Yamuna Devi

We begin some more compilations of famous recipes by my cookery guru and acclaimed cookbook-writer the late Yamuna Devi.

Yamuna devi says

Filling a Niche for Quiche

asparagus quiche:

S from Auckland, New Zealand writes:

“Hello there. I lived in London 9 years ago and used to dine at Govinda’s near Tottenham Court Road regularly. I still crave the amazing quiche they used to serve. I wondered if you would be able to let me know the recipe, or some of it so I can attempt to make it myself. Many thanks, S.”

Dear S: Here’s my eggless quiche recipe. Obviously you can put in whatever vegies you like.

Asparagus and Tomato Quiche

A quiche is an open faced tart with a savoury filling and is the perfect luncheon or supper dish accompanied by a green salad and French bread. It also makes a good first course for dinner. Quiche lends itself to advance preparation; the crust or base of the quiche should be cooked beforehand. A cold quiche is great for picnic fare or makes a quick, satisfying snack.

CRUST BAKING TIME: 15 minutes,


BAKING TIME: 30 minutes,

YIELD: one 20 cm (8-inch) quiche.


1/2 cup melted butter,

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour,

3 tablespoons water, or as required,

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Quiche filling

2 tablespoons sour cream,

2 tablespoons softened cream cheese,

2 tablespoons tomato paste,

2 tablespoons cornflour,

1 teaspoon salt,

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper,

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese,

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme,

1/2 teaspoon dried basil,

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano,

1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder,

3 1/2 cups fresh asparagus, diced and steamed,

2 medium tomatoes, sliced into rings

Combine the butter and flour, rubbing well until it reaches a coarse meal consistency. Add the water and parmesan cheese to the mixture and mix to form a firm pastry . Press the mixture into a buttered 20 cm (8-inch) quiche or flan tin, being careful that the crust mixture is evenly distributed throughout the tin.

Bake the quiche crust in a hot oven 200°C/390°F until light golden brown. Allow to cool.

Combine the sour cream, softened cream cheese, tomato paste, cornflour, salt, pepper, 1 cup cheese, herbs, and spices and mix well. Add the asparagus.

Spoon the mixture into the cooled quiche crust, smooth out, press the slices of tomato on top, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake in a preheated oven set on 190°C/375°F for about 20 minutes or until the filling is set and the top is golden. Allow to cool before serving.


Here’s the original recipe from my first cookbook Great Vegetarian Dishes, now in its 22nd year in print.


Baked Stuffed Cheesy Corn Breads (Enchiladas)

Enchiladas are a Mexican dish made of soft, flat tortillas that are dipped in sauce and rolled around a filling, then topped with more sauce, sprinkled with cheese, baked, and served with sour cream. Richly indulgent and delicious, they’re great for party catering.


BAKING TIME: 15 minutes,

YIELD: 1 dozen large or 2 dozen small enchiladas.


3 tablespoons olive oil,

1 small hot green chili, minced,

1/4 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder,

4 teaspoons ground cumin,

1 tablespoon ground coriander,

3 cups tomato puree,

1 cup tomato paste,

2 teaspoons salt,

2 teaspoons sugar.


3 cups ricotta cheese,

3 cups grated mozzarella cheese,

1 medium bunch spinach, chopped, steamed until tender, and drained,

2 cups cooked corn kernels,

1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder,

1 teaspoon black pepper,

2 teaspoons sugar,

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg,

1 teaspoon salt,

oil or ghee for deep frying,

1 dozen large or 2 dozen small tortillas,

1 cup sour cream.

To prepare the sauce

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat.

Saute the minced chili in the hot oil for a few seconds. Add the asafoetida, cumin, and coriander; then add the tomato puree and tomato paste.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the salt and sugar and remove the sauce from the heat. Set aside.

To prepare the filling

Combine the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of grated cheese, spinach, corn, asafoetida, pepper, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and mix well.

To assemble the enchiladas

Heat the oil or ghee in a frying pan over high heat. When the ghee is hot (185°C/365°F), fry the tortillas individually for about 10 seconds on each side. Use smooth-tipped tongs to flip the tortillas in the oil. Remove and drain them on paper towels. The tortillas should be pliable.

Spread enough sauce on each tortilla to cover. If small tortillas are being used, spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of filling into the centre of each tortilla and fold in half. If large tortillas are being used, spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of filling into the center of each tortilla, spread into a strip and roll up the tortilla.

When all the tortillas are stuffed and laid out, pour over all the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, place in a preheated moderate oven (180°C/355°F), and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

Serve each enchilada hot with a spoonful of sour cream.

Craving Koftas


Shannon from Fortitude Valley, Queensland, Australia wrote:

“I crave Kofta! The Hare Krishnas served delicious kofta at a rock concert recently in Qld. I can’t get the taste out of my head. Help! Do you have a recipe to share, Kurma?”

Kurma replied:

“Yes, I can help. Here’s my recipe. Happy cooking and eating!”

kofta team:
Rolling kofta at a Kurma cooking class, Belgium.

Succulent Mixed Vegetable Balls in Herbed Tomato Sauce (Kofta)

Koftas are succulent, Indian style vegetable balls that can be served soaking in sauce or smothered in gravy. A number of vegetables are suitable for making kofta