Cooking with Kamalaksa and Krishangi

Kamalaksa Das - January 1, 2005 12:27 pm

Krishangi's and Kamalaksa's falafel


We were asked to post our falafel recipe in a differet thread but thought it would be nice to start a new thread where people could share their best recipes.


This is a dish we pretty much developed in our kitchen after walking past way too many Turkish restaurants whose claims for vegetarian falafels left much to be desired. (A strict vegetarian might for example take objection to the hot-sauce made from beef broth...)


So we took things in our own hands. And seem to have succeeded quite well, as it turned out.


We're sorry for not being able to provide you with the exact amounts of ingredients. This for the simple reason that we've always been taught to cook by feeling instead of by exact measurement. While Kamalaksa was learning to cook his mentor always used to answer his query as to the amount of the different ingredients with the phrase "the suitable amount". As he tried to get further clarification as to what a "suitable amount" would be she simply said "not too little and not too much".


There are many different phases in preparing the dish, but with good planning (and at least one aid in the kitchen) you should get everything done in an hour or an hour and a half.


And although the recipe turned out to be really long we assure you that this is a really easy dish to make. As proof we offer myself: if we am able to prepare the dish, so will you!


The different phases are


making the bread

making the tomato-chutney

making the tahini sauce

making the yogurt sauce

cutting the lettuce

frying the tofu



The bread


Start by making the dough.


You will need


wheat flour

water (handwarm or so)




Start by setting the owen to 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit), so that it will be hot when the dough is ready. Mix the yeast into the water and add salt and flour as much as needed to make a nice dough. This comes with practice.


Differing from your ordinary dough you will not leave this one to rise at this time. Instead you make small round balls out of it, and roll them into thin, round (well, as round as you can...) cakes. Place them on an oven plate and cover them with a kitchen towel. Let them rise there for around 20 minutes.


After 20 minutes put the breads in the owen. Be sure to remove the towel prior to this... You should place them on one of the lower levels in the owen. When the breads then puff (as they should do, and do, for reasons unknown to me) take them out and pile them on a towel, while covering them with another towel. Watch out for squeezing them with your bare hands, the steam coming from them is burning hot.


Repeat process for as many breads as you have.




Tomato chutney


When the breads are baking, you can utilise your time by cooking the tomato chutney.


You will need:


crushed tomatoes

black mustard seeds

fresh green chillies


bay leaves



cinnamon sticks




Begin preparing the chutney by makingthe chaunce which means frying the spices in hot oil. Pour a thin layer of oil to the bottom of a kettle and let it heat up for a moment on maximum heat. Add 3 teaspoons black mustard seeds and wait until they start popping (if you’ve made the crucial mistake of buying non-popping black mustard seeds watch out for burning them while you wait for them to pop). You can avoid getting the popping seeds on your face by covering the kettle with a lid while the popping is at its worst (or best, depending on how you look at it). Then add 6 small hot chilies cut into small pieces, two cinnamon sticks broken in two halves, 2 tablespoons fennel, 2 tablespoons jeera, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida. Fry the spices for a moment while turning them with a spatula.


Then pour 1 kg crushed tomatoes on the chaunce. Mix it, add 3/4 dl sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Leave the chutney to simmer on

low heat for the rest of the time you’re cooking to boil off extra liquid. Mix it occasionally.



The yoghurt sauce


You will need


plain yoghurt

black pepper (coarse)


fresh mint or parsley


Pour the yoghurt in a bowl, add some black pepper and some salt. Mix. Cut or tear some mint or parsley and mix in yogurt.



The tahini sauce


You will need



olive oil



Mix these in a small bowl so that they form a smooth paste. Taking the tahini from fridge some time before starting to cook is advisable, as it gets more flowing as it warms up.



The lettuce


You will need


a lettuce

a lemon


Cut the lettuce into very fine pieces, and sprinkle with the juice from a lemon.



The tofu


You will need


a non-stick frying pan

some tofu

soy sauce

ghee or oil for frying (I'm not sure this would pass Audariya's strict no-fat diet inspection...)


Cut the tofu into pieces approximately 2.2" x 0,25" x 0.25".


Heat the ghee or oil in the frying pan, pour in tofu, sprinkle with soy sauce. Fry until brown and crispy on the surface. (And according to own taste: Krishangi likes hers lighter, Kamalaksa prefers them almost black...)



As an added (and strictly non-vedic) bonus, should you wish to make the experience totally authentic, you could go and by a can of jalapenos. Most are preserved in vinegar, so be sure to hide the jar in the furthest corner of your fridge.



If you need any clarification we'll be happy to provide it!



Syamasundara - January 3, 2005 3:04 pm

Well, let me say first that I really appreciate this idea of a separate thread, where we can create and define the Audarya Flavor so to speak; that is because I am big into cooking, but also because cooking in our tradition is really important and means much more that it may appear: "Kitchen religion" as Srila Prabhupada once said.

Personally, I will contribute, as I decided, with a view to develop humility, since my first thought when I read about this recipe thread was "That's great! But wait a second, do I really want to share my secrets and be less special or unique?"

My second thought was one of disgust for having the first, so I decided I really need to contribute to this forum.

Right now I'm typing at the end of my lunch break, so I will just mention one time at Audarya when I made some very basic spaghetti: the sauce was cream (maybe sour), peas, saffron, salt, pepper, hing and nutmeg. GM and Vrndaranya were really appreciative.

Another time Guru Maharaja just called me to let me know the pakoras I had made for him were otherworldly (or something like that), and all I had done was adding semolina to the batter as Yamuna devi, my muse and indirect mentor, says in her book.


As far as the falafel recipe, I was surprised to see that there was no falafel involved, meaning that falafel in Arab means fava beans, and by extension the famous patties made with ground soaked fava or garbanzo beans that fill the pita breads and that also give the name to the dish, so I had understood that you had made falafel AND tofu in some other way.

Oops, back to work....

Syamasundara - January 7, 2005 2:56 pm

This morning I thought of another simple recipe, which I'll call Vrndavan Lemonade.


Of course the taste will never be the same if we don't use that very citrus, but anyway it just so happened once in Vrndavana that GM asked me for nimbu-pani (lemonade) and since I just cannot do things straight and simple, I thought of adding one orange. Otherwise the recipe is the same as in some Kurma book:


3/4 cup honey or brown sugar

1 cup lemon juice

1 orange

6 cups water


Well, that's it, but he really liked it and kept asking for it. I think once I jazzed it up with grated ginger and let it rest for several hours before serving.

Syamasundara - January 12, 2005 6:39 pm

I just mentioned GM's dahi vada in the Deities thread. The recipe I'll post here however is of another dish, that GM calls cowherd breakfast.


It's but:


chipped rice (khoa)

(home made) yogurt

fresh fruit


The fruit available in Vrndavana was bananas, apples, raisins, citrus and among others these things called rasabharis ("filled with juice") or as Vrnda says Rasbies.

They look like orange tomatillos and taste sour sweet.

Just mix it all up and offer.


Personally I didn't like it, and was hoping for the colder days when we'd have cracked wheat. :P But just the idea of the little gopas having this for breakfast was so cool, and it brings to memory a lot of stories from the Bhagavatam.

Syamasundara - February 18, 2005 9:42 am

One summer afternoon in Eugene I made a simple shrikand with honey and mint essence, but Vijaya Kumara said I could market it. Guru Maharaja liked it, too.


For those who weren't familiar with making shrikhand or yogurt, just heat some milk on low heat, until u stick your pinky in it, count ten, and it start burning at ten. Do not swirl ur finger while counting or it will feel hot faster. Mysteries of physics.

I'm sure there are better ways, but this works well enough. Add some yogurt to the warm milk, a pinch of sugar is supposed to help the fermentation, cover it tight, and keep it at that temperature for 6 hours, like behind a fridge or on a very low heater.


Once u have yogurt u can make many things, in this case you need to make yogurt cheese, which I am sure has one of those Indian names with "kh".

Basically u take some thin cloth, line a colander with it, poor the yogurt, and let it drain for hours, like overnight. The following day, scrape the cloth, add honey (1:4) and 2 or 3 drops of peppermint oil.

Krsangi Dasi - January 16, 2006 8:08 am

Syamasundara asked me to revive this thread, and I thought it sounded like a good idea. :) So here's my muffin recipe, with different variations: carob, lemon, berries and nuts.


But actually I should confess that this isn't originally my recipe, I got it from our cooking acarya Mohini who has a vegetarian restaurant in Tampere, Finland. Everything Kamalaksa and I know about cooking is only a result of her causeless mercy. :lol:




6 dl flour

3 dl sugar

2 teaspoons sodium carbonate

1 dl carob powder

4 dl buttermilk (or plain soy yoghurt)

0,5 dl oil


Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Oil a muffin tin (mine is coated with teflon and really handy!) or take out 12 large muffin forms. Mix the flour, sugar, sodium carbonate and carob powder. Add the buttermilk and oil and mix well. Fill the tin/forms, but don't overfill them or the muffins will rise too much and you'll and up with one giant muffin instead of 12 normal ones.


Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes, and then poke them with a stick (wooden saslik sticks are my favorites). If any dough sticks to the stick, bake for a few more minutes and then poke again. It might also be a good idea to poke several muffins on different sides of the tin, as most ovens bake unevenly.


Some experimenting will be required to find the right consistency for the muffins: if the dough is too dry they won't rise as much in the oven, and if it's too wet they'll rise too much and won't look so good. Either way, I've never managed to make muffins that wouldn't have tasted good. :)


Muffin variations:


LEMON Instead of carob powder add the finely grated rind and juice of one lemon.


BERRY Instead of carob powder add about 1-2 dl berries, preferably either fresh or right out of the freeze. I use a mix of raspberries and blueberries. Note! Leave out 1 dl of the flour and buttermilk to compensate for the added berries.


NUTS Instead of carob powder add 150 g crushed nuts, I use a mix of cashew nuts and walnuts. Replace 0,5 dl of the sugar with maple syrup.

Karnamrita Das - January 16, 2006 5:06 pm

Thanks to everyone for the recipes!


Hey Krsangi! Hari Bol. For those of us conversion challenged Yanks, what is the measurement dl! And how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit? And Finnis minutes to U.S. minutes! :lol:


dasanudas Karnam

Nanda-tanuja Dasa - January 16, 2006 5:38 pm
For those of us conversion challenged Yanks

1 dl = 0.423 cups

How to convert Celsius temperatures to Fahrenheit: multiply the Celsius temperature by 9/5, then add 32

Syamasundara - January 16, 2006 9:45 pm
Thanks to everyone for the recipes!


Hey Krsangi! Hari Bol.  For those of us conversion challenged Yanks, what is the measurement dl! And how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit? And Finnis minutes to U.S. minutes!  :lol:


dasanudas Karnam




There ya go yankee: http://www.digitaldutch.com/unitconverter/

Syamasundara - March 8, 2006 1:01 am

Cashew burfi. This is what I used:


half of Raga's daily milk (the other half is for Gita) say 2,5 cups


two handfuls of cashews


half a cup of sugar (I used white sugar as I wanted GM to really taste the cashews)


a splash of lemon juice


Boil down the milk to, say, half its volume. Toast the cashews with half a teaspoon of oil until they brown. Grind them as finely as you can. Add them and the sugar to the milk and stir until it solidifies. Splash with lemon juice and let it absorb. Let cool down and shape.

Babhru Das - March 8, 2006 4:10 am

Maybe you should post this under the "Rasa" thread, too!

Guru-nistha Das - March 9, 2006 12:00 am

half of Raga's daily milk (the other half is for Gita) say 2,5 cups



Naw, that's more like 1.5 cups...

Swami - March 12, 2006 4:04 pm

Naw, that's more like 1.5 cups...



It's 5 cups daily at 15 months after giving birth! 2 in the morning and three at night. The 1.5 expereince probably is a rusult of my giving Raga's milk to Gita. :rolleyes:

Syamasundara - May 16, 2006 3:46 am

Can somebody post the recipes for the banana bread, the pumpkin fritters, and the sabji GM created please?

Syamasundara - May 18, 2006 7:44 pm


Jananivasdas - May 19, 2006 2:26 pm

sorry to post a link to vegan site :D

http://www.vegan-food.net/ theres many different recipes.

Syamasundara - May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Thank you, but I doubt I'll find a sabji GM made up there, as far as the other two recipes, I care for those very ones.

Syamasundara - August 29, 2007 5:55 am

Who made those muffins during the Ratha Yatra retreat? I have been having very bad luck with baking powder goods in the last couple of years.

Can I have the recipe and all the secrets?



Gandiva Dasi - August 31, 2007 2:25 pm
Who made those muffins during the Ratha Yatra retreat? I have been having very bad luck with baking powder goods in the last couple of years.

Can I have the recipe and all the secrets?




I'm not sure which muffins your asking about? If it was carrot muffins, we used an Audarya carrot cake recipe from Guru Nistha and if it was blueberry muffins Prema Bhakti brought them up. If it was chocolate frosted cupcakes I used


2 cups plain flour

2 generous tsps baking powder

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2-1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsn plain yoghurt

about 3/4 cup milk

1/2 tspn salt


No secrets, wet and dry ingredient mixed separately except for milk which I add bit by bit after the 2 bowls are combined to get the right consistency. (something acidic helps activate the baking powder so you can substitute milk curdled with lemon if you don't have yoghurt)


Frosting (no measurements) :rolleyes:

icing sugar

creamed buttter

cocoa powder

chocolate or vanilla essence

dash of milk