12 dessert recipes to make most of World Vegan Month and Diwali

From Pista Barfi to Coconut Laddu, Phirni and Chocolate Mousse, here are 12 vegan dessert recipes

Heena Khandelwal Published :  11th November 2020 01:35 PM   |   Published :   |  11th November 2020 01:35 PM

From Pista Barfi to Coconut Laddu, Phirni and Chocolate Mousse, here are 12 vegan dessert recipes

November is globally celebrated as the World Vegan Month. So this Diwali, we thought what would be a better time than now to curate some vegan dessert recipes for those who like their helpings of barfi, gujiya and phirni. After all, our readers who were always or have recently turned vegans shouldn’t have to miss out on desserts this festive season. Try these recipes at home!

1. Vegan Gujiya

By Executive Chef Rishi Manucha, Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa

Ingredients (for stuffing): Cashew nut - 1 ½  cup, desiccated coconut - 1 cup, sugar - ⅓ cup, semolina - 1 tbsp, cardamom - 1 tsp, nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
(For pastry): All-purpose flour - 1 ½  cup, oil - 2 tbsp, sugar - 2 tbsp

• Dry roast the cashew in a pan and keep aside. Grind to get a coarse mixture.
• Heat oil in a pan, and add the desiccated coconut.
• Sauté for 5 mins. Now, add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and semolina. Let it cool for five minutes. 
• To make the dough, knead the flour with oil, sugar and water. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.
• Make the dough into small balls. Roll out into circles. Add filling in the centre of this circle and seal the Gujiya with water to make a half-moon shape.
• Deep fry Gujiya until they turn golden brown.

2. Vegan Chocolate Mousse 

By Chef Rollin Lasrado, City Chef, Smoke House Deli

Ingredients (For the Mousse): Dairy free dark chocolate  - 150 gm (plus more to taste on the side as well), ripe avocados - 2, cocoa powder - 2 tbsp, vanilla essence - 1 tsp, maple syrup - 3 tbsp, coconut cream - 160 gm

For ‘Honey’ Comb: Grain sugar - 100gm, corn syrup - 15 ml, baking soda - 1 tsp 

For the Mousse:
• On a double boiler, place a heatproof bowl, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water.
• Break the chocolate into pieces, and place it in the bowl and allow it to melt slowly. Then set it aside.
• Cut the avocado in half and destone it. Discard the skin and seed. Scoop out the flesh into a mixer.
• Add the remaining ingredients in the mixer and blend gently to combine. Scrape down the sides of the mixer and then blend again to combine to make a puree.
• Pour in the chocolate into the mix, and blend until smooth and creamy.
• Divide the mixture into 6 small bowls or ramekins and keep in the fridge for a minimum for 30-45 minutes to allow it to set.

For the ‘Honey’ Comb
• Grease a 10cm square mould with oil and keep aside.
• Mix the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook on a low heat without stirring, until the sugar melts. When the sugar has melted, cook until it becomes amber-golden coloured.
• Take off the heat; whip in the baking soda with a wooden spoon or spatula. Be careful, as it will bubble, and mix until the baking soda completely dissolves but the mixture is still bubbling.
• Pour quickly into the greased mould and leave it to cool for about one to two hours, until hard. Break into chunks and serve it with the chocolate mousse.

To serve
• Serve chilled with ‘honey’ comb, cut fruit and an extra grating of chocolate.

• Ensure that the coconut cream is thick and chilled for best results.
• You could use the skins of the avocado in place of bowls. Just ensure that you wash it before use!

3. Nut Island

Chef Paul Kinny, Director of Culinary, The St. Regis Mumbai

Ingredients: Almond powder - 600g, sugar - 350g, cardamom powder - 5g, water- 60g, saffron- 0.2g
(For stuffing): Almond - 250 g, cashew - 250g, pistachio - 100g, honey - 200g, white sesame - 100g
(For garnish): Saffron - 1g
Step 1: Almond Saffron Sheet
• In a heavy-bottomed 15-inch cast iron Kadai, add sugar and water. Melt them together without discolouring, when the syrup reaches 112°C, add almond powder and saffron to the water and stir continuously. 
• Cook the mixture on a low flame till all combined into a dough-like consistency and add cardamom powder. 
• Immediately remove onto a clean work surface and allow it to cool. Once cooled, handle lightly and knead to get a smooth texture.
Step 2: Stuffing Mixture
• In a heavy-bottomed Kadai, individually roast each nut which has been roughly chopped prior to roasting 
• Roast Sesame seeds, and add all the nuts to it stirring continuously 
• Add honey, cardamom powder and saffron to the mixture and combine well. Cool down the mixture and store aside for the final product 
Step 3: Shaping The Final Product
• With the use of a rolling pin, flatten the almond saffron sheet to about 3 mm thickness. (Quick Tip: Roll it in between two greaseproof papers to get a smooth finish)
• With the help of an expandable dough cutter measure two-inch and cut the almond saffron sheet vertically & horizontally to attain perfect two-inch squares 
• Take 2-inch square sheets and place them flat on your work surface, with the help of a palette knife make diagonal insertions 
• Place filling in the centre of the square and fold each diagonal flap to make it look like a lotus. (Quick Tip: Use the back of your palette knife giving shape to each sweet)
• Garnish top with saffron strands 

4. Sweet Polenta Dunes with Nuts & Berries

By Chef Sunil Chauhan, Fabcafe

Ingredient: Polenta (coarse maize flour) or suji - ½ cup, desiccated coconut ½  tbsp, olive oil - 1 tbsp, coconut sugar or gur shakkar ¼  cup, green cardamom ½  tsp, water - 2 cup

Topping 1: Cashew - 1.5 tbsp, whole almond - 1.5 tbsp, walnut - 1.5 tbsp 

Topping 2: Dried cranberry - 1.5 tbsp, dried black current - 1.5 tbsp, fresh strawberry - 1.5 tbsp 
• Saute Polenta with oil for a minute, add water and cook for five minutes.    
• Add coconut sugar, desiccated coconut and green cardamom powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes.     
• To serve the cake, put topping 1 in a mould, top with polenta mixture, and de-mould on a serving plate.    
• Repeat the same step with Topping 2. Your Polenta Cake is ready to serve.

5. Vegan Almond-Pista Burfi

By Mukesh Kumar, Executive sous chef, Hilton Garden Inn

Ingredients: Almond flour - 450 gm, green cardamom powder - 10 gms, pista powder - 450 gms, sugar - 700 gm, coconut oil - 200 ml, chopped almond (for garnish) - 100 gms, chopped pista (for garnish) - 100 gms, water - 150 ml, saffron threads, cashew cream (vegan) - 150 gm

• Mix almond flour, pista and cardamom powder.
• Make sugar syrup with water and sugar.
• Slightly warm cashew cream and put some saffron threads in it. 
• Mix all ingredients and pour it on a tray. Flatten the surface using a palette knife. 
• Garnish it with chopped almond and pista and allow it to rest for two hours. Cut it into square pieces.
6. Vegan Kesar Rabdi

By Chef Riddhima Sood, founder of Lé Home Bistro
Ingredients: Poha - 1 cup, oats -  ½ cup, water - 3 cups, sugar - ½ cup, saffron - a few strands soaked in warm water, cardamom powder - 1 tsp, pistachios for garnish 

• Add poha and oats in a bowl, mix and rinse well. 
• Add in water and blend until it becomes smooth. Once blended leave aside for 10 minutes then blend again. Strain it using a muslin cloth/double mesh strainer & transfer to a pan. 
• Add in sugar and allow to cook till the sugar dissolves while stirring in intervals. (To avoid it from sticking to the base of the pan)
• Once it comes to a boil, add in the cardamoms and saffron and cook for 2-3 minutes. Once it reaches ribbon consistency, remove from flame. 
• Pour in a serving dish, allow to cool at room temperature & then chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Serve chilled.

7. No-Bake Vegan Coffee Panna Cotta

By Chef Guntas Sethi Bhasin, founder of Chef Guntas

Ingredients:  Dark Chocolate - 30 gms (chopped), Coconut Cream - 400 ml, organic sugar/jaggery -  55 gm, Instant Coffee Powder - 1 tsp, Hot water - 40 gms, Agar Agar powder - 1 tsp

• In a saucepan on medium heat, add coconut cream and chopped dark chocolate, and stir until the chocolate has melted.
• Add the organic sugar and the coffee powder and bring just to a boil until sugar dissolves. 
• Meanwhile, mix the gelatin in the hot water.
• Stir in gelatin and immediately whisk. Stir constantly and let it come to a simmer and don't let the mixture boil.
• Continue whisking for 3-4 minutes and then take it off the heat.
• Pour cream into 3 individual serving dishes. Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours, or until completely set. Flip it over to a plate before serving and garnish with shaved chocolate.

8. Jhangore Ki Kheer/Brown Rice and Prunes Phirni

By Chef Ishika Konar, Executive Chef at Atmantan Wellness Centre
Ingredients: Himalayan millet - 15 gm, jaggery - 10 gm, coconut milk - 500 ml, vegetable ghee - 1 tsp, cardamom powder - 1 tsp, pistachio powder to garnish 

• In a thick bottomed pan, heat ghee and sauté the millet for 4-5 min.
• Add coconut milk and jaggery. Cook on a slow flame while stirring to avoid curdling of coconut milk.
• Once the millet is well cooked and the pudding is thick, turn the flame off and add cardamom powder.
• Serve hot, garnished with pistachio powder.

9. Pumpkin Bar with Cream Cheese Frosting

By Chef Merajuddin Ansari, Executive Chef, Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai

Ingredients: Ground flaxseed - ¼ cup, warm water - ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour - ¾ cup, almond flour - ¾ cup, pumpkin Spice Powder - 1 tbsp, baking powder - 2 tsp, baking soda - ½ tsp, sea salt - ½ tsp, canned pumpkin puree - 1 cup, coconut oil - 2 tbsp, maple syrup - ⅓ cup, vanilla extract - 1 tsp

For the frosting: Vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract

• Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.
• In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and the water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
• In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
• In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and the flaxseed mixture.
• Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spread into the baking dish (the batter will be thick) and bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting or slicing.
• While the cake cools, make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and mix until smooth.

10. Coconut Laddu

By Chef Rajesh Singh, Restaurant Chef - Varq

Ingredients: Desiccated coconut - 2 cups, fresh coconut milk - 2 cups, honey - 1/4 cup, cardamom powder - 1 tsp, cashew nuts - few (chopped), saffron strands - few, oil for greasing - 2-3 tsp, dry coconut (for rolling) - 1 cup

• Dissolve saffron strands in 1/4 cup of warm water and set aside.
• In a heavy bottom pan add freshly grated coconut, and stir it for 2 minutes
• Now add coconut milk and sugar and cook on low to medium heat. Keep stirring in between and let the mixture thickens for about 5 minutes.
• Once the mixture starts thickening add saffron milk and cardamom. Now add very finely chopped cashew nuts into it.
• Keep cooking for a few minutes, until all the moisture evaporates from the coconut.
• Remove from heat and let it cool slightly, just enough to handle with hands.
• Grease your palm with oil, take a small portion of the cooled mixture and start shaping into a ball.
• Then roll the ladoo into dry coconut and place it on the plate.

11. Vegan Stromboli Tart

By Juliano Rodrigues, Executive Chef at Deli By The Blue

Ingredients (base): Almond flour - 75 gm, cocoa powder - 5gm, jaggery sugar - 50 gm, nutra lite butter - 30gm, cornflakes - 10 gm, all dry fruits powder - 40 gm

For the mousse: Vegan chocolate - 40gm, almond milk - 40 gm, all dry fruits powder - 20 gm

• Mix all the ingredients of the base nicely and blind bake for 14 min at 165 C
• Prepare a mousse using vegan chocolate almond milk and dry fruit powder 
• Then pour the mixture in blind bake tart and allow it to set
• Serve cold

12. Vegan Chocolate and Pecan Nut Brownie

By Anshuman Bali, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar

Ingredients: Refined flour - 120 gms, almond powder - 50 gms, baking powder - 3 gms, dark chocolate (bitter) - 150 gms, coconut oil - 90 ml, cocoa powder - 25 gms, flax seeds - 10 gms, water  - 30 ml, sugar - 100 gms, maple syrup - 80 gm, pecan nut - 70gm

• Soak the flax seeds in water, and blend them
• Melt the chocolate in coconut oil and mix in maple syrup, sugar and the flax seeds mix
• Add dry ingredients and fold in chopped pecan nuts.. mix well
• Pour in a buttered container and bake at 170 Celsius for 25 mins.