Book Review- Vibrant India by Chitra Agrawal



Vibrant India is a book of fresh vegetarian recipes by Chitra Agrawal, who is the chef/owner of Brooklyn Delhi. It has a nicely textured cover, colorful matte pages, and feels nice in the hand. The book starts out with an introduction covering the author’s back story, which is interesting. Then it goes on to Indian cooking techniques and tips- and this section is really cool! This section covers spice handling techniques I have never heard of, gives some info on south Indian pantry ingredients, and mentions some kitchen tools (and possible more common alternatives) that might be needed. It’s full of useful information.

The book is divided into sections by types of food with each recipe name and page number written out right in the front. I love when cookbooks do this! I tend to skim through books, then go back over them in more depth, and THEN get to the recipes. It’s nice to have an easy way to find a half remembered recipe that caught my interest.

I was hoping to find a bunch of cool flavors in this book that I could take and use in other recipes, but I didn’t. Most of the recipes had an element of sweetness, and I don’t generally like mixing up my sweet and savory that way. Which is probably weird, but it is what it is. There are also a lot of hard-to-find ingredients in many of the recipes, which makes me hesitant to try them. I don’t like to buy a whole bunch of new-to-me ingredients for one new recipe unless I’m pretty darn sure I’ll like it, but that’s just me.

It’s not that I’m not interested in any of the recipes, I am. The kale yogurt raita from page 75 looks good, along with the roasted kabocha squash and coconut milk soup from page 128, and most of the desserts  are really interesting and look like they’ll be worth a try. I was just expecting something different, which is probably my fault and not the author’s. And that’s ok.

If you see this book in the store it’s worth a flip through, it’s just not my cup of tea.


Please note I received this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.


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