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Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn Hardcover – March 21, 2017
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From the Publisher
Stir-Fried Corn with Basil and Leeks
Nothing is more exciting than ripping open the first corn of summer. Growing up, we’d eat corn two ways: either roasted straight on the gas stove or shaved off the cob and stir-fried. Fresh corn really doesn’t need much. In the thick of summer, I shave it off the cob and eat it raw in salads.
My mother would sauté the fresh kernels in a little butter with cumin seed, black pepper, lemon, and cilantro. I’ve adapted her recipe by using chopped basil and leeks I received in my farm share one year; simple to prepare but bursting with summer flavors. This dish is great as a hot side and also delicious cold and mixed into salads.
Put the ghee in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. When it is melted, add one cumin seed. When the seed moves slightly or sizzles, add the rest of the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to brown (a few seconds), add the leek. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until the leek is fragrant and soft. Stir in the corn kernels, black pepper, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt.
Turn the heat to medium-low and sauté until the corn is cooked to your preference, 2 to 3 minutes. I find the fresher the corn, the less you need to cook it. Turn off the heat. Mix in the lemon juice and basil. Taste for lemon juice and salt and adjust if needed before serving.
- 1 tablespoon ghee, unsalted butter or canola oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small leek, finely chopped
- Kernels cut from 4 ears corn (3 to 4 cups)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
“Chitra Agrawal’s Vibrant India is a beautiful personal history and distinct guide to vegetarian South Indian cooking. Her perspective as a second generation immigrant shapes her approach to South Indian cuisine, making this book both a definitive guide for the home cook and an inspiring family narrative.”
—Preeti Mistry, owner of Juhu Beach Club
“Vibrant India is exactly what my cookbook shelf has been missing all this time. Chitra's fresh, enticing, and accessible recipes are certain to transform the way I cook, from rethinking salad and yogurt to really understanding the principles of South Indian vegetarian cooking and its key ingredients.”
—Lukas Volger, author of Bowl
"There is so much I love about this book: the family history; the glimpse at life and daily cooking in South India; but most importantly the recipes. They're poetic in their beauty and simplicity, surprising and yet perfectly intuitive. This book opens up a world of sublime vegetarian Indian food that I didn't know existed."
—Louisa Shafia, author of The New Persian Kitchen
“Already a successful entrepreneur for her delicious pickles from Brooklyn Delhi, here Chitra shares her deeply personal story of her family's journey from Southern India to Brooklyn. In Vibrant India, her first cookbook, she explores colorful and flavorful recipes passed down through generations. Chitra is truly a mistress of spices and shares her knowledge with proficiency and detail. There’s no better way to discover how delicious the world of Indian vegetarian cooking is than through this book.”
—Nik Sharma, food writer, cook, and photographer
"Chitra Agrawal takes us inside a true South Indian kitchen, lovingly rendered for the everyday household. The results are gorgeously simple, bold—and yes, vibrant—flavors that anyone can lend to their cooking."
—Cathy Erway, author of The Food of Taiwan and The Art of Eating In
"In Vibrant India, Chitra grants the reader not only an intimate look at the food of her family, but also an invaluable master class in the flavors and pantry of South India. Bold yet balanced, and touched with modernity, her food celebrates the diversity and breadth of the cuisine. On a personal level, as I share some of her background, Chitra has given me failsafe renditions of the recipes I crave from my childhood; her shredded carrot and lentil salad hits all the notes it should, the idlis are perfect, and the lemon peanut rice a new staple in my home. And as expected, her deft hand with chutneys and pickles—condiments that will elevate any meal—is worth the price of admission alone."
—Tara O'Brady, author of Seven Spoons
"Chitra Agrawal is the perfect tour guide for this fascinating journey into the heart of South Indian home cooking. Through family stories and detailed recipes, written with such passion and clarity, she reveals dishes steeped in tradition but refined for a modern audience. You'll want to dive right in and experience this amazing balance of sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and savory flavors."
—Diana Kuan, author of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook
"... Agrawal offers page after page of hits with dishes such as steamed lentil and herbed dumplings, root-vegetable and Asian-pear salad, stir-fried corn with basil and leeks, and the must-try cardamom oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate and raisins. ... There’s enough variety in this superb debut to please Indian-cuisine newbies and veterans, and Agrawal’s dishes are hearty and flavorful enough to please even the toughest carnivore at the table."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
About the Author
Chitra Agrawal is the author of Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn and the founder of Brooklyn Delhi, an award-winning Indian condiments line. Since 2009, she has been serving, writing about, and teaching her family's vegetarian recipes from India with a slant on seasonality and local ingredients. Chitra writes the popular recipe blog The ABCDs of Cooking, teaches vegetarian Indian cooking classes at Brooklyn Kitchen, Brooklyn Brainery, and Whole Foods, and hosts pop-up dinners throughout New York City with creative Indian-inspired menus. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Zagat, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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This is a beautifully designed book.Read more
Author: Chitra Agrawal
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Chitra Agrawal’s book Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn is a decorative...Read more