Sasha Gill runs The Sasha Diaries and, in January 2019, published the plant-based cookbook: Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian Favourites, Made Vegan
Author photo credit: Steve Brown
I remember visiting a restaurant in Shanghai famed for its melt-in-your-mouth Peking duck and watching my parents deftly use chopsticks to pile shredded meat and crisp skin into the cradle of a paper-thin pancake. Duck pancakes have become a Chinese-restaurant classic and it is not difficult to see why. Dressed with fruity hoisin sauce and paired with fresh slivers of spring onion for crunch, they are fun to assemble and eat. Young green jackfruit stands in for duck here – it can be shredded in much the same way and soaks up flavours beautifully. If you don’t have time to make your own pancakes, feel free to use a dozen shop-bought wheat spring-roll wrappers.
Makes 12 (enough for 4–6 as a starter)
Burfi is a type of Indian fudge, often eaten during Diwali. Just like its western counterpart, burfi can come in many different forms. This one, called besan burfi, is a melange of nuts, sugar and chickpea flour. Chickpea flour may seem like a peculiar addition to fudge, but it is quite a common component in Indian desserts, and comes with a nice hit of protein as a bonus!
Makes 9 big or 16 small squares.
These pakoras are melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous and very versatile. You can substitute any of the vegetables here for whatever you have on hand, such as spiralised courgettes (zucchini) or shredded cabbage. Serving these golden fritters with a mint chutney, or some Mint and cucumber raita, injects a hint of freshness. If you do not have a spiraliser, just use a julienne peeler to shred the vegetables, or cut them into thin strips.
Makes 12 (enough for 4 as a side)