Tuesday, March 13, 2018
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.
Vibrant India is a fascinating cookbook, filled with gorgeous photos and awesome recipes. My mother has always loved to cook Indian foods, particularly vegetarian Indian dishes, so many of these recipes were not only familiar but also brought back great memories. There were also many intriguing recipes that I had not tried before, and I enjoyed looking through and choosing new recipes to make. The book is separated into sections: Soups, Snacks, Sweets/Drinks, Chutneys, and From Scratch (making different powders as well as Ghee). There are also sample menus and advice on how to plan meals, where to buy ingredients, and sample grocery lists. I found this cookbook to be easy to follow and even fun to read. I enjoyed Chitra's take on different recipes, and I look forward to trying more of them in the future!
I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Sunday, November 5, 2017
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then killed herself. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emilie and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?
Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman is the second novel in the Hidden Justice series, following Beyond Justice. The first novel follows Hayden's story, while this novel follows Emilie, her roommate. The plot of this novel was well written and contains moments of suspense, danger, reflection, and romance. The first few chapters were a little confusing because the story jumped from a few months previous to present time without much warning, but after that it was easier to follow. The narrative was primarily third person from either Emilie or Reid's point of view, but Emilie also has a stalker that has been following her since Beyond Justice, and there are a few short chapters from his perspective, without letting the reader in on who he is. I appreciated the intrigue and suspense created by this, but I was able to figure out by about halfway through the novel who the stalker was. While I could understand how Emilie had not figured it out yet since she did not have this inside information and was busy with a separate case, it did create some anxiety for me as the reader wondering when she would finally figure it out.
I liked both Reid and Emilie as main characters, and I appreciated the inside look into their thoughts and feelings, but I did wish there was a little more delving into Reid's personality in comparison to what was revealed about Emilie. And while I liked the ending of the story, I thought that the conclusion of what Emilie had been feeling and experiencing seemed flat and almost unrealistic...hopefully this will continue to be pursued as a background piece in future novels. Overall, I enjoyed the suspense in this novel, and I look to reading the rest of the Hidden Justice series.
I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.