Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla.- Book Review
This is one book that is a must have if you are trying your hand at Indian cooking, or trying to add interesting balanced meals to your vegan food repertoire. The book has 140 recipes with all the day to day, some known names, some new recipes.
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There is a good distribution of recipes from different regions, with a bit more on north indian recipes. The recipes are not heavy handed on high fat ingredients and get you the delicious Indian end result.
The book starts off with some basic information about Indian food, Spices 101 and 102, pantry items, tools, varieties of lentils and legumes, then gets into the spice mix recipes, make ahead dry and wet spice mixes and so on.
The breakfast section has Stuffed breads/Parathas you want to try. As whole wheat grains are easily avialable in most parts of India, wheat flour(atta) flat breads are an accompaniment to most meals. You can use the wheat Roti dough as in the book, or if you have a favorite glutenfree flat bread dough, that can be easily subbed as well.
There is a nice Snack section, with Samosas and Pakoras with baked versions(nice!), some Chaat (street salad) items and more. I will be making so many other recipes from the book like the brown rice and adzuki bean Dhokla.
Since I am North Indian, and already familiar with Indian cooking terms, spices and methodology, I cannot guarantee the ease of the recipes. You can read the reviews on Amazon here which confirm my thoughts about the intuitive and uncomplicated way the book has been written. An Indian cookbook would be in trouble if I couldnt understand the recipes ;)
There is a section dedicated to Slow cooker recipes for beans, legumes and lentils. Salads, quick sides, Daals and some authentic curried preparations to add to your slow cooker options. The vegetable section also has plenty of variety. The usual gobis(cauliflower, cabbage), potatoes, eggplants, okra, peas, mushrooms and greens all make an appearance. Of course, I would have loved some more regional recipes and dessert/Indian sweets section, but thats me being greedy. I think Anupy might come out with a dessert book next. You can also find a good collection of vegan indian recipes, main meals and desserts too on my blog ;). Photo collection here.
Anupy also offers Indian spices and Spice Tiffin(Masala Dabba) on her website. You can also find Anupy on Facebook here, where she regularly posts giveaways, tips and recipes.
You can snag a copy of the book on this post. See the end of the post for more details.
I find it difficult to follow recipes from an Indian cookbook:). I picked up indian cooking intuitively, unlike bread baking, which I picked up with a lot of reading, understanding the composition of things and practice. So I end up making slight changes here and there when cooking from an Indian book. Its like a fight between intuition and rules.
Anupy follows a mostly Vegan diet. Her first book, Indian slow cooker, is not vegan. That did put me off a bit, but I looked at this book as a good resource for anyone transitioning to a plant based diet or trying to add more balanced plant based meals.
Indian food, if served the way our parents and grand parents have followed, mostly vegan, easily vegan-ized, and already well balanced, makes the transition so much easier. As Anupy also points out, the day to day home made Indian food is always less greasy/creamy and more fresh, healthy and balanced unlike in restaurants.
What do you think about certain diet cookbooks by authors who do not follow the diet?
Lets get to the recipe. Shall we :)
Oh wait. Tap on head for forgetting to add.. Happy Independence day to fellow Indians!
Ready go. Book, check. Ingredients, check. Music, check.
I made a smaller portion of the recipe. Most steps are the same as Anupy's recipe. I used less oil, cardamom powder instead of black cardamom and Tempeh instead of Tofu, and omitted the tomato paste.
In a pan, add 2 teaspoons of organic canola oil or coconut oil. Just enough to coat the pan. Heat on medium for half a minute. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 cinnamon stick. Cook till fragrant.
Add onions, chopped ginger, garlic, chile pepper, turmeric powder.
Mix and cook until golden. uncovered, on medium heat.
Add garam masala, coriander powder, chili powder. Mix and cook for half a minute.
Add chopped tomatoes, salt and cook for 10 minutes until tomatoes are mushy.
Add Tempeh cubes and 1+ cup water, enough water so it almost covers the tempeh.
Cook covered on low-medium for 10 minutes. Add frozen or fresh peas. Cook covered for another 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust salt and spices. Adjust water content. If the curry is too watery, cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes.
Top liberally with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with Rice dishes, Roti or Naan. My Regular Naan and Glutenfree Naan. Similar Indian curries stews from my blog here.
Mutter "Paneer" - Spiced Peas and Tempeh Curry.
Adapted from Vegan Indian cooking. Reproduced with permission. Serves 2-3
Gluten, dairy, egg, nut free recipe
2 teaspoons organic canola oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 2 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 medium onion chopped(I used half red half white)
1 inch ginger finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic cloves chopped
1 Serrano chili pepper chopped( or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder(or 1 black cardamom pod)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon garam masala powder(to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder( to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
2 large tomatoes chopped
4 oz Tempeh(fermented soybean patty) cubed small about 3/4 cup
1+ cup water
2/3 cup peas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish.
In a medium pan, add oil and heat on medium.
Add Cumin seeds, cinnamon stick (and cardamom pod if using) and let cook for half a minute until fragrant.
Add onion, ginger, garlic, chopped chile pepper, and turmeric. Mix and cook, stirring occasionally until golden. 4-5 minutes.
Add garam masala, coriander powder, chili powder( and cardamom powder if using). Mix well and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add in the tomatoes, cook for 7-8 minutes until tomatoes are mushy.
Add in the Tempeh, salt, water, mix and cook covered on low-medium heat for 12 minutes.
(If using Tofu, add baked Tofu and add peas and cook for 10 minutes).
Add the peas and cook for another 10 minutes covered on low.
Adjust salt, spices and water content. Remove cinnamon stick. Continue to simmer for another few minutes if too watery. A bit more simmer time also helps the tempeh cook and absorb the spices.
Garnish liberally with Cilantro and serve hot with Rice dishes, Roti or Naan. My Regular Naan and Glutenfree Naan.
To make it soy-free, replace tempeh with chunky veggies like cauliflower, potatoes or Mushrooms.
You can Pick up Anupy's Sukha Mutter Tofu( Dry Spiced Peas and Tofu stir fry) recipe on Anupy's blog here.
This mutter paneer is being shared at Slightly indulgent tuesdays, Hearth and soul bog hop, allergy Free Wednesday , Ricki's wellness weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Cindy's GF Fridays
Disclaimer: This book was sent for review by Anupy's publishers. The opinions and pictures are my own.
The Publishers are giving away 1 copy of the book to one of my blog readers!.US only
2 ways to enter.
1. Leave me a comment below about what do you find challenging about cooking Indian food. Or if you have a question for Anupy. (Click on I did this on the widget to Enter)
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