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Dr Shah shares two delicious recipes with fellow and aspiring vegans

(All photos © SHARAN)


cashew cheese

Why you should have it: This cheese is free of hormones, pus, antibiotics, and cholesterol found in animal milk. Only animals make cholesterol, there is no cholesterol in plants. This cheese has fibre and is lower in fat than animal cheeses. It’s also simple, easy to make, and is ideal for making cheesy sauces, dips and spreads, or even to be spread just directly on bread. It can even be used in baked dishes and will brown slightly when baked.

Ingredients (For 1 cup of cheese)

  • 1 cup soaked raw cashews
  • 1/3 tsp salt


Pour out the water from the cashew container and place them in the grinder. Make this into a smooth paste, adding a little water for moisture. The less water you add, the thicker the cheese will be. Add salt and blend. Now leave this to ferment in a glass or plastic container for 18 to 72 hours depending on room temperature until it begins to smell sour. Mix well and serve. Refrigerate to store. This can keep for 10 days or more. Top with crushed red chillies, roasted cumin or caraway seeds, herbs, sun dried tomatoes or olives to make flavoured cheese.



Why you should have it: They’re not deep fried. Enjoy pakoras (chickpea flour dumplings) without getting artery clogging fats, acidity and weight gain!

Ingredients (For 4)

  • 1 cup mixed chopped or grated vegetables (you can use cabbage, onions, carrots or any vegetables of your choice)
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • Spices of your choice
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Minced fresh coriander
  • Water as needed to make the blend thick and sticky for dough-like consistency


Mix all the ingredients to form dough. Make small ½ to ¾- inch balls and put in a steamer. Steam till done (if you put a fork in, it will come off clean or the pakora does not stick to the steamer and can be easily moved). They will grow in size a bit when steamed.

Take them out of the steamer and pop them in the oven at 200°C for a short time till the outer crust is brown. Serve while hot with delicious mint coriander chutney or date tamarind chutney. (Tip: It’s essential to serve these pakoras as soon as they come out of the oven for optimum flavour).


dr shahDr Nandita Shah is Founder-Director, Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN), Auroville, Tamil Nadu. She uses food as medicine and teaches people to prevent and reverse disease through diet


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