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Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn by Chitra Agrawal

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Notes about this book

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Lime dill rice with pistachios (Nimbehannu sabseege soppu baath)

    • VineTomato on April 17, 2017

      Delicious, even when leaving out two ingredients! I forgot the limes at the end, and left out the ground chilli lentil spice powder they recommend as I was short for time and serving dinner for guests who don't enjoy thier food too hot. I did the Ragahavan Iyer rice cooking method to start (for the turmeric basmati) as it works like a charm and has not let me down once.

  • Spicy and sour tomato lentil soup (Tomato bele saaru or rasam)

    • TrishaCP on October 14, 2018

      I haven't made or tried rasam before, and I found this soup to be ok. I guess I was expecting something with more oomph from the description in the recipe notes- more sourness and heat for one thing. Perhaps it's my fault for not adjusting some ingredients to taste. For example, I didn't get any sour note from the initial one teaspoon of tamarind paste called for- so I added two more and it was better but maybe I needed to add more. I have lots of rasam powder remaining so I'll be trying other versions.

  • Roasted kabocha squash and coconut milk soup

    • TrishaCP on October 02, 2018

      This is one of the best squash soups that I have ever made. If you make this all in one go, like I did, including the rasam powder, it is very time-consuming. I would say worth it though, as this soup has really nice depth of flavor (as it should after toasting and grinding spices, roasting a kabocha squash, and adding ginger, chiles, curry leaves and more spices to the blended squash/spice mixture)! I served it with farro, which made for a satisfying meal.

  • Mixed vegetable and lentil stew (Tharakaari huli or sambar)

    • Lepa on October 18, 2017

      This stew was much too spicy for my kids (and I only added half the sambar powder) and the adults who like spicy food thought it was just meh. It might have been better with homemade sambar but there are so many great Indian lentil recipes that I don't feel compelled to revisit this one.

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  • ISBN 10 1607747340
  • ISBN 13 9781607747345
  • Published Mar 21 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 224
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

From the acclaimed chef and owner of Brooklyn Delhi, a debut cookbook focused on the celebrated vegetarian fare of South India.
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.

Relying on her experience as a culinary instructor, Chitra introduces the essential Indian cooking techniques, tips, and ingredients you’ll need to prepare a full range of recipes from quick vegetable stir frys (corn, basil, and leeks flavored with butter, cumin, and black pepper), salads (citrus red cabbage and fennel slaw with black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chile), yogurt raitas (shredded beets and coconut in yogurt), and chutneys and pickles (preserved Meyer lemon in chile brine) to hearty stews (aromatic black eyed peas, lentils, and greens), coconut curries (summer squash in an herby coconut yogurt sauce), and fragrant rice dishes (lime dill rice with pistachios). Rounding out the book is an array of addictive snacks (popcorn topped with curry leaf butter), creative desserts (banana, coconut, and cardamom ice cream), and refreshing drinks (chile watermelon juice with mint). Chitra provides numerous substitutions to accommodate produce seasonality, ingredient availability, and personal tastes. The majority of recipes are gluten-free and vegan or can be easily modified to adhere to those dietary restrictions.

Whether you are a vegetarian or just looking for ways to incorporate more vegetarian recipes into your repertoire, Vibrant India is a practical guide for bringing delicious Indian home cooking to your table on a regular basis.