Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World
World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey.
This isn't the first time I've written about this book and the chances are that it won't be the last, either. It is my constant inspiration for delicious meat free meals.
I love it because many years ago I had a health food store and was often asked 'What on earth do vegetarians eat?'
For newcomers to a meatless diet
Many times, this was asked by parents whose children had decided that a vegetarian diet was their choice. The parents needed ideas that weren't 'weird'. (So many people in those days thought we eat nothing but lentils and nut loaves). This recipe book has hundreds of ideas, so prepare to be inspired.
For the veteran vegetarian
I didn't like eating meat even before I knew there was such a thing as a meatless diet. Today, our household is 100% meat and fish free. We rarely eat out so I cook vegetarian meals every day. Because I have limited storage space, I only keep one cookbook in my kitchen - World Vegetarian - and I still use it several times a week. (Actually, it's falling apart, I use it so often).
More than just delicious recipes and meal ideas
Want to know about almost any vegetarian ingredient? Not only does the writer list ingredients, she also gives wonderful advice about how to store it, the best ways to cook it and even how to choose it in the first place. Each recipe has a short introduction, often explaining where Madhur first tried the dish, what she serves with it or how her family like it. These alone can make your mouth water.
How could I resist making Greek-style baked potatoes (easy, simple and delicious) when the introduction beings like this: 'This recipe comes from the hills of the Epirus region where I feasted on superb baked potatoes dressed with olive oil and garden seasonings.' ? I had to try them - and every single recipe is like that; you delight in the author's sheer pleasure in the food she cooks.
Madhur Jaffrey's passion for food shines through
If I remember rightly (it was a long time ago) the first recipe I cooked from this book was Escalivada - a simple and delicious broiled and roasted vegetable salad.
Because the first sentence introducing the recipe reads:
There is nothing more beautiful than a large platter of roasted vegetables done the Spanish way.
What can you do when you read something like that? Get cooking!
Don't just take my word for it
Here's a video review of the book that explains about it far better than I can.
See Madhur cooking
Wow, this is a brilliant short video. Here you'll see Madhur preparing two totally brilliant dessert dishes. They are both really simple to make and I imagine that watching this will make your mouth water.
The first is a sweet made using shredded coconut and flavoured with various spices and pistachio nuts. As you'll see,it takes only minutes to make then just needs to be refrigerated.
The second is even simpler and combines yoghurt with fresh mango pureé.
You'll notice too that she is not cooking in an elaborately equipped kitchen. As long as you have means to heat a pan and refrigerate, you can cook these two wonderful desserts almost anywhere.
Madhur Jaffrey, in her usual comprehensive way, suggests a variety of equipment that would be helpful when cooking her fabulous dishes.
The first item on her list is a wok. As she describes, these are useful for so many cooking tasks. There are two particular features I like about this one - I love the two handles and wok is pre-seasoned so can be used right away. Perfect.
All chef's insist on having at least one excellent knife and I agree wholeheartedly.
This is the one I have (yes, I only have the one) and it performs so many kitchen tasks at a very reasonable price.
This is the only knife you'll need.
See the amazing pan below. What a simplebut clever idea.As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to have it.
Madhur also recommends a good pan for cooking pasta, noodles and vegetables. This pan wasn't available when the book was written (1999) but had it been, I bet she would have recommended this type. This is the one I have and it is in use almost every day.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson