Indian Takeout & Movie Night - Wake Up Sid

Sunday, September 29, 2013 , , , , , 2 Comments

A relaxed Sunday in our house. Yoga followed by Indian movie + Indian takeout. Could this day get any better?

Aloo Gobi, Basmati Rice, Aloo Chaat, Tandoori Roti & 2 Hindi movies

We enjoyed our takeout while watching the movie Wake Up Sid. Sid is a spoiled rich kid from Mumbai (Bombay) who doesn't know how to take responsibility for his own life, but sure does know how to enjoy life. He meets a girl from Kolkata (Calcutta) on the day she arrives in Mumbai, shows her the city that night, and they quickly form a friendship. Sid helps her get settled in and later she helps him deal with some troubles he has in his life. Being a Hindi movie, you know there is a love story coming, but there are a few points in the movie where you question who will fall in love with whom exactly. 

Like many Indian movies, you come away from this movie feeling like you should enjoy life. Indian movies are full of people dancing in the rain, celebrating holidays or milestones (large or small), laughing out loud, and finding a way to float a myriad of colors across the screen in some kind of music scene. This movie, unlike many Bollywood movies, does not have any dance scenes though. It does have music scenes, but there's no dancing. I guess in this way, it might be one of the less confusing first Hindi films for a non-Indian person to watch. The actors don't just suddenly drop everything they're doing and break into a song and dance number, only to resume what they were doing as if nothing happened, as soon as the song ends.

I liked this movie, but I like all Indian movies so I consulted some online reviews and my husband who decided to be a man of very few words tonight. "It was a good movie," he said. The reviews seem pretty decent too, with 7.4 / 10 on IMDb. 

I like all Indian movies because they remind me of India. There are scenes of some place I've been or some place I want to go, little cultural nuances that either remind me of Indian culture or teach me something new, songs that just get stuck in your head for a few days afterward, and reminders of the importance of enjoying our life or the wonders of falling in love. This is why I like all Indian movies. This is why the last night of our last trip to India, I bought all the movies I could find that were in the right format and had English subtitles - even when my husband said it wasn't a very good movie. 

Wake up Sid is a good movie for non-Indians to watch because it is on the shorter side for a Hindi film, at only 2 hours 18 minutes. There is not even an interval (intermission) in this movie. This is not the best Hindi film I've ever seen, but it was definitely a good one and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to bring a little slice of India into your home.

Where to Find: We checked the movie out at our local library. The food is from Touch of India in Birmingham, Michigan. If you are vegan and order this food, make sure you tell them no dairy. They are really good at omitting dairy there.


Crazy Sexy (Kitchen) Giveaway - Enter to Win!

Enter to win! (details at the end of this post)
Some people just shine. Being diagnosed with a rare and incurable stage 4 cancer, Kris Carr started a wellness revolution in her own life. Since learning to thrive despite her diagnosis, Kris has brought that wellness revolution into the world to share it with others. She is one of those people who I find very inspiring! I used to listen to her weekly radio show, follow her online and enjoy recipes from her cookbook. Just looking at this cookbook and reading her words, makes me feel healthy and empowered - long before I eat the recipe I'm reading about! I love Kris and am so grateful to her for the good work she does that I want to pay it forward by giving a copy of Crazy Sexy Kitchen away to one lucky reader! Yay! Before I share the details of how to enter, let me share with you a few reasons why I love this book!

Peach and Coconut Breakfast Quinoa
Peach and Coconut Breakfast Quinoa
The recipe above is adapted from the Mango and Coconut Millet Breakfast recipe. I love that the cookbook gives you a basic recipe with a lot of different options and variations. For example, my breakfast doesn't even have millet or mango. It's a Peach and Coconut Breakfast Quinoa. This is a nice, healthy breakfast when you need something warming. Great for a Michigan winter morning - or any time of the year!

Getting ready to make the Crazy Sexy Goddess Smoothie

Crazy Sexy Goddess Smoothie
Oh my goodness, I felt so healthy after drinking this smoothie! I felt like whatever the world could throw at me, I could handle it with strength and grace! There's something about drinking kale that makes me feel like I have superpowers.

Don't get the wrong idea - this book is not all about breakfast. Kris and Chef Chad Sarno share their journeys, give tools for transitioning to a healthy, plant-based diet (including information on plant-based nutrition from a RD), tips on being a bargainista, kitchen know-how (such as knife skills 101 and advice on cooking grains and beans), menu planning suggestions, and recipes from juices and smoothies to dinners and desserts. This book is designed to provide guidance and inspiration for anyone from the kitchen novice to the gourmand. That includes YOU, so enter to win!

**This contest is open to anyone in the United States or Canada.

There are 5 ways to enter the giveaway. That means you can have up to five entries per person. Here's how to enter:

1. Follow East Meets West Veg on Twitter and let us know in the comments below. 
2. Follow East Meets West Veg on Instagram and let us know in the comments below.
Like East Meets West Veg on Facebook and let us know in the comments below.
4. Share on your vegan blog page and give the link to that page in the comments below. (I'm not asking for a full post; a quick line and link will suffice)
5. Share someone or something that has inspired you to lead a healthy lifestyle and/or follow a plant-based diet in the comments below.

Please enter to win by the end of the day on Saturday, October 5. The winner will be chosen at random. I am SO excited!!!
Winner will be announced Sunday, October 6th so please check back to see if you won!

Here are some reviews I found of Crazy Sexy Kitchen:

And the winner is . . . Jerilyn from Ontario, Canada (! Congratulations!! Here's what Jerilyn said:
"The movie Earthlings inspired (...forced?) me to go vegan. I decided overnight to lead a vegan lifestyle (big change because I was not even vegetarian). I only had two slipups in the beginning; been vegan for over a year now :)"

I was so impressed when I read this comment about Jerilyn's overnight change! What strength of character! (Though this isn't why she won - the winner was picked at random using a random number generator) I found all of the comments below to be so interesting and inspiring! I really appreciate each and every person's comments. The stories shared below were some of the most touching comments I have ever read. Thank you so much to everyone who participated! I'm really looking forward to doing another giveaway in the near future!


Shopping for Local Farm Fresh Produce at Olejnik Farms

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 , , , , 3 Comments

Well, it's officially Fall now. The harvest season is here. The farms and farmers markets are full of delicious produce and they won't be open for much longer around here, in Southeast Michigan. If there's one thing us herbivores (vegetarians, vegans, raw vegans. . .) and sometimes even omnivores can agree on, it's delicious produce.

Usually my husband and I have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership for the season, but this year we had a lot of travel planned and didn't get a CSA share. When you join a CSA, you pay a farmer up front for the season. You share the risk with the farmer, but you also share the bounty and support a local farmer. You usually get a box of assorted vegetables (and maybe fruit or other products) every week throughout the growing season. 

We recently moved so we've tried a couple of different farmers markets this year and found a ton of super fresh, flavorful inexpensive vegetables and fruit wherever we went. Another thing we love about both, the CSA membership and the farmers markets, is that there is a wider variety of fruits and vegetables than you would find at most grocery stores. It opens up a world of possibilities.

Growing up, we never had a CSA membership or went to a farmers market. I actually don't even think they had farmers markets the way they have them now. But, we lived in an area that was full of farms. We would go to the farm at least once a week and get just-picked veggies. 

The town where I grew up has changed a LOT since I was a child. We were surrounded by dirt roads that are now paved. As a special treat, my dad would sometimes drive me down one of the dirt roads so I could look at the horses. The horses are long gone. When my older cousins babysat me, we would steal a couple of ears of corn from the farm next door, microwave it and eat it immediately. Talk about fresh. There is now a restaurant, bank, office building and condominium complex where that farm once stood. Most of the old farms are now subdivisions or shopping centers. So many things have come and gone, but one thing hasn't changed - Olejnik Farms - the farm we'd frequent when I was a child.

I love this farm for many reasons. The most obvious and closest to my heart is that it ties me to my past. I remember the good old days of dirt roads, a sky full of stars, and spending time with my family. Ever since my dad passed away last fall, I have been thinking a lot about my childhood. I often find myself wishing I could go back in time and savor those moments.

I also love this farm because the people are really nice. The people working the cash register have changed over time, but they are always kind, helpful and knowledgeable. I used to buy seedlings and flowers here and they could advise me on how to grow what I was purchasing. This doesn't happen in a lot of the big stores because the people just don't have that kind of knowledge. The food is always fresh and delicious and the prices are always great. Another great thing about this farm is that, unlike a farmers market, it's open pretty much every day during the growing season. Talk about convenience! 

Olejnik Farms Sign

Farm Fresh Sweet Corn
Fresh Sweet Corn

Farm Fresh Peppers
Hungarian Wax Peppers and Poblanos

Farm Fresh Peppers
Hot Peppers

Farm Fresh Cucumbers
Farm Fresh Cucumbers

Farm Fresh Winter Squash
Winter Squash

Farm Fresh Assorted Winter Squash and Pie Pumpkins
Assorted Winter Squashes and Pie Pumpkins

Farm Fresh Produce
My Shopping Bag
Here's what's left of my shopping bag (minus a couple of items we just couldn't wait to eat): sweet corn, green beans, radishes, winter squash, cauliflower, pie pumpkin, cucumbers, beets, poblanos, bell peppers and peaches (heirloom tomatoes, among other things, went in our bellies before the picture could be taken)
It all cost me less than $30!

Olejnik Farms

Olejnik Farms is located in Macomb Township, Michigan at the Northeast corner of 23 Mile Road and Card Road. To find a farm, CSA or Farmers Market near you, check out Local Harvest if you live in the United States. 

If anyone knows of a great local farm or a website similar to Local Harvest, please share in the comments.


Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Moroccan Chickpea Vegan Stew

It's TV Tuesday and I have a recipe I discovered on the food network. This recipe is loaded with goodness. Chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, onion, spices . . . It's a nutritional powerhouse. There's not much prep work and not much hands-on time. It's no wonder that it has a 5 star rating with over 150 reviews on the food network website. I knew the first time I made it that this recipe was a keeper. It bridges the divide between east and west because it has some of the spices of the east, but also familiar ingredients to westerners.

I might be partial to soups and stews, but I can't help it. I think it's in my DNA. When I was growing up, we ate a lot of soups and stews. I would say they were our favorite meals. My dad's brother and sister used to laugh about the fact that my dad loved eating soup for breakfast! I didn't realize that this was abnormal. I remember my dad's sister asking if my dad still ate soup for breakfast and laughing when the answer was yes. I made a mental note of that. Huh, this is somehow amusing. Maybe people don't normally have soup for breakfast?

My mom told me just recently that when she was younger, she also wanted to eat soup all the time and was sometimes teased for this. She said that when she met my dad, they knew that it was meant to be because the two ridiculed soup-lovers finally found someone share their passion for soup with. Okay, they weren't really ridiculed - more like lovingly teased from time to time.

I remember being home on weekends and smelling the savory aroma of a fresh, homemade soup or stew cooking on the stove. I can still smell the tomatoes, the vegetables, noodles, beans . . . Both of my parents were great cooks, but I looked forward to the weekends when my dad cooked. I don't know why but it seemed special to have something made by my dad.

I was honestly a little skeptical about the cinnamon in this stew, but I tried it without and it's just not the same. It's also not nearly as good without the spinach either. When I tasted this before and after the spinach, there was a huge difference.

This is a really great meal to warm you up on a chilly day, but I could enjoy it any time of the year.



Shimmy Shack - Michigan's First All-Vegan Food Truck

It's Mitten Monday and I wanted to highlight another great Michigan business, which has been bringing joy to vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores for just over a month now. Shimmy Shack is Michigan's first vegan food truck and I know I'm not the only one who was overjoyed to hear about it!

Honestly, I kind of fell in love with the Shimmy Shack before even trying the food. The truck's super cute exterior was designed by The Ren & Stimpy Show's animator John Kricfalusi. The menu is Veg-American with 3 different kinds of cooked sliders, a raw reuben, regular and sweet potato fries, delicious sauces, shakes and cookies. On top of that, the truck can run on biodiesel fuel created from used fryer oil!

When we went to check them out the first time, the line was huge and we had limited options because they had run out of a lot of things in just a couple of hours, but we were totally happy about it because that means people are eating yummy vegan food and the truck will be sticking around! Hooray!

Shimmy Shack Truck Line

Shimmy Shack Vegan Food Truck

Shimmy Shack Vegan Sliders, sweet potato fries, and sauces
Clockwise From Left: The Classic (lentil burger with vegan cheese), Falafel Burger, Southwest Burger (black bean and rice burger with guacamole), shimmy sauce, garlic sauce, curry mayo

So, the next time Shimmy Shack was in my friend Amy's neighborhood, she was the first person there and ordered one of everything! Then she promptly drove over my house and we pigged out together. Everything was great, but I think I might have liked the raw reuben the best. I can't wait to eat those sliders and fries again!


What Crêpe? A Bit of Vegan Heaven Wrapped Inside a Fresh, Warm Crêpe

What Crêpe? is one of our absolute favorite places to get weekend brunch. From the moment we set foot inside for the first time, we loved it! This place has a relaxed vibe and the European inspired decor made us feel like we were far from Detroit. We felt like we could have just hung out there all day. I think the atmosphere alone would have won us over even if we could only eat a salad, but add onto that vegan crepes and soy milk for your organic coffee - oh my!

Our first dozen or so visits were spent eating only sweet crepes (which were absolutely divine), but we finally decided to try some of the savory crepes and now we can't visit without getting both savory and sweet.

The first time I tried the Old Woodward, a savory crepe with pan seared tofu, I was kind of afraid because I am a little picky about tofu and I often do not like it in restaurants so I usually avoid it when possible while eating out. The minute I took my first bite, I knew that my life would never be the same (okay, really just my brunches out wouldn't be.) It looks like your average run-of-the-mill tofu, but the taste is absolutely extraordinary. It won me over on texture too, which is a big deal for me when it comes to tofu. It's firm enough, but still easy to bite into.

I love combination of this delicious savory tofu with the avocado, tomato, spinach and crepe, though we have lately tried adding in different additional fillings and sauce with varying levels of success. I think my favorite additions so far have been the vegan truffle zip sauce, olives or asparagus. By ordering this crepe vegan, you are omitting the feta cheese so you may as well play around by substituting something else.

If you are really concerned about cross-contamination, this may not be the place for you. It says on their menu that vegan and gluten-free crepes are made in the same kitchen and on the same utensils as regular crepes. We've never found anything gross (pieces of chicken or chunks of egg) in our food as we have occasionally at other places though.

What Crêpe? is located in Ann Arbor, MI. The Birmingham and Royal Oak locations have now closed.

You seriously need to try this place. It just might change your life.

Vegan Crêpe (Old Woodward - pan seared tofu, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, spinach)
Vegan Old Woodward 
(pan seared tofu, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, spinach)

Vegan Crêpe with fresh strawberries, pecans, toasted coconut, and chocolate soy ice cream
Vegan Crêpe with fresh strawberries, pecans, toasted coconut, and chocolate soy ice cream


Curry on Crust . . . Desi Pizza

Saturday, September 21, 2013 , , , , , 4 Comments

I was blogging almost every day for Vegan Mofo, but then I kind of dropped into the abyss for almost a week. There was a death in my family. I might share more, but I don't think I'm ready yet.

In an effort to kind of cheer us up, we decided to go out to eat and ended up at Curry on Crust . . . Desi Pizza. Desi (DAY-see) is a term for something or someone from the Indian subcontinent (something South Asian). We were actually planning on eating somewhere else, but we were fooled into thinking that this restaurant wasn't busy by the lack of people inside as we passed by. Once inside, we quickly learned that, like any good pizza place, this place does a LOT of carry out orders. It almost felt like there was a revolving door of people going in and out with fresh, hot pizzas filling the air with an aroma reminiscent of  spices of India.

We had previously passed on going to this restaurant, thinking that everything would be covered in cheese and that the crust may not be vegan. I'm glad we decided to give it a try this time though because the employees there actually knew what vegan meant and were able to make our pizza vegan! My husband said they scored major brownie points with us when they knew what we were talking about. If you are vegan, make sure you tell them because it seemed like they normally brush the crust with butter, but they used oil instead for us. Also, some sauces may not be vegan so check first.

You can build your own pizza by starting with homemade crust, add tomato sauce or one of the Indian sauces like tikka or manchurian (Indian Chinese), then choose from a list of toppings as diverse as mushrooms, cauliflower and green peas. They make sure to point out that extra garlic, ginger and chillies are free! You can also choose from some preselected favorites such as Aloo Gobi Pizza or Masala Eggplant Pizza.

We ordered the Achari Veggie Pizza (and asked for vegan) which came with tikka sauce, potato cubes, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and baby corn. The pizza was innovative and delicious and, based on the amount of business they were getting, we weren't the only ones who thought so.

Update: Curry on Crust now offers daiya vegan cheese!

Vegan Achari Veggie Pizza
Vegan Achari Veggie Pizza

Cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper and other spices on every table

View inside the restaurant


Finding Inspiration at Sasha Farm Animal Sanctuary

Saturday, September 14, 2013 , , 6 Comments

This story has a happy ending.

So lately I've been hearing about all these new vegan and vegetarian restaurants. More and more people know what I'm talking about when I say vegan. People are generally supportive and tell me that I'm doing a good thing. But then something silly happens like I'm in a hurry and this guy at the farmer's market starts hassling me about not eating eggs. And I wasn't hassling him about NOT eating eggs or any of the other crap he eats. He just started preaching to me out of nowhere. Then, we go to this catered event and we call ahead of time to ask them to make vegan food for us. We were aware that we were in a neighborhood where vegan is not that big so we asked what the food would be to make sure. (How many other vegans out there have been served 'vegan' food laden in cheese, butter, or maybe even beef broth? Sometimes you just have to make sure.) So she tells us veggie lasagna. We tell her vegan means no animal products - including no meat, no dairy. She says how about chicken. Seriously? This is a catering company?

At times like these I kind of wonder if my belief that vegan is getting more mainstream, accepted, easier and more popular is really true. I guess it's like how they say that you can receive a thousand compliments and just one criticism and you focus on the criticism. When these things happen, I should really just laugh and shake my head. I should be grateful that I educated that person for the next veggie eaters they cater for. But sometimes I get disheartened and I start wondering if what I'm doing even makes a difference. Is anyone out there listening? Does anyone care? And then it takes something revitalizing to bring me back up. It doesn't even have to be something big.

I'm not going to lie, I tend to lose my faith in humanity quite often. It's easy to see why. All you have to do is watch the news. All you have to do is read about some horrible thing that is going on. Sometimes just talking to someone and hearing that they really don't care about some great injustice makes me feel such a sadness and I wonder how I can go on in this world without being thoroughly depressed. But then, sometimes something great happens.

Maybe you become the witness to some great act of kindness or charity. Maybe you meet someone who is going for their dreams and making a difference in this world even though everyone tells them to follow the status quo and they are scared as heck. Maybe you fall in love and are so encompassed by it's embrace that you can't imagine anything but love in the world.

Recently we went to a Fun Day at Sasha Farm, the Midwest's largest farm animal sanctuary, located right here in Michigan. After a couple of days of feeling like I was just about the only one who cared about the abuse of farm animals and the environmental impact of our food choices (hello carbon emissions, air & water pollution . . .), I ventured off to the Fun Day with my mom and my very loving friend Amy. We had a nice drive over and were driving down beautiful country roads and a super cute country town when I saw a sign that said something to the effect of 'Livestock Auction Saturday.' I started to feel sick to my stomach. I was seriously obsessing about the vegan food I was going to eat at the sanctuary all week . . . until that moment. I could see the auction in my mind and I knew what was going to happen to those animals. I knew that those animals actually probably had it really good compared to virtually ALL of the farmed animals in the United States. Factory farming now accounts for more than 99 % of all farmed animals raised and slaughtered in the US. And I thought that the animals at this 'livestock' auction were probably not factory farmed. I really didn't know that; maybe I just hoped so.

The worst part of it was knowing that I was totally powerless. Sometimes the task feels so overwhelming and you feel like you're the only one doing it. Even if I saved every animal from that livestock auction that week, how many livestock auctions are going on around the world - every week? And how many animals WISH their life was so good that they were at a livestock auction because the reality of a factory farm is so much more disgusting and inhumane? At this point, I was feeling like I was kind of alone in this battle.

But then we reached our destination and, although the day was half over, the parking lot was still full! And I knew that all of these people cared. They cared about the animals. They cared about the planet. They probably cared about their own health. But I knew they cared about the animals because they came all the way to this sanctuary (which is kind of in the middle of nowhere) and took part in this fundraiser FOR the animals! I imagined all the people at home who wished they could have made it and all the people going to fundraisers and shelters and sanctuaries like this all around the world. I saw hope. I was inspired. These are two things which can sometimes seem hard to find. You can't just save up and go to the store to buy hope and inspiration. They have to come naturally.

It is so easy to feel powerless when you see something wrong with the world. We are so small by ourselves and the problems are so big. But when we remember all of the other people out there doing their little part and we add it all up, it amounts to a lot. There are still a lot of bad things in this world, but I think that, on the whole, things have improved over time. There are so many things we take for granted now that were once just dreams.

Sometimes being a person who cares in a world that seems so numb, I feel like an outcast or like I don't fit in. At these times, I often look to this quote from fellow herbivore, Steve Jobs, to get me back on track:
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.  About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Check out the makeshift parking lot.

The horses were so beautiful and friendly!

I'm not usually scared by animals, but I'm not going to lie - these guys scared me a little bit. I think they're bigger than me and one of them kept walking back and forth so close to me he was brushing up against me.

We took pictures of these guys hoping we'd figure out which one was the chicken we brought here, but we realized this section was only the males. There was a female in the other section who came right over to us when she heard our voices and wanted to be right by us. We thought she was the one.

The ladies. This is just before the chicken we suspect we saved came over to us.

This guy was SO friendly. He was supposed to be resting because he has sore hoofs, but he kept jumping up to see people.

A pig trying to stay cool on a hot day.

We watched the pig on the left come in and say something to the other pig. The pig on the right lifted it's head with eyes half-closed, said something back, and then went back to sleep. The one on the left reluctantly decided to take a nap too. This picture was taken during the 5 minute process of making the perfect bed. In the end, they were sleeping with their rears touching. I think these two must be good friends.

This cow was born with a neurological problem. It's actually what ended up saving her from slaughter in the end because it forced the farmer to get to know her by bottle feeding her for a long time and she couldn't stand the thought of her getting slaughtered.

They were given food by some of the visitors earlier in the day so they were really on the lookout whenever someone walked by.


Shriya's Vegan Modak - A Traditional Indian Sweet Coconut Dumpling

It's Freaky Friday and Shriya has volunteered to share her Modak recipe with us. This recipe is very timely because right now the Hindu Festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is going on and modaks are widely consumed throughout India during this festival. Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day festival celebrating the birth / rebirth of the Lord Ganesha / Ganpati. It is common for sweets to be given on Holidays in India and Ganesh Chaturthi is no exception. Modak is the sweet given and eaten during this festival because it is believed to be Ganesh's favorite food.

There are different ways of making modak - different stuffings and different ways of cooking it. Some modaks are steamed. This recipe is for fried modak.

Vegan Modak

Ganesh Chaturthi
 Shriya celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in her home last year.

Rangoli on the Street in Pune, India for Ganesh Chaturthi
 Rangoli on the street in Pune, India. 
Rangoli is an ancient art form passed down from generation to generation. It can be made from colored sand, colored rice, flour, or flower petals. Notice the size of the feet in the corner.

Rangoli on the Street in Pune, India for Ganesh Chaturthi
Rangoli on the street in Pune, India
Pune (the hometown of the East part of East Meets West Veg) is famous for it's Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

This recipe makes 12 modaks.

2 Cups Atta Flour (a kind of whole wheat flour found in Indian grocery stores)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
1/2 Cup Water 120ml to 130ml (take water accordingly, the dough should not be soft and not too hard)
1/2 tsp. Oil (for applying on the dough after kneading )

1 ½ Cup Fresh shredded coconut (you can get this frozen in any Indian store)
1/3 Cup Jaggery or Powdered Jaggery (found at an Indian store)
¼  Cup Sugar  
¼ tsp Cardamom powder 

Oil  - To deep fry

1.    Put the flour in a parat, mixing bowl, or your preferred work surface for  mixing and kneading.
2.    Make a well in the flour, add salt,1 tsp oil and water a little at a time.
3.    Knead to form a smooth, medium hard dough.
4.    Add 1/2 tsp oil & keep kneading until you get a smooth, medium hard dough.
5.    Cover it and let it rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Vegan Modak Dough
This is how the dough will look after resting. It's going to rest more than 15 minutes because you will now start making the stuffing and the stuffing will rest for 15 minutes as well.

1.    Mix jaggery, sugar and coconut well.
2.    Add cardmom powder and mix.
Vegan Modak Filling
3.    Let it rest for 15 mins.
4.    Heat a pan on medium flame.
5.    Add above mixture to the heated pot. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring continuously.
Vegan Modak Filling

1.    Apply a little oil on rolling pin and board.
2.    Divide dough into 12 small balls.
3.    Flatten the ball of dough.
Vegan Modak Dough

4.    Roll with circular motions and make a flat sheet of 3-4 inches (the sheet should not be too thin or too thick)
5.    Spread a spoonful of stuffing over the puri, or rolled sheet.
Vegan Modak Preparation

6.    Fold the edges up one by one as shown below.
Vegan Modak Preparation

7.    Gather all edges in the center. Seal it, put aside and prepare all the other modaks.  Keep the modaks covered while you are working.
Vegan Modak - Before Cooking

8.    Heat the oil for deep frying. Test your oil by making a small ball of the dough and putting it in oil. If the oil is ready, the small ball comes up or immediately floats.
9.    When the oil is ready, deep fry in batches of 2 - 3 modaks.
Vegan Modak - Frying

10.   Remove them when they are golden brown (not brown) and place on a paper towel or tissue to drain out the excess oil. Each batch should take less than 2 minutes.
11.   Enjoy!

Vegan Modaks