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This is my first Sunday Salon of 2011 and I’m going to talk about a cookbook. As you may have noticed, food has been on my mind a lot lately! ;) For my 10-day ExtraVeganza! project I relied heavily on the World Food Café: Global Vegetarian Cooking cookbook. It is a feast for the eye — and your tummy!
The book was put together by Chris & Carolyn Caldicott. It contains recipes they collected, or got inspired, on the many journeys they’ve made across the globe. They did so with the aim to open their own restaurant: the World Food Café in London.
Chris Caldicott is an awesome photographer and the cookbook is littered with beautiful full-colour photos — at least one on each double page. So even if you don’t like to cook, you could display this treasure on your coffee table. ;) But that is certainly not what it’s meant for.
It really is a great collection of recipes, many dairy-free! Rather unique for a vegetarian cookbook these days… Still, it is vegetarian and not all-vegan. Especially the section on The Americas ‘regularly’ contains dairy or eggs: 5 of the 23 (disregarding butter). Now that’s not too bad, is it? Unfortunately the only dessert of the book is among those — a mouthwatering chocolate cake. I wouldn’t know how to substitute the 6 eggs needed for that, but in many cases it’s possible to omit or replace the non-vegan ingredient.
As you may have understood from the previous paragraph, the book is divided in different global regions:
- The Middle East & Africa (p.10-57)
- India, Nepal & Sri Lanka (p.58-111)
- Southeast Asia & China (p.112-145)
- The Americas (p. 146-185)
Each continent starts with a two-page photograph, followed by an introduction. And most of the recipes also have short description of where they came from. The book concludes with a short glossary of ingredients and an index.
I’m sure I made 10 dishes from this book, of which 7 got a BIG thumbs up. The other 3 were either okay or so-so and I need to stipulate that in two of the cases I didn’t use the proper ingredients… I mostly cooked from the Indian section and am still dying to try the potato bondas (fritters) from North India that seem perfect for a bento. But so far my expeditions in search for the essential ingredient ‘asefetida‘ (a.k.a. hing) were in vain.
List of recipes tried
- Hummus (p.35)
India, Nepal & Sri Lanka:
- Kashmir Gobi (p.64)
- Calcutta Eggplant (p.72)
- Orissan Jagdish Saag Aloo (p.74)
- Deep-red Rajasthani Vegetables in Poppy-Seed Sauce (p.93)
- Gujarati Carrot Salad (p.96)
- Diu Corn Curry (p.98)
Southeast Asia & China:
- ‘Buddhist Meat’ and Shiitake Mushrooms (p.121)
- Thai Green Curry (p.132)
- Spicy Bean Curd and Bean Sprout Salad (p.133); recipe below
This book comes highly recommended! And I would like to express a huge THANK YOU to the globetrotter in-laws that gave it to me as a birthday present.
Spicy Bean Curd & Bean Sprout Salad from Thailand
- 1 cucumber; grated
- 1 red bell pepper; seeded, deribbed and cut into fine strips
- 8 ounces / 225 grams of bean sprouts (I grow them myself!)
- 1 tbs sunflower oil
- 10 ounces / 275 grams of tofu; cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) slices and ready to fry
- 1 garlic clove; crushed
- 1-2 green Thai or serrano chilies; thinly sliced (red chili is fine)
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbs light soy sauce
- 2 ts packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (150 grams) skinned peanuts; toasted and crushed
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves; chopped
- Combine grated cucumber, bell pepper and bean sprouts in a salad bowl.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the tofu slices until brown and crunchy. Set aside en let cool.
- Using the same pan, sauté garlic and chilies for a few seconds, then add the lime juice, soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Arrange tofu slices on top of the salad and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.
- Pour on the hot dressing and garnish with lots of cilantro.
This review is my first post for the Foodie’s Reading Challenge!
Join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post!