Believe it or not, I had never eaten Indian food before I married Jim. What this means is that it wasn't until I was in my late 30s that I first tasted the exotic deliciousness that is Indian cuisine. My mother was an excellent, but traditional cook, and we never had anything more exotic in our home than chicken chow mein.
Once I tasted Indian food, I was keen to learn more. I absolutely loved the warm spices, heady aromas, and complex taste. Jim was a good cook, and made a lot of Indian dishes and, because of this, we built up our collection of spices to include every Indian spice we could find, and added to our cookbook collection with dozens of books on Indian cooking.
In the interim I became interested in films about the history and culture of India (My favorite being The Lunch Box, a sweet story and fascinating look at the lunch delivery system in India.), not to mention having a growing interest in side dishes, vegetable dishes, and other Indian food that wanders from main dishes.
You're probably wondering where I'm going with this rambling introduction. It's actually my way of telling you about a wonderful book on Indian cooking called Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore by Chitra Agrawal. I feel obligated to tell you that it's a vegetarian cookbook, but don't be put off by this, the recipes in here are phenomenal, making this book not just a visual feast, but a culinary one as well.
Written simply so that even a novice cook can prepare these recipes, they are also steeped in the author's family history, something that she engagingly shares in this informative book. It has wonderful main dishes that will leave you not missing meat in the least, along with incredible, unique breakfast fare, and tantalizing desserts. If you are a fan of Indian or vegetarian dishes, this is a must for your cookbook library.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
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