One thing which I found amusing is the number of recipes with eggs.Somehow I had assumed that the name Vegetarian Feast meant only vegetarian recipes.But obviously it is not so.Different people have different perspectives,so I am going to brush it aside.
About the author - Anjum Anand grew up in London but has lived and studied in Geneva,Paris and Madrid.She has worked in restaurants in New York,Los Angeles and New Delhi,but her love is delicious,stylish and healthy modern Indian food that is simple enough to cook at home.She is based in London and has presented two series of 'Indian Food Made Easy' and now has her own range of Indian sauces-The Spice Tailor.
In the introduction page,Anjum shares how she was raised by a vegetarian mother and a non-vegetarian father.She finds it a funny twist of fate that she got married to a vegetarian who comes from a generation of vegetarians!She admits some of the recipes are 'just hanging by a home-spun cotton thread to an Indian heritage but are too delicious not be included'.
A peep into the Indian Vegetarian Pantry section includes most of the ingredients necessary to whip up exciting,nourishing vegetarian food.Notes on different kinds of pulses,spices,grains,nuts and seeds.Also tips on how to roast spices and how to make paneer.
Some interesting recipes which include Keralan-inspired banana pancakes with peanut butter,Melon & Ginger Sharbat,Steamed Nepalese Momos(with step by step pictures),Mile-high Chickpea Burgers with Indian Coleslaw,PLT-Indian vegetarian version of BLT-Paneer lettuce tomato sandwich,Juhu-beach Pau Bhaji,Rogan Mushroom,a take on vegetarian version of Rogan Josh,Wild-Mushroom biryani(which looks gorgeous!)and many more.
The Dessert section though has only a few recipes,considering how varied and rich our desserts are.Cardamom Kulfi is perhaps the lone 'Indian' dessert in that section.
I wanted to try out either the Mumbai Bhelpuri,Juhu Pau bhaji or the Bombay Potatoes and chose the latter.I have heard a lot about the dish and couldn't wait to see how different it was from our usual potato favorites.Anjum says it goes well with rotis and rice and it does.I felt it was a Mumbai-yya take on the humble Urulai roast!
Recipe source - Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Potatoes - 3 large
Ginger - 10 gms,peeled
Garlic cloves - 3,peeled
Tomatoes - 2,one quartered and the other cut into wedges
Oil - 2 tbsp
Jeera/cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1 medium,roughly chopped
Haldi/turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
handful of chopped coriander leaves
Cook the potatoes in salted water for about 4-5 whistles in a pressure cooker.The potatoes should be just rightly cooked,not too mushy.Peel and chop into medium cubes.
Blend together ginger,garlic and quartered tomatoes to a smooth paste.
In a kadai add oil and splutter cumin seeds and mustard seeds.Mix in the onion and saute for a minute.Add the ginger garlic tomato paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the ground spices-haldi,coriander,jeera,garam masala and red chilly powder,along with salt to taste and saute till the raw smell of the masala and garlic subsides.
Now add the tomato wedges and cook for 2-3 minutes.Tip in the potatoes and cook for a further 4-5 minutes till the potatoes absorb the masalas.
Mix in the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.