Cover Image: The Modern Tiffin

The Modern Tiffin

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Member Reviews

This book is a dream come true for me.  Spicy vegan food!  Priyanka Naik speaks about her rich Indian heritage and New York upbringing as well as her travels as her inspiration for the recipes included in this wonderful book. I can't wait to cook this recipes for my family.  Each recipe comes with a personal story that explains why the recipe was included in the book.  Priyanka is a thoughtful storyteller and a successful self taught chef.  I enjoyed this book.

Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Well first off this book does not focus on solely one type of cuisine. This cookbook ranges from Mexico to South India to Australia! A definite trip around the world. And because this is such a trip around the world this author acknowledges the different uses of oil from around the world. I find this a very important key point since some oils can add flavors to dishes and obviously the different smoke points.  I think this book will have a recipe for just about anyone and not any boring ones. Even though this cookbook extends into different cuisines it also gladly gives some of these recipes an Indian spin such as Masala Grilled Cheese or Tadka Mac' n' Cheese.


This review has also been posted to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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I really loved this cookbook.  It was fun and the recipes were easy to follow. My only complaint is that when you download the Netgalley title it is in black and white. I would have preferred to see the vibrant colors. The recipes were delicious and I would recommend for some wonderful Indian inspired food and it is also vegan.
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Excellent creative vegan recipes with a global fusion twist. Every recipe sounded delicious and they are grouped in themes of country cuisine, each with the framework of the portable tiffin in mind, each with a spicy twist. My mouth was watering throughout! Pretty colorful design too.
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This is a great book for people who are Vegan or wanting to just add more veggie options in their lives. I'll definitely be making some of these.
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I really dug this. I do not own a tiffin and was fairly unfamiliar with them in general, but am intrigued and in love! The recipes sound wonderful and are easy to follow. I appreciated that the vegan recipes weren't heavily focused on replacing or placating meat-eaters diets. This was not a cookbook of solely "chicken" dishes; the veggies shine!  I will 200% now be buying a tiffin and this cookbook for lunch breaks at the library and I can't wait. :) Highly recommend!
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Iwas excited when I saw this book on NetGalley. I have a tiffin that I don’t use nearly as much as I probably could. I was hoping to get some ideas and tips. I was extra excited when I saw that this was a vegan cookbook so every recipe was something that I could potentially make.

The book starts with an introduction to tiffins, which are three part stacking metal lunchboxes developed in India. There is also an introduction to the basics of Indian cuisine.

This cookbook features Indian fusion recipes organized by the area of the globe they represent. There are sections for various parts of India and Asia. Then the focus moves to places such as American comfort food with an Indian twist, Indio-Italian, Spanish, Latin American, and even Australian based foods.

I’ve tried a few recipes so far. I made the Tofu Banh Mi sandwich. The tofu marinade was wonderful and it made a great sandwich. I was conservative with the spices because I am a wimp but I could have been braver. The spices gave much more flavor than heat but that could have been dialed up if you like more heat in your food.

I also made the stuffed mushrooms that combined Italian inspiration with some Indian spices. These were also very good.

I’m looking forward to trying a few of the spiced cashew recipes.

My main complaint about this book is that it seemed to forget that it was supposed to be tiffin-focused when it got to the recipes. Each of the dishes can be served at room temperature so you can pack it for lunch. After each recipe there is a little section that says a sentence or two about packing it up. That’s good. But I would have liked to see some photos of the food in a tiffin. Maybe suggestions like “Pack this in the bottom tin, put these in the middle, and then add this snack to the top to make a great lunch” with a picture.

Overall, the recipes are good but it is just lacking that little bit that could have made it great.
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Tiffins, bentos for those of us who hate our foods touching.

Before I knew of bentos I knew of Tiffins, I'm not sure where I learned of them but in my childlike mind the Tiffin was the pinnacle of the Miners Lunch Pail and I needed one.

Reading this rekindled that fire for tiffins, but also has given me a ton of recipes that I desperately want to try. 1. Because I love vegetables and often enough they are not the star of the show. 2. it's vegan 3. So many of these recipes felt genuinely unique, and different.

The one thing I will say is that this being an ARC it was in black and white, it's easy to forget how much color plays a part in our interpretation of food and without any color this food looks so flat.
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I have a confession to make: I don't believe in the sanctity of food culture. By that I don't mean that people shouldn't love and respect the origins of their food! I respect traditionalists and salute their desire to hold onto what makes their cuisine special. But in a globalized society, and living in a country made of immigrants, I firmly believe that the divisions between food cultures are permeable barriers. This is why I am thrilled that Priyanka Naik is fully embracing the ways that cultures mix and mash in her book, The Modern Tiffin.

Naik has a bright and perky writing style that feels like you're reading a book written by a friend. She explains in detail about her culture, her reasons for being vegan, and her desire to cook and eat sustainably. She draws on her Indian heritage and her experiences growing up in NYC and traveling an ever-shrinking world to create her fusion dishes. Her usage of Indian spices and flavors in traditional Italian bruschetta or simple American grilled cheese is exciting and enticing. I wanted to try every recipe, and the photos just enhanced the experience (I can't wait to see them in full color!). Recipes like the Bondi Blue Tea Cakes are truly inspired, as it is so rare to find blue food. Naik is making food that stirs up excitement in the reader - a must-have for a marketable cookbook.

My only hesitations in this book were the perennial caramelized onions problem (it never takes as little as 10 minutes to properly caramelize onions though every recipe writer this side of the moon says it can be done), and the lack of research into some topics. A lot of the history and context around the food was built around Naik's personal experience, which has its positives and negatives. It's authentic to her experiences, but is limited by her knowledge. For example, I would have loved to have seen the history of Indo-Chinese cuisine delved into because it's such a fascinating topic. But with limited space available for explanation, Naik admitted she didn't know the history and moved on to the food. While the recipes look delicious and are written well, I am the kind of cookbook reader that geeks out over food history and context, and would have liked to have seen topics like this explored.

I am anxiously awaiting publication of Naik's book, and can't wait to hold a physical copy in my hands! Her social media presence is bright, fun, and colorful, and this book promises to deliver more of the same. Thank you to Priyanka Naik for making fusion food fun and for blurring the lines between culinary borders!
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The Modern Tiffin is an engaging collection of plant based recipes drawn from many different world cuisines collected and curated by Priyanka Naik. Due out 2nd Nov 2021 from Simon & Schuster on their Tiller Press imprint, it's 224 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

Vegan food has (until quite recently) had a fussy non-portable and somewhat boring reputation. This is a collection of tasty and portable dishes which are suited to picnics and other on-the-go dining. The food is designed to fit into a tiffin box and is varied, interesting, and appetizing.

I really liked the layout and formatting of this cookbook. I also really enjoyed the author's chatty style and the overall informal and adventurous vibe of the recipes. The introduction gives a good overview over tiffin (the concept), the author's experiences growing up on Staten Island, and her food and travel philosophy. The author gives a comprehensive crash course on tools and products (including where to acquire a tiffin box), shopping, food prep & seasoning, and storage. The recipes are arranged in 10 complete thematic meals and a finishing chapter with drinks.

Ingredient measurements are supplied in American standard measurements only. The nutritional information is not included. Each recipe includes a header with a short description of the recipe and approximate servings (generally the recipes will feed 2). Extra tips or recipe alternatives are listed in text boxes in the recipes. The recipes themselves are fairly straightforward; many will require specialist international grocery suppliers or online sourced ingredients. Most are simple, none of them are overly complex. The photography in the eARC provided for review is in black and white - they will presumably be in color in the final release (but possibly not). Many of the recipes are illustrated simply and clearly.

Four stars. It would make a nice choice for public library acquisition, foodies who enjoy plant based cuisine, and lovers of world-cuisine.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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The Modern Tiffin is one of the most beautiful cookbooks of 2021.  Filled with mouthwatering vegan recipes, every page will entice and delight you.
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The Modern Tiffin is a cookbook focusing on vegan Indian dishes. I am always looking for new vegan dishes to try but this is not the cookbook for me. A lot of the dishes have chilies that I am not a fan of. While I could try the dish without the spice I feel like I might be missing something and the flavor profile might not be right.
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The Modern Tiffin is a fantastic book with awesome recipes that are also vegan.  Author Priyanka Naik talks about her personal history and how food shaped her as a child and adult - very interesting.  The photos and instructions are terrific - overall, its a beautiful book and provides real information for people who are trying to eat vegan/vegetarian.
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I found this book incredibly disappointing the black and white photos are a terrible choice and it looks like clip art so no photo's woukd have been better in my mind. And  that's saying a lot because not having photo's in a cookbook is a huge peeve of mine..

The kindle file was horrible and it didn't look much better in the NetGalley app many of the pictures and parts of the text are split across multiple pages making it disjointed at best.

With all that set aside and feeling as a review copy I hope these issues are addressed.

So moving on to the recipes. I do have to say I was disappointed there are a few recipes I might make but overall most of the ingredients were disappointing to me. I was very excited to explore this style of cooking. However, I was not expecting the recipes to remove not just meat but dairy as well. So that left many recipes unpalatable to me. The option of curdling other ingredients to replace yogurt or milk was not something I would eat lol. But with that said I can play with that and add back in those options. I am looking to go low meat not necessarily totally vegan. But thst is being nit picky and is my issue not the authors. So I have to say at least in that department. The recipes are truly vegan while trying to hold to the original intention of imparting those regions Indian flavors to a dish.

Honestly on this one it truly boils down to what you want in a cookbook. If you want true vegan recipes with Indian flavors you will probably enjoy this book. For me with most recipes needing to be cooked differently or rewritten to add back the missing ingredients I find it difficult to say I would use this book on a regular basis.
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Excellent selection of vegan, Indian inspired dishes that reheat well and will certainly spice up your lunch. The recipes are a bit of a production, though - most use multiple pots and pans and have active cook times of more than 45 minutes. If you have the time and the inclination, these meals are delicious and healthy, but the time and effort investment may be too substantial for most weekday lunches.
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I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the black and white photos. The kindle file was absolutely horrible. I also reloaded onto a pdf and while it was better the recipes were hard to get excited about in no color. I’m not sure if the finished copy will be abject of color but after the nice cover I was disappointed.
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A few meal ideas for those wanting to take with you. regular recipe setup and introductory information at front - about tiffins, tools and ingredients.
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The author is a self-taught, Indian-American, vegan, food blogger. All of the recipes are not only vegan but are designed to be portable in a tiffin - a multi layer carrier that accommodates a different component of a meal in each layer. 
At the end of each recipe is a tip to make it portable. Each recipe is portioned to serve 2, but can be doubled. The beginning of the book has sections on tools, spices, storage and preparation advice and ingredients. At the end is a glossary that includes some brand recommendations. 

Each chapter has 5 recipes and explores a country and culture to which the author has traveled or grew up experiencing. The tiffins are: Maharashtrian, South Indian, Italian, American Comfort, Indo-Chinese, South Asian, Mexican, Spanish, Australian and Middle Eastern. There is a separate chapter on drinks. I love Indian food but I don’t cook it because it is too much work. This book has some recipes that sound delicious, but many are way too much work and use too many ingredients.  This issue is compounded if you intend to actually fill up a tiffin and prepare all of the dishes. To make the Italian meal, for example, you would need over 70 ingredients. Of course nothing would prevent you from just cooking one or two of the dishes. Some of the recipes that sounded good to me are: Indian home fries with peanuts, cumin and chilies, tofu banh mi, falafel-pear lettuce wrap, and chipotle black bean and corn tostada. I might make some of the recipes, but I am not fond enough of cooking to spend a day filling one of these tiffins. 

The book didn’t have many pictures and a lot of the ones that were included were pictures of the author. There were some puzzlingly unbalanced combinations in some of the tiffins. The Italian tiffin had bruschetta, 2 pastas and risotto, the American tiffin had grilled cheese, grits, 2 cornbread variations and macaroni and cheese and the South Asian tiffin had a sandwich and 2 noodle dishes. 

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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This book is definitely going to be my new go to cookbook, I already know. Every single recipe looks so delicious and flavorful. The author made sure to throughly explain each method of cooking as well as her motivation behind each recipe. Lots of the recipes have cute and catchy names, which I think is a nice touch. I love that the recipes are traditional but she puts Indian spices and cook methods into each one, making them entirely new dishes! I’m so excited to purchase this book and never put it on my bookshelf because it will be getting so much use!
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This book contains lots of great tradional modern indian recipies! I love how playful and straightforward they are. Beautiful colored photos.
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