This cookbook combines many things that I love: easy weeknight dinners, ideas for using up my farmer's market haul of fresh vegetables, and of course, Indian food. In Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Shubhra Ramineni shows us how it's done. You don't need a cupboard full of spices or hours to let a curry simmer — you just need a handful of basic ingredients and an appetite for a tasty dinner.
• Who wrote it: Shubhra Ramineni
• Who published it: Tuttle
• Number of recipes: Over 80
• Recipes for right now: Sweet and Spicy Pear Chutney, Spinach and Fenugreek Fritters, Quinoa Cashew Pilaf, Split Chickpea and Zucchini Stew, Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash, Tandoori Tofu Kebabs
• Other highlights: This book feels completely approachable, even if you've never made so much as a chutney in your entire life. For one thing, the number of recipes is not overwhelming — you can look in the fridge, see what's in there, and easily pick a recipe to make for dinner. As someone who is frequently rendered immobile with decisions, I appreciate the simplicity inherent here.
The emphasis in this book is truly on using vegetables and fruits, whatever is in season as you cook. Ms. Ramineni uses the vegetables you find at any market — like carrots, kale, squash, and tomatoes — and incorporates them into Indian dishes. If you've been struggling to find ways to use up a bumper crop of zucchini or a bunch of carrots from your CSA, you'll find plenty of ideas in here.
Small details that I like: The inclusion of refrigerator life and freezer life in each recipe, along with reheating instructions; the beautiful photos of each dish (key for those of us who might be unfamiliar with how these dishes should look); and detailed help with unfamiliar steps, like prepping bitter melon or pressing fresh cheese.
All in all, I feel that Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking will be a welcome addition to our shelf of weeknight meal cookbooks. No need to be shy if you've never cooked Indian food before — Ms. Ramineni walks us through everything from stocking the pantry to pan-frying tofu.
• Who would enjoy this book? Cooks looking for an easy beginner guide to cooking Indian cuisine, cooks who want to add variety to the weeknight meal routine, anyone who wants to incorporate more vegetables into their diet.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Shubhra Ramineni
• Visit the author's website: Shubhra Ramineni
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)