Review of Prashad at Home by Kaushy Patel


 

On her grandmother's farm in northern India, Kaushy Patel learned to cook. Years later, Kaushy and her husband would move to northern England and start Prashad, a popular Indian restaurant in Bradford. While the elder Patels no longer work in the kitchen, the restaurant remains family owned. Kaushy's son, Bobby, is at the helm today and his values are reflective of his parents' dreams and focus. The recipes have not changed under his direction, they still utilize the finest ingredients and the Patels remain the heart of the restaurant.

Prashad at Home is Kaushy Patel's second title and focuses on vegetarian Indian cooking from her kitchen. Her first title, Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking, I just ordered after looking at the index of recipes. I'm excited to bring these two titles together and try even more of the author's dishes.

Kaushy takes her ingredients seriously - her secret garam masala recipe contains eighteen spices which are slow-baked for three days before being stone-milled. In this cookbook, she gives detailed information on spices, ingredients and techniques such as how to roast spices and balance hot foods. After the author shares her points and tips, the book is organized as follows: Speedy Suppers; Slow Suppers; Light Lunches and Leftovers; Indian Fusion; Feasts, Festivities and Sweets; All the Extras; and ends with Kaushy's Store Cupboard and Supplies.

The recipes appeal to me - they are a mix of flavors and textures and each page holds a new flavor experience. Tapicoa, Peanut and Potato Bhajis; Spicy Veggie Burgers; and Vegetable Rice with Mint Masala. Vibrant explosions of color pop in each photograph and tempt me to get into the kitchen to create.

For this review I made two dishes. The first was Hakka Noodles - Indo-Chinese Street Food Noodles. These noodles take a little bit of work but were overall delicious after I tweaked the recipe. To my family they were incredibly acidic and there was some heat - I had to add a teaspoon of sugar to the sauce and truthfully it could have taken more to balance it a bit. If you eat them immediately, they are less tangy (with the addition of a little sweetness) but after they sit for a while - holy pucker. I also made the Methi Bhaji Bataka - Curried Fresh Fenugreek & Potatoes and these potatoes were delicious although I couldn't locate fenugreek leaves nearby. After some research, I substituted spinach and while the spinach was cooking crushed some fenugreek over the leaves. The power you gain from cooking and reading cookbooks allows you to always be able to make adjustments and substitutions and receive a tasty result.

If you love Indian flavors and vegetarian options, this is the perfect book for you. We are not vegetarian but most of these dishes we can add a protein if we must or use as side dishes. It is a keeper.

Hakka Noodles Indo-Chinese Street Food Noodles 

Ingredients:

70 ml sunflower oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4cm root ginger, peeled and finely
2-4 green chillies (ideally Kenyan), finely chopped
½ medium onion, cut in ½ cm slices
2 carrots, peeled and cut into  ½ cm strips
90g broccoli, cut in 1cm slices
3 large asparagus spears, cut in  ½ cm slices
½ green pepper, cut in ½cm slices
100g white cabbage, cut in 2cm slices
6-8 chestnut mushrooms, cut into  ½ cm slices 160g fresh noodles
2 tsp dark soy sauce
½ tsp green chilli sauce
½ tsp hot red chilli sauce
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
3 tsp malt vinegar
2 handfuls fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely sliced

Heat the oil in a large wok on a high heat for 45 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Turn the heat back up to high, add the chillies and fry for 1 minute. Stirring all the time, add the onion (fry for 1 minute), then the carrots (fry for 1 minute), then the broccoli (30 seconds), asparagus (40 seconds), pepper (30 seconds,) and cabbage (40 seconds), then finally the mushrooms (toss and cook for 1 minute).

Now add the noodles, soy sauce, red and green chilli sauces, pepper, salt, vinegar and 1 handful of the fresh coriander. Reduce the heat to low and stir-fry for 2 minutes, folding in the noodles and making sure that the vegetables and spices are evenly mixed through.

Serve piping hot, straight from the wok, in large bowls garnished with the remaining fresh coriander and the spring onions. 

Excerpted from Prashad at Home, © 2015 by Kaushy Patel. Reproduced by permission of Saltyard Books. All rights reserved.

3 Comments

  • rchesser  on  9/8/2016 at 4:02 PM

    Thank you for reviewing this book! I was lucky enough to have visited a few cities in India this past February and we ate mostly vegetarian, I fell hard for Indian food and am putting Prashad at Home on my wishlist!

  • sbh2006  on  9/9/2016 at 8:21 AM

    Kaushy was kind enough to send a signed copy, I have both Prashad cookbooks and they're some of my absolute favorites on Indian cuisine! So glad to see EYB featuring them.

  • Jenny  on  9/9/2016 at 6:45 PM

    Robin, You will love Prashad's books they are wonderful.

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