11 May 2010

More from The Indian Vegan Kitchen

I've so far only made two dishes from Madhu Gadia's The Indian Vegan Kitchen, and I'm already enjoying the book.  While altering vegetarian Indian dishes into vegan ones is not much of a task--it's typically a matter of simply substituting dairy products with their nondairy counterparts--it's nice to have already-vegan recipes available to make the cooking process even more streamlined.  Gadia claims that the recipes she provides in her cookbook are both authentic and vegan by tradition, with no need for tweaking them into being vegan-friendly.  So although the author has adjusted the amounts of fat used in the recipes to make them that much healthier (apparently a personal cooking habit), what the reader allegedly gets when attempting the dishes outlined in the book is not something meticulously formulated to fit vegan diets, but essentially real-deal Indian food with origins that happen to be vegan.  I'm all for fusion cuisine and foods inspired by various culinary traditions, but I also love being able to eat authentic dishes without compromising my lifestyle choices, so I appreciate the health-conscious and apparently vegan-by-default nature of the dishes in The Indian Vegan Kitchen.

While I enjoyed the flavors of the book's Baingan Bharta (Mashed Eggplant) I made last week, I wasn't completely fond of the dish's slick texture or appearance.  To be fair, I didn't eat it with dal and flatbread as suggested, which would have been more appropriate for the dip- or spread-like dish.  I did, however, love everything about dish number two from the book, Spinach Bengal Gram Dal (Palak Chana Dal).  It was again very flavorful, while also being wonderfully textured and colorful.  The inclusion of greens and protein-packed legumes all in one dish made this a well-rounded, satisfying dish.  I made only a few alterations: I omitted the asafetida, because I didn't have any; used only a spritz of oil for sauteeing; slightly increased the amount of garlic; and accidently switched the amounts of garam masala and ground coriander.  Thankfully, that last little goof didn't seem to negatively impact the resulting dish.  I'll certainly make this dish again, possibly with the addition of cayenne or hot chili peppers to make it spicier.
I don't know what dish I'll attempt next from Gadia's cookbook, but I'm sure that as long as I don't screw it up too badly, whatever I select will result in something delicious.  And I would love to have an epic Indian feast in my foreseeable future!

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful review, Tiffany! I love Indian food and this book sounds like a great addition to my cookbook shelf.

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  2. That looks so good and healthy! I love Indian food; I should get this cookbook!

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  3. I've really been meaning to get that book. I just have SOOO many cookbooks that I'm working through right now, and I keep adding new ones. I think I have a cookbook hoarding problem.

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  4. I've been just so dying for chickpeas lately...this looks wonderful.

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  5. Thanks for the review of the book. I may need to pick this one up now. ;-)

    Alicia

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  6. I'm so glad you're enjoying this book, Tiffany! It's one of my favorites!

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  7. This looks awesome! I love Indian food!

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  8. This looks aromatic and awesome. I have yet to try my hand at Indian recipes, which is silly because I love Indian food and it is simple and very easily made vegan. Great pic, great post...

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  9. This looks divine. Pass the vegan naan, please.

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  10. I'm so glad you're enjoying this book, Tiffany! It's one of my favorites!

    xoxo,
    LJ

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  11. I've really been meaning to get that book. I just have SOOO many cookbooks that I'm working through right now, and I keep adding new ones. I think I have a cookbook hoarding problem.

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)