The Indian Vegan Kitchen
I read Tweety's Indian vegan cookbook thread earlier and saw this cookbook, The Indian Vegan Kitchen by Madhu Gadia, was mentioned. So I bought it tonight because I love Indian food so much, especially chick pea dishes. As the cover notes, this book includes "More than 150 quick and healthy homestyle recipes." I flipped through it and the recipes don't look too hard.
The author is a nutritionist who includes nutritional information on all recipes, as well as GF and LF labels on gluten-free and lowfat dishes. In addition to the chick pea curries, the flaxseed flatbread, lemon rice noodles, black bean pilaf, seasoned zucchini and bean-vegetable porridge look particularly good. I can't wait to try these out.
Is this going to be a review thread? Hmm? HMMM?
The book is coming to me for my birthday.
I just ordered it today with my Amazon. com gift certificate I got for Xmas and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes.
I received this book for Christmas and made two recipes from it:
Samosa puffs -- this is a samosa filling wrapped in puff pastry. I just used peas for the vegetables. I thought they came out good, but they were quite a bit of work considering they are just a side/appetizer dish (boil the potato, make the filling, roll out the pastry sheet, wrap each one) and I don't think I liked them enough for them to be worth the trouble. they also stuck to the pan on me and cooked in less time than stated. they were good to try though. i think i only really like somosas when I am not the one making them.
Creamy Vegetable Stew (Subji Korma). This curry tastes fantastic- a wonderful combination of flavors. It has various vegetables, coconut milk, cashews, almonds, and raisins. I will be making it again for sure.
Thanks for the review 13blackbirds...........Indian cooking can sometimes be labor intensive. When I was in India the women made fresh "roti", a tortilla-like bread used to scoop up food (they rarely used forks and spoons). Even when we had chai, the women got out fresh stuff and a mortar and pestle.
I still haven't gotten it yet, but hope to this week and make some stuff this weekend. The Subji Korma sounds good.
I'm obsessed with Bollywood and Indian food since I went there.
So I had some eggplant from the CSA to use, and tofu was on sale this week at Publix so I made;
Mashed Eggplant - very very good. The only change was I used fresh Thai chili instead of green chili.
Curried tofu and peas - Freaking awesome. Now I love Indian food and I'm hungry, but it is amazing to me. Again, I used Thai chili in it to make it hot. I hate regular peas and used pigeon peas instead. It called for "white poppy seeds" which I've never seen in my life, and I used regular poppy seeds.
They were a bit labor intensive to make at the same time, but I don't have a spice grinder and I had to hand grind fennel seeds and create almond meal using a mortar and pestle. (No coffee grinder either as the ex got that). I didn't mind...I went to my Zen cooking place and cooked for an hour and the results were so good.
Quick chick pea curry - Very good. Pretty much your standard. I used more canned tomatoes than called for and cut back on the water. I only had on teaspoon left of coriander and it called for too. I really didn't notice. I added a bit more garam masala than the recipe asked for to make up for it.
Creamy Mushroom Curry (Khum Ki Subji) - this was a good curry. simple but tasty. it came together quickly and has a nice blended onion/cashew base. mine came out a little more watery than i expected. i will probably make this one again.
Mango Soup (Aam Soup)-- I liked this since it was something different but I didn't love it. I thought the lemon was a nice flavor but it somewhat overpowered the mango, and it was also pretty sweet for a soup
Cauliflower and peppers - most excellent side dish.
Toor Dal - I got some beans from a local Indian grocery and liked them. They are kind of like lentils, but not quite. They don't fall apart like red lentils do which I like.
Many of the recipes have basically the same ingredients with others added in: asafoetidam, cumin seeds, tumeric, corriander.
Made the madras potatoes and the quick kidney beans...both were excellent.
Made the Black Gram and Bengal Gram Dal and serviced it over brown rice and loved it. Again, it relies on similar ingredients used in most of the recipes in this cookbook, but they are all good.
I'm a bit confused because I have "chana dal", which is exactly what it says on the package, but the cookbook describes it was "a smaller, black version of chickpeas" and the ones I have are in no way black, but the color of regular chickpeas. I'll have to ask when I go to the Indian store next.
Regardless it was still good.
Made the cabbage with vegetables and it made a very nice side dish. The ginger in it was good, as I used a little more than was called for. The lime at the end was a nice touch.
Mixed vegetable samosas -
I used a combination of peas, corn, and diced carrots for the "mixed vegetables." These were pretty good, but oddly enough I prefer the pea pastries. I guess I'm used to regular old potato-and-vegetable samosas, and the pea ones are something different. Still, it seems like a very reliable recipe and would probably be good if serving others.
Pea pastries -
Straight up gingery peas in dough. I think it has a good balance of spice (enough that you don't really need something to dip it in, but not so much that you can't). The dough worked out very well - I didn't need to add any water/flour, and it rolled out well, wasn't sticky, and fried well. In fact, it fried so well that these did not seem greasy at all. I actually fried it at a higher temp than suggested, maybe 360, only because I didn't want them to go greasy. They weren't, and the dough was still fully cooked and not burnt.
Sloppy veggies -
These aren't so much like sloppy joes (I don't think they're really supposed to be) than stewed mixed vegetables. They're mildly spiced, so it's easy to eat a good amount on bread. They don't really need to be eaten with bread, though, and can just be eaten as a side.
Potato stew -
This had too much liquid for me. I think it was one of the first recipes I made from this book, and since then I've cut down on cooking liquid for most things. However, the taste was good (kind of like a curry), but I wound up discarding a lot of the liquid in the end.
Plantain stew -
So, I didn't really make this right. I didn't look it over too thoroughly before buying my plantains, and bought almost-totally-black ones as usual, only to find you're supposed to use unripe ones here. Oops. Well, it still came out pretty good - thick, sweet, and a little bit coconut-y and tart. It probably wouldn't have been as sweet with the proper plantains, but whatever.
Kidney beans -
Sometimes with 1-bean stew type recipes, I'm disappointed because they're not flavorful enough to be a side dish on their own, and I wind up using the whole thing as a sub for plain beans in something else. Not these... pretty gingery (even though the amount doesn't seem that much) and strong. I like that it's a bean I've never thought of as an Indian food before, as Indian food.
Quick Chickpea Curry -
My favorite recipe from here so far. I reduced the amount of cooking liquid (added as needed) to make it more of a stew than a soup, and it came out as well-spiced, kind of sweet, sauce. This vs. my favorite chana masala from vegweb though... I dunno who wins. The VW recipe is more tomato-y, and here it's mainly just chickpeas and spices (though there's some tomato).
Lemon Rice Noodles -
It was tough to get things evenly distributed in my rice noodles (though I rinsed them after cooking). Also, though I followed the directions with the chana dal, it came out more tough than crunchy... I probably didn't have quite the right temp/time going. But overall, these are nice, mildly flavored noodles (not a whole lot of lemon for the amount of noodles), a good substitute for plain rice.
Matar tofu -
I added less liquid than called for. The sauce came out pretty similar to the one for the chickpea curry, except a little more gingery. I've never had paneer, but I imagine it has more of the cheesy flavor than tofu (since it is cheese), and the tofu was kind of bland here. Maybe it could be marinated in a lemon/water mixture beforehand, but it's ok as long as you expect tofu.
Almond drink -
I didn't have white poppy (in fact, I've never seen it), so I made a weird sub and subbed it with black sesame. The end result is kind of like iced chai, except of course more nutty tasting (almonds + sesame) and a little more sweet. Also, I used the So Delicious coconut milk. I tried filtering out the ground stuff after "steeping" with tea filter bags, but it's pretty difficult. I think you just kind of have to accept the gritty texture towards the end.
cilantro chutney -
It's cilantro chutney... more tart than I'm used to, but otherwise it was what was expected.
For a side dish I made the kohlrabi and it was most excellent. I went overboard with the cayenne and that overshadowed the dish, but I can't fault the recipe for that. :)
(This thread is not in the directly BTW, but I found it easily as it's on the front page still.
Spinach Bengal Gram Dal - this was excellent. Quick and easy way to use spinach (I went with the frozen option). I cut back on the water as I wanted to serve it over rice and didn't want it too soupy, and I used fresh red chilies instead of dried. (tweety)
Tweety, am I correct in thinking you also have 'Vegan Fire and Spice'?
I am contemplating getting one of these two books to add to my vegan cookbook collection... we looove Indian food, but we were thinking Fire and Spice might be the better deal because it'll have a greater variety of recipes....
which have you found you've used more? Any preference?
Thanks!! : )
I love reading this review thread, everything sounds/looks so damn good!!
eta: : )
Get Fire and Spice for the variety and ease of recipes. There's a section of Indian recipes there.
sweet. That's what we were leaning towards. Maybe one day my cookbook budget will expand and I'll pick up this Indian one tooo... : )
Mixed dal - this recipe tasted exactly like the other dals I made in this book, only the beans have changed. That said it's still most excellent because I love the dals. This one had moong beans (it called for split and I only had whole so I had to cook it longer and the other beans got a little mushy), toor dal, and chana dal. I served it over brown basmati rice.