cover image Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking

Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking

Madhur Jaffrey. Knopf, $35 (448p) ISBN 978-1-101-87486-8

Jaffrey (At Home with Madhur Jaffrey and Flavors of India), a seven-time James Beard Award winner for her stellar cookbooks, explores vegetarian home cooking in this exceptional new collection. In a culture where vegetarianism is prominent, Jaffrey explains that home-cooked Indian dishes are seasoned with an array of spices that both taste good and help treat or prevent ailments such as colds and nausea. In this enticing collection, she focuses on traditional dishes that make up a typical Indian vegetarian diet. The country’s size and the vastly dissimilar cuisines in its different regions make this a nearly herculean task. Jaffrey’s recipes, learned from locals in all walks of life, emphasize regional ingredients and influences. In addition to an appealing selection of soups, appetizers, vegetables, and desserts, she offers chapters on eggs and dairy, chutneys, and drinks. Chickpeas in a simple northern-style green lentil curry with kale, and Indian-style bean sprouts with onions, ginger, and garlic, highlight a substantial chapter on dals. Grains are also amply represented: flattened rice with cauliflower and peas; a “risotto” of dal, rice, and vegetables; and a variety of pancakes made with rice flour, chickpea flour and tomatoes, or mung dal. Jaffrey takes readers on an appetizing journey through the best vegetarian cuisine India has to offer, and it is decidedly worth the trip. (Nov.)