What are you doing not buying this book?

In the past year or so, I’ve had a beautiful culinary experience.

I mean, I love cooking just about all of the time, but I got to do something really special.

I recipe tested for Vegan Richa, a vegan recipe author you need to follow right now if you don’t already. She assembled her first cookbook full of Indian delights, pushing out recipes to the testers, copy editing, taking our feedback and committing the most beautiful acts of food photography.

And, now that her book is out, I can tell you about it!

All of the drool.

All of the drool.

It was excruciatingly hard to keep it a secret on this blog. I was blowing my own mind with the dishes I was able to churn out in my tiny Seattle kitchen with Richa’s guidance. I never thought I would be able to make authentic homemade Indian food, but now I can! I wanted to post my crappy cell phone pictures up here every time I cranked out a Richa dish.

But now you’re going to make them, because you’re going to buy this book.

Admittedly, you’ll probably have to acquire some Indian staples over time, like fenugreek leaves, mustard and cumin seeds and mung dal if you don’t have those on hand already. But once you pick them up, you’ll be able to create Richa goodness forever. (Who knew I’d ever keep nigella seeds in my spice cabinet?)

I thought I’d made a good start on creating Indian food with Happy Herbivore recipes – and those are fabulous if you want to keep ingredients and kitchen time to a minimum – but there’s something so rich and satisfying about toasting your own spices and cooking down your own curries. The end result is so much more multi-faceted and a delightful celebration of the senses. And for those not used to cooking Indian food, Richa’s book offers an informative primer on what you need on hand and the techniques.

I don’t have tons of photos of the food I’ve made because it goes directly into my belly before I can think to snap some crappy cell phone shots. But here’s one of my faves, the mango curry tofu over the cumin-scented rice (the latter of which will be my new go-to rice for batch cooking and freezing).

Destroy immediately.

Destroy immediately.

Last week, for my semi-regular ladies’ dinner, I whipped up the mango curry tofu, cumin-scented rice, cauliflower and yellow lentils in mint cilantro sauce, mint-cilantro chile chutney, carrot halwa and – from the bonus recipe back you get for buying the book – yellow lentil spinach fritters and yellow lentil crepes.

(I made so many yellow-lentil goods because they were gluten-free for my GF friend. Richa also has a plethora of gluten-free recipes, so any GF folks have riches to choose from among her dishes.)

Everyone loved the dishes. I sadly did not get any photos. I keep meaning to snap shots of my dinners I put on, but then we girls get so busy eating! I’ll try to snap shots and post as I can to continue to show you how awesome this book is – I have some leftover carrot halwa at work (which is basically a pile of carrots, nuts and raisins that tastes like carrot cake – magic!), so maybe I’ll show you that sometime.

Oh and Richa is donating 40 percent of her proceeds to animal welfare causes and for Seattle folk, she’s a Central District homegirl.

Peruse the book on Amazon and check it for yourself.

While you’re waiting for the book to come in, check out Vegan Richa’s blog, where she posts not only tempting Indian recipes, but indulgent desserts, easy pastas and fun party food.

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