Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn

Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn

by Chitra Agrawal

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607747352
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 03/21/2017
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 285,390
File size: 108 MB
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About the Author

Chitra Agrawal is the author of Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn and the founder of Brooklyn Delhi, an award-winning Indian condiments line. Since 2009, she has been serving, writing about, and teaching her family's vegetarian recipes from India with a slant on seasonality and local ingredients. Chitra writes the popular recipe blog The ABCDs of Cooking, teaches vegetarian Indian cooking classes at Brooklyn Kitchen, Brooklyn Brainery, and Whole Foods, and hosts pop-up dinners throughout New York City with creative Indian-inspired menus. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Zagat, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt


All seasons • Serves 6 to 8 

This recipe is based on a spinach raita that was prepared by my friend Asha’s mom. It’s also loosely inspired by Greek tzatziki, which is usually made with cucumbers, chopped garlic, and lemon. It’s creamy and indulgent, and you can use it as a dip or eat it plain or with a meal. 

I often make this raita with sautéed kale, using any and all varieties—curly, red, and lacinato—and have also substituted different greens such as spinach, tatsoi, or mizuna in this recipe. 

You can eat the raita as a dip, or serve it as a side with rice and one of the hulis on pages 131 to 137. 

1 tablespoon mild-flavored oil such as canola 

1⁄4 teaspoon black mustard seeds 
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin seeds 
3 fresh curry leaves 
1 Indian green chile or serrano chile, chopped 
1 clove garlic, minced 
2 cups stemmed, chopped kale leaves 
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 
Squeeze of lemon juice 
2 cups plain yogurt, lightly beaten by hand 
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
Red chile powder or paprika, for garnish 

Put the oil in a small frying pan or sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add one black mustard seed. When the seed sizzles and pops, add the rest of the mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds), add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds turn a darker shade of golden brown, turn the heat to medium-low. Rub the curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils, and drop them and the green chile into the oil. Cover immediately, as moisture from the curry leaves will cause the oil to spatter. Then stir to evenly coat everything with oil and continue to fry until the chile is less raw, 10 to 15 seconds. Stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. 

Add the kale to the pan, followed by 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt. Sauté until the kale is bright green in color and just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add one good squeeze of lemon juice. Transfer the kale to a medium bowl and let cool. (I sometimes put it in the freezer for a few minutes if I’m in a rush.) 

When the kale is cool, mix it with the yogurt, sour cream, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Garnish with a few grinds of pepper and a sprinkling of red chile powder on top before serving.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
3 Family Ties
6 South Indian Food Traditions
9 From Bangalore to Brooklyn

15 How to Use this Book
17 Indian Cooking Techniques and Tips
21 The South Indian Pantry
34 Kitchen Tools

37 1 | Breakfast and Light Meals
38 Rice and Lentil Crepe Dosa
43 Mung Bean and Quinoa Crepe Pesarattu
44 Mixed Lentil and Oatmeal Crepe Adai
45 Steamed Semolina Cakes Rava Idli
48 Steamed Rice and Lentil Cakes Idli
50 Steamed Lentil and Herb Dumplings Nuchinunde
52 Vermicelli Noodle Stir-Fry with Carrots, Edamame, and Scallions Shavige Baath
55 Spiced Spring Vegetable and Coconut Polenta Uppittu or Upma
57 “Hotel” Scrambled Eggs

59 2 | Salads and Yogurts

61 Shredded Carrot and Lentil Salad Hesaru Bele Carrot Kosambri
62 Red Cabbage and Citrus Coleslaw Yalekosu Kosambri
64 Root Vegetable and Asian Pear Salad
66 Cucumber, Sprouted Mung Bean, and Pomegranate Salad
68 Chickpea Salad with Summer Vegetables and Avocado Kadale Usali
69 Summer Squash in Herby Coconut Yogurt Curry Majjige Huli
72 Beet Yogurt Raita
74 Radish Yogurt Raita
75 Kale Yogurt Raita
76 Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Yogurt Raita

79 3 | Stir-Fries and Curries
80 Potato Stir-Fry with Onion and Ginger Alugedde Palya
81 Cabbage Stir-Fry with Lemon and Curry Leaves Yalekosu Palya
82 Green Bean and Coconut Stir-Fry Huralikayi Palya
85 “Vangi Baath” Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower
87 Stir-Fried Corn with Basil and Leeks Jolada Palya
88 Scallions in Spicy, Sour, and Sweet Sauce Eerulli Kavu Gojju
90 Pineapple and Peppers in Red Coconut Curry Ananas Gojju
94 Kerala Coconut Vegetable Curry Avial
95 Karnataka Coconut Vegetable Curry Saagu

99 4 | Rice and Bread
100 My Parents’ Steamed Basmati Rice
101 Simple Basmati Rice
103 Lemon Peanut Rice Nimbehannu Chitranna
104 Lime Dill Rice with Pistachios Nimbehannu Sabseege Soppina Baath
106 Fragrant Eggplant and Green Pepper Rice Vangi Baath
108 Coconut Rice with Cashews Kayi Anna
110 Yogurt Rice with Pomegranate and Mint Mosaranna
112 Yellow Lentil and Rice “Risotto” Khara Huggi or Pongal 
115 Thin Flatbread Chapati or Roti
116 Spicy Sweet Potato Buns Khara Buns
119 Green Chile and Herbed Cheddar Shortbread Masala Biscuit

121 5 | Soups, Stews, and Lentils
122 Basic Toor Dal
123 Basic Red Lentils
125 Spicy and Sour Tomato Lentil Soup Tomato Bele Saaru or Rasam
127 Lemony Lentil Soup Nimbe Saaru or Rasam
128 Roasted Kabocha Squash and Coconut Milk Soup
131 Potato, Carrot, and Red Lentil Stew Tharakaari Huli or Sambar
134 Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew Kumbalakayi Huli or Sambar
137 Black-Eyed Peas, Greens, and Lentil Stew Alasande Kallu Soppina Huli or Sambar
139 Creamy Yellow Lentils with Tomato and Ginger Hesaru Bele Thovvay

143 6 | Festive Bites and Snacks
145 Lettuce “Dosa” Wrap with Curried Potato and Chutney
147 Ben’s Curry Leaf Popcorn
148 Stuffed Shishito Pepper Fritters Bhajji
151 Pan-Roasted Masala Peanuts Congress Kadalekayi
152 Spicy Bitter Gourd Chips Haggala Kayi Hot Chips
155 Festival Trail Mix Ellu Bella

157 7 | Sweets and Drinks
159 Chia Pudding with Roasted Jaggery Blueberries Sabbakki Payasa
160 Summer Peaches in Sweetened Yogurt Shrikhand
163 Apple, Ginger, and Coconut Hand Pies Kadabu
164 Cardamom Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Golden Raisins
166 Dried Fruit and Nut Dessert Balls Ladoo
167 Banana, Coconut, and Cardamom Ice Cream Balehannina Rasayana
168 Mango and Coconut Milkshake Mavina Hannina Seekarne
170 Turmeric Almond Milk Badami Haalu
171 Savory Spiced Yogurt Drink Majjige or Buttermilk
172 Chile Watermelon Juice with Lime and Mint Leaves
175 South Indian Drip Coffee Filter Coffee

177 8 | Chutneys and Pickles
179 Cilantro Coconut Chutney
181 Ma’s Tomato Chutney
183 Caramelized Shallot, Almond, and Red Chile Chutney
185 Meyer Lemon Pickle Nimbehannu Uppinakayi
188 Rhubarb Strawberry Pickle
189 Spicy Cranberry Relish Thokku
190 Chutney Powder Chutney Pudi

193 9 | From Scratch
194 Saaru (or Rasam) Powder Saarina Pudi
196 Huli (or Sambar) Powder Huli Pudi
198 Vangi Baath Powder Vangi Baath Pudi
199 Roasted Fenugreek Seed Powder Menthyada Pudi
200 Yogurt Mosaru
202 Indian-Style Clarified Butter Ghee or Thuppa

204 Hands Over Forks and Knives

205 meal planning and sample menus

206 where to buy ingredients and equipment 

207 Starter grocery list

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Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
HelgaN More than 1 year ago
Note: A copy of this book was provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Firstly I will need to say that I have never had the opportunity to have traditional Indian cuisine in an real Indian restaurant, but I do love a trying and experimenting with various cuisines from other cultures. No to a good and interesting cookbook I have never said. The book I have to say that the memoir together with the recipes all though vegetarian gives you a gorgeous trip through south India through the eyes of the author. The recipes look so tasty with vibrant flavors that I just wish that I was able to obtain all the ingredients necessary to make a couple of these dishes. Just loved it!
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Vibrant India - Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn Author: Chitra Agrawal Publisher: Ten Speed Press Published: 3-21-2017 Pages: 224 Genre: Cooking, Food and Wine Sub-Genre: Cookbooks; International; South Indian ISBN: 9781697747345 ASIN: B01GYQ116U Reviewed For NetGalley and Ten Speed Press Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 5 Stars From the acclaimed chef and owner of Brooklyn Delhi, a debut cookbook focused on the celebrated vegetarian fare of South India. Lifelong vegetarian and chef Chitra Agrawal takes you on an epicurean journey to her mother's hometown of Bangalore and back to Brooklyn, where she adapts her family's South Indian recipes for home cooks. This particular style of Indian home cooking, often called the -yoga diet, - is light and fresh, yet satisfying and rich in bold and complex flavors. Grains, legumes, fresh produce, coconut, and yogurt--along with herbs, citrus, chiles, and spices--form the cornerstone of this delectable cuisine, rooted in vegetarian customs and honed over centuries for optimum taste and nutrition. From the classic savory crepe dosa, filled with lemony turmeric potatoes and cilantro coconut chutney, to new creations like coconut polenta topped with spring vegetables 'upma- and homemade yogurt, the recipes in Vibrant India are simple to prepare and a true celebration of color and flavor on a plate. Chitra weaves together the historical context behind the region's cuisine and how she brought some of these age-old traditions to life thousands of miles away in Brooklyn during the city's exciting food renaissance. Relying on her experience as a culinary instructor, Chitra introduces the essential Indian cooking techniques, tips, and ingredients you'll need to prepare a full range of recipes from quick vegetable stir frys (corn, basil, and leeks flavored with butter, cumin, and black pepper), salads (citrus red cabbage and fennel slaw with black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chile), yogurt raitas (shredded beets and coconut in yogurt), and chutneys and pickles (preserved Meyer lemon in chile brine) to hearty stews (aromatic black eyed peas, lentils, and greens), coconut curries (summer squash in an herby coconut yogurt sauce), and fragrant rice dishes (lime dill rice with pistachios). Rounding out the book is an array of addictive snacks (popcorn topped with curry leaf butter), creative desserts (banana, coconut, and cardamom ice cream), and refreshing drinks (chile watermelon juice with mint). Chitra provides numerous substitutions to accommodate produce seasonality, ingredient availability, and personal tastes. The majority of recipes are gluten-free and vegan or can be easily modified to adhere to those dietary restrictions. Whether you are a vegetarian or just looking for ways to incorporate more vegetarian recipes into your repertoire, Vibrant India is a practical guide for bringing delicious Indian home cooking to your table on a regular basis. If you enjoy vibrant; colorful dishes that are as appealing to the eye as it is to the taste buds Then check out Chitra Agrawal's "Vibrant India - Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn". The vegan recipes show that the lack of meat and dairy does not mean lack of flavor. Check it out today. My rating of "Vibrant India - Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn" is 5 out of 5 stars.
4aussiegirl More than 1 year ago
Vibrant India Fresh Vegetarian Recipe By: Chitra Agrawal The food on the cover looks good enough to eat and the vegetables are bright and colorful. The back of the cover is just as pretty. I’m the type of person that has a hard time trying food from other countries unless I know the person cooking it. I don’t like spicy foods so no matter what country it is from I won’t eat it. This all vegetables recipes so I may be ok with this kind of foods to try at a restaurant. The shredded carrots and lentil salad looks great. There are a lot of pictures in this book that is colorful and looks good. Vegetarians would love this book. In the front of the book it has a list of recipes also tells where to buy ingredients and equipment. I am not sure if the ingredients come in bulk or if you can buy just a little to see if you like them. I love the history of her family, her city. Chitra brings a new meaning to vegetables that are for sure. I received this book free from blogging for books for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review just an honest one. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own and no one else’s. 4 Stars ISBN 978-1-60774-734-5
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
This is a very personal cookbook, filled with family memories and recipes and is a great introduction to Southern Indian cooking. I found the food quite different to the Indian food I had tried before – more subtle in the spicing and tastes, and at times quite surprising (in a good way) in the resulting meals. While I doubt I could ever become a full time vegetarian, this book introduced me to a world where meal times didn’t revolve round meat, and I found so many recipes and cooking techniques that I will use again and again. If nothing else, I have to thank this book for introducing me to idli and even more – to the Idli Stand steamer! It has to be the best piece of kitchen equipment that I bought in 2016. How could I have gone so many decades without knowing that such a wonderful cooking appliance existed? Cooking this type of food requires a bit of a rethink. Preparation is everything – as we discovered early on. All the ingredients need lining up in the order of intended use – there is no time to go racing off part way through to grab something from the pantry. Luckily, the recipes have very full, explicit instructions, including timings and repeated warnings about potential mishaps: “when the oil is hot and shimmering add one black mustard seed. When the seed sizzles and pops, add the rest of the mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds), turn the heat down to medium low. Rub the curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils, and drop them … into the pan. Cover immediately, as the moisture from the curry leaves will cause the oil to splatter.” A variation of this appears in many of the recipes. Our first foray into the book was very messy, time consuming and extremely frustrating. We learned to prepare, and to heed the warnings. Now I just need to say to my husband “the usual” plus …., and he knows exactly what to do. It is so worth persevering with these recipes. We have now made at least a third of the recipes. The salads, the curries, the rice dishes and of course the star turn – the idli – are all fantastic. We have found that our local Indian store does pre-prepared packets of idli mixes, but why bother with them, when it is so much fun to make them from scratch! You need a steady supply of black mustard seeds, hing powder, fresh curry leaves, chana dal and urad dal, lots of little bowls for the ingredients and then you are ready to go. There is a helpful list of additional ingredients that may be needed at the start of the book, as well as some useful kitchen tools. Depending on whether your local Indian market is Southern Indian or not, some ingredients may have slightly different names to those in the book. Vegetarian or omnivore, this book has so much to add to your repertoire. Start cooking and enjoy! I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review