Eid-ul-Adha is around the corner. However, Eid-ul-Adha doesn’t bring a problem for only vegetarians but also those who can’t consume Qurbani meat. For our folks, who are in the same boat, here are a few delicious recipes suitable for individuals who do not consume meat.
1. Aglio e Olio Pasta
- 8 ounces (225 grams) of spaghetti or your preferred pasta
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust according to your spice preference)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti (or pasta of your choice) and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.
- Sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes: While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic turns golden and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Toss the pasta: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss well to coat the pasta evenly with the oil. If the pasta seems dry, you can add a splash of the reserved pasta water to moisten it. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss again to combine.
- Serve: Transfer the Aglio e Olio pasta to serving plates or bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired. You can also sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese (or a vegetarian alternative) on top, though it is optional.
2. Vegetarian Karahi
- 2 cups cottage cheese cubed
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 green chilies, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tomatoes, pureed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Heat ghee or vegetable oil in a large pan or karahi over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and sliced green chilies to the pan and sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste to the pan and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Pour in the tomato puree and cook for a few minutes until the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
- Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well to combine the spices with the tomato mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the cubed paneer to the pan. Gently stir to coat the paneer with the tomato-spice mixture. Be careful not to break the paneer.
- Cover the pan and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, allowing the paneer to absorb the flavors.
- Crush the dried fenugreek leaves between your palms and sprinkle them over the paneer. Stir gently to incorporate.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with naan, roti, or rice. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top before eating for an extra tangy flavor.
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3. Chickpea and Vegetable Biryani
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons biryani masala or curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)
- Wash the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.
- Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the sliced onions and cook until golden brown.
- Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pot and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the diced carrots, bell pepper, and frozen peas to the pot. Stir-fry the vegetables for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add the drained chickpeas, biryani masala or curry powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well to coat the vegetables and chickpeas with the spices.
- Add the soaked and drained basmati rice to the pot. Gently stir to combine everything. Pour 2 cups of water into the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the biryani simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the flavors have melded together.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes to steam.
- Fluff the biryani gently with a fork and transfer it to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve the chickpea and vegetable biryani hot as a main course for your Eid celebration.
4. Chicken Penne Pasta
- 8 ounces (225g) penne pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and chopped onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
- Add the sliced red bell pepper to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until slightly softened.
- Return the cooked chicken to the skillet, along with the halved cherry tomatoes. Stir everything together and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and pour in the heavy cream. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the cooked penne pasta to the skillet and toss it with the chicken and vegetable mixture until well coated.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta and mix it in.
- Stir in the chopped fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Remove from heat and serve the chicken pasta hot.
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