Saffron Soul

Saffron Soul: Healthy, Vegetarian Heritage Recipes from India by Mira Manek delivers a modern interpretation of Indian classics, creating naturally healthy dishes that are as flavorful as their original counterparts. Mira combines the best of the core elements of Indian cooking with original health-promoting twists. Mira also recreates some perennial favourites, replacing traditionally used grains and sugar with more nutritious ingredients such as millet, chia and jaggery, and cutting down on oils and fats, to make her dishes even healthier.

Mira begins the book with a glossary of her favourite ingredients which will come in handy if one is unfamiliar with spices and typical components of Indian cuisine. The book is divided then into Key Pastes & Garnishes, Soulful Mornings, Anytime Favourites, Light Meals, Traditional Thalis, Desserts and Spiced Drinks. 

Lovely photographs fill the pages along with recipes that look as decadent and comforting as any other Indian cookbook (but these are created with natural, healthy ingredients). Masala Papads & Khakhra - roasted poppadoms & rotis with dips, Pudla - Spinach pancakes with chilli yoghurt, and Baked dahi vada (Lentil dumplings in yoghurt & tamarind) are examples of the tempting recipes that will whet your appetite.

Special thanks to the publisher and author for sharing the Saffron Porridge with Jaggery recipe below. Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway open to US and UK members.


Saffron porridge with jaggery

Steaming milky porridge, with a drizzle of honey, was our staple breakfast before school. And it is still one of my favourite indulgences, only now I mix it up, using less oats and adding chia seeds, berries, nuts and often some quinoa. My mother also recently started adding saffron and cardamom, sweetening the porridge with the mineral-rich earthy jaggery. It is so decadent, yet actually only enhanced with spiced goodness and that much needed crunch from a helping of nuts. Lastly, a squeeze of fresh orange, entirely optional, adds a lovely, tangy zest, which I absolutely adore!

4 tablespoons porridge oats (oatmeal)
200ml (7fl oz/scant 1 cup) water
200ml (7fl oz/scant 1 cup) almond milk or milk of choice
1 tablespoon jaggery, coconut sugar or honey
pinch of saffron
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional
1 orange, optional

To decorate few blueberries few raspberries, roughly chopped chopped pistachios coconut chips

Place all the ingredients for the porridge except for the orange into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat. Boil on a low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring well, until a thick consistency and the porridge is cooked. I prefer my porridge to be quite runny, but if you want a thicker consistency either add more oats or leave the porridge to cook for a little longer.

If you want to add orange juice, cut the orange in half and simply squeeze the juice directly into the saucepan. Stir well. Pour the porridge into a bowl, sprinkle with the blueberries, chopped raspberries, pistachios and coconut chips, and enjoy while hot. Note: I often add 2 tablespoons of cooked quinoa to my porridge and therefore slightly less oats, so that the porridge is less heavy and has a good balance of carbohydrates and protein.

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).


  • sgump  on  8/1/2017 at 7:40 PM

    My favorite vegetarian Indian dish? Chana masala (made with oil instead of ghee).

  • susiep2  on  8/2/2017 at 1:46 AM

    This book sounds amazing! It would definitely find a good home in my library of cookbooks.

  • lgroom  on  8/2/2017 at 10:47 AM

    I love a good curry -- eggplant, cauliflower, etc. I usually use a recipe from Vegetarian Epicure.

  • Siegal  on  8/2/2017 at 9:09 PM

    My fav Indian dish is palak paneer

  • PennyG  on  8/5/2017 at 4:26 PM

    I love so many Indian vegetarian dishes - my favorites are those made with eggplant and/or green beans.

  • RSW  on  8/6/2017 at 7:23 PM


  • Ordinaryblogger  on  8/7/2017 at 6:27 AM

    chana dal!

  • love2chow  on  8/9/2017 at 10:40 AM

    My favorite vegetarian indian dish is Palak Paneer with homemade paneer. My favorite Indian snack are potato samosas -- there is a baked version that my friend makes, but I still need to learn how to make those.

  • Jenamarie  on  8/9/2017 at 12:32 PM

    I've never been a huge fan of the Indian dishes I've tried, but I do love using chickpeas as a vegetarian protein.. so I'm excited to finally try my hand at Indian cuisine.

  • JenJoLa  on  8/9/2017 at 9:10 PM

    Either samosas or Shahi Paneer.

  • KarenDel  on  8/13/2017 at 1:30 PM

    Palak paneer is my favorite

  • LaurenE  on  8/13/2017 at 4:29 PM

    I love masala dosas

  • Nancith  on  8/14/2017 at 12:47 PM

    Saag paneer is one of my favorites.

  • Plevuus1  on  8/16/2017 at 5:54 AM

    Chilli kick grain bowl. Is there any way to join the raffle as a non-US, non-UK citizen? By providing an US or UK shipment address in case I win? I did a very rough/quick check, but it seems that from the 26 give-aways only 4 are open to other parts of the world. That's a bit disappointing.

  • Sofie168  on  8/24/2017 at 11:17 PM

    Favorite veg dishes are masala dosa or dal.

  • InAHealthyKitchen  on  8/30/2017 at 9:47 PM

    Rose and pistachio tapioca porridge sounds like a good recipe to start with.

  • cake17uk  on  9/1/2017 at 10:59 AM

    I love Chana masala, but always looking for different dishes to try

  • AnnaZed  on  9/2/2017 at 9:55 PM

    I love Chana Masala (Savory Indian Chick Peas).

  • tennyogirl  on  9/3/2017 at 12:49 AM

    Tofu Keema Curry

  • bstewart  on  9/8/2017 at 6:23 PM

    Veggie samosas are one of my faves.

Post a comment

You may only comment on the blog if you are signed in. Sign In

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!