Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cookbook - The Asian Vegan Kitchen

There are few books dearer to my heart, or my belly for that matter, than The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh.  Packed full of simple and authentic dishes, the pages of my copy are now riddled with scrawled handwriting - mostly involving ‘mmmm’ ‘nom nom’ and ‘aahhhh amazing!’.  This is one good book.

Having lived in Malaysia and China for a number of years, when I left Asia I was mad to find a book with all my favourite recipes, and I was to happy to find many of them among the pages of the Asian Vegan Kitchen.  The book is split into regional sections, including India, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and even Burma.

The section which I found the most useful, and that looks the most battered, is Korean chapter.  Recipes for other ethnic dishes can be found everywhere, whereas simple and authentic tasting Korean recipes are not so easy to find.  The book includes all my favourites and are exactly how I remember them.  The entree-like 'Namul' dishes are particularly good, as is the Tofu Kimchi, my absolute favourite recipe of the whole book.  Worth the purchase simply for that!

The Indian recipe section also has a few excellent staples - Aloo Gobi, Chana Masala, Korma - all recipes I go to again and again.  The Chinese chapter is equally splattered with greasy marks and spots of sauce from my many referrals, as are many of the dishes in the Thai section.

The Vietnamese and Burmese parts of the book seem to be the cleanest of the lot, mostly because I am rather unfamiliar with both cuisines and would have no idea if what I have made would taste right.  I think perhaps a trip is in order, but I am most certain that upon my return I will find them to be just as good as the others!

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