Sahni (Savoring Spices and Herbs, LJ 4/15/96) has already written the introduction to Indian cooking, her authoritative Classic Indian Cooking (1980). In her new book, however, which might be considered the "light" version of the earlier one, she presents simpler, more casual dishes in an effort to make Indian food seem unintimidating even to the novice cook. The recipes are uncomplicated--most have only three steps--and the headnotes are informative but very user-friendly. Recommended for most libraries Prasad's book, on the other hand, written with more or less the same goal in mind--to make Indian vegetarian cooking accessible to busy family cooks--is rather disappointing. Some of the dishes don't seem particularly Indian, while many of the others can be found in any basic Indian cookbook, and the bland, "generic" headnotes don't add much ("Black pepper lends a special flavor to this okra dish"). Neelan Batra's The Indian Vegetarian (LJ 6/15/94) does a far more interesting job of combining Indian and American tastes and flavors.
Vasantha Prasad was born in Bangalore, India, and developed a passion for vegetarian cooking in her late teens.
Growing up in a country renowned for its exotic spices and wide variety of vegetables,
not to mention age-old family culinary secrets, she learned to prepare healthful and tasty vegetarian delights.
She came to the United States in 1972 and now lives in Mamaroneck, New York, with her family.