Book review., cooking, food
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Vibrant India Cookbook, Review

Vibrant India Cookbook By Chitra Agrawal

Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn

About the Book: 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.

My Thoughts: I have a bit of a love affair with Indian food (even more so back when I was vegan) so when I saw this cookbook offered for review from the publisher, I immediately requested it. This cookbook doesn’t just have recipes though and actually goes pretty deep into preparing Indian cuisine, on the one hand that’s great but it can be a little overwhelming. Overall I love the variety this book has and the recipe substitution and suggestions are great, as well as all the recipes but it isn’t really a book for beginners.


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