The Barnes & Noble Review
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.
"This book is a priceless treasury of eclectic, fascinating, and beautifully written recipes that are unified by Madhur Jaffrey's own seductive esthetic, which is born out of her immersion in the traditions of Indian cooking and her respect and passion for the garden and the farmer's market."
"Colors, flavors, and textures are so artfully combined in these enticing vegetable dishes, one would never have a sense of deprivation for having forsaken meat. With such a seductive diversity, it is a blessing that the recipes are explicit, and most are simple to do."
"In World Vegetarian, Madhur Jaffrey proves as exciting a travel guide as she is a cook! Her gastronomic tour around the globe is accented with useful cooking tips and lively anecdotes, while the varied and well-written recipes are a mouthwatering tour-de-force. From Azuki beans to Zahtar spice, from the Old World to the New, the scope and depth of this book are breathtaking."
"Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian is Exhibit A in showing us just how large that world is today and simultaneously how small the globe, as we connect to cultures and cuisines on a worldwide web of flavors and ingredients. While East Indians are eating Spicy Corn with Sesame Seeds and Tomatoes, Americans are eating Green Peas with Coconut and Cilantro. Jaffrey's clarity is as perfected in small details as in large and everywhere her taste unifies dishes from lands far and near. Buy one for your kitchen shelf and one for your carry-on luggage."