Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition
by Dr. Sheil Shukla
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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 03 Aug 2022
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“The first [cookbook] from which I want to cook absolutely everything.”—Joanne Lee Molinaro, creator of The Korean Vegan and New York Times-bestselling author of The Korean Vegan Cookbook
100 stunningly photographed vegan recipes that celebrate fresh, healthful produce—and capture the indelible flavors of India
India is home to a vibrant tapestry of culinary traditions—and to more vegetarians than anywhere else in the world. It’s also where Dr. Sheil Shukla learned to love traditional Gujarāti fare, cooking alongside his adored ba (grandmother) over summers in Mumbai.
During his medical training, Dr. Shukla discovered the power of plant-based nutrition to prevent and manage chronic illness—and so began his mission to reinvent the classic vegetarian dishes of his heritage.
Plant-Based India presents over 100 completely vegan recipes for shāk (spiced vegetable dishes), dāl (legume stews), rotli (flatbreads), bhāt (rice dishes), and more. From a comforting Pālak Tofu that transcends dairy-based paneer, to vegan Nān, festive Navratan Rice, hearty Dāl Makhani, and summery Chocolate Chāi Mousse with Berries, these are recipes from the heart—filled with nourishing ingredients at their seasonal best.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 66 members
Publication date: January 25, 2022
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own.
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.
Vegans may think they know Indian food—it’s already a hugely popular choice for meatless eating, even though most plant-based Indian cooking is actually vegetarian. So they’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the totally vegan recipes in Plant-Based India, a collection of lower-fat, plant-forward recipes rooted in Indian tradition.
Fans of plant-based and Indian cuisine alike are sure to enjoy recipes such as:
***Zucchini Muthiyā (multigrain zucchini dumplings)
***Citrus Fennel and White Bean Salad
***Butternut Squash and Mushroom Biryāni
***Rotli (whole-wheat flatbread)]
***No Halvo Baked Oatmeal (spiced carrot oatmeal pudding)
***Mango lassi (mango smoothie)
Indian food is the most logical plant-based food as it is full of flavour and "good stuff"... aka whole foods vs those from a box and frankenfood meat substitutes. The recipes are well written and understandable by cooks of all levels and the photos make the food very appealing to myself and other lovers of food out there. The Butternut Squash and Mushroom Biryāni will be enjoyed this family Christmas!!!! Food can be the best medicine and your worst enemy,...read this book and eat your way to better health!!
Plant-Based India is a fantastic cookbook that features a variety of mouthwatering recipes. The book features a huge variety of traditional and contemporary dishes. The photography contained throughout is absolutely stunning!
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC.
This is an absolutely gorgeous book with so many beautiful recipes it's hard to know where to start when planning your next Indian meal.
Written by an Indian-American internal medicine physician, the recipes presented are rooted in the native Gujarati foods of his youth, adapted from more traditional versions to focus on a balance between vibrant and locally available plant-based ingredients, healthy preparation techniques, flavor and nutrition. The author also provides a handy nutrition chart which cross references important nutrients (eg protein and the major vitamins) with the recipes providing them.
The book is nicely laid out in sections including: Starters and Light Meals, Snacks, Soups and Salads, Vegetable dishes, Gravy (curry) dishes, Dal (legumes), Rice dishes, Indian flatbreads, Desserts, Drinks, Chutneys and Spice blends. Recipes, as well as section headings, are beautifully illustrated with mouth-watering full-page color photos and brightly engaging drawings.
Recipe Ingredients are straightforward, with dishes featuring tofu, nuts, chickpeas, kidney and other beans and legumes, a host of healthy vegetables including cauliflower, squash, and staples such as rice and yogurt. Along with an assortment of Indian spices (a list of commonly required Indian species is provided) other ingredients fall into the category of what would typically be found in any well-stocked pantry (a pantry list is also provided).
Some of my favorites I can’t wait to try include:
-Cilantro peanut chutney
-Butternut squash and mushroom biryani
-Citrus, fennel and white bean salad
-Creamy chili pasta
-Chili, cauliflower and tofu
A great big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
Wow. What a BEAUTIFUL cookbook. The photos are just stunning, and the recipes seem very accessible. Granted I live in a major metro area, but nothing in the ingredient list seems too hard to get.
We're actually planning on doing a vegan challenge the first 2 weeks of January, so this was fantastic timing with this cookbook. I was literally tempted to drop everything and make the Creamy Chili Pasta as I was reading the recipe. The fact that I didn't have a potato stopped me. Since it's plant based, this cookbook features tofu, non-dairy yogurt, nutritional yeast, etc, but there's a lot of vegetables! So many vegetables! Cauliflower, zucchini, corn, carrots, there's probably a ton of recipes with your favorite vegetable represented. The takes on traditional, non-plant based dishes seemed very creative and delicious! Can't wait to make a lot of these recipes next week, or really anytime.
If you've been looking for a vegan or plant-based cookbook and you like Indian food, this is the book for you!
Thank you to Net Galley and the author and publisher for sharing an ARC with me!
For vegans and vegetarians, such as myself, Indian cuisine is a very popular cuisine choice. So, I was extremely excited when I saw this new Indian cuisine cookbook on Net Galley and found that my request for a review copy had been granted. I will start by saying that this is one cookbook that I will be buying when it is released for publication. Why might you ask, given the seemingly endless options for finding Indian cuisine recipes on the internet? The simple answer is that this is much more than a cookbook. Not only does it include countless, beautifully illustrated plant-based recipes (all non-dairy), many of which I have never seen or even tried before in restaurants, the author, an internal medicine physician, provides a detailed chart outlining key nutrients and plant-based sources of those nutrients that those following a plant-based diet should be mindful of when planning meals. This chart is supplemented by a list of additional references at the end of the book. The book also includes an easy-to-follow chart outlining the most important ingredients for stocking an Indian pantry, that is, everything that you will need to produce the recipes contained in this cookbook. It should be noted that for those who live in small towns or rural areas without an Indian grocery some of the ingredients may be difficult to find, and thus some recipes may not be possible to make or will require finding substitutions. That said, there are many, many recipes in this book that require ingredients that can be found at any supermarket. Not to mention the author includes in their pantry chart recommendations for substitutions for many of those hard-to-find ingredients.
The recipes in this cookbook are divided into 12 sections: Starters and Lighter Meals; Snacks and Sides; Soups and Salads; Vegetable Dishes; Gravy Dishes (Curries); Dal (Legume Stews); Rice Dishes; Rotli (Indian Flatbreads); Desserts; Drinks; Chutney and other Condiments; and finally Spice Blends. The directions for each recipe are clear, and most sections include helpful tips for working with ingredients common to each section. For example, in the dessert section, the author includes a section on cooking with mangoes.
There are only two minor cons that keep this from being the perfect cookbook for some readers. Those who are gluten intolerant will be disappointed that the bread section does not include any gluten-free recipe options. The author acknowledges such options do exist in traditional Indian cuisine. However, as the author notes, he chose not to include these because he lacks experience in making them. For me, this admission by the author is another reason for purchasing this cookbook, because it indicates that these are all recipes that the author has tested and made for his family and friends. This impression is reinforced by the last section in this book, “Recipe Testers and Their Favorite Recipes,” in which those friends and family members who acted as taste testers spoke about their favorite recipes in the book. The second con is that nutritional information is not included with each recipe; this was surprising given the book’s emphasis on healthy eating. Still these two minor “cons” do not suffice to detract from what is otherwise a truly remarkable cookbook and healthy eating resource and one which I plan to buy.
I would like to thank Net Galley, the publisher, and the author for an advance copy of this cookbook in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a nice recipe book!
Focusing on vegan Indian recipes there is good variety in this book. It includes mains, sides, drinks, and more! The pictures included in the book are beautiful. The recipes have a variety of flavors and can be adapted to different dietary requirements. There's information on different spices and ingredients and how they're used in Indian cooking.
Overall a nice find!
Plant-Based India is an impressively comprehensive, beautifully curated collection of plant based Indian recipes by Dr. Sheil Shukla. Due out 7th June 2022 from The Experiment, it's 256 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.
This is a warmly written, inviting, and gorgeously photographed cookbook with dairy free (vegan friendly) recipes. There is a great deal of additional information included throughout the book with tips on the chemically active ingredients and nutritional value of spices, and other items used in the recipes. I found these tables interesting and very useful.
The recipes are grouped thematically: Starters and Lighter Meals; Snacks and Sides, Soups and Salads, Vegetable Dishes, Gravy Dishes - Curries, Dal - Legume Stews, Rice Dishes, Rotli - Flatbreads, Desserts, Drinks, Chutneys and other Condiments, and Spice Blends. Each recipe contains an introduction/description, yields and prep times. Ingredients are listed bullet style in a sidebar and ingredient measurements are given in American standard units with metric in parentheses (yay!), followed by step-by-step preparation instructions. Every recipe is accompanied by a full color photo. Serving suggestions are appropriate and appetizingly styled. The nutritional information is somewhat surprisingly not included for these dishes.
The photography throughout is superlative, truly standout. The recipes are varied and from a wide number of geographical regions which are helpfully specified in each recipe as well as the chapter introduction pages.
Five stars. This is a wonderfully useful cookbook.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
I did not try all of the recipes yet but those I try, I would describe as : yummi yummi and more yummi.
Recipes are simple, easy to make, well explained, beautiful photos.
So yes if you are a fan of Indian food like I am, this is the book you want to have in your kitchen.
This book is absolutely stunning, the pictures are gorgeous and the recipes are formatted well. They aren't too complicated and its wonderful plant based food full of flavor!
Thank you to the Experiment publisher and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this amazing book! Oh my word! This book should come with a warning - extremely appetizing visuals ahead! I had to hold myself back from licking the screen! As I read this fantastic book, The descriptions were so vivid that I was able to smell the spices blooming on the skillet. Loved loved loved the book, the recipes, the photos of each recipe, all the explanations in the beginning of the book, and can’t wait till June (publishing) to put this gem on my shelf! I have time until then to make room on my shelves. Can’t recommend it enough!
As someone who has traveled to Southern India and a practicing vegetarian of many years, I was excited to receive this book. Plant-Based India is nothing short of amazing! I personally enjoyed the Dosa rolls and the Butternut Squash and Mushroom Biryani.
There are 100 vegan recipes for a variety of Indian dishes ranging from Rice to, naan, to Dal and palak. Dr. Sheil Shukla also includes dessert recipes that I am anxious to try! The photography and design of this book is beautiful and inspiring. Recipes are divided by light meals, snacks, soups/salads, gravy dishes, veggie dishes and of course roti, rice and flatbreads. There are even chapters on drinks and spices!
If you like Indian food, you have got to purchase #PlantbasedIndia
Sheil knows what's up!
Here's a couple of things to note: if an Indian recipe is calling for extra virgin olive oil, it should be food that doesn't require super high heat cooking methods, because the oil will smoke and burn, and all those lovely benefits are lost. If you are doing something high heat, such as cooking whole mustard seeds/urad daal as we do in South Indian cooking, you need to use a neutral oil, like sunflower or canola oil. Guess what? That's exactly what Neil has written into the recipes. This is how you know that the recipes are carefully considered for health, flavour, and using what makes sense in the recipe and that the writer knows what they're talking about when it comes to Indian food!
For example, when I made the recipe for Kale & Broccoli Pudla/Cheela (page 40), the recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil. You're not heating up the pan to screaming heights, so it makes sense to use extra virgin olive oil, whose buttery taste works really nicely with the chickpea flour crepes. However, in all the recipes that call for tempering (heating oil to a high heat, and adding mustard seeds, curry leaves, etc), it's neutral oil.
Another thing to notice is that if you follow the recipe, step by step, from start to finish, you'll be in good shape. For example, the recipe for Khaman (page 58) suggests that you prepare the steaming apparatus first, before doing anything else. Anyone who has make khaman/dhokla or any other steamed food can tell you that if you don't prepare the steamer ahead of time, especially when you're working with quick leavened things (such as baking powder or Eno), you have a VERY short window between when you combine the wet and dry ingredients, and getting it cooking, or else the leavening will completely deflate, and it's a waste of ingredients.
There are lots of traditional Indian recipes, as well as twists on old faves. However, if you know anything about Gujarati food, you're going to want to buckle in for the Shaak (vegetable dishes). I was hoping for a tiny bit more variety here, but what was there was imaginative, and tasty. The Sambharo (page 80) is a lot like our South Indian cabbage dishes, but the addition of lime juice really turns up the volume on this one. It's such a nice addition! There is also a recipe for Tindora (page 87), for which I skipped the sugar (Gujarati food does love its sugar!) which was not as much of a chore to make as the typical recipes that you see out there. Definitely a keeper. The Lemon Rice (page 139) has a suggestion to use the lemon zest, which is something I've been doing for ages, because it really does boost the lemon flavour. Smart!
The list of chutneys and sauces are all solid. I never thought that black salt would perk up the date chutney (page 215) quite as much as it does. It does. I'd usually throw some tamarind in there, because it gets way too sweet otherwise, but this version was nice as written.
Another thing to note is that there are a TON of beautiful photos throughout the book. So much good inspiration from just flipping through the book and idly reading it for fun. Lots of stories, explanations, and recipe ideas to spark your imagination. There is a thorough section up in the front of the book that describes the spices you'll want to get your hands on, and what they're used for. There is a good solid works cited page towards the end that lets you know Sheil's sources for any claims he makes. The layout of the book is easy to read, and the ingredients are mentioned both in the ingredients list, and in the recipe itself so that you have a reminder of things you might have unconsciously skipped over.
This is definitely a good read to pick up and cook from when you have some spare time. There is a lot of call for vegan yoghurt, which can be tricky to get your hands on. You can indeed make your own, but that's a level of effort that not everyone will be able to devote. With regards to texture, I've found that the Silk brand unsweetened soy milk yoghurt works the best for the recipes in here, and for Indian food in general. It's a touch on the bland side with regards to sourness, but with texture and creaminess, it hits the spot.
Plant Based India: Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition is a gorgeous book to behold. I was readying an e galley, but I can't wait to hold the actual book in my hands. Cookbooks without photos are useless to me. I need to see the foods, have my mouth water as I look at the display, in order to be motivated to cook. This book will provide boundless opportunities to be inspired. The photos are breathtaking, and I enjoyed the hennaed hands to give an Indian vibe to the scenes.
The author, who is a physician, tells the story of how he came to regain his appreciation for the Indian cooking he grew up with in his home, and gives multiple reasons for choosing to go vegan. The author's reasons are rooted in both health reasons and ideas related to not making animals suffer and honoring all life. He gives other reasons, too, such as environmental.
The book is divided into easy to follow chapters and there is plentiful recipies for preparing the spice mixtures needed to flavor the dishes. Info is also given as to how to stock an Indian pantry, and the background of some of these key ingredients. This cookbook will be much appreciated by those who love traditional Indian cooking, and also by those who are hoping to add more plant-based meals to their diet, and may be looking for something out of the mainstream recipes to supplement with.
Thank you to the author, The Experiment publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and The Experiment for the advance e-ARC of PLANT-BASED INDIA.
I love Indian cuisine, and while I mostly get take-out, I have been wanting to cook more at home. I am also going more plant-based, so when I saw this book, I thought it was perfect for me. I appreciate the section on having an Indian Pantry, knowing staples to have on hand is always a good thing. The photographs throughout are beautiful and really highlight the food, and make me more excited to make and try them. I will be buying a physical copy of this one to keep on hand in my kitchen.
A gorgeous cookbook focusing on plant based Indian cuisine:
* Beautiful photos
* Loved the family history
* Brief discussion on the benefits of plant based eating
* Comprehensive section on Indian spices and traditional flavours/cooking techniques
* Beautifully presented recipes with accompanying photos
* Appreciated the descriptions and blurbs with each recipe
* The recipe layouts were user friendly and easily read
* The recipes were broken down into appropriate subtopics
* The book’s colour scheme and general aesthetic was eye pleasing and attractive
Thank you for the opportunity to review this eARC!
These recipes overall are delicious and easy to follow. If you're looking for the ultimate comfort meal: Creamy Masala Tomato Soup served with Nan.
The recipes in this book all sound ama,zing, it’s hard yo choose what to try first! Thank you NetGalley for giving me advanced access to the masterpiece.
While I didn’t get to try all the recipes, I can confirm that this recipe book is amazing. The author/chef gives great details on the dish itself and how to make it. They also give the recipes for spices that are used all throughout the book. It’s easy to follow, fun to make, and so yummy! My favorite dishes are definitely the Mattar Tofu and Nan.
Let's say you want to eat a more plant-based diet but don't want to give up Indian cuisine, which frequently incorporates lots of dairy and sometimes animal proteins. Or maybe you're preparing meals for vegan family members or friends and want to offer appealing dishes that will accommodate their preferences. Or perhaps you've heard of the many benefits that can accompany a diet that incorporates more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. You might already be a passionate cook of Indian cuisine and are looking for new and intriguing recipes that will incorporate ingredients already in your spice box or pantry. Perhaps you're a fan of Sheil Shukla (a Wisconsin-born internal medicine resident physician, artist, and cook who has been vegan since 2015) and his blog sheilshukla.com.
Enter Shukla’s Plant-Based India: Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition.
The recipes, photographed in full-color, are beautifully styled and elegantly presented, but have a personal feel, as though this is how the dishes might be offered in someone's home.
Recipes that I would like to try (too many to list here) include: Citrus. Fennel, and White Bean Salad; Palak Tofu; Creamy Masala Tomato Soup; Shahi Gobi; Green Bean Poriyal; Rasavala Baby Potatoes with Greens; Butternut Squash Chana Nu Shak; Tadka Dal; Vagharela Quinoa; Lemon Rice; and Cardamom Coffee Cake.
Shukla Includes instructions on how to cook rice and quinoa in an electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot and how to flavor the rice with whole spices. Some cooks looking for easy enhancements will find these tips game changing.
Those who enjoy making yogurt at home (or want to give it a try) will appreciate Shukla's method for preparing nondairy yogurt, which can be difficult to find commercially and expensive.
The book's recipe testers weigh in on their favorite recipes. I found this personal touch and a fun and useful feature.
Shukla gives prep and cook times, offers a list of resources (online, books, and documentary films) and notes on the research supporting the benefits of plant-based diets.
There's always room for another Indian cookbook on my shelves, and Plant-Based India inspired me to incorporate more plant-based dishes into my family's diet, and is a book that I plan to add to my collection.
Thanks to The Experiment and NetGalley for the opportunity to take an early look at this beautiful and informative cookbook in exchange for an honest review.
Full of informative, interesting stories, beautiful photography and delicious recipes. I want to work through trying them all!
Very well done cookbook with some beautiful photos and very nice looking recipes. I don't really know what most of them are but I would love to try them! I love Indian flavors but I haven't tried a lot of plant based ones. It's a great book. I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
This is a great Indian cookbook. it has a lot of lesser-known recipes. They are also authentic and not westernized, true Indian cooking.
Indian cookery books can be intimidating with long lists of ingredients and names we don’t recognize. This book is full of things I don’t recognize and unusual ingredients yet at the same time it is accessible and easy to follow because everything is explained and optional ingredients are pointed out.
There are lots of recipes in here that I would make for my family and I particularly like how suggestions are made for accompaniments and combinations of recipes which work well together.
The photographs of the dishes are beautifully taken and styled which I am sure will stand the test of time. This is a book we will add to the library collection and many people will enjoy cooking from it.
Wonderful cook book. The pictures are gorgeous. The story is great. Each ingredient is so healthy and yummy. Each recipe looks delicious. I tried the Tofu Tikkā last night and it was so delicious!!
Thank you NetGalley
This is a stunning book filled with gorgeous photographs of incredible recipes. Each page brings new inspiration and an ever expanding grocery list as you realize you NEED to make, well, everything. Highly recommend this one!
This book honestly feels like it popped into my life at just the right time. As much as I love both cooking Indian-style cuisine and also having a mostly vegetarian diet, I’ve been feeling like those two realities have been resulting in the same dishes over and over - chana masala, lentil curries, and rajma, to name the big three.
So to use some quite hearty understatement - I have personally found “Plant-Based India” to be nothing less than a massive and absolute delight. Not only am I now aware of plenty of new recipes that I can try, but I’ve even learned about some ways I can change up my aforementioned core Indian-style dishes. Also, of course I can’t forget the wonderful photos that make simply looking through this book as enjoyable as it is to actually read through it for culinary inspiration.
This book is absolutely stunning. The photos are so gorgeous and beautifully displayed across the pages. I love the Indian Pantry chart detailing the commonly used spices, seeds, and roots. It features photos of the spices which is such a great idea as it is helpful to visually familiarize yourself with the ingredients. For someone who hasn't practiced much Indian cooking in my kitchen this chart is a very helpful breakdown. The recipes are insightful and not only educate on how to prepare the meal but also tap into the cultural background of the dish. They also provide the cooking, prep and assembly time which I find extremely necessary in a cook book. The recipes look incredible and I am very much looking forward to trying some. I am thrilled about this plant based Indian cookbook.
The recipes in Plant-Based India by Sheil Shukla are easy to read and follow, although some of the ingredients may take some research to find in certain areas. The pictures seem a bit colorless but that may have been the computer I was reading the book on. I would definitely recommend this book for vegetarian and vegan readers. There were many different recipes for making a complete, enjoyable meal.
Plant-Based India by Sheil Shukla is a wonderful addition to any recipe library. In addition to some great recipes I found the front sections on commonly used spices to be very helpful.
I have only tried two of the recipes so far and enjoyed them a lot. But I think what I am most excited about is finding so many combinations I can use in other recipes. Taking part of a recipe from here and substituting it into another recipe to give a different feel entirely.
I can usually find something worthwhile in any cookbook, so I come to these expecting to at the very least not be unhappy. This one, however, really triggered both my desire to make these dishes as offered but also my creativity to incorporate some of the basics from here into my other cooking. So often I find myself simply following a recipe and, even when the results are fantastic, there is not a sense of being anything more than a technician following directions. I'm fine with that most of the time but sometimes I want to be inspired to try something new. This book does that for me.
Whether you're vegan or just want to add more plant-based meals to your diet this book offers a lot of variety and flexibility. Highly recommend for anyone who likes to cook as well as eat.
Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Fantastic book! I am also a culinary medicine physician/lifestyle medicine/obesity medicine physician also of Indian descent. The recipes are wonderful and I love the plant based spin on the recipes. Especially enjoyed the thorough pantry section which gave some really good explanations of the spices utilized in Indian cooking. Highly recommend!
This is a great cookbook for people interested in learning how to make vegetarian Indian dishes. The recipes are flavorful and healthy.
Sheil Shukla is an almost visible presence in this cookbook. Many of the recipes come with a back story. For example, the steamed Idada cake square is his mother's specialty, whereas the lentil based Handvo was inspired by his aunt. The various Vegan recipes are "introduced" by the author with either this type of family reminiscence or the cultural significance of the particular dish.
You get a brief snapshot of the author's life as we meander through steamed appetizers, soups and salads (the creamy Masala tomato soup sounded (and looked) divine! The Quinoa Kachumber (salad) looked and sounded so much like the quinoa/lentil salad that I often buy from Costco that I wondered whether this Northern Indian recipe was the basis for that very successful addition to the Costco ready-made dishes on offer.
Sheil Shukla's recipes and instructions are often meticulously detailed. Even I, who rarely follow a recipe to the letter, would not dare to deviate from the scripted culinary path! At one point, the author suggests, in the description of his grandmother's recipe for Zucchini Muthiya, that although this steamed roll can be made with other vegetables, the reader should master making the Muthiya with the suggested zucchini first. Noted! I actually enjoy deviating from a scripted recipe in an effort to "make it my own" (and also, more likely, because I forgot to include the ingredient on my grocery list that week!) But after this explicit warning, I wouldn't dare! Scout's honour... except that I was never a Brownie, much less a Scout.
The vegetable section held my interest the most: okra, roasted cauliflower, eggplant, cooked cabbage slaw (there is a gorgeous picture of the red cabbage slaw which I can't replicate because of copyright, alas!) and Tindora gourd: all of them sounded delicious and would make a welcome change to the usual plainly steamed veggies that I always serve myself!
Chapters for lentils, peas, tofu and rice are then presented - all richly seasoned and promising to make lunch or dinner a sensory feast. I love biryani in almost every form, and the butternut squash biryani made me wish I had included some squash to my shopping cart on my weekly shopping expedition. The Rotli (aka roti), paratha and Nan recipes were properly detailed and doable in most cases. There is one gluten free flatbread recipe made from chickpea flour for those who can't or won't do gluten.
In the dessert section, I was again tickled by the author's warning not to substitute frozen or canned mangoes. His reasoning is sound, but I had to smile when he stated that he never used frozen mangoes unless he had frozen them himself. He is such a stickler for quality control: I suspect that this cookbook came along at just the right time for me. (I really should take this author's advice and try to complete a recipe as scripted before I mindlessly substitute this and that ingredient!
But back to this culinary adventure and away from my own many gastronomical faux pas:: the desserts and drinks sections are absolutely mouthwatering, and the Acknowledgement at the end pays tribute to his wonderful family and how they all informed his own cooking methods. I'm rating this beautifully illustrated cookbook a 4.5 out of 5, rounded up to a 5. My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this cookbook in exchange for an honest review.
This is a beautiful book -- the layout, the photographs (which make you want to try everything!). I have so far made four recipes from different sections -- Creamy Masala Tomato Soup, Chole/Chana Masala, Tomato Onion Masala (which is part of the Chole recipe), and Gajjar No Halvo Baked Oatmeal. I cook a lot of vegetarian Indian food -- I'm not Indian, but I am a vegetarian -- and these recipes will definitely become part of my repertoire. They are not terribly complicated, and the results were delicious. I doubled the Tomato Onion Masala recipe, and ended up with an extra portion of it. I froze the extras and look forward to using them in another receipe. I know that this book will be a success because my husband, who is the judge of all my cooking attempts, was quick to express his enjoyment of the tomato soup and chana in particular -- not a common occurrence. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new vegetarian Indian cookbook, or to add one to their collection.
I love Indian food but never make it because it seems far too complex. This beautifully illustrated book takes all of the guesswork and discomfort out of mastering a new cuisine with its well-crafted recipes. I love how it has an entire section devoted to just the spice blends that are so distinctive with this cuisine. An easy to follow recipe later and you have a homemade batch of spices perfect for giving your food that perfect flavor. Great cookbook!
I received an arc, but my opinions are all mine.
The first thing I want to say is, this book is beautiful. The imagery is amazing. Every recipe has an accompanying photo as well, which is helpful when making a new dish. This book is written by a medical doctor which impressed me and lends an extra layer of expertise to the health portions. My favorite recipe so far is the Tofu Tikka. There are so many recipes I plan to try out. I plan to purchase this cookbook so I have it for my library. I love Indian food, and it will be nice to have recipes for Vegan versions.
What a beautiful book! The photographs and layout are food for the eyes and the recipes and ingredients are created with the aim of accessibility, even for those new to vegan cooking. Every recipe gives insight into the author’s family history, or the significance of the ingredients. I learned so much reading this book, which bolstered my confidence to cook more vegan recipes. I had followed the @plantbasedartist Instagram account and was thrilled to know there would be a cookbook. The author is an internal medicine physician and how he shares his knowledge of health through our food is wonderful.
With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this eARC.
I’ve been having a more plant based diet and this was the perfect book to inspire me to continue. The flavors are amazing and it’s not a watered down Indian cookbook which is amazing.
This Cookbook is Beautiful. The photography and presentation of the foods is done superbly. I was hungry just looking at the pictures. This is a definite addition that elevates the book for me.
I loved reading a bit about the author, Sheil Shukla’s back story. I found it quite interesting. He lived in the mid-west, but his parents and his ba (paternal grandmother) lived together. They had immigrated from Ahmedabad, India so his cooking background uses Gujarati Recipes. He had traveled many times to visit his grandmother in India and came to appreciate the culture and foods from the region. The cookbook incorporates Vegan Indian Recipes, many Gujarati, but also other areas of Southern and also Northern India. When he was studying to be a doctor, he decided nutrition was important. I do not like fad diets or quick fixes, yet the author is not suggesting this at all. Says it is best to prevent disease, and often the best way is through a more nutritious diet, increased physical exercise, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep. I would say these recommendations have long been known and suggested to live a longer and better life. I am not a Vegan, but think this recipe book works fine. I enjoy Vegan Recipes and the Recipes sound delicious.
I put in for this book because I am fortunate and have a health food store with almost all of these spices. I have most on hand and can easily get a new one if needed. I also had just gone shopping and bought butternut squash, beets, kale, mushrooms, ginger, and spinach. I decided it would be great to try some new recipes.
Here are some I will try first, since I have all the ingredients and can get cooking 🧑🏻🍳
1. Butternut Squash and Mushroom Biryani
2. Roasted Bhinda, since I have Okra on hand
3. Citrus, Fennel, and White Bean Salad
4. Rosario’s Baby Potatoes with Greens
I love Mango Lassis, but often buy the pre-made Mango Juice which has little Mango and a lot of Corn Syrup. I have a Vitamix and already made this tonight. Delicious. Uses a Mango, Non-Daisy Yogurt (I used Lite Cocunut Milk) and Maple Syrup. Then loved it had additional Lassi recipes, including Beet Lassi which I will make.
Last, I appreciate the author gave different Masala Spice Blends, so you can make your own and have them on hand. Very easy to do and nice to have pre-made so ready when cooking.
This is an exceptional cookbook. I love the look of the book, the recipes, and the emphasis on healthy foods that are delicious. Definitely, 5 Star Rating from me. I have other Indian Cookbooks and think this is the nicest and most varied I have ever had.
Thank you NetGalley, Sheil Shukla and The Experiment Publishing for granting an ARC of this cookbook. I am happy to review it.
This cookbook has beautiful photos and detailed explanations of hard-to-find Gujarati home-style plant-based recipes. These dishes cannot be found in most Indian restaurants, and are made up of healthier ingredients. My favorite recipes in the book are the multiple variations of khichdi, India's comfort food. The author's background information makes the book even more meaningful to readers. I have pre-ordered the printed version, because I had difficulty using the digital version.
I already pre-ordered this book and can't wait to get my hands on the print copy. Indian cuisine is my favorite, and as a vegetarian, I greatly appreciate these plant-based recipes. I learned a lot about food from different regions of India and how dishes are commonly consumed. The recipes all appear to be nutritious and approachable and the accompanying photographs left my mouth watering. I highly recommend this title for anyone interested in Indian and/or vegetarian cooking.
This is my new go to cookbook. The cookbook itself is beautiful and the author writes in a way that really invites you into his life. For those new to Indian cooking, he provides tips and an explanation on the various types of ingredients used in the recipes. If anyone is looking to incorporate more plant based recipes or to transform the Indian dishes that you love into plant based versions, then this book is for you. The author is a doctor of internal medicine and has a passion for using food as medicine. You can really feel that passion come alive throughout the book. I highly recommend.
Thank you NetGalley and the author for providing a free electronic copy of this book for my honest review. Am incredibly grateful.
Before the pandemic hit I spent quite bit of time in India. One of the things I enjoyed most was trying new foods with my Indian friends and colleagues. Most were “Veg” so we’d often find restaurants that would serve only vegetarian food and I liked having meatless meals now and then. They would often regal me with stories about how the spices and herbs used in Indian cooking are medicinal, not just for flavor. That makes cooking these foods even more intriguing. But over the past two years, I’ve really missed the authentic cooking, foods and stories.
While I won’t be traveling to India again any time soon, I will be enjoying some of my favorites with the help of this book. The author does a great job explaining and guiding you through the recipes. You’ll be making your own favorites before you know it.
Great explanation of spices and steps! Very excited to try a few recipes, it’s nice that he has strategies for using a regular oven to get similar results to traditional methods of cooking.
Just goes to prove plant based doesn’t mean boring. Tons of flavorful plant based recipes. So many unique recipes you won’t find in every cookbook.
There are lots of good recipes in this cookbook. The pantry section at the beginning was helpful. I liked that there were pictures of the recipes.
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love this book! It is a gorgeous book filled with close up , colorful photos of the finished dishes. The recipes are awesome Nothing is complicated, yet the end results are beautiful and flavorful. Included are pretty much all of my Indian restaurant favorites, plus many other dishes that I was not familiar with, but am eager to try What especially stands out for me are the deserts. ...Cardamom Coffee Cake, Chocolate Chai Mousse with Berries, and spectacular Nankhatai pecan cookies . This is a really great book that I wholeheartedly recommend.!
This is a great book for anyone who loves Indian food, vegan or not. The cuisine lends itself naturally to plant based dishes, so these recipes felt authentic and not forced. Lots of variety covering so many familiar favorites but also some new ones I can’t wait to try. Plus there is a photo for every recipe, which makes it a winner for me. I particularly liked the introduction focusing on nutrition, ingredients and spices and their uses. Definitely recommend this.
Plant-Based India is a new cookbook by Internist and nutritional medicine practitioner Dr. Sheil Shukla. He takes the concept of a vegan Indian cookbook and puts a new spin on it by focusing on his Gujarāti culinary heritage and marrying that with his passion for nutritional medicine. Vegan Indian cooking is not new to me, so I liked this take on the theme. Shukla’s parents immigrated to the US in the 1970s, and he was raised in Wisconsin. His mother and grandmother were key influences in his experience of food, cooking mostly Gujarāti food. As often happens, he drifted away from this as a young adult living on his own (kind of like I drifted towards more diverse foods as a young adult!), but eventually came back around to his cooking roots. Cooking and nutrition became twin passions, and, interestingly, a form of artistic expression. Choosing to go vegan in 2015, this has become key to his culinary life.
“I strongly believe that food, nutrition, and medicine are deeply connected and that even deeper are aspects of culture, socioeconomics, weight stigma, and even politics. How can we find a cuisine that balances all of these? I don't know if we ever will, since each component has its own complexities and challenges. But I do know that, if we recognize food as being so much more than what goes on our plates, we will be a step closer to achieving this balance…I believe it’s important to put thought and intention into the food that nourishes us.”
Honestly: an Internist, a chef, a self-taught nutritional doctor, and a cookbook author. I’m not sure how he does it. Maybe it’s all the nutritional food he eats that gives him superpowers!
Shukla lays out some basic principles of his food philosophy: Eat seasonally; don’t be ultra restrictive (he uses some oils and sugar when it enhances the dish, for example); try for more plant-based eating; and use your food as medicine.
I learned that a Gujarāti meal usually consists of a shāk (vegetable dish), a dāl (legume dish), rotli (flatbread) and bhāt (rice). I decided to make this the basis of my meal. However, in the end, I altered it a bit. I was slightly over-ambitious and ran out of time to make my own rotli. Also, I really wanted to try out some condiments, so I made two chutneys and a rāitā. I spent one day shopping, and one day cooking. Then, my spouse and I sat down to taste test everything.
The cookbook spans cooking traditions from different regions of India, but I focused on sampling the primarily Gujarāti recipes.
I had almost everything I needed to make the dishes. I love that there’s a handy section on the Indian pantry in the book. Even though I’m pretty familiar with Indian ingredients and spices, I used it for a couple of new items. There were two ingredients that I had never heard of before, and I love that! They were 1) kokum, a tart dried fruit that adds acidity (used here in the Gujarati dal), and 2) āmchur, a dried green mango powder with a fruity, tart profile. It smelled wonderful! I headed to my local Indian grocery and they had both.
Also, I love that sulfurous black salt is used in two of the recipes I made. I bought it for a vegan tofu scramble a while back, and had to buy about half a cup. It will last me for the rest of my life. I was able to use up a whole teaspoon of it between the two recipes in Plant-Based India. Huzzah!
Shāk (Vegetable Dishes): Flāvār Vatānā Nu Shāk (roasted cauliflower and peas)
Shāk is the Gujarāti term for an everyday stir-fried veggie dish. The author notes he grew up eating this dish frequently. The roasted cauliflower came out beautifully charred. Stir-fried in just a bit of oil, with water to keep it from sticking, I added the peas and spices. I couldn’t find fresh curry leaves, so I used dried. This was an easy dish to make, and not overly spiced. I love veggies, so this was just perfect for me.
Dāl (legume stews): Gujarāti Dāl
I’ve made a lot of dāl, and I do love it. This one is neat: on the surface, it seems like any other dāl, but it had some differences and this came through subtly in the flavour profile. It’s made with toor dāl (pigeon peas) cooked in my trusty Instant Pot then mixed into the spices and tomato, and simmered down to a desired consistency. I was interested to see the addition of cinnamon sticks, star anise, and a bit of cane sugar. This was also where I used the kokum. These additions added an impressive complexity. Was there a hint of cinnamon sweetness layered with the acidity from the kokum? I think so! Yum!
Bhāt (rice): Mint Pea Rice
I don’t think I’ve made “green rice” before, and it was so easy. I Instant Potted (new verb!) the basmati rice, then added it to blended mint and spinach, then added spices and peas. It looked so pretty. My daughter tasted it and said that it tasted like tea-flavoured rice. She really loves mint tea, so that’s how she experienced it! It was very mild, and I added a bit more lime juice and salt than called for. That said, it was a visual stunner, and worked well as a more neutral flavour to complement the other dishes. It's a great substitute for regular rice, because its mild flavours didn’t compete with the other dishes, but it added healthfulness because of all the veg and spice.
Chutney and other Condiments:
I made a point of choosing a few of these. More and more I’m convinced that the condiments and sauces from a cookbook are often the stunners of the meal and are keeper recipes. It totally helps to have a high speed blender for the chutneys: they blend up easily and are a cinch to make.
Mint Cilantro Chutney: Packed with green goodness from mint and cilantro, with raw cashews (the workhorse of the vegan Indian kitchen), this was so easy to make! I also got to use āmchur powder for the first time and use up some of my black salt.
Date Chutney: Okay, I was pretty dubious about this recipe, as it seems dessert-ish. But it was so simple (black salt again!) and so delicious. The recipe doubled beautifully.
And finally…a Rāitā. A must for me with an Indian meal. I made Beet-Carrot Rāitā. Adding the tempered mustard seeds and curry leaves to the cool plant-based yogurt seemed wrong at the time, but all worked out. I really needed to trust the recipe on this one, and I’m glad I did. And it looks stunning when presented at the table!
The Cooking and Dining Experience:
Cooking these recipes was reasonably straightforward and fun. It helped that I already had most of the ingredients. If you are new to Indian cuisine, spending some time upfront to make a good list of ingredients and visiting an Indian grocery would be best, though in an urban centre probably most big grocery stores would stock most ingredients. I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts about some of the recipes as I cooked and tasted. The mains were subtly spiced (except for the dāl!), and the chutneys on their own seemed underwhelming.
But I was so wrong! We sat down to eat, and when we started playing with the mains, chutneys and rāitā together on the plate, the meal became an elevated experience. My spouse loved the play of flavours together, and ate two full plates of food. We both raved about the condiments: The main dishes were tasty and substantial, but the chutneys and rāitā made the meal more than the sum of its parts. My growing conviction that the side dishes, condiments and sauces often make the meals superb was so evident here! In the end, my spouse leaned back from his cleaned plate and announced, “Well, I’d pay for that meal in a restaurant any day!”
As to the health benefits of this Gujarāti cuisine? I love food that is tasty and satisfying, but makes you feel healthier for having eaten it. That’s how I felt after this meal. In the end, I appreciated Plant-Based India for marrying healthy eating and the wonderful flavours of Indian cuisine. There are several other recipes I plan to try out from the book. Shulka ends by noting:
“There’s no one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to nutrition and wellness, but I hope this book will get you started or allow you to continue along your own path to being the best, healthiest version of yourself.”
This beautiful cookbook is useful as well as stunning. The introductory material includes helpful information about spices and cooking terms that make it useful even for someone just beginning with Indian cooking. The photography is gorgeous and I appreciated the personal stories from the author. The measurements are give in units familiar to people in the US as well as units used in the UK, making this book appeal to a wide audience.
It's hard to evaluate this adequately as I could only access it via my phone (and that only after an hour of attempting to use the app), so the recipes were hard to read and the photography minuscule - so NOT the best way to view it. However, from what I could tell, the photos look terrific, the food appetizing. and I am so happy that people are embracing the plant-based lifestyle. I myself have been WFPB for a little over a year and have lost 60 lbs. and gained tremendous health benefits from it.
I also appreciate that the author has made accommodations for those of us who wish to limit oils, salt and refined sugars - he gives suggestions on how to eliminate such when he uses them. The only other major issue I have if that, as in all Indian cooking, there are a lot of unusual and sometimes hard to find ingredients: asafetida, curry leaves, kaffir lime, etc. - but that is just the nature of that type of cooking.
I fully intend to purchase a copy when it becomes available, ass a worth addition to my growing library of plant-based cookbooks.
Plant-Based India by Sheil Shukla
Release Date: 8/2/22
I've never cooked Indian food before so reviewing this cookbook was stepping into brand new territory for me. I was really pleased to find that most of the recipes I tried were really easy to make! Some of the ingredients were a bit difficult for me to find but I did my best to find substitutions and everything ended up coming out delicious! I also really appreciated that this cookbook was plant based as I've been trying to do more plant based cooking lately. Overall I really enjoy this cookbook!
Thank you to @netgalley and The Experiment for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
So many great recipes in this book! And the photography was beautiful. Indian foods and flavors lend itself well to plant-based cuisine. Definitely a must have cookbook for anyone on a plant-based diet or enjoys Indian flavors.
I don't usually know how to put together Indian flavors, so this book was perfect for helping me make some of the classics and actually making them well! I eat mainly plant based, so this was perfect for me because I didn't need to make any substitutions - it is truly all plant based and delicious! You're going to love it too!
I loved this book! I have been vegan for 50 years and as such I explore different ethnic vegan recipes.. This book is not only chock full of delicious recipes, which have been adapted for a vegan lifestyle, but is also filled with stories of the authors life related to indian cuisine. He goes into the various spices used with descriptions, and glorious photographs. This book is a feast for all the senses. The visuals are of each recipe, make your mouth water. The recipes are simple, authentic and enticing. Each recipe begins with an explanation of its origins and history. This is a definite keeper for my collection of vegan cookbooks of which I am very selective. Thank you for this opportunity to view this magnificent book.
What a great looking book - I love Indian cookery and to read this is a joy. The layout is spectacular, and the recipe photography is mouth watering. Having a full book dedicated to plant based eating is amazing, and I will be returning to this gem again and again. My son, an avid carnivore, has enjoyed all we have cooked, and asks when we will be trying the next installment for dinner. A huge win in our house!
This book is so full of mouthwatering vegan recipes it would be hard to try them all! Creative and delicious, these meals are offered as healthy choices from a country with the most vegetarians in the world!
I really enjoyed this cookbook. The recipes look amazing! I enjoyed seeing a lot of recipes that were new to me. Sheil Shukla included helpful descriptions and clear instructions for the recipes. I"m planning to pick this up when it is published. The pictures are amazing and there are a ton of recipes.
Thank you to NetGalley and The Experiment for an advance copy.
This is an excellent cookbook for the plant based or vegan cook who wants to try out some new and unique Indian recipes. Indian food can be tricky to make here is the states, particularly where I live. Not many grocery stores have the necessary ingredients. The author of this cookbook adapted traditional Indian recipes to not only be plant based, but also to be adaptable. Most of the more difficult to find ingredients are optional.
I have by no means made all of the dishes yet, but so far, our family favorite is the Roasted Bhinda. As our garden has produced a large amount of okra this year, we have been looking for new ways to cook it. This one was absolutely delicious! I look forward to trying out more of the recipes in the future.
The only thing I did not like is that, with the way it is written, you need to jump back and forth in the book a lot. First, there are a lot of spice mixes and sauces referenced in the main recipes. Recipes often have “(see page X)” next to an ingredient. If you do not have it already made, it requires jumping to that recipe to make it before you can continue with the main recipe. The author also often uses the Hindi names for ingredients, so I found myself often scrolling back to the intro where the Hindi is listed next to the English for reference. I’m sure as I continue making the recipes, I will get to know the terms, but in the beginning, it is a bit frustrating. Since I have the e-book, I have had to do a lot of scrolling around. Because of this, I recommend purchasing the paper version of this cookbook to make it easier to go back and forth.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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