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Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian:
The author of seven previous cookbooks, including the classic Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey is among today's most influential and authoritative food writers. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, a meticulously researched collection of more than 750 meatless dishes from around the globe, presents its author in superlative form, culling the best vegetarian home-style dishes from virtually every culture and cooking tradition. Jaffrey's book, filled with delicious, approachable recipes, has universal appeal, and should be part of every cook's library.
Divided into sections on beans, grains, and vegetables, and including chapters on vegetables, soups, salads, and sauces, among other topics, the book brilliantly juxtaposes recipes grouped by ingredient to reveal, finally, the way that ingredient is approached globally to make food. Thus, for example, Jaffrey's section on rice offers Persian Pilaf with Lima Beans, Palestinian Rice with Lentils and Browned Onions, and Risotto with Fried Porcini Mushrooms, among other pitch-perfect dish choices in this and other chapters. Less familiar ingredients like spelt, millet, and soybeans are removed from the realm of dubious interest and presented in compelling recipes, such as Spicy Soybean Patties with Mint. Throughout, Jaffrey provides definitive notes on ingredients (her full investigation of couscous types is one of many examples) and techniques, as well as a truly comprehensive glossary. Jaffrey also offers a small but charming section on drinks; her Fresh Lime and Ginger Syrup from India, to be mixed with ice and soda water, is a simple but marvelous summertime treat, and one more example of Jaffrey at excitingly full throttle. A ten-page section of color photos rounds out this expert collection. --Arthur Boehm [via]