Neela Radhika asks: Do you have a recipe for doughnuts?

My reply: Here is a recipe from my first cookbook ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’.

A friend’s grandmother from Tuscany, Italy, parted with this recipe for doughnuts (Bomboloni). Serve them hot at afternoon tea for a delicious treat.

Italian-style Lemon Doughnuts

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes


FRYING TIME: 5 minutes each batch

YIELD: 15 – 20 doughnuts

4 cups plain flour

3/4 cup (185 ml) caster sugar

pinch of salt

75g butter, softened and cut into pieces

3 teaspoons fresh yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

ghee or oil for deep-frying

Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of sugar and the salt. Mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the butter, the yeast water, and the lemon rind. Mix well, adding enough lukewarm water to form a soft dough.

Knead until smooth, shape into a ball, and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down with your fist.

Roll the dough into a long rope and cut into 15 or 20 even-sized portions. Roll each into a smooth ball. Place on a buttered baking sheet and let rise in a warm place for another hour. The balls should double in size.

Heat ghee or oil to 180°C/355°F in a wok or deep pan and very carefully lower 3 – 4 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Deep fry, maintaining a constant temperature, for about 5 minutes, turning often until the doughnuts are dark golden brown. Drain and dredge in the remaining sugar. Serve hot.



Susan from Pennant Hills NSW, Australia writes:

Hi Kurma, I like your website! My mother-in-law grows okra. She gave me a big bag of the last of her current crop. Any ideas what I can do with it.

My reply: I suggest you try barbecuing it. It is so delicious threaded on sticks and brushed with sage-scented butter.

Here’s the recipe:

Barbecued Skewered Baby Okra with Sage Butter

Despite the fact that okra, the seed-pod of the plant Abelmoschus esculentusis is enjoyed the world over, for many cooks okra is still an unknown vegetable. If this is your first experience of okra, I think you

Hello, Cupcake!


Mahesa from Vancouver BC, Canada asks: Dear Kurma,could you please give the recipe for a saffron cake?

My reply: Here it is:

Saffron, Lemon & Coconut Cupcakes

Saffron is one of my favourite kitchen ingredients. Its warm, heady fragrance and brilliant colour marries wonderfully with the citrus hit of lemon zest. Coupled with coconut, the trio does a great job in flavouring and colouring these little cakes. This recipe makes 12 little cakes.

½ teaspoon saffron thread, ground and infused in 2 teaspoons of the milk

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ cup butter

½ cup caster sugar

1 tablespoon fine lemon zest

4 tablespoons sour light cream or kefir

½ cup dessicated coconut

1¼ cups milk


2 cups icing sugar

2 tablespoons soft butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon reserved saffron infusion

saffron cake:

Reserve ¼ teaspoon of the saffron infusion for the topping.

Preheat the oven to 160° C / 325° F. Sift together the flour and baking powder.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the sour cream and the saffron infusion, and beat to fully amalgamate.

Stir in the coconut, half the milk, and sift in half the flour. Mix well. Fold in the remaining flour and the milk and mix until evenly blended.

Spoon the mixture into pre-buttered small cup-cake or muffin tins.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, well risen and spongy. Turn off the heat, but allow the cakes to stand in the closed oven for an extra 5 minutes before removing and cooling on wire racks.

Prepare the topping: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in the butter and the reserved saffron infusion. Heat the lemon juice in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Pour sufficient lemon juice into the icing sugar mixture to form a firm paste. Ice the cakes while the topping is still warm.

Serve warm or cool.

Note for European and American readers: To make your own self-raising flour, combine 1 cup/4oz/100g soft, all purpose, plain flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.

Are Vegetarians Smarter?

veg kids: doh!:

Are Vegetarians Smarter?

“Scientists in UK have found there’s an association between childhood IQ and adult vegetarianism…

In a report in the British Medical Journal, 8,000 children aged 10 entered a study when their mental ability (IQ) was assessed. Their diet was assessed when they were 30 years old. At that time, over 300 of them were self-reported vegetarians…” more…

More Satisfied Customers

I’m on a veritable cookery marathon the last few weeks. Last Saturday’s cooking class at my place yielded more satisfied customers:

even more satisfied customers:

On Sunday we cooked at the home of Naomi in Perth’s suburbs.

The poories are rolled and ready to fry. Meanwhile the girls roll gulab jamuns.

poories are ready to fry: the girls roll gulabs:

I mix up a batch of idli batter, ready to spoon into in my little stainless steel steamers. And the gulab jamuns begin their journey to perfection.

idli batter: gulabs ahoy: star-anise scented gulabs:

Here’s our table setting before the feast. Notice how the poories are ‘waffer theeen”

lunch with Naomi:

just about ready for lunch:

lunch at Naomi's:

Inaction in Action

cutting fresh panir:

I’m still busy cooking, and enjoying it as yoga, or connection with the Supreme.

I aspire for this position as enunciated in Bhagavad-gita Chapter 4 verse 18:

“One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities”

cooking dem poories:

Homemade Non-Dairy Yogurt

soy yogurt:

L from Anna Bay, NSW, Australia writes:

Hi Kurma! I followed your home-made yogurt recipe and had a 100% success and it is soooo… delicious!

Now I would like to try making yogurt with soya (instead of milk) starting
from scratch using soya powder. Could you please help me?

My reply: I have never tried to make a non-dairy yogurt, but it is possible.

Here’s a great recipe from a really interesting and well-researched site:

Vegetarian World Food Cooking Retreat with Kurma Dasa

infarm 3:

Vegetarian World Food Cooking Retreat

Mullayup, Western Australia

Friday 27th – Sunday 29th July

Mullalyup Farm Lodge is two and a half hours drive south of Perth along the South Western Highway, situated 5kms south of Kirup and 8kms north of Balingup.

The Lodge is nestled amongst 160 acres of natural bush and rolling green pastures. Overlooking the lake is your comfortable rammed earth accommodation.

yoga weekend: head massage:

Indulge your senses on a weekend of cooking whilst learning from me, Kurma Dasa. Enjoy banquets of delicious gourmet vegetarian food, yoga, bushwalking, Indian head massage, relaxation and much more