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Hello there,

Welcome to Vegetarian Zest, a place of home-style vegetarian cooking.

I’m Srivandya, the cook, the writer, photographer of this blog. I live in Johannesburg with my family & surrounded by trees & never ending winter. I’m originally from New Delhi, India & work full time as a business analyst.

 I’m constantly trying to feed my family healthy and fresh vegetarian food. I'm also in the process to teach my four year old about vegetarianism. She constantly asks me questions like: why she gets a special lunch in her school, why she can't eat chicken, why her best friend has also opted to eat vegetarian meals in the school or what happens to animals when they go into her friend's stomach?
 Cooking has always been a stress buster for me but there are days when I have no energy or desire to cook and I end up firing up a frozen pizza. Or days when my kid refuses to put anything in her mouth and I get to hear ‘yucky’ so I dish out a p & J sandwich. It’s fine! We all have such moments!

When I have time and energy, you might spot me around Joburg with my daughter and husband, mostly in a coffee shop trying to take that perfect shot. I also have an OCD for organizing &  love buying stationary and shoes...we need inspiration!

My husband, Anand, he is the other force behind this blog, he’s the taste tester, IT genius & last but not least, my biggest supporter & pillar of strength. He is the one, who takes me around and inspires to taste unusual combinations. The latest was wasabi filled doughnuts.

Why Do I Blog?

Vegetarian Zest is written to learn new techniques, explore unfamiliar ingredients, & discover new recipes (but I will always have a soft spot for mom-made rajma chawal – red beans curry &rice).

It also works as a food journal that reminds me of my successes, failures, document my memories of home, comforts & brings back old memories from childhood to good times with friends & family.


I’m a firm believer that food should taste good & cooking should be enjoyable. This blog is all about making that happen!

A vegetarian blog with Lacto-Ovo recipes traditional,authentic, Indian &world recipes that are heirloom, experimented, tried & tested. All the recipes are tweaked or modified to suit the taste.

You’ll find home style vegetarian recipes, calling for seasonal & naturally grown vegetables (mostly) & minimally processed ingredients.

More About me…

Some of my favorite things in life are Thai food, my camera, sunrises, breakfast dates with my husband & meaningful convos with my 4 year old.

On a more personal level, I’m constantly trying to learn how to be better at things that really matter, living life fully, forgiving &  appreciating people.

Long story short, Thanks for visiting!!! Do come by now & then for new recipes & to give your feedback.

Once again, I’m welcoming you into my Jozi Indian kitchen where we unfold the recipes & share a cup of hot cappuccino with a drizzle of cinnamon.


  1. oooh a food!! I wish i could be one never told me this! Amazing maan...this is soo coool! Dudes and dudettes out there....she's the best food writer ever.... :)

  2. Hey Vandi...
    As always its a great pleasure reading your blog. I feel surprisingly full after I read yours. I usually try your salads and soups. Keep writing.

  3. Hi Vandi,

    As always a pleasure to read your blog. I usually try your soups and salads. Keep writing. I can still taste the momos you bought to office.



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All purpose flour 1 cup
Salt ½ teaspoon
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
Baking soda 2 teaspoons
Unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup
Sugar substitute – 6 teaspoons
Vegetable Oil – 1 cup (I used sunflower oil)
Milk – ½ cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
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Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and sugar substitute into a large mixing bowl.

Add vanilla extract, oil and milk. With an electric mixer, beat at medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes.

Grease the baking pan with oil and flour. Pour the batter evenly into the baking pans.

Place the pan on the middle shelf and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted int…