cover image Comfort and Joy: Irresistible Pleasures From a Vegetarian Kitchen

Comfort and Joy: Irresistible Pleasures From a Vegetarian Kitchen

Ravinder Bhogal. Bloomsbury, $35 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5266-5537-0

“Vegetables are the soul of the kitchen” asserts restaurateur Bhogal (Jikoni) in this scrumptious collection inspired by memories of her grandfather’s farm in Kenya and her British Indian mother’s kitchen in England. These indulgent recipes elevate vegetables to star status, using diverse global flavors and nourishing ingredients to create “crave-able vegetarian food,” including gobble-worthy snacks, deep-fried goodies, and enticing entrées. Roasted carrot and goat’s yoghurt dip with toasted fennel and hazelnuts comes together easily in a blender, while more involved dishes include spiced potato skins stuffed with aloo chaat, avocado, and sweet n’ sour date tamarind chutney. Rich breads, such as tear-apart pesto and sun-dried tomato babka, and spicy cauliflower cheese parathas (flatbreads), are portable family favorites. Heartening pasta dishes include a lasagna with roasted squash, kale, walnuts, and sage. Mango and golden coin (chickpea dumpling) curry is made for comfort, while salads and sides feature charred melon, roasted beets, and plenty of greens. For dessert, mango-misu is a light, creamy riff on tiramisu. Bhogal’s meticulous, beautifully written recipe notes bring childhood memories of family meals to life and relate the joy of meat-free cuisine for all home cooks. This is a winner. (Sept.)