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Summer calls for cooling and simple foods. There's also a bounty of vegetables everywhere, so eating small portions and bringing in the colors of the season onto your plate helps you get through the season well. This vegan summer bowl can be served as a rice bowl or plate with the chaach (buttermilk) on the side. It is a favorite in our household and is made across my family during the summer season. This bowl has lemon rice, tindora (ivy gourd) ,and green moong sprouts salad, making it a perfect vegan lovers meal. It serves three people and is a delight in the summer season. Eat it at room temperature or heat up the rice and veggies a bit. Your choice!

Picture of Summer Rice Bowl and Coconut Milk Chaach


For Lemon Rice

  • 3 cups cooked rice (Basmati/Sona Masoori/Ponni raw rice)

  • 3 key limes (juice)

  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil

  • Handful of cashewnuts/peanuts

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp. salt (little less than)

  • Pinch of hing (optional)

  • 1 sprig of curry leaves

  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

  • 2 red chillies

  • 1 tsp. chana dal (split chickpeas)

For Tindora

  • 500 gms tindora (slit length-wise into four pieces)

  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil

  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

  • Pinch of hing (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt (approx)

  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1/4 tsp. red chilli powder

Note: Incase you don't get tindora near you, use boiled grated beets or carrot and beans instead.

For Vegan Coconut Milk Chaach

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut/frozen grated coconut

  • 6-7 curry leaves

  • 1 green chilli (optional)

  • 1/4 inch ginger

  • Salt to taste (1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp. adjust according to taste)

  • 1/2 lime (juice)

  • 2.5 cups water

Closeup of summer rice plate


For Lemon Rice

  1. Cook the rice (without salt) and cool it on a large plate. Make sure the rice you've cooked is not sticky and each grain is separate.

  2. Heat a tbsp. of sunflower oil in a pan.

  3. Add hing, channa dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and red chillies, and give it a good mix.

  4. Then add the lime juice and peanuts/cashewnuts.

  5. Turn off the gas. Add 1/2 tsp. turmeric and 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust salt according to your taste).

  6. Mix everything lightly. Turn on the gas. Simmer the flame and cook covered for 2 minutes.

  7. Turn off the gas. Serve as shown.

For Tindora

  1. Heat oil in a pan.

  2. Add the mustard seeds.

  3. When the mustard seeds splutter, add hing and the cut tindora.

  4. Toss the tindora in the pan. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, and salt.

  5. Mix everything. Bring the flame to a medium simmer. Cover the pan and let it cook for 15-20 minutes.

  6. Open the pan occasionally and give the tindora a good mix.

  7. Serve hot with lemon rice.

For Moong Sprout Salad

  1. To make the green moong salad, just mix moong sprouts with veggies of your choice.

  2. Add some salt, chaat masala (optional), lemon, and coriander.

  3. Serve it on the side.

For Vegan Coconut Milk Chaach

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender.

  2. Strain the buttermilk using a nut milk bag or a cheese cloth.

  3. Enjoy!!

Here's a variation of the summer bowl with black channa sprouts instead made by my friend Anjana Menon.

Picture of summer rice bowl by Anjana Menon

© a_kitchen_apothecary (Photography and styling by Anjana Menon)

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