Balinese Cooking Suggestions From Downunder

Here are some wonderful cooking seva suggestions for offering to your beloved Thakur. These were submitted by our godsister Anupama dasi from Bali, living in Perth with her husband Gokuldas das and their two children Yasomatinandan and Krishna-priya ji.

These have been tried and tested and proven to put big smiles on the face of the Lord and His devotees. Try them out and let us know about your experience in the comment box below.

Happy cooking!

Steam Yellow Coconut Rice


2 cup of long grain jasmine rice
1 cup of coconut milk
2 cups of water
1 stem of lemon grass (bottom part crushed)
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon of salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Boil rice in the medium heat until all the water absorbs.  Transfer the rice into a steamer. Steam rice for 10-15 minutes.
2. Alternatively you can cook the rice in the rice cooker

Balinese Salad


Bunch of English spinach
250 gram of bean sprouts
1 cup of cucumber cut into small cube
1 cup of fresh grated coconut (frozen coconut as an alternative)
2 table spoon of coconut oil or any other cooking oil
1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
1 big red chilli, seeded and cut very thin
1 tomato cut into wedges (omit tomato during caturmasa)
Hing/asafoetida powder
1 tablespoon of coriander powder
Turmeric powder
Fresh kaffir lime leaf (if available) cut very thin.
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1. Blanch the spinach followed by the sprout in to the hot water for about two minutes, do not over cook then drain and put them aside.
2. Heat oil in the small saucepan, add hing, ginger, chili. Stir for a few second, add the tomato, coriander and turmeric powder. Stir for a few moments.
3. Add the grated coconut, salt, sugar and kaffir lime leaf. Cook it for couple of minute add little bit of water if necessary.
4. Mix all the veggies and the coconut dressing in the bowl, serve them warm or cold.

Note: you can also use cabbage, beans (string bean or long bean). Serve salad with yellow coconut rice and fried tofu in tomato sauce.

Ekadasi Recipe: Apricot-Ginger Cake

by Sarojini dasi

As my Ekadasi cake recipe always seems to get lots of hits on Ekadasis, I thought I would add another recipe, this time without the coconut and with more of a gingery flavour (the addition of chopped crystallised ginger would make it even tastier!). You could make it vegan but still suitable for Ekadasi by substituting the cows’ milk for almond milk and the butter for coconut/peanut/sunflower oil.

Cake on Ekadasi? I hear you cry — well why not? It is quick and easy, and could form the basis of a meal with fruit and yogurt, so you won’t be spending too much time in the kitchen.


400g buckwheat flour
200g light brown (demerara) sugar
70g (approx.) chopped dried apricots
4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (not baking powder)
6 teaspoons powdered ginger
400ml cows’ milk
150ml melted unsalted butter
100ml lemon juice

First combine all the dry ingredients, tossing the apricot pieces in the flour first to stop them sticking together.
Next mix the milk and butter together
Stir the lemon juice into the dry mixture, followed by the milk and the butter.
Beat well for about a minute — you will probably notice air pockets forming as the bicarb. and lemon juice combo starts to work.
Put the mixture into a prepared 10″ or med. rectangular/ square cake tin.
Bake for about 30 minutes (or until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean) in an oven pre-heated to 180C.
Cut into squares and serve with fresh fruit and/or yoghurt.


Barbecued Haloumi and Char-grilled Asparagus with Salsa Verde


Salsa Verde simply means green sauce – there are hundreds of versions. This one, smothered over slabs of barbecued haloumi cheese and grilled juicy asparagus, is made from the “big three” – parsley, mint and basil. It’s perked up with a smattering of capers. Serves 4 as an entree.
Potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are all suitable for oven roasting, grilling or barbecuing over hot coals, either directly or wrapped in foil.   

Whichever way you choose, the accompanying pesto, salsa and chutney transform these earthy vegetables into something very special.


The vegetables such as:
16 spears of asparagus, about 2 bunches, trimmed
4 bamboo skewers, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
400g (14 ounces) haloumi cheese, thickly sliced
olive oil 

Salsa Verde ingredients:

1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped ½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped ½ cup basil leaves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed drained and chopped ¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder 2/3 cup olive oil ¼ cup lemon juice salt and pepper to taste 

Combine all the salsa verde ingredients in a bowl.Thread 4 asparagus spears onto each skewer.Brush the asparagus and haloumi generously with olive oil.Barbecue the asparagus for 2 minutes each side, or until just tender.Barbecue the haloumi on a hot plate for 2 minutes each side, or until golden.Serve: slide the asparagus off its skewers, place a large spoonful of salsa verde onto 4 plates and top with asparagus and haloumi. Pass the remaining salsa separately.

Idaho Potatoes with Parsley Pesto


Parley pesto is nutty, green and luscious – a perfect foil for creamy hot potato.
1 cup flat-leaf parsley 
½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ¼ cup toasted almonds 1 tablespoon lemon juice ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 kilo (2 pounds) Idaho baking potatoes, roasted, grilled or barbecued 

Combine all the pesto ingredients except the oil in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. When well amalgamated, remove and serve. Add a few drops of water if the mixture is too thick.
Serve with the roasted potatoes. Serves 4.

Country Style Anise-scented cream of Fennel Soup

fresh fennel:
The sweet, rustic licorice taste of fennel is at once unmistakable and subtle. It is so flavourful that it requires no stock, only water, and no extra herbs to transform it into a full-bodied hearty, satisfying soup. If the inner core of the fennel is tough and stringy, remove it with a paring knife. Serves 6.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
4 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
1 large red potato, sliced
6½ cups cold water
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fennel greens

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Sprinkle in the yellow asafetida powder and saute momentarily.

Stir in the sliced fennel and fry, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender and translucent.
Add the sliced potato, cold water, cream and the salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the fennel is soft and tender.
Puree the soup, using a food processor, blender, or hand-held mixer.
Pour the soup through a fine strainer. Serve: stir in the chopped fennel greens, then ladle into 6 warm soup bowls.

Green Curry of Vegetables & Fried Tofu

thai veg:

This is a delicious Thai-inspired curry with an easy homemade curry paste that can be whipped up in a few minutes in a blender. Although the curry paste is green, the curry itself will end up being more of a yellow colour from the turmeric. As with all curries, this one is perfect served with a big batch of steaming hot rice. Serves 6.


750g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes 
oil or ghee for deep-frying
2 tablespoons oil
green curry paste (recipe follows)
600ml coconut cream
3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
375g fried bean curd (tofu)
500g Chinese cabbage, sliced and steamed or stir-fried until just tender
2 cups green peas (thawed frozen peas or cooked fresh peas)
2/3 - 1 cup rich vegetable stock, heated
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

Deep-fry the potatoes in the oil or ghee in a wok or deep frying pan until golden brown and tender. Drain and set aside, covered.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Stir in a bit more than half of the curry paste (or more for a spicier curry) and fry it in the hot oil for 2 or 3 minutes, or until it starts to stick on the bottom.
Add the coconut cream and the lime or lemon juice, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is fairly reduced.
Stir in the fried bean curd, and mix well. Heat through for 5 minutes. Mix in the cabbage, cooked green peas, and the fried potatoes. Add enough vegetable stock to form rich gravy. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. The potatoes will soak up a fair amount of juice, so be prepared to add more stock. Fold in the fresh coriander. Serve hot with lots of rice.

Kurma's Green Curry Paste
2 small fresh red chilis, sliced 
1 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder 
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 
½ teaspoon black peppercorns, ground 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 tablespoon ground coriander 
2 teaspoons chopped coriander root 
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons grated dark palm sugar

Process all the ingredients in a blender to form a smooth, green paste. If necessary add a few teaspoons water. You'll need a bit more than half of this paste for the curry. Spoon the remaining curry paste into a clean, screw-top jar and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Barbecued Skewered Baby Okra with Sage Butter

Despite the fact that okra, the seed-pod of the plant Abelmoschus esculentusis is enjoyed the world over, for many cooks okra is still an unknown vegetable. If this is your first experience of okra, I think you’ll enjoy this recipe.
The size of okra pods determines which recipes they are best used in. Large pods generally possess a fine flavour, but they usually have fibrous, tough spines running lengthwise along the sides from cap to tail. Medium pods are large enough to endure stuffing, while baby pods are perfect for slicing or leaving whole, as in the case of this delicious barbecued baby okra. Select firm, fresh baby pods no longer than 5-8 cm (2-3 inches). Makes 16 skewers.


32 firm, fresh baby okra pods 
sage butter (recipe follows)
Soak 16 short skewers in hot water for 15 minutes.
Blanch the okra pods in a large saucepan of boiling water. Remove and drain them.
Thread 2 okra pods lengthwise on each skewer.
Grill the okra over hot coals for 6 or 7 minutes or until slightly browned, brushing two or three times with the herb butter of your choice. Serve hot with a drizzle more of herb butter.

bbq okra:

Sage Butter
50g (2 ounces) butter, about ¼ cup
3 or 4 sprigs sage, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Melt the butter and combine with the sage and nutmeg.


Vaisnava Veggie Burger


Soaked split green pea or split yellow channa dahlOatsNutritional yeastSweet potatoes BraggsCoriander powderOlive oilHingSalt and pepper to taste


Soak the dahl and blend in a food processor until smooth
Blend the oats a little separately to chop up a bit and add roughly equal amount as the dhal to the dhal
Add nearly same amount of nutritional yeast and pre-boiled sweet potatoes until a thick sticky substance that can be formed into patties emerges. Add Krishna’s favourite flavourings and form into veggie burger patties.
Place on oiled tray and bake at 315 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. When ready to serve, grill them on a skillet until crispy on the outside.
Goes great with vegetarian mayonnaise and sprouts such as sunflower and broccoli.
Offer with love to Sri Guru and Sri-Sri Gaura-Radha-Govinda and honour their prasad.
Happy cooking!

The Ultimate Eggless Brownies

eggless/vegan brownies

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tbsp melted butter (for a vegan recipe use oil)
1 cup buttermilk (or 2 tsp yogurt dissolved in 1 cup water with 1 tbsp lemon juice mixed in) or for a vegan recipe use 1 cup soy milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice mixed in
2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1 tbsp chopped nuts of your choice (I used pecans). Hazelnuts would be perfect too
2 tbsp chocolate chips dusted in a little plain flour (optional)
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then add all of the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly and transfer into a greased, lined tin.
2. Bake at gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes. Poke with a skewer- it should come out semi-clean for a fudgy brownie or bake for a little longer for a cake.
3. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
4. Allow to cool thoroughly for maximum chocolaty taste.

Asparagus and Tomato Quiche

asparagus quiche:
A quiche is an open faced tart with a savoury filling and is the perfect luncheon or supper dish accompanied by a green salad and French bread. It also makes a good first course for dinner. Quiche lends itself to advance preparation; the crust or base of the quiche should be cooked beforehand. A cold quiche is great for picnic fare or makes a quick, satisfying snack.

CRUST BAKING TIME: 15 minutes, 
BAKING TIME: 30 minutes,
YIELD: one 20 cm (8-inch) quiche.

1/2 cup melted butter,
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour,
3 tablespoons water, or as required,
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Quiche filling
2 tablespoons sour cream, 
2 tablespoons softened cream cheese, 
2 tablespoons tomato paste, 
2 tablespoons cornflour, 
1 teaspoon salt, 
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, 
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 
1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder, 
3 1/2 cups fresh asparagus, diced and steamed, 
2 medium tomatoes, sliced into rings, 

Combine the butter and flour, rubbing well until it reaches a coarse meal consistency. Add the water and parmesan cheese to the mixture and mix to form a firm pastry . Press the mixture into a buttered 20 cm (8-inch) quiche or flan tin, being careful that the crust mixture is evenly distributed throughout the tin.
Bake the quiche crust in a hot oven 200°C/390°F until light golden brown. Allow to cool.
Combine the sour cream, softened cream cheese, tomato paste, cornflour, salt, pepper, 1 cup cheese, herbs, and spices and mix well. Add the asparagus.
Spoon the mixture into the cooled quiche crust, smooth out, press the slices of tomato on top, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake in a preheated oven set on 190°C/375°F for about 20 minutes or until the filling is set and the top is golden. Allow to cool before serving.


Baked Stuffed Cheesy Corn Breads (Enchiladas)


Enchiladas are a Mexican dish made of soft, flat tortillas that are dipped in sauce and rolled around a filling, then topped with more sauce, sprinkled with cheese, baked, and served with sour cream. Richly indulgent and delicious, they're great for party catering.

BAKING TIME: 15 minutes, 
YIELD: 1 dozen large or 2 dozen small enchiladas. 

3 tablespoons olive oil,
1 small hot green chili, minced,
1/4 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder,
4 teaspoons ground cumin,
1 tablespoon ground coriander,
3 cups tomato puree,
1 cup tomato paste,
2 teaspoons salt,
2 teaspoons sugar.

3 cups ricotta cheese,
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese,
1 medium bunch spinach, chopped, steamed until tender, and drained,
2 cups cooked corn kernels,
1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder,
1 teaspoon black pepper,
2 teaspoons sugar,
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg,
1 teaspoon salt,
oil or ghee for deep frying,
1 dozen large or 2 dozen small tortillas,
1 cup sour cream.

To prepare the sauce
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat.
Saute the minced chili in the hot oil for a few seconds. Add the asafoetida, cumin, and coriander; then add the tomato puree and tomato paste.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the salt and sugar and remove the sauce from the heat. Set aside.

To prepare the filling
Combine the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of grated cheese, spinach, corn, asafoetida, pepper, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
To assemble the enchiladas
Heat the oil or ghee in a frying pan over high heat. When the ghee is hot (185°C/365°F), fry the tortillas individually for about 10 seconds on each side. Use smooth-tipped tongs to flip the tortillas in the oil. Remove and drain them on paper towels. The tortillas should be pliable.
Spread enough sauce on each tortilla to cover. If small tortillas are being used, spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of filling into the centre of each tortilla and fold in half. If large tortillas are being used, spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of filling into the center of each tortilla, spread into a strip and roll up the tortilla.
When all the tortillas are stuffed and laid out, pour over all the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, place in a preheated moderate oven (180°C/355°F), and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
Serve each enchilada hot with a spoonful of sour cream.

Strawberry Cream Shortcake

strawberry shortcake:
This cake is actually somewhere between a shortcake and a sponge. It’s enriched with ground walnuts or hazelnuts topped with strawberry jam, piled with rich vanilla-flavoured cream and studded with vine-ripened strawberries. Irresistible!

CAKE COOKING TIME: at least 30 minutes
YIELD: enough for 6–8 persons

The cake:
1 1/4 cups self-raising plain flour,
pinch salt,
4 tablespoons butter, about 60g,
3 tablespoons sugar,
1⁄3 cup ground walnuts, or ground toasted hazelnuts,
about 1⁄3 cup buttermilk.

The cream topping:
300ml double cream,
1 tablespoon sugar,
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract,
1 tablespoon milk powder,
a little cold milk if required to thin the cream.

The remaining topping ingredients:
3–4 tablespoons strawberry jam,
250g ripe, sweet strawberries, whole or cut in half lengthwise. 

Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/390˚F.
Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and ground nuts.
Pour in three-quarters of the buttermilk and gather the mixture into a soft manageable dough. If too dry, add some more buttermilk.
Press the cake mixture into a buttered 20cm (8-inch) fluted cake tin with removable base, taking care to evenly work the mixture up the sides of the tin. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until pale golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Carefully remove the cake from its tin.
Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla and powdered milk in a mixing bowl and beat it until the cream stands in soft peaks. If you plan to pipe the cream through a pastry bag, beat it until it stands in stiff peaks. If the cream is too thick to start with, add a little cold milk and then whip it. 
Spread the strawberry jam over the surface of the cake, pipe or spread the cream, then top with the strawberries. Cut into wedges and serve.

Chickpea Curry (Chole)

chickpea curry:

This dish features chickpeas, with their faintly nut-like flavour and smooth texture. Chickpeas are rich in protein-nitrogen compounds. Cooked in this spicy sauce they're great served with Puffed Fried Breads (Pooris), with chapattis, or with hot Boiled Rice.

DAL SOAKING TIME: overnight 
YIELD: enough for 4 to 6 servings

1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
6 cups water
1 bayleaf
the seeds from 4 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
5 black peppercorns
one 5 cm (2-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into bits
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon hot green chilli, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander or parsley

Wash and drain the chickpeas; then soak well-covered in water overnight. Drain.
Place the chickpeas, water, and bay leaf in a heavy 3-litre/quart saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the chickpeas for 1 hour or until they are butter-soft but not broken. Remove from the heat.

Drain, reserving the liquid. Remove the bay leaf.
Place 1/3 cup cooked and drained chickpeas in a blender or food processor with a little cooking liquid. Process to a smooth puree. Remove the chickpea puree and place it in a bowl. Set aside.
In a coffee grinder or blender or with a mortar and pestle, combine and crush to a powder the cardamom seeds, whole cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds .

Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy 2-litre/quart saucepan over moderately high heat. When hot, stir in the fresh ginger and green chili and saute for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cayenne, asafoetida, turmeric, paprika, and ground coriander. Add the ground spice powder, chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, the pureed chickpeas, and enough reserved chickpea cooking-water to make a gravy. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes; then remove, garnish with minced fresh coriander, and serve hot.

North Indian Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes

potato and cauliflower curry:

This is a popular North Indian vegetable dish. Combined with hot Puffed Fried Breads (Pooris) or rice, I could eat this any time of the day and on any occasion.

YIELD: enough for 4 - 5 persons

1/4 cup ghee or oil 
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 hot green chilies, seeded and chopped
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 1/4 cm (1/2-inch) cubes
1 medium cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
2 medium tomatoes blanched, peeled, and diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Heat the ghee or oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When the ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the cumin and saute them until they darken a few shades. Add the ginger and chilies, saute for a few moments, and then add the potato and cauliflower pieces. Stir-fry the vegetables for 4 or 5 minutes or until the vegetables start to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomatoes, turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, sugar, and salt.
Mix well, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and, stirring occasionally, cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add water if necessary during this time but don't over-stir the vegetables. When the vegetables are cooked, add the fresh coriander and the lemon juice. Serve hot.

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