Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook is filled with easy, flavorful recipes
As soon as I learned about Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook called Indian Kitchen, I knew I had to pre-order my copy. How did I know this was going to be another great addition to my list of vegan cookbooks for beginners? Well, I’ve been trying Vegan Richa’s easy vegan Indian recipes since my early days of going vegan. One of the very first vegan recipe successes I had was a tofu in spinach curry called tofu palak paneer from Richa Hingle or, as she calls herself online, Vegan Richa. I’ve since made this recipe multiple times, especially when guests come over, and even the pickiest omnivores would end up coming back for seconds.
The book arrived a few days ago and I’ve already had a chance to test a few recipes. In one word: yum!
Only simple recipes in Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook
The very first time I made a recipe from Vegan Richa, I was surprised at how simple her instructions were and yet, the resulting dish always tasted so authentic (well, to my uneducated palate anyways). The Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen cookbook follows the path previously set by the blog by combining traditional vegan indian recipes and some recipes with a more modern twist on vegan Indian cooking.
For almost every recipe in the book, Richa includes the English name, as well as the name of the Indian dish that it closely ressembles.
For example, here are some of the recipes found in the book:
- Cauliflower and Peas in Spicy Curry (Gobi Mutter Masala)
- Broccoli Onion Fritters in Spiced Yogurt (Broccoli Pakora Kadhi)
- Potato Quinoa Patties (Aloo Tikki)
- Sweet and Sour Pumpkin (Khatta Meetha Kaddu)
- Yellow Lentils with Spinach (Sookhi Mung Palak)
- And many, many more…
In her blog, Vegan Richa has really mastered food photography and all her dishes are always beautifully presented, often in traditional Indian serving plates. The book is no different, and I have to admit that every photograph was an inspiration to try the corresponding recipe.
A vegan Indian cookbook with a rich list of ingredients
I obviously had to try a few recipes from the book to provide you with a proper review of the cookbook. One of the challenges most cooks will probably face when trying these recipes is finding the ingredients. The staples (grains, beans, vegetables) are all common foods one would find in a properly stocked vegan kitchen, but it’s the spices that will require a bit more research and shopping around. For example, I tried a recipe (not shown below) that required fresh curry leaves. This is not something you find next to the fresh basil and coriander at the grocery store. Fortunately, I have a local mini grocery store owned by Sri Lankans but even there, they had to place a special order for me to get these leaves.
In any way, do not let the ingredients, some of which might be new to you, prevent you from trying the recipes in this cookbook, as every single one I tried was delicious and truly enjoyed. Here are my impressions of two of these vegan indian recipes.
Two fabulous recipes from Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook
Yellow Lentil Rice and Chard (Mung Dal Chawal Biryani)
I made this dish as a main course for a friend who was coming over for dinner last Saturday. My friend is not vegan, although she is a willing recipe tester when I make my own or try new cookbooks. The resulting meal seemed a bit compact, as it is lentil and rice-based, but the fresh chard helps balance the dish. I really enjoyed the combination of raw cashews (for a bit of crunch) and dried cranberries (a sweet touch) with the very flavorful combination of spices. A big success, especially when served with a crisp white pinot griggio! This is now a favorite of mine from Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook.
Cashew Fudge (Kaju Katli)
I definitely wanted to try a dessert from the book, and the cashew fudge recipe caught my attention. It contains few ingredients and was easy to make, although I might not have perfectly prepared the sugar syrup. The resulting texture was probably not as it was intended (and beautifully photographed) in the book, but the taste of this little dessert was delightful. And in this case, a little goes a long way, a small thin square was all my friend and I were able to eat after the filling main course. I think the price of Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook is worth it for this recipe alone!
A useful tip if you’re going to try Vegan Richa’s Indian cookbook: get yourself a set of basic Indian spices
If you want to explore the world of flavors found in the Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen cookbook, it helps if you have a basic kit that will include the most common Indian spices such as cumin seeds, cardamom pods, whole cloves, white peppercorns, fenugreek, star anise, Indian chili powder, coriander seeds and curry leaves. Fortunately, these kits are easy to find online, if you don’t have a specialty spice store nearby. These kits also make great gifts for the vegan cook that has everything!