Spicy Vegan

I love Indian food but I always had a problem making it taste authentic, for some reason it just never came out the way that it tasted in a restaurant or take-away and I found it really frustrating. Two things changed my Indian cookery, asafoetida (an Indian spice which adds that authentic flavour) and this book.

It’s a really simple book which was self-published (available through Amazon though), the author is Sudha Raina, the copyright 2004 and it has 274 pages including the index. The only negative thing I can think of to say about this book is that there are no pictures in it and sometimes you aren’t sure what the consistency of the finished dish should be, although a good amount do tell you to cook until dry etc, but it’s not consistent. The sections of the book are:

Balanced diet (gives you all the ingredients with Indian names, what they look like and why they’re good for you)
Tips for the Kitchen (1 page but useful)
Cooking Methods
Important Notes (this gives you a list of the important ingredients and items you’ll need)
Equivalent Measures
Starters and Snacks
Vegetable Dishes
Breads and Pancakes
Rice Dishes
Pickles and Chutneys
Sweet Dishes

Besides the asafoetida which I’ve seen in several UK supermarkets the ingredients used in this book are very easy to find and rely on vegetables, pulses and spices so they’re pretty cheap to make along with being easy and tasty.

I’ve made several dishes from this book and flicking through my copy they all have Nice or Very Nice beside them (nice means we all ate it and that it’s safe to make again in my kitchen shorthand!). I tend to just make one dish and serve it with rice and puppadoms but I have made 3 of them at once (it was a bit hectic at times but worked out ok!) for an Indian feast rather than a quick dinner. There are tons more that I want to try and I will hopefully be making some in the near future and I really recommend this book to anyone interested in Vegan Indian cooking.


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