Sunday, June 4, 2017

Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn by Chitra Agrawal

Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn
Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn
From the acclaimed chef and owner of Brooklyn Delhi, a debut cookbook focused on the celebrated vegetarian fare of South India.

Another beautiful Indian cuisine cookbook now added to my family's collection of cookbooks! It is so hard for me to resist cookbooks which focus on Indian cooking. I find the flavors so unique and pleasing. As the name of this cookbook suggests, the recipes within are indeed vibrant. This particular Indian cookbook focuses on vegetarian recipes. Your experience in that realm might have been bland, but no longer! With the spices and techniques of the Indian culture, the simplest vegetarian dishes are taken up to an amazing level sure to please most people. As with most of the books from this publisher, the cookbook is full of beautiful photographs which make this book coffee-table worthy!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Lifelong vegetarian and chef Chitra Agrawal takes you on an epicurean journey to her mother's hometown of Bangalore and back to Brooklyn, where she adapts her family's South Indian recipes for home cooks. This particular style of Indian home cooking, often called the -yoga diet, - is light and fresh, yet satisfying and rich in bold and complex flavors. Grains, legumes, fresh produce, coconut, and yogurt--along with herbs, citrus, chiles, and spices--form the cornerstone of this delectable cuisine, rooted in vegetarian customs and honed over centuries for optimum taste and nutrition.
From the classic savory crepe dosa, filled with lemony turmeric potatoes and cilantro coconut chutney, to new creations like coconut polenta topped with spring vegetables 'upma- and homemade yogurt, the recipes in Vibrant India are simple to prepare and a true celebration of color and flavor on a plate. Chitra weaves together the historical context behind the region's cuisine and how she brought some of these age-old traditions to life thousands of miles away in Brooklyn during the city's exciting food renaissance.
Relying on her experience as a culinary instructor, Chitra introduces the essential Indian cooking techniques, tips, and ingredients you'll need to prepare a full range of recipes from quick vegetable stir frys (corn, basil, and leeks flavored with butter, cumin, and black pepper), salads (citrus red cabbage and fennel slaw with black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chile), yogurt raitas (shredded beets and coconut in yogurt), and chutneys and pickles (preserved Meyer lemon in chile brine) to hearty stews (aromatic black eyed peas, lentils, and greens), coconut curries (summer squash in an herby coconut yogurt sauce), and fragrant rice dishes (lime dill rice with pistachios). Rounding out the book is an array of addictive snacks (popcorn topped with curry leaf butter), creative desserts (banana, coconut, and cardamom ice cream), and refreshing drinks (chile watermelon juice with mint). Chitra provides numerous substitutions to accommodate produce seasonality, ingredient availability, and personal tastes. The majority of recipes are gluten-free and vegan or can be easily modified to adhere to those dietary restrictions.
Whether you are a vegetarian or just looking for ways to incorporate more vegetarian recipes into your repertoire, Vibrant India is a practical guide for bringing delicious Indian home cooking to your table on a regular basis.