Food Lovers

BOOK REVIEW

The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian

Popular blogger, Nandita Iyer’s book lives up to its name with recipes that stand out in their remarkable simplicity.

I love little titbits from an author’s life being woven into the story they are about to tell. And ‘The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian’ by popular blogger Nandita Iyer of Saffron Trail has a lovely beginning to her book.
 
From her time as a medical student in Bombay to going to the Rythu Bazar in Hyderabad to working in a makeshift kitchen as a working student, and to scribbling down recipes in book, every small incident, resonates at some level.
 
Nandita’s book has an elaborate segment of introductions. She begins with how the book will help the reader, goes into the way she has her kitchen set up and stocked it and how you can do it. She gives you a checklist for basics – both ingredients and cooking paraphernalia. The menu planner is a helpful addition and the cooking guidelines are what I most appreciated. What most cookbooks don’t tell you outright is that every author has an approach to cooking which may be different from yours – and understanding the author’s approach and basic thought process to every recipe is a great addition to help nail a dish.
 
The recipes themselves are divided into 4 segments – Eat the Rainbow where Nandita’s prowess at salad making shines through. Close to 25 recipes with a few soups and curries thrown in too, the section demonstrates how you can make use of an incredible range of fruit and vegetable produce, all with a focus on good health. The Potato Salad with Chilli Garlic Dressing does make you want to lick the bowl like the introduction says. And the Medley of Gourds in Coconut Milk was much appreciated at home.
 
The Good Carbs section has many delicious reasons why you should not let this food group off your diet. The Broken Wheat with Broccoli, Peas and Mint is simple and tasty, considering the minimal ingredients. And the Overnight Oats with Sautéed Apples is an easy breakfast for those hurried mornings. There are many more to choose from.
 
Then you have the Protein Punch segment and I loved whipping up the Mushrooms and Spring Onions in Chilli Garlic Sauce and the Summer Yogurt Soup hit the spot. It is different from kadhi, yes! Try it and you will see. The Healthy Fats segment has some great chutney and dips that you can consider.
 
What characterises the recipes in this book is their remarkable simplicity, much like what you will find on the author’s blog, Saffron Trail as well. From the ingredients, to the cooking and serving up, nothing seems daunting. And for those struggling with variety in vegetarian cooking like I often do, this book gives you ample ammunition to experiment with. The menu planner at the end helps mix and match from the book creating a range of meals that will keep you and the family happy.
 
The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian
By Nandita Iyer
Hachette Books
ISBN: 9789350098332
Rs 599

Posted: January 15, 2018
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