I usually like to come up with a fancy/ alliterative title, but the title of this book really says it all. Vibrant India by Chitra Agrawal is pretty amazing. The first thing I noticed about this book (other than the color of the foods) is that the ingredients are a little different than what I associate with Indian food. I know India is a subcontinent and so expansive, but I think all the Indian restaurants in my area are Norther Indian, and this cookbook is Southern Indian so I am very excited.
The book has an excellent introduction area. Assuming you may not be familiar, the author does a great job explaining. There’s a little history about her family, a section on Techniques and even tips on how to do specific things that may be different from normal cooking. The spice pantry descriptions are pretty excellent. The appearance, flavor, and even preparation of each spice is covered in great detail. I love this idea because it gives me a better idea of how the flavors combine and what I should be looking for. Preferred brands are even listed which I find very helpful.
The recipes are fun as well. Although the recipes are all vegetarian, I almost didn’t notice. With options like “best yogurt raita”, “lime dill rice with pistachios”, or “vangi baath roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower” you can hear the flavor. I am very excited about making the brussel sprouts and cauliflower dish because these are two of my favorite summer sides. Put them together and flavor them? Yes please! Overall this is a welcome addition to my cookbook rack and I can’t wait to pull all the information together to really get started.