Hello friends !!
Getting back to my blog after a short break. Past few weeks were busy with baking orders, extra yoga classes and a much deserved relaxing trip to Goa. Soaked in a lot of Nature in Goa and back now with some renewed energy 🙂
I have been meaning to post this recipe since quite sometime. I spend a good amount of time researching nutrition and food. While I was looking up calcium rich plant based foods I came across Betel leaves. What I considered to be useful just for post meal sweet treat – ‘paan’ turns out to has so much nutrition ! Yes betel leaves or what we usually use for our ‘paan’ is rich in calcium. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and very good for digestion. It is analgesic and also has a cooling effect on body. Seeing its numerous health benefits I was curious how to use more of it in my diet. For sure I will never say no to a paan now on! 🙂
Betel leaf wraps are common in Vietnamese cuisine. This is my attempt at a vegan version of these wraps. These healthy protein packed rolls are quite delicious and filling. Asian food really make me curious. Makes me wonder who thought of bringing together all these ingredients to make such a yummy outcome ! 🙂 Their food is complex and yet so simple in flavors. This dish might seem a bit laborious to make but the outcome was worth the effort.
Here is the recipe for Vegan Betel leaf Wraps.
10-12 Betel Leaves (choose smaller, light green color leaves which are fresh)
1/2 cup Grated Carrot
100g firm Tofu – chopped into tiny cubes
100g Button Mushrooms – finely chopped
1/2 cup Cooked Rice noodles
2 medium sized finely chopped Onions
3 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup cooked green moong dal / green lentils
2 Tbs chopped Coriander / cilantro
2 tsp finely chopped Ginger
1 tsp Sugar
2-4 Tbs Sunflower oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
-Prepare Green lentils
Cook 1/2 cup green moong dal in a cooker with double the amount of water on low-medium flame for about 4-5 whistles. Add 1 tsp of salt to this water while cooking. The
resulting mixtue should be like a paste.
Drain out liquid from Tofu by keeping it pressed for about 15 minutes. Chop the Tofu into tiny cubes. Heat a tablespoon of oil on a pan and fry these pieces of tofu
until they are slightly golden. Toss them on the pan to fry uniformly. Leave these on a paper towel.
-Prepare rice noodles
Soak rice noodles in normal water for 3-5 minutes to soften them.
-Prepare Betel leaves
Wash and pat dry the betel leaves. Cut any excess stem leaving behind atleast 1/2 an inch of stem.
– Making the filling
In a saucepan heat 1 Tbsp of oil and add thinly chopped garlic and 1 finely chopped onion. Saute till onions turn soft. Add thinly chopped mushrooms to this and stir for a minute. Allow this mixture to cool. In a big bowl combine the grated carrot, Soaked rice noodles, cooked green moong, Thinly chopped Ginger, Tofu and Coriander. Add the Cooked onion mushroom and garlic mix to this. Add 1 finely chopped raw onion. Combine these ingredients together and season them with salt and sugar and pepper. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
– Fill the rolls
Using washed and dried Betel leaves. Place the leaf with the vein side facing up. Add about 1 Tbsp of the mixture to the center of the leaf. Start rolling the leaf along its longer side beginning from the pointy edge. Make a tight roll which comfortably holds the filling inside. Once you roll up till the base of the leaf. Make a tiny hole with the stem and tuck the stem into the hole holding the roll into its shape.
Depending on the size of the leaf avoid overfilling the roll as the mixture may pop out while cooking the roll. Prepare all the rolls before you start cooking.
– Cooking the rolls
Brush your pan with left over oil. Use a grill pan if available. Place the stuffed betel leaf rolls on the the pan and grill them on each side for about 2 minutes.
Make sure you do not over cook the rolls as betel leaves tend to get bitter when cooked too much. Also use fresh , light green betel leaves as darker ones are more fibrous, bitter and not suitable for the recipe.
Enjoy these rolls once they cool down a bit. They can be used as appetizers or main course. You could also use a dipping sauce if you wish to. Here I made a quick dipping sauce with peanut butter , lime juice and chilly flakes.
Hope you enjoyed this recipe. Do try and let me know how you like it 🙂