The author of seven previous cookbooks, including the classic Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey is among today's most influential and authoritative food writers. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, a meticulously researched collection of more than 750 meatless dishes from around the globe, presents its author in superlative form, culling the best vegetarian home-style dishes from virtually every culture and cooking tradition. Jaffrey's book, filled with delicious, approachable recipes, has universal appeal, and should be part of every cook's library.
Divided into sections on beans, grains, and vegetables, and including chapters on vegetables, soups, salads, and sauces, among other topics, the book brilliantly juxtaposes recipes grouped by ingredient to reveal, finally, the way that ingredient is approached globally to make food. Thus, for example, Jaffrey's section on rice offers Persian Pilaf with Lima Beans, Palestinian Rice with Lentils and Browned Onions, and Risotto with Fried Porcini Mushrooms, among other pitch-perfect dish choices in this and other chapters. Less familiar ingredients like spelt, millet, and soybeans are removed from the realm of dubious interest and presented in compelling recipes, such as Spicy Soybean Patties with Mint. Throughout, Jaffrey provides definitive notes on ingredients (her full investigation of couscous types is one of many examples) and techniques, as well as a truly comprehensive glossary. Jaffrey also offers a small but charming section on drinks; her Fresh Lime and Ginger Syrup from India, to be mixed with ice and soda water, is a simple but marvelous summertime treat, and one more example of Jaffrey at excitingly full throttle. A ten-page section of color photos rounds out this expert collection. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Jaffrey (author of the James Beard Award-winning Madhur Jaffrey's Taste of the Far East) offers an Asian-centered complement to Deborah Madison's European-focused Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. True to Jaffrey's title, the recipes here do hail from all over the world, but an Indian slant can be detected: a chapter on dried legumes contains Black-Eyed Pea Fritters from Nigeria, Boiled Peanuts Indonesian Style, and variations on Chickpea Flour Pancakes from India; a section on grains includes, among other things, the quickly made flatbreads of India, like Punjabi Village-Style Flat Whole Wheat Flaky Breads. Sometimes Jaffrey adopts vegetarian ingredients to make nonmeat versions of familiar dishes, such as a Mock Lamb Curry with seitan (wheat gluten), but more often she simply delves into the meatless tradition of a specific country and pulls up a signature dish (Savory Greek Pumpkin Pie). A chapter on dairy gives instructions for making yogurt, the Indian cheese paneer, mascarpone and other preparations, then describes a variety of ways these bases can be used (Yogurt with Green Mango or Homemade Indian Cheese Cooked in the Style of Scrambled Eggs). With its top-notch glossary of unusual ingredients and thorough information about vegetables, this is an excellent resource for those who like to make everything from scratch as well as those who want fast results. (Nov.)
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