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Vegetarian Cuisine


A delectable vegetable dish with a crunchy topping, good enough to serve at any dinner party.  Fennel is a low calorie vegetable with a good fibre and potassium content in the bulb. Raw, it is sweetly aromatic with delicate anise-like aroma and flavour. When baked till tender, it has a delicious flavour.  Ricotta cheese complements fennel in this recipe, or for a vegan diet, use silken tofu instead of cheese.  The fennel bulb is first steamed for a short while on stove top then baked in the oven.  Choose medium sized fennel bulbs that are fresh and pearly white.  The fronds contain folic acid and B vitamin and can be used raw for garnishing. Serves 4.


2 bulbs fennel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons drained ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice the fennel bulb fairly thinly, or cut thicker slices in lengths on the diagonal. Reserve the feathery fronds for garnishing.
  3. Place the slices in a steamer pan, pour the lemon juice over them. Cover and steam over simmering water on medium heat for 5 – 10 min, or just until the fennel begins to soften.
  4. Transfer the fennel to an oiled baking dish.
  5. While the fennel is steaming, toast the caraway seeds in a dry skillet over high heat for a few seconds, then crush them slightly.
  6. Melt butter or margarine in a separate pan and fry the bread crumbs over medium heat until lightly brown.
  7. Beat the ricotta cheese with milk, caraway seeds and salt.
  8. Pour the mixture over the fennel. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and then the chopped parsley.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 min, until the fennel is tender.
  10. Serve hot.

Edited contribution for Gurugram from The Yoga Cookbook: The Yoga Cookbook. Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind. Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.  1999.

Live in tune with the Infinite. Rejoice in the Self within. This is the great slogan of life. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Live in the present, forget the past. Release hopes of the future. – Sri Swami Sivananda