Dairy-free buttermilk, curd rice and carrot halwa, anyone?

Restaurateur and vegan cookbook author Dimple Khitri shares recipes for three popular Indian dishes, replacing dairy with creamy coconut and cashew

Between increasing incidences of vegan lifestyles and lactose intolerances, milk has lost the favour it used to enjoy less than two decades ago. While the ethical and health aspects of going dairy-free are undeniable, there are some dishes, drinks and sweetmeats that vegan foodies with a taste for Indian cuisine might miss out on. Enter Dimple Khitri.

The restaurateur behind Being Vegan in Dubai, shares with The National three of her favourite dairy-free recipes from her first cookbook, Being Rawesomely Vegan, which released last month.

“Most of my recipes use coconut because it’s exceptionally versatile, a superfood and still reminds you of the original flavour of, say, a classic buttermilk among other dishes,” she says.

Give these recipes – which are also free of gluten, refined sugar, soy and artificial food colouring – a whirl for yourself.


Makes 3 glasses


2 cups coconut milk

¼ cup water

¼ cup mint leaves, washed and chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

½ tsp grated ginger

2½ tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp coriander leaves, washed and chopped


Blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender.

Refrigerate for an hour.

Garnish with a pinch of cumin powder and mint leaves before serving.

Curd rice

Makes 250 grams


½ cup coconut yoghurt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tbsp coriander leaves

1 tbsp mint leaves

1 tbsp water

¼ cup grated carrot

¼ cup grated cucumber

¼ cup flattened rice

Curry leaves, to taste

1 green chilli, chopped


Wash the flattened rice for a few minutes under tap water. Sieve and keep aside.

In a bowl, add the coconut yoghurt, black pepper, Himalayan pink salt, cumin powder, coriander leaves, mint leaves, water, grated carrot, grated cucumber, curry leaves and chopped green chillies. Mix well, then add in the flattened rice.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with cumin powder, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.

Carrot halwa

Makes 330 grams


150g red carrots

75g jaggery powder

125g cashews

2 saffron strands

5 tsp cardamom powder

2 tbsp sliced pistachios, cashews and almonds


Finely shred the carrots and keep them aside.

Grind the cashews to a fine powder in a high-powered blender.

Transfer the carrots into a bowl, add the jaggery powder, cashew powder, cardamom powder, saffron and sliced nuts. Mix well.

Knead the mixture with your hands to soften and moisten the carrots.

Garnish with sliced nuts and serve.

Being Rawesomely Vegan is available from amazon.ae

Updated: August 27th 2021, 12:00 PM
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