Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn

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9781607747345: Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn

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.

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About the Author:

Chitra Agrawal is the author of Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn and the founder of Brooklyn Delhi, an award-winning Indian condiments line. Since 2009, she has been serving, writing about, and teaching her family's vegetarian recipes from India with a slant on seasonality and local ingredients. Chitra writes the popular recipe blog The ABCDs of Cooking, teaches vegetarian Indian cooking classes at Brooklyn Kitchen, Brooklyn Brainery, and Whole Foods, and hosts pop-up dinners throughout New York City with creative Indian-inspired menus. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Zagat, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


KALE YOGURT RAITA

All seasons · Serves 6 to 8 

This recipe is based on a spinach raita that was prepared by my friend Asha’s mom. It’s also loosely inspired by Greek tzatziki, which is usually made with cucumbers, chopped garlic, and lemon. It’s creamy and indulgent, and you can use it as a dip or eat it plain or with a meal. 

I often make this raita with sautéed kale, using any and all varieties—curly, red, and lacinato—and have also substituted different greens such as spinach, tatsoi, or mizuna in this recipe. 

You can eat the raita as a dip, or serve it as a side with rice and one of the hulis on pages 131 to 137. 

1 tablespoon mild-flavored oil such as canola 

1⁄4 teaspoon black mustard seeds 
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin seeds 
3 fresh curry leaves 
1 Indian green chile or serrano chile, chopped 
1 clove garlic, minced 
2 cups stemmed, chopped kale leaves 
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 
Squeeze of lemon juice 
2 cups plain yogurt, lightly beaten by hand 
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
Red chile powder or paprika, for garnish 

Put the oil in a small frying pan or sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add one black mustard seed. When the seed sizzles and pops, add the rest of the mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds), add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds turn a darker shade of golden brown, turn the heat to medium-low. Rub the curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils, and drop them and the green chile into the oil. Cover immediately, as moisture from the curry leaves will cause the oil to spatter. Then stir to evenly coat everything with oil and continue to fry until the chile is less raw, 10 to 15 seconds. Stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. 

Add the kale to the pan, followed by 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt. Sauté until the kale is bright green in color and just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add one good squeeze of lemon juice. Transfer the kale to a medium bowl and let cool. (I sometimes put it in the freezer for a few minutes if I’m in a rush.) 

When the kale is cool, mix it with the yogurt, sour cream, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Garnish with a few grinds of pepper and a sprinkling of red chile powder on top before serving.

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Chitra Agrawal
Verlag: Ten Speed Press Mrz 2017 (2017)
ISBN 10: 1607747340 ISBN 13: 9781607747345
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Buchbeschreibung Ten Speed Press Mrz 2017, 2017. Buch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - 224 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9781607747345

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