The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

Pushpesh Pant vegetarianThe Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant is a must-have tome from one of the most respected Indian food writers. It’s bound to spend more time in the kitchen than on the bookshelf.

Vegetables are the essential element of Indian cuisine, so there is a tradition of making the very best of the seasons’ crops and generous abundance. This collection of 150 vibrant vegetarian recipes covers every meal and every course, and they use not only exotic but also common vegetables, making these recipes suitable for both a family meal and a smart dinner for guests.

Authentic but accessible

Pushpesh Pant was born in the late 40’s in India.  He is a lecturer, a food critic and historian. He draws inspiration for these marvellous dishes from the diverse regions and culinary traditions found across the Subcontinent. The dishes are authentic but accessible, even to western cooks who might have a handy Asian supermarket close by, and the recipes, being vegetarian, won’t break the bank.

The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook isn’t, however, a book just for vegetarians. It will appeal to lovers of delicious food that just happens not to contain the meaty element. There are many preparations here that would work as side dishes to a meat-focused meal – even a regular Sunday roast.

The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook is a substantial volume with plenty of confidence-providing images. I have my favourites from this book and many are for dishes that were new to me. I have a good collection of Indian cookbooks, so this originality is really quite an accolade. Roasted Vegetables is a spicy recipe and perfect as a side dish for summer barbecues. This recipe alone will tempt the home chef to try all the others here.

Accompaniment to a very English Sunday lunch

Potatoes and Cauliflower is a well-loved dish and it’s the cornerstone of many an Indian restaurant. Here it is in aromatic simplicity. Slow-Cooked Potatoes would be a striking accompaniment to a very English Sunday lunch. Tomato Chutney will make good use of that seasonal garden glut. It keeps well for a week in the fridge so it’s likely you will be making regular batches of this through the, hopefully, long hot summer. If you don’t have a garden, then buy tomatoes while they are cheap. This is a lovely condiment for both hot and cold meals, and it would be a rather classy addition to a European cheeseboard.

The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant is a classic. Sure, it has its focus on vegetables and it is evidently Indian, but these recipes are flexible.  Vegetarians will love it, but this book will appeal to lovers of all tasty and vibrant foods.

The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook
Author: Pushpesh Pant
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Price: £24.95
ISBN-13: 978-0714876412