Online Cooking Class: Vegan Oil-Free Indian Cooking

Mar 04 2021 18:15 - 20:00
Super organiser

Join nutritionist Rohini Bajekal and her mother, Dr Nitu, for an introduction to healthy oil-free Indian cooking which doesn't compromise on flavour. You'll make 5 simple and delicious dishes, and get plenty of nutrition tips along the way. 

The class will include:

  • How to make a creamy split black gram lentil dal bursting with flavour - a plant based version of the ancient famous dish from Northern India
  • served with brown rice quinoa
  • Make cabbage jhunka, a tasty side dish
  • Make refreshing condiments tomato onion salad and sweetcorn mint soya yoghurt raita
  • How to dry roast spices for an oil-free tadka (traditional Indian seasoning for dishes)or tempering without oil
  • How to create delicious and healthy Indian dishes without oil or animal products
  • The benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet and how to prioritise legumes in your diet

This class would be especially useful for anyone with health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, or anyone who would love to learn some easy, healthy and affordable Indian recipes.

Please note that we will provide options during the class for those who do wish to use oil in their cooking.

For ingredients and equipment needed see below

About Rohini

Outside of running her own nutrition practice, Rohini Bajekal is an Advisory Board Member and Nutritionist for Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, a Community Interest Group dedicated to the promotion of a whole foods plant-based diet for optimal health and wellbeing. Rohini is also Brand Manager for Women for Women’s Health UK, a voluntary service set up to empower women of all ages to make lifestyle choices that will help improve their own health as well as that of their families. Rohini loves sharing the benefits of eating more plants and working with others to create delicious food, posting nutrition tips and recipes every day on Instagram @rohinibajekal

Rohini Bajekal: MA Oxon, MSc Nutrition and Food Sciences, Dip IBLM/ BSLM, Nutritionist and International Board-Certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional

About Dr Nitu

Dr Nitu Bajekal is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist for 20 years on the NHS with over 35 years of clinical experience in women’s health. She is also one of the first US board-certified Lifestyle Medicine Physicians in the UK. She is the founder of Women for Women's Health, a voluntary service set up in 2014 to educate and empower women to make dietary and lifestyle choices to help improve their own and their families’ health. Dr Nitu is passionate about educating the public and doctors about women’s health, plant based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, as she firmly believes these go hand in hand.

Dr Nitu Bajekal: MD FCOG Dip IBLM, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Ambassador for Made in Hackney. Follow @drnitubajekal on Instagram for recipes and tips on nutrition and women’s health with many more free resources at

Join plant-based chef, Sareta Puri, for a whistle-stop tour of popular Indian snacks and street food and learn how to make healthier versions of classic dishes inspired by her Indian heritage and travels across India.

For ingredients and equipment needed see below

SPLIT BLACK GRAM LENTIL DAL (Oil Free Chilke Wali Kali Urad Dal)

Serves 6


  • 2 cups dry split black gram lentils (wash and rinse a few times  and soak in water for a few hours). You can find these in South Asian stores.
  • 2 red onions, chopped finely 
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped finely
  • 2 inch fresh ginger chunk, grated
  • 4-6 fresh garlic cloves, grated
  • 4-6 fresh tomatoes or 1 can tomatoes
  • 3 large handfuls (fresh or frozen) spinach or kale


  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of pomegranate (Anardana) powder (optional) 
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida (Hing), (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp of jaggery or coconut sugar
  • Sea salt to taste


  • Juice of one large lemon
  • Fresh coriander leaves and stalks finely chopped: large handful 

CABBAGE JHUNKA (Konkani South Indian style sabji with chickpea flour)

Serves 4

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1 small white cabbage, chopped finely
  • 2 medium white onions 
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 3 heaped tbsp chickpea or gram flour (Besan)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 large bunch of chopped fresh coriander (including the chopped stems too), as garnish


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups water


Serves 4 (side salad) 

  • 2 firm medium tomatoes, chopped into long slices 
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped into long thin slices 
  • 1 -2 handfuls sprouted mung beans (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh chopped coriander 
  • 2 tbsp of jalapeños OR a green chilli, finely chopped
  • A good squeeze of lemon
  • A pinch of sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)


Serves 2-4

  • 1/2 cucumber grated or 1 small can of unsweetened sweetcorn 250 g, rinsed and drained
  • 250 ml of calcium-fortified soya yoghurt (e.g. Alpro)
  • 4 tablespoons of soya milk
  • 1 tablespoon of garden mint sauce (or 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint)
  • Optional: pinch of ground cumin 


  • Sieve to wash the rice
  • One deep bottomed medium crockpot/ Dutch oven or casserole dish with a lid for the lentils
  • One medium saucepan for the cabbage jhunka
  • One medium saucepan with lid for the rice/quinoa
  • One bowl for the raita
  • One bowl for the sala
  • Kettle or extra pan to boil water
  • Teaspoon, tablespoon and cup measures
  • Wooden utensils – spoon
  • Knife for chopping vegetables and herbs
  • Ladle
  • Can opener (for tomatoes)
  • Chopping board
  • Grater for the cucumber if using

Fee*: £20 Standard / £10 Concessions**/ £5 Unwaged 

*All funds raised go towards our community meal service providing free nutritious, tasty meals to households who need them during these challenging times. 

**Concessionary rate available for students, pensioners and low waged

If you are able to donate to our crowdfunder please visit

If you would like to be added to our FREE online community class mailing list - just drop a line to Please note that, in the interest of fairness, opportunities to attend free classes are limited. 

Refunds: we require a minimum of 24 hours' notice for any cancellations or transfers once you have booked onto a class.

For information: / 020 8442 4266

    Location: Zoom, details to be provided via email (usually the day before the class). Check your junk mail if need be!

    Community Cookery School and charity running vegan cooking classes, supper clubs and events. All proceeds raised goes towards FREE community classes for groups in need across London. 

    Want more events?

    Sign up here to get a curated event selection right into your mailbox