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Pura Vida Recipes


Pura Vida is a former cafe, restaurant and yoga studio based in Waterlooville, which is now operating as a pop up business providing catering to private events, dinner parties, take away nights, meal prep and cake orders.


Our community garden is collaborating with Emma, the founder of Pura Vida, to provide recipes inspired by the fruits and vegetables we produce in the growing spaces around Southsea Green. Emma shows how people can embrace their relationship with food through healthy and natural sources. Gardeners can find inspiration for plant-based recipes through plant sources around their allotments and growing spaces. Emma also shares these plant-based recipes in our garden newsletter, Over the Hedge. 



Lentil and Pepper Dahl



2 red onions chopped finely

5 cloves of garlic chopped finely

1 green chilli or red

2 thumb size pieces of ginger grated

18/20 Tomatoes medium size

3 Peppers, I used red yellow and orange finely chopped

Pack of spinach

3 tbsp garam masala

1 tbsp turmeric

1 tbsp nigella seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

Pack of coriander



250g gram flour

400ml water


Salt and pepper


Oven gas to 6.


Add a good glug of oil to a large pan, add onions, garlic, chilli & ginger, and S&P, cook for 10 minutes on a gentle heat Get a large oven tray, quarter the Tomatoes, add oil salt and pepper, now into the oven to roast for 25 minutes


Grind up the nigella and coriander seeds and add to the pan along with the turmeric and garam masala. Mix well until you can see the seasoning has absorbed into the onions, after 8 minutes add the Peppers and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes.


Checking back on the Tomatoes you may find they have released some water and have gone soft, using a masher begin to press on the Tomatoes creating chunks of Tomatoes and some juices, now add this to your large pot, mix well.


Add your lentils and 1 litre of water, bring the heat up slightly and allow to come to a simmer, taste test and add your desired amount of S&P until you've got it to the flavour you want. Leave on a low heat for 25/30 minutes, stirring regularly. The lentils should be cooked and absorbed into the Dahl so it has a beautiful texture and smell.


Take off the heat and add the majority of the bag of spinach, mix in and leave to rest for 3 minutes to wilt the spinach down. Leave the lid on, now it's chapati time In a bowl, add the sieved gram flour, water, S&P, and a handful of chopped coriander. Get a frying pan with a drizzle of oil in, using a ladle for measurements, pour 1 ladle into the pan, wait for the bubbles to appear on the top of the mixture, flip and cook until golden. Repeat for however chapatis you want. Can be stored in the fridge overnight.

Butternut Squash Risotto



300g arborio rice

1⁄2 large butternut squash diced into small chunks

2x small peppers (I used yellow & green)

2 cloves minced garlic

1x diced onion

1 1⁄2 lite veggie stock

1⁄2 tsp thyme & basil

1 slice vegan cheese (optional)


s&p to season


tbsp butter


Heat a large frying pan with some oil. Add onions and season with s&p. Allow to cook for 11 mins. Add your peppers then garlic, stir well, cook for 5 mins. Add your butternut squash and cook for another 11 mins to soften. Add basil & thyme. Make a well in the centre to melt the butter in then add your risotto rice. Stir well, allowing the rice to toast lightly for a few mins. A ladle at a time add the stock. It's really important to keep stirring the dish at this point so the rice does not stick. Be sure to make sure your stock is hot! This is also very important. Keeping the heat low so it doesn't burn,

stir, adding more stock once the previous ladle has absorbed into the rice. At your last ladle you can add your cheese and s&p to season the dish to your taste. Sprinkle over some parsley. I finished mine with some sunflower seeds.

Enjoy! For a step by step tutorial for this recipe please check Emma's facebook & instagram page:


Facebook: Pura Vida

Insta: Puravida_vegan100

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