As an aspiring vegetarian, you should definitely get ahold of an Indian cookbook or two. Indian cuisine is a treasure trove of delicious healthy recipes that might become a staple in your plant-based diet. This cuisine utilizes bunches of plants, herbs, and spices to create mouth-watering vegetarian goodies.
Indian vegetarian cookbooks can also teach you some new cooking techniques. You will probably start mixing odd ingredients to create unique Indian-style flavors. However, choosing the right Indian cookbook that perfectly fits your vegetarian preferences might be tricky.
To make your choice a bit easier, take a look at this list of the best vegetarian Indian cookbooks that can add just the right spice to your diet.
Saffron Soul: Healthy Vegetarian Heritage Recipes from India
Among the best vegetarian Indian cookbooks, “Saffron Soul” by Mira Manek should be on top of your list. The lovely introduction traces the Manek family journey from India to London and gives the entire cookbook a special personal touch.
However, the introduction is not the only personal touch this cookbook has to offer. Mira Manek provides a unique set of recipes that feature her own take on traditional Indian staples. Each recipe is a vegetarian interpretation of the classics that have been passed down from one generation to another.
In her cookbook, Mira Manek delivers healthy Indian dishes that defy the preconceptions about Indian cuisine as indulgent and overly rich. The book is filled with homemade pickles, garnishes, pastes, as well as recipes like the avocado chutney, masala grilled aubergine, and palatable plant-based smoothies. Manek’s grilled maple pineapple with frozen coconut saffron yogurt stands out as an absolute must.
On top of all that, this cookbook offers detailed insights about different spices you can use in your vegetarian diet.
Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking
The goal of “Prashad” by Kaushy Patel is to bring vegetarian cooking to life and it does exactly that. “Prashad” is among the best vegetarian Indian cookbooks because it delivers a bunch of challenging vegetarian recipes to give some extra vigor to your plant-based diet.
The book features more than 100 delicious vegetarian dishes that range from basic snacks to flavorful dinners for the entire family. Some of the plant-based goodies in this book include green banana satay and cinnamon-spice chickpea curry, but it’s the recipe for chaat that delivers the authentic taste of the famous roadside food in India.
This cookbook also offers a selection of family-made traditional Indian recipes with a personal vegetarian twist. Namely, Kaushy Patel came to England in the 60’s and she carried the recipes that were passed down from her grandmother. Patel prepares many of these dishes in her small Bradford-based Indian restaurant. The restaurant, of course, preceded the book and was featured in the TV show “Ramsay’s Best Restaurant” in 2010.
Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook
Indian cuisine has so much to offer to vegetarians, but a lot of famous Indian dishes are packed with dairy products. This should be fine if you are a lacto or a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but tough luck if you are a vegan. This cookbook by Richa Hingle is designed to deal with the dairy issue and provide recipes any vegetarian can enjoy.
“Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen” features a bunch of plant-only recipes to create mouth-watering spicy dishes perfectly suitable for vegans and vegetarians. There is no shortage of tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that can be followed by some luscious vegetarian desserts.
It would be great to start your day with the spicy tofu scramble, get some quinoa patties at lunchtime, and round off the day with the Goan tempeh curry. If you have a sweet tooth, the fudgy coconut balls are a perfect treat, while the exotic taste of the saffron cream popsicle will give you a truly Indian vegetarian experience.
To complete the selection of healthy, vegan-friendly dishes, Richa Hingle also adds a few gluten-free recipes you should definitely try.
The Indian Vegan Kitchen: More Than 150 Quick and Healthy Homestyle Recipes
“The Indian Vegan Kitchen” is another cookbook that caters to the specific dietary preferences of vegans. However, it has earned its spot on the list of the best vegetarian Indian cookbooks because of the insightful tips and tricks it provides.
The famous cooking instructor and nutritionist, Madhu Gadia, created a unique cookbook that offers a playful mix of traditional recipes and some new vegetarian ideas. Another great thing about this book is that it can be a useful tool for combating type 2 diabetes with plant-based cuisine.
This cookbook comes with detailed nutritional analysis, history, and an overview of variations for all the dishes together with tips on how to serve each one. This information can be invaluable for any vegan or vegetarian.
The standout recipes include the mashed eggplant, roasted carrots and turnips, and black-eyed peas and potatoes. Madhu Gadia’s curried mushrooms and peas is another dish that you should definitely try.
Vegetarian India: A Journey through the Best of Indian Home Cooking
When it comes to the best vegetarian Indian cookbooks, few can match “Vegetarian India.” In addition to being an excellent cookbook, “Vegetarian India” is a great read, too. The award-winning author Madhur Jaffrey takes you on a cultural journey and invokes scenes, sights, and smells as you flip the pages.
The author visits homes from the Arabian Sea all the way to the Bay of Bengal and picks up unique recipes from all the people she encounters. This kind of approach to culinary writing provides a specific insight into the worlds of people who make the food. She visits Indians from all walks of life and gets their tips and tricks for the best homemade vegetarian dishes.
“Vegetarian India” features more than 200 recipes with rich illustrations. The recipes range from simple roadside mung bean pancakes to luscious family specialties like the Kodava mushroom curry. Each recipe is followed by detailed instructions on how to recreate it at your home.
Last Bite in Mumbai
This write-up covers just a handful of the best vegetarian Indian cookbooks, but each of these books is excellent in its own right. Indian cuisine is a great source of vegetarian recipes, so you shouldn’t be afraid to explore and find the cookbook that perfectly matches your dietary style.
Feel free to pick up one or two of the books from the list and start searching for your perfect vegetarian Indian dish. You never know, you might fall in love with the culture as well.