“Vibrant India” by Chitra Agrawal


I’ve been interested in exploring Indian cooking for years and even though I own several Indian cookbooks, somehow the spice list and methods always seemed too overwhelming and tedious to follow. I recently adapted a plant based diet so I jumped at the chance to explore the Vegetarian Cookbook “Vibrant India” for new cooking inspiration. I enjoyed reading the recipes which are fairly straightforward and presented in a very approachable manner.  While reading the book I  gained a sense of basic pantry items and found the few first recipes I was ready to try along with many others which I bookmarked.  I took a trip to my nearest Indian grocery store and purchased the necessary spices, some fresh curry leaves, a few fresh Indian chili’s and I was ready to cook.  What surprised me most of all was how easy the recipes were to make, and I was completely impressed with the final outcome.  I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in flavorful Vegan or Vegetarian Indian cooking.  I am an advanced cook but this book would also be perfect for a beginner-intermediate cook as well.  The book helped demystify a lot of foreign ingredients for me.

When I cook in the kitchen I like to have all of my ingredients prepped before I start the recipe, it really helps to make the flow of cooking more streamlined.

I tried Potato Stir Fry with Onion and Ginger pg. 8020170409_153336

I’ve wanted to prepare a potato dish like this but never knew where to start. The recipe was so straightforward and easy to prepare, and I loved the taste of this dish.  I used a wok to prepare the dish. The dish was perfect, for a spicier version, I will add more green chili’s next time. Without even washing the wok, I prepared my next dish pictured below, Green Bean and Coconut Stir Fry pg. 82:20170409_153342

The Green Bean and Coconut Stir Fry was another winner of a recipe and so simple to make.  I continued to use my wok to cook the green beans and after my ingredients were prepped it took less than 10 minutes to cook this dish.  I loved the fresh flavors and hint of spices, another winner of a dish.


I am looking forward to preparing more dishes using the recipes in “Vibrant India” which range from breakfast, entrees, salads, sides, drinks and desserts. The book helped me realize that Indian cooking can be fun and enjoyable and worth the effort of finding the correct spices to make the dishes sing.  What a way to bring spice and flavor to my new vegan diet!  I received this book from Penguin Publishing for my honest review.


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