Sunday, November 21, 2010

Aloo Gobi or Cauliflower and Potato with Spices

Oh how I've missed blogging.  My computer completely bit the dust in the middle of VeganMoFo.  I am up and running on a new machine and can't wait to share so many different foods we've been enjoying over the last week and a half.
The other day while surfing my local library website, I put a few vegan cookbooks on hold.  A short decade or so ago, I would just buy any cookbook with the word vegan in the title.  Vegan cookbooks were few and far between.  Now, it seems everyone has a vegan cookbook out, even non-vegans.  While, I am pleased to see veganism crowding the shelves in bookstores, I am not so quick to snatch up each and every vegan cookbook with my hard earned money.  I love to be able to test drive a cookbook by borrowing it from my local library.  One of the cookbooks I have on loan this month is The Asian Vegan Kitchen Authentic and Appetizing Dishes from a Continent of Rich Flavors by Hema Parekh.  This cookbook attracted me because it features vegan recipes from all over Asia, but I didn't have high hopes.  We have quite a few Indian and Thai cookbooks and still find ourselves scouring YouTube for cooking videos and blogs for tried and true recipes.

Our love of Indian food and culture is no secret.  My first love, when introduced to Indian food years ago, was Aloo Gobi.  A spicy mixture of potatoes and cauliflower sealed my fate, to forever adore Indian cuisine.  Since my love affair began, years ago, I have branched out to many other dishes as my love of darker vegetables evolved and the pale Aloo Gobi is no longer my go-to dish when eating Indian in a restaurant or at home.  It has been way too long since I tasted the dish which sparked my interest in all things Indian. 
Rob cooked the first recipe from The Asian Vegan Kitchen on my prodding to whip up some Aloo Gobi.  OMG!  The house was soon filled with an amazing aroma and my mouth was literally watering.  When we finally sat down to eat, I was not disappointed.  The dish was probably the best Aloo Gobi I have ever tasted.  In some restaurants, I find Aloo Gobi a tad greasy.  Not so with Hema Parekh's version.  It was spot on.  The perfect amount of spice, we like things spicy at Case Vegan Linda, but it wasn't so spicy to induce water chugging and nose blowing.  We served it over brown rice, although basmati would have been more traditional.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Parker had two large servings and all Rob cooked was consumed in record time, although Rob and I intentionally restrained ourselves.  We will be making this dish again (Rob assures me it was quite simple) and we look forward to trying so many of Hema's other recipes.  She covers India, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malysia, and Korea.  Her forward is delightful and she talks about how she tried to stay with recipes which are traditionally vegan instead of relying on a lot of substitutions.  Hema titles her recipes as English descriptions, but includes the traditional dish's name as well.  Appetizing pictures are included, which always makes me happy.  We've already decided this is a cookbook we must own.

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