Monday, 31 January 2011

Some cookbooks which have inspired me over the years...

  • The Higher Taste: BBT International ISBN 10: 1845990471 This is probably the first Krishna book I ever got. I remember it well; I was a teenager, it was a hot summer's day in my sleepy hometown and the devotees from Bhaktivedanta Manor were around, giving out books on bhakti yoga, collecting donations and talking to people in the street. I was fascinated by these earnest, smiling  individuals, but way too shy to ever make the first move. Fortunately I was approached by one of them, made a donation and came away with this book. It was a long time before I made anything from the recipes, but I would look at it from time to time. I still have a copy of this book today, as every so often I will look up a recipe. The recipes are for meals from around the world, eg: Chinese Dinner, Indian Dinner, etc. The ingredients are extremely rich in many cases, though; I would save most of the recipes for very special occasions. There is a really good introduction explaining the spiritual whys and wherefores of  vegetarianism.
  • The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking: By Adiraja Dasa  BBT International ISBN0902677071 I bought this book not long after I took Harinama initiation. It contains a great section on Vedic cooking, eating and menu planning. All the recipes are Indian, and it's a fairly comprehensive look at most well-known Indian vegetarian dishes, including sweets.
  • The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking: By Yamuna Devi ISBN 13: 9780525245643 This is quite a famous book, and rightly so; it's something of a bible for serious cooks of Indian food, with a great glossary of ingredients. It's a large book, but don't let that put you off; it is the summum bonum of the author's extensive culinary knowledge, which she acquired in India whilst serving Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (founder of ISKCON).
  • The Book of Eggfree Cakes: By Cintia Stammers, Three Almonds Press, ISBN 91 7149 387 5 This is one of the books I have used most often. There are loads of recipes, from sweet and savoury breads to fresh cream gateaux; wholefood cakes to birthday cakes and tray bakes. All the recipes I have tried from this book work really well: I have not had one failure yet! This book also taught me the principles of making egg-free sponge cake easily, and helped me develop the recipe I posted a few weeks ago. If you love baking and want to know how to make egg-free versions of your favourites, this book will be perfect for you.
  • Vegetarian Cooking Without: By Barbara Cousins, ISBN 0722540221 This book is good if anyone you cook for has food allergies or other special dietary requirements. It's also great if you fancy a change from wheat, sugar and dairy/ are detoxing and need some inspiration- but watch out: some of the recipes call for eggs and you may have to do some serious adapting. There are also onions and garlic in many of the recipes, which you will have to omit/ substitute.
  • The Tofu Cookbook: By Leah Leneman, ISBN10:0722536674 This author also published a great little book on simple vegan cooking in the 1980s, which I had as a student and used a lot. This book, as the title says, is all about tofu. Tofu is is such a versatile ingredient,and sometimes it's nice to read  someone else's take on what to do with it for some extra ideas. Again, mushrooms, onion and garlic are featured, so you will need to do some adapting.