' filling.

There are other Indian-style raw dishes I have yet to try. One of them is Raw Chef Russell James' Spinach Masala recipe posted on his ever so inspiring blog. I'm anxiously waiting for good mangoes to show up in our local stores, as they're still really not-so-hot at this time of year (at least, in our boony part of the world.) But that's not to keep you from trying it!

I guess all that was missing was an Indian sweet treat, but to tell the truth, we were so stuffed there wasn't any room left for dessert.

Well, that was some awesome feast worthy of a Maha'raw'dja indeed!

And about my 'rough spot', not to worry! "That, too, shall pass," as Buddha would say. Actually, come to think of it, I bet he would have also enjoyed our scrumptious Indian spread!

Photo Credits
Cauliflower Samosas by Sarma Melngailis


  1. Finally the indian menu... yay!

    I know what you mean by the collective unconscious~ it's been whaming me as well recently.. but it has also spurred a renewed creativity in me that I am grateful, but tired, for.

    I have been on a three day fast, and your soup recipe looks good and simple. I am going to try it when I start eating again. Thank you for sharing it.

    ...and that unrice recipe looks like I will need to try that as well. As for the samosas... can I drop by for dinner sometime? I will bring dessert!

    My kitty likes to check out the kitchen action too.

    have the best day ever Carmella

  2. I was raised on curries, being from the UK, and oh how I miss them. Unitl now..well unil I have the courage to purchase a D and give it a go. Thank you for making my eyes smile and my mouth water once again.


  3. I was just thinking how much I am missing Indian food since going raw and then I happened upon your post. Thank you so much! Everything looks delicious!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Oh my, this looks amazing!! I love your rice recipe, the best one I've come across so far...you are so creative.

  6. I'm glad you are all enjoying this post. It truly is a fabulous menu!


    Yeah, I know it's all good! In fact, just to pinpoint what was going on has helped to get the energy moving again. Yay!

    It's a deal about dinner! Do I get to pick which one of your decadent desserts you should bring? ;-)

    Oh, and let me know what ya think about the soup!

  7. Wow, that curry soup sounds yummy. I might try adding a kale leaf to it, serving it in a cup and calling it a green smoothie. (Smile) I didn’t realize curry was raw. I love curry. I’m going to have to investigate. I always learn something wonderful when I stop by the sunny raw kitchen.

  8. Hi Valerie,
    Not sure whether spices are actually raw, but I figure I use so little of it.

    Hey, did you know that zucchinis and cucumbers as well as bell peppers are technically fruits since they contain seeds? There you go! Just add a little avo, green and curry and you'll have yourself a nice savory green smoothie! ;-)

  9. I always love seeing the great raw food recipes on your site. If only I had a chef, to make some of these wonderful things for me! Just wanted to check in and say "hello!"

  10. Carmella, I wanted to thank you for your Curry Soup recipe. I'm new to raw and of the few soups I've made so far, this was wonderful. The others left me disappointed, thinking, "I'll eat this since it's not revolting." What an awful thing to have to do! This soup will be a regular for me. Thanks again!


  11. I wonder when and where I can find the recipe of the samosas? They look so delicious! I found your blog today and it's wonderful.
    Best wishes from Sweden

  12. Nicole,
    I'm glad you enjoyed the soup. I hope you're finding other recipes you like as raw soups can be soooooo delicious! I adore them!

    They ARE yummy! Actually, you're reminding me that I haven't made these in ages... It's time I put them on my 'to do' list. ;-)

    You might want to check out Diana's site to see if her Indian recipe book is available. Here you go: http://www.awesomerawsome.com/

  13. I was driving to work today dreaming about Indian food, curry, and samosas - thinking of a califlower mashed potato and pea thing. And look what I stumbled onto. Thank you!

  14. I tried your Ginger Un-Steamed Rice tonight and it was AWESOME!! Such a random ingredient combo but it worked beautifully. Thanks for posting the recipe!