Mango & Mint: Arabian, Indian, and North African Inspired Vegan Cuisine

Mango & Mint: Arabian, Indian, and North African Inspired Vegan Cuisine

by Nicky Garratt


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Nicky Garratt’s love of Arabian, Indian, and North African cuisine is obvious in this mouth-watering collection of vegan recipes. Challenging the notion that meals require a centerpiece—historically based around the kill from the hunt or domesticated herd—this recipe collection offers satisfying menus in both buffet style and formal sit-down meals using the vegan philosophy of an intelligent use of the resources available. The full-color photographs offer ideas for presentation, and the book includes sections on planning meals in advance to save money and maximize resources as well as a selection of recipes that utilizes often-discarded items as ingredients—such as watermelon rinds and beet tops in addition to the common problem of easily forgotten leftovers. The flavor of Arabic and North African cuisine is seen in the recipes for Baba Ghannouj, Red Pepper Bulgar, Spinach Pies, Harissa, and Donuts in Syrup, while Indian favorites such as Apple Soup, Peanut Vada, Chana Masala with Green Chili, and Mango Rice also make an appearance. The recipes range from quick and easily created to relatively complex, all of which require only basic equipment and rudimentary skill. The book contains an index for fresh ingredients that enables one to quickly locate a recipe by provisions already found in the refrigerator.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604863239
Publisher: PM Press
Publication date: 07/01/2013
Series: Tofu Hound Press
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Nicky Garratt is an internationally recognized guitar player and vegetarian chef. In 1977 he released his first recording with his punk rock band UK Subs and 30 years later the band won a BBC poll as the world’s best punk rock band. Over the past 40 years he has been an outspoken advocate for science and animal rights, and is active on the lecture circuit on science advocacy topics. He divides his time between San Francisco and Quedlinburg, Germany.

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Mango and Mint

Arabian, Indian, and North African Inspired Vegan Cuisine

By Nicky Garratt, Lena Tsakmaki

PM Press

Copyright © 2013 Nicky Garratt
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60486-889-0


Ganging Up

• Almond Syrup
• Masalas
• Sambar Powder
• Moong Dal Base
• North Indian Base Sauce
• Orange Flower Syrup
• Rutabaga Base Sauce
• White Nut Sauce

Many recipes require soak time, shelling, or boiling. Perhaps ingredients are simply not available and the thought of seeking out dried apricots in the evening or firing up the barbecue before you can even start on the dish simply steers one toward a grilled sandwich. But really a sandwich is just assembling parts prepared in advance, and you can adopt this idea to maintain a more compelling diet. In fact, with improved planning, you can make the choice to jump in and cook much less intimidating.

Strategic forethought will undoubtedly reap benefits in time management and flexibility and save a lot of money, particularly when buying produce in season at a farmers' market or buying in bulk. Most fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, greens, citrus, and eggplants are best processed immediately before storing. For example, greens can be quickly boiled, drained, then frozen. A good tip is to freeze provisions like methi or spinach in premeasured amounts and labeled accordingly. About a cup is the optimum size for this type of ingredient. Using this method avoids having to hack through frozen blocks to comply with a recipe on short notice. Tomatoes are perfect candidates for planning ahead. In season, full-flavored, vine-ripe tomatoes are a steal at the farmers' market. I buy 20 pounds or so, peel, chop, stew, and freeze them for later use. There is no comparison between a pasta sauce made from this vibrant fruit and the lackluster supermarket alternative. Orange juice can be also harvested when citrus is inexpensive and then frozen. Eggplants should be snapped up when the price drops, fire roasted, bled, and the pulp frozen.

A similar tactic can be employed in the garden. Often, particularly in California and Florida, people have more lemons than they know what to do with and will happily let you pick some. A neat trick is to freeze lemon juice in an ice cube tray, then the next day remove and stack the cubes into a plastic container. If you can judge the size of the tray to equal the juice from one lemon per cube, then you will always have a source of lemon juice. For hummus, simply defrost two cubes. While you're at it, make a jar of Preserved Lemons (page 165) for later use. When labeling frozen provisions, remember to indicate along with the contents, the amount, and date processed.

Some dishes require the same starting ingredients so it's useful to save time by "ganging up" on prep work. Of course you can prepare or even buy chopped onion or garlic for a head start, but you can go much further than that. Indian food can be thought of as modular in a way. For example the warming spice blend garam masala has a lot of ground, roasted ingredients, making it impractical to prepare each time you need it. Instead you would make or buy a batch to be readily available when needed. As with all spices, particularly when ground, it's best to store them in airtight containers away from direct light.

The idea of pre-prepared elements is apparent in the North Indian-style takeaway, where an order of alou matter or mixed vegetable curry can be rapidly completed. To achieve this efficiency, a base sauce is prepared ahead of time in great quantities. This idea is also very useful in the home. Keeping a base sauce or two in the freezer enables one to quickly throw together an impressive meal when combined with rice and chutney.

The Barbecue

Some vegetables used in these recipes are first baked over an open flame. I built a brick oven for this purpose, but a commercial barbecue would work as long as you use charcoal and not gas. When you fire up the barbecue, think ahead to which other dishes you might want to make another time and plan accordingly, because once the fire is going you want to maximize it.


I usually roast a couple of acorn or butternut squash when I'm using my outside charcoal oven. They are the first thing to go in and the last to come out. You don't need to wrap them in foil or any such thing, but remember they are very dense. To cook them through without charring deep into the flesh, you want to keep them out of the direct flame as much as you can. In my oven I built rounded ledges in the corners for just that purpose, otherwise a couple of layers of foil under each squash will protect it. As the fire dies down you can remove that. When you can easily poke a fork deep into the squash, it should be ready. (In particular, try not to overcook spaghetti squash.) Let them cool before scraping out the pulp into a plastic container. Store it in the freezer.

Uses: Butternut Squash Soup (page 46), Base Sauce (page 24, replacing the rutabaga), and Spaghetti Squash with Peanuts (page 83).

Onions and Garlic

Like squash, large onions and garlic bulbs will need to go into the oven early, again avoiding the direct flame. Leave the skin on because it will give some protection to the usable layers.

Uses: Fire-roasted onions can replace fried onions on burgers or in falafel sandwiches. They are more flavorful and less oily. You can also chop them and use them for a garnish on Chana Masala (page 98) or simply add them to a salad.


Buy large, dense, unblemished eggplants. Don't use the Japanese or Thai varieties for this roasting procedure. They — like the small, white, egg-shaped ones — are often fried directly. Eggplants, like tomatoes, are fruit and do not have, as some people believe, a gender. The idea of the "male" eggplant, with the smaller navel having less seeds and being sweeter is more likely due to its timely harvesting. Nevertheless, the bleeding process will make either sweet enough, just make sure it is not bruised or discolored. Eggplants go on the fire once the flames have died down a little in the middle of proceedings. This prevents the flesh turning to ash, but fully blackens the skin at a rate that allows the inside to cook and then collapse. Start by pricking the eggplant around with a fork. Place them over the flame so the fire barely kisses the skin. You will need to rotate the fruit so it is evenly blackened. Use blunt, perhaps wooden, utensils to avoid breaking them up. Make sure the stem end is well targeted. Once each one is fully collapsed remove them carefully and stand them upright in a colander inside a bowl. They will be leaking juice. If you need to, pour away the juice as it collects in the bottom of the bowl to avoid the eggplants sitting in the liquid.

Wait for the eggplants to cool while bleeding away the liquid. You can leave them like that for an hour or so. Now separate the blackened skin, scraping all of the flesh into a container. Discard the stem and all the small flecks of blacked skin, but include any darkened flesh, which will provide the smoked flavor.

In the container the pulp will continue to expel liquid. Keep pouring that away, as that juice is culprit for the rubbery effect sometimes present in supermarket baba ghanoush. Without it, your eggplant dish will be sweeter.

Once a reasonable amount of juice has been drained, store the pulp in sealed plastic containers in the freezer. Again, store in measured amounts marked on the lids. For example 1% cups for one portion of baba ghanoush or 2½ cups for baingan bharta. Once you've tried charcoal-roasted baba ghanoush you will not be able to go back to the bland supermarket variety.

Uses: Ajvar (page 137) Baba Ghanoush (page 58) and Baingan Bharta (page 94).


Seek out the Italian chestnuts, not the Korean variety, which are much less expensive but have little taste. Roast the chestnuts on the fire's middle to late stages, when it is still hot with a nice glow. Pierce both sides of each with a sharp knife and lay out the nuts on the grill — though first make sure they don't fall through. Keep rotating them to evenly blacken the shells. They should not be completely black, more charred in patches. Roast too quickly and the insides will be raw, too long at high heat and the inside will be burnt, too slowly and the inside will dry out. Practice makes perfect.

Uses: There's not many a better snack than hot chestnuts. I also like to drop them whole into spaghetti sauce.

Corn on the Cob

Select corn that has no discolored or rotten kernels and husk. Place the corn directly above the fire, without wrapping in foil, but quite late so the kernels get lightly charred, not burnt. Using your hand, coat the corn with the grilling sauce (page 138). It takes only a couple of minutes to roll corn on the grill and cook it so it is still crisp but the sauce has cooked. Serve hot. Refrigerate the leftover ears for a couple of days or freeze them for later use.

Uses: Black Vegetable Medley (page 223).


Bananas or Plantains can be roasted in the skin and turned so they are evenly blackened. If you want to add some grilling sauce or flavoring, simply cut them in half lengthwise when they are almost ready and add the seasoning. Close them up and return to the heat to finish.


All colors of bell peppers are candidates for the barbecue. There is probably no vegetable whose flavor is more enhanced by fire roasting. Place the peppers over the flame toward the end of the charcoal burn when an even flame is achieved. Too aggressive a flame will turn the whole wall of the pepper to ash. Turn the peppers over the flame until they are completely blackened and no patches of color remain. Let them cool a little and then put them in a plastic bag for a quarter of an hour. The skins should easily slip away. You can also run them under cold water and ease away the skins. Leave them in a bowl and let the liquid drain. Pat the peppers dry, remove the stalk end and seeds, and then cut into strips.

Uses: Roasted Red Pepper Bulgur Salad (page 144), Ajvar (page 137), Muhammara (page 73), Red Pepper and Tomato Pilaf (page 130), and Pepper Sauce (page 143).

Cooking in Batches

Another way to gang up is soaking or cooking various legumes and grains in bulk. Chickpeas are already quite inexpensive and when you cook a huge pot of them in one go and use them for various dishes — such as Hummus (page 70), Persimmons and Chickpeas with Anise (page 117), or Chana Masala with Chiles (page 98) — it becomes very economical. They can be frozen with the cooking water as well. You can also make a double or triple batch of moong dal and simply temper with flavored oil as needed.

Fresh Herb Cheat

It's not always possible to get every fresh herb — like cilantro (coriander), basil, or mint — when you need them. If you tend a kitchen herb patch it alleviates this problem, but it is easy to get caught between the annual herbs like basil or parsley. A trick to cover any lapse is to chop and pack herbs into an ice cube tray and freeze them. You can mark each slot with a felt pen. Then if you need to add some fresh cilantro to finish a dal for instance, just pop a "cube" out of the tray. Make sure it is fully defrosted before serving the dal, of course. This does not really work for fresh garnish though.

Vegetable Stock

An excellent way to make a vegetable stock is to use the solids from your juicer. Make sure all of the vegetables are washed before proceeding. Any combination of carrots, beets, celery, and garlic solids are boiled in a large saucepan of water for about half an hour. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a plastic bowl, cool, and then store in a plastic container in the refrigerator if you are using it in the next couple of days or in the freezer for later use. This stock is a perfect starter for soups like Lentil Soup (page 49) or Butternut Squash Soup (page 46).

Deep Frying

Deep frying can be messy. Oil can spit out or drip, and your hands can be covered with flour or batter. Therefore when you are set up to make Pakoras (page 232) or koftas it's a good idea to maximize the process and minimize the clean-up. Certain deep-fried food items freeze very well, so by setting aside a couple of hours you can stock the freezer with Samosas (page 39) and a variety of koftas. Pakoras don't freeze well, so perhaps if they are on your menu for the evening, you could utilize the hot oil and make a batch of Split Pea Koftas (page 85) as well for storage.

Sometimes the frying process imparts flavor to the oil, rendering it unsuitable to be shared for some dishes.

Here is a list of suitable savory recipes that do freeze well and are candidates for ganging up: bananas (for Bananas in Nut Sauce, page 93), Red Cabbage Koftas, (page 119), Falafel (page 101), Lotus Root Koftas (page 110), Fried Onion Garnish (page 153), Samosas, (page 39), Split Pea Koftas (page 85), and Savory Indian Snack (page 80).

These are sweet deep-fried recipes that can share the oil: Donuts in Syrup (page 178) and Deep-Fried Batter (Jalebi) in Kewra Syrup (page 177).

Almond Syrup

Type: Indian

Preparation: Overnight soaking

Speed: Fast

Notes: This syrup can be used as a refreshing drink to accompany an Indian meal.

• ¼ pound raw almonds
• Seeds from 10 green cardamom pods
• 3 cups water
• 1 cup sugar

Soak the almonds overnight, then rinse them in clean water and remove the skins (they should easily pinch off with your fingers). Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar, then process them with the almonds and a cup of water in a food processor until you have a smooth milk. Strain the milk through cheesecloth into a bowl, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and return the pulp to the processor. Process the pulp again with another cup of water, then strain into the same bowl. Repeat the last step once more.

Pour the almond milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid a little. The syrup can now be stored in the refrigerator.

Uses: Kumquat Coffee Dessert (page 180), Almond Drink (page 209), Mango Lassi (page 211), and Carrot Desert (page 173).

Tip: You can buy a nylon extra-fine straining stocking, which is reusable. I find this easier than cheesecloth.


If you choose to grind your own masala powders, here are three useful blends.

Garam Masala

Type: Indian

Speed: Fast

Notes: Garam masala is a warming, thickening spice blend that is usually added to Indian dishes toward the end of cooking. Here is a basic mix, but there are many slightly different variations.

• 2 tablespoons cardamom pods
• 5 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 5 tablespoons cumin seeds
• 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
• 2 tablespoons whole cloves
• 1 whole nutmeg, grated
• 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
• 5 bay leaves

Remove the cardamom seeds from their pods and discard the pods. Dry roast the ingredients over low heat while shaking them for about 10 minutes. The spices will start to release their aroma. Do not burn. Grind the mixture in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Store the garam masala in an airtight container away from the light.

Chaat Masala

Type: Indian

Speed: Fast

Notes: Use to sprinkle on Indian fruit salad.

• 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
• 2 black peppercorns
• 1/8 teaspoon carom seeds
• ¼ teaspoon dried mint
• 1 teaspoon mango powder
• ½ teaspoon black salt
• ¼ teaspoon asafetida
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
• ¾ teaspoon salt

Dry roast the cumin, pepper, and carom. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder with the mint and then mix with the other ingredients. Store the masala in an airtight container away from the light.

Sambar Powder

Type: South Indian

Speed: Fast

Notes: This is a kind of southern-style curry powder in which the coriander is dominant over the cumin. It also thickens a sauce, as it contains powdered dal.

• ¾ cup coriander seeds
• ¾ cup chana dal
• 1/3 cup grated desiccated coconut
• ¼ cup fenugreek seeds
• ¼ cup cumin seeds
• ¼ cup black mustard seeds
• 30 dried curry leaves
• 2 tablespoons urad dal
• 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
• 15 dry red chile peppers
• 3 tablespoons turmeric powder
• 1 tablespoon ginger powder
• 1 tablespoon asafetida

Dry roast the first 10 ingredients on low heat until they release their aroma, the chana dal starts to darken, and the coconut is a cinnamon color. Remove from the heat into a bowl, then add the turmeric, ginger, and asafetida. Grind in a spice grinder until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight container away from sunlight.

Moong Dal Base

Type: Indian

Speed: Fast


Excerpted from Mango and Mint by Nicky Garratt, Lena Tsakmaki. Copyright © 2013 Nicky Garratt. Excerpted by permission of PM Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Ganging Up 11

Almond Syrup 18

Masalas 19

Sambar Powder 20

Moong Dal Base 21

North Indian Base Sauce 22

Orange Flower Syrup 23

Rutabaga Base Sauce 24

White Nut Sauce 25

Breads & Pies 27

Bread Topped with Za'atar 31

Chapati 32

Flax Roti 33

Moroccan Bread 34

Pita Bread 35

Poori 36

Spinach Pies 37

Stuffed Paratha 38

Vegetable Samosas 39

Soups 41

Apple Soup 45

Butternut Squash Soup 46

Cashew Soup 47

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup 48

Lentil Soup 49

Onion Rasam 50

Tomato Rasam 51

Starters & Side Dishes 53

Apple Curry 57

Baba Ghanoush 58

Besan Pancakes 59

Bitter Melons with Onion 60

Breakfast Raita 61

Brussels Sprouts in Rutabaga Sauce 62

Cabbage Curry 63

Cabbage Tagine 64

Curried Watermelon 65

Fenugreek Purée 66

Flavored Moong Dais 67

Green Beans in Tomato Sauce 69

Hummus 70

Mango and Pineapple Curry 72

Muhammara 73

Peanut Vada 74

Pine Nut Pâté 75

Potatoes and Fenugreek 76

Red Radishes in Rutabaga Sauce 77

Sambar 78

Savory Brussels Sprouts 79

Savory Indian Snack 80

Savory Potato Cakes 82

Spaghetti Squash with Peanuts 83

Spicy Long Beans 84

Split Pea Koftas 85

Stir-Fried Peppers and Mushrooms 86

Stuffed Peppers 87

Sweet Potatoes with Scallions 88

Main Courses 89

Bananas in Nut Sauce 93

Baingan Bharta 94

Bitter Melons with Coconut 95

Cabbage and Peas with Ginger 96

Cauliflower, Potato, and Methi Curry 97

Chana Masala with Chiles 98

Crookneck Squash with Yellow Split Peas 99

Eggplant and Chickpeas 100

Falafel 101

Fennel in Nut Sauce 102

Fried Dal 103

Ful Mudammas 104

Instant Celery Root Sambar 105

Jackfruit in Coconut-Cashew Sauce 106

Kale and Moong Bean Stew 107

Kofta Sauce 108

Lima Bean Patties 109

Lotus Root Koftas 110

Mushrooms in Nut Sauce 111

Masala Dosa 112

North African Flavored Pasta 114

Okra North Indian Style 115

Peas and Mushrooms in Gravy 116

Persimmons and Chickpeas with Anise 117

Potatoes and Cauliflower in Gravy 118

Red Cabbage Koftas 119

Tomato-Stuffed Eggplants 120

Grains 121

Apple Mustard Rice 125

Basmati Northern Style 126

Couscous 127

Lime Rice Pilaf 128

Mango Rice 129

Red Pepper and Tomato Pilaf 130

Rice Pilaf 131

Toasted Coconut Rice 132

Salads & Dressings 133

Ajvar 137

Barbecue Sauce 138

Black Olive Sauce 138

Cucumber Salad 139

Lebanese Salad 140

Moroccan Green Pepper Salad 140

Moroccan Orange and Black Olive Salad 141

North African Flavored Pasta Salad 142

Pepper Sauce 143

Roasted Red Pepper Bulgur Salad 144

Spicy Fava Bean Salad 145

Taratoor (Sesame Sauce) 146

Za'atar Dip 146

Pickles & Chutney 147

Chile Citrus Pickle 151

Coconut Chutney #1 152

Coconut Chutney #2 152

Fried Onion Garnish 153

Fruit and Nut Chutney 154

Harissa 155

Indian Vegetable Pickle 156

Kiwi Chutney 157

Lime Pickle 158

Longan and Onion Chutney 159

Lotus Root and Date Chutney 160

Mint Chutney 161

Orange and Almond Anglo-Indian Marmalade 162

Pickled Vegetables 163

Pineapple and Date Chutney 164

Preserved Lemons 165

Sweet Garlic and Chile Pickle 166

Sweet Mango Chutney 167

Tamarind Dipping Sauce 168

Tomato Chutney 168

Desserts 169

Carrot Dessert 173

Coconut Berry Surprise 174

Coconut Halva 175

Date Royal 176

Deep-Fried Batter (Jalebi) in Kewra Syrup 177

Donuts in Syrup 178

Durian Dessert 179

Halva 180

Kumquat Coffee Dessert 180

Lime-Mint-Guava Dessert 181

Nut Brittle 182

Orange Sesame Candy 183

Orange Slices in Syrup 184

White Mulberry Dessert 184

Sample Menus 185

Drinks 205

Almond Drink 209

Angelica Tea 209

Ayran 210

Chickpea Flour Drink 210

Hibiscus Flower Tea 211

Mango Lassi 211

Mint Tea 212

Quince Quencher 213

Watermelon-Basil Juice 213

Recycled 215

Artichoke Stalk "Drumsticks" 220

Banana Peel Relish 221

Besan Scramble 222

Black Vegetable Medley 223

Grilled Vegetables in Oil 224

Leftover Pasta 225

Leftover Vegetable Korma 226

Lemon Peel and Onion Relish 227

Miner's Lettuce Salad 228

Nasturtium Seed Pickle 229

Nettle Saag 230

Nettle Soup 231

Pakoras 232

Pepper Broth 233

Roasted Squash/Pumpkin Seeds 234

Vegetable Curry Dal 235

Vegetables with Apricots 236

Watermelon Rind Bharta 237

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Nicky's meals inspire the realization that vegetarian food need not be dull to the eye or bland to the palate, and I recommend this excellent cookbook to anyone who wishes make such an agreeable discovery for themselves."  —Alvin Gibbs, U.K. Subs bassist

"Nicky's fire-roasted Baba Ghannouj was absolutely amazing. Without doubt the best I've ever tasted."  —M. Green, general manager, Blue Table Restaurant

"Nicky Garratt's knowledge of Indian/Arabic cuisine, and specifically the spices used in its preparation, is vast indeed."  —A. McMullan, award-winning chef

"All of the dishes hold unexpected surprises, like a kiss of smoke in the eggplant or a bright acidity in the lentils."  —Jonah Oakden, chef, Boulevard Restaurant

Customer Reviews