Indian Vegetarian Feast: Fresh, Simple, Healthy Dishes for Today's Family

Anjum Anand, Author
Anjum Anand. Sterling Epicure, $24.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4549-0866-1
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Cooking without meat in no way means cooking without flavor and in her sixth volume, BBC host Anand (Indian Food Made Easy) concentrates on sensible vegetarian dishes. A London resident who visits Delhi and Calcutta regularly, Anand prepares mostly vegetarian foods for her husband and children, here offering ideas for meals throughout the day that privilege herbs, spices, rice, beans, and whole grains. Her "desert island ingredient would be humble Bengal gram (chana dal), a type of lentil," she says. Highly versatile, "it can be made into a curry, stir-fried with spices into a protein-rich side dish, even used to make a dessert." Anand combines yellow lentils with ginger and chilies to create "fluffy, spongy, savory" steamed lentil cakes, served in a spicy rasam broth. For appetizers, she makes tandoori baby potatoes—twice-cooked potatoes with cumin, garam masala, coriander, and paprika—and tops them with herbed yogurt. To griddled zucchini carpaccio, she adds an Indian-inspired chickpea salsa "based upon a roadside chaat," drizzles pistachio dressing and scatters feta cheese. That none of the recipes appears excessive or inaccessible is a testament to Anand's ability to simplify ingredients and techniques, while Emma Lee's bright, evocative images add extra class to the presentation. (Apr.)
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