Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cookbook Case Study - Quick and Easy - Wrap Up

Global Vegetarian Cooking: Quick & Easy Recipes from Around the World

I really enjoyed the recipes I made from Quick & Easy: Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World for Western Kitchens. Despite burning myself making pot-roasted rice, I really enjoyed the rice and the cardamom mushrooms I made with it. I'll keep the frying-rice-in-peanut-oil technique in mind for next time I want to subtly dress up rice, but I'll be a bit more careful with temperatures.

The two sweet recipes I made from the book were more interesting to me than the savoury. I don't make as many international desserts as I do international main meals, so making dal and jaggery payasam was as exciting and fulfilling as it was delicious and filling! Heavily palm-sugar flavoured, this best accompanies banana and coconut milk to cool it down a little. However, the introduction to the recipe did claim that jaggery is considered to be a 'heating' food, given to children in lumps to nibble during winter. (Nibbling on lumps of jaggery certainly appeals to me!) The second recipe that I made after quite a delay, was for peanut cookies, making a delicious light peanut macaroon that I am looking forward to making again already.

I'm far from finished with this book. There are a number of pages I've stuck bookmarks on, which include recipes such as 'khatti mithi masoor dal' (sweet and sour red lentils), aloo mattar, and 'kab el ghzal' (almond crescents made with ground almond and rose or orange blossom water). Yes, I can see myself enjoying the book for some time. I would certainly recommend it to anyone - vegetarians and omnivores alike - especially to people interested in cooking simple international meals. One thing I particularly like about this book is that it goes beyond India and Asia, including recipes from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East - culinary regions that I know much less about.

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