Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian: Everyday Veg and Vegan Feasts Effortlessly Good for You
By Chetna Makan
2020, Mitchell Beazley, 978-1-78472-662-1. $24.20.
Reviewed by Tom Verde on January 15, 2021
Within decades of the rise of Islam, Muslim traders dominated commerce in the Indian Ocean. Much of their business centered on spices, which they purchased from West Indian, Gujarati merchants, famed for their upscale vegetarian cuisine. This accessible introduction to Indian vegetarian cooking features more than 80 recipes, many of which are worthy of the Gujarati palette, with creative, healthful reinventions of classic Indian dishes. Grated zucchini stands in for ground meat in kofta, the Indian (and Middle Eastern) equivalent to meat balls, simmered in a spicy, tomato-rich curry. Anise-flavored carom seeds nuance eggplant and green-pepper sabji, a chunky curry. Perhaps most creative is the book’s variety of easy to-make flatbreads —rotis, chapattis, naans and more—made from beets, moli (daikon), buckwheat and other grains. Access to an Indian or Middle Eastern grocer (some of the ingredients are also available online) will help the home cook master these tempting and exotic recipes.