We really have to thank the woman from Springfield, Illinois, who once asked Madhur Jaffrey, "What do vegetarians eat? Lots of boiled broccoli, I suppose?" With 650 mouthwatering recipes from around the globe, this award-winning book is Jaffrey's global answer to that question.
Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian is for the sometime vegetarian, the full-time vegetarian, and the cook who wants to expand his or her vegetable repertoire. Armed with this vast collection of international recipes, even the most uncreative cook will be able to fix imaginative vegetable dishes.
The book's contents seem almost like a beauty pageant, with contenders from every nation: Chickpea and Potato Curry, Caribbean Style from Trinidad; Yogurt with Spinach and Cloves from India; Bulgur Risotto with Pumpkin from Cyprus; Risotto with Dried Porcini Mushrooms from Italy; Mung Bean Thread Salad from China. All the recipes seem well seasoned; most are simple, and hard-to-find ingredients come with substitutions.
As Jaffrey points out, some ingredients, like eggplant, are used in many different cultures: If it is cooked with mustard and fennel seeds, it must be Bengali; if it is cooked with honey, Moroccan; if creamed with olive oil and lemon, Middle Eastern or Greek/Turkish. But ingredients like chickpea flour are less widely used -- Jaffrey offers chickpea fries from southern France, pizza from southern France and the Genoa region of Italy, and pancakes and stews from India.
While most of the recipes are for main or side dishes, condiments, spice mixes, drinks, and sauces get attention, too. A comprehensive glossary and resource page round out the book. (Ginger Curwen)