Eat the Rainbow

4 vegan recipes courtesy of Maine's first Indian culinary brand

Mumbai to MAINE founder Cherie Scott handcrafts regional gourmet Indian simmer sauces in small batches that are available across New England at specialty stores and via Here, she shares four colorful Indian recipes for a warm and healthy start to your 2024.


Life-Giving Dahl (vegan & gluten-free) 


1 cup red lentils, rinsed well

6 tablespoons refined organic coconut oil

3 cups water

1 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk 

1 large white onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder

6 curry leaves

1 tablespoon salt (adjust to taste)

1 large can crushed tomatoes or 2-3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 bunch cilantro (leaves only), chopped finely

2 naans


1. Preheat a large cast iron pot. 

2. Add 4 tablespoons coconut oil until melted and silky hot.

3. Add the finely chopped onions, stirring frequently until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger pastes and stir for a minute. Add the coriander and turmeric powder and stir well for another minute.

4. Gently add in a can of crushed tomatoes or 2 large, diced tomatoes (with seeds). Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. 

5. Stir in the lentils. Pour in 3 cups of water. Bring to a low boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and stir well. 

6. Gently pour in the coconut milk and the cilantro.

7. Cover the pot, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are soft (about 30 minutes).

8. When ready to serve, make the tadka by heating up 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet on high heat. Toss in 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 6 curry leaves, and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder. Swirl the skillet around for 30 seconds. Add the tadka (mixture) into the lentils and cover the lid immediately. Let sit for 10 minutes while the tadka infuses the creamy lentils. 

9. Serve over basmati pilaf with warm, cilantro-topped naan points on the side.

Serves 6-8

Creamy Indian Red Lentil Hummus


2 cups cooked red lentils

4 roasted garlic cloves 

1 cup grapeseed oil

¼ cup water

½ cup tahini paste 

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1 teaspoon Maine sea salt

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

½ cup chickpeas

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ cup of roasted chickpeas 

¼ cup of chopped scallions

Naan points


1. To make the garnish, spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with ¼ cup of oil. Sprinkle with cumin seeds and salt, dust with cayenne powder and roast for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

2. In a food processor, blend the cooked lentils, roasted garlic, ¾ cup of oil, tahini, lemon juice, water, spices, and salt until creamy. 

3. Scoop the hummus into a bowl. Garnish with toasted cayenne-cumin chickpeas and finely chopped scallions. Serve alongside naan points.

Serves 4-6

The Perfect Pot of Pilaf 


1 cup long grained, aged Basmati rice 

1.5 cups water

1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

6 black peppercorns

6 cloves

1 black cardamom pod 

3 green cardamom pods 

1 Ceylon cinnamon stick, approx. 4 inches long

2 bay leaves 

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon Himalayan or Maine sea salt 


1. Preheat a pot on the stove for 30 seconds on medium heat. 

2. Add the ghee and heat until almost silky. Add cumin seeds and let crackle in the ghee. Add the whole spices and turmeric powder. Allow the spices to bloom in the ghee for 45 seconds.

3. Add rice and gently stir the grains in the infused ghee for 30 seconds. Add the water and salt and stir well. 

4. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 8 minutes or until grains are cooked and stock is absorbed.

Note: The whole spices will rise to the top and settle on top. You can spoon them out and set them aside.

Serves 2-4

Maine Maple Indian Rice Pudding


1 cup basmati rice

4 cups whole milk or unsweetened coconut milk

1-13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut cream 

2 tablespoons melted ghee or refined coconut oil

3/4 cup Maine Maple syrup (Amber grade)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cloves

3 cracked cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

Dash of Maine sea salt

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons unsweetened, desiccated coconut flakes

1 tablespoon salted pistachios

1 tablespoon slivered almonds


1. Toast the nuts in a tablespoon of ghee or oil for 1 minute on medium heat. Set aside for garnish.

2. In a small pot, add another tablespoon of ghee or oil and toss in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves. Toast for 30 seconds. 

3. Add rice and gently toast with the spices for another 30 seconds. 

4. Add 4 cups milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook for 15 minutes. 

5. Remove whole spices and discard.

6. In a chilled, stainless steel bowl, add 2 egg yolks, coconut cream, and maple syrup. Whisk 1 minute until it looks like maple whipped cream. Fold into the rice pudding mixture and stir well. Simmer for 10 more minutes. 

7. To serve, garnish a generous scoop of maple rice pudding with a drizzle of Maple syrup and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

Serves 6-8

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