Then I found a couple things that I personally feel would have improved the book. The first is that nowhere in the book did I see a mention of how many people the recipes would serve. From the couple of recipes I tried out I would guess that most of the recipes would probably serve 2 people. Another is that some of the ingredients in a given recipe are measured in cups while others are in gram measures. This is quite confusing, and it would have been better to stick to one or the other.
The ingredient list calls for “1 cup rice, cooked”, 50gm chickpeas, cooked”, “50gm macaroni, cooked” etc. To my mind, these kinds of instructions would mean measuring out the ingredient and then cooking it (1 cup of uncooked rice measured and then cooked!). But looking at the quantities of other ingredients given which was smaller in amount, I believe Mr Ratnani meant “1 cup of cooked rice”, 50gm of cooked chickpeas”, etc. At least, that is how I finally proceeded with this recipe.
If you look beyond these facts (and you should because there’s a lot in this book that’s good), and that Vicky Ratnani keeps popping out at you in over 1/3rd the photographs in his book, his cookbook has a collection of interesting and unusual recipes which are mix of Western and Indian. You’ll find recipes for salads under “Tossed”, soups under “Blend ‘n’ Blitz”, desserts under “Sweet Tooth”, Party Starters and One-Pot Meals. The recipes are well laid out with a colour coded format for the ingredient list. They’re concise and quite doable without much effort.
The recipes in this book include and Minty Chickpeas and Crispy Okra, Cucumber and Tendli Carpaccio, Everything Green Soup, Soy and Potato Polpettis, Lentil and Charred Broccoli Chaat, Sleek Leek and Raw Mango Pancakes, Barley and Squash Risotto, Braised Plantain with Thai Spices, Granita and Frappetino.
About the author:
Vicky Ratnani is a chef, TV host and food connoisseur. Intensively trained and extensively travelled, Vicky is the Corporate Chef for fine dining at Aurus in Mumbai. His food is an amalgamation of the experiences and tastes he has acquired from his work abroad. His shows on television include the popular “Do It Sweet”, “Vicky Goes Veg” and “Vicky Goes Foreign”.
he first recipe I tried from Vicky Ratnani’s book was Koshari. Koshari (also spelt as koshary, kosheri or kushari) is a popular street food in Egypt and considered by many to be the national dish of Egypt. It is made of rice, macaroni, chickpeas and lentils, topped with crunchy caramelised onions and served with a spice tomato sauce. Inexpensive and filling, it’s apparently served in almost every Egyptian restaurant, at home, and on every Egyptian street corner by Koshari vendors.
Koshari is thought to be be an adaptation of the Indian “Khichdi” – a rice-lentils creation which was brought to Egypt in the late 19th century by the British. The British adapted it into a curried rice with smoked fish, boiled eggs, parsley and lemon juice and called it “Khichree” or “Kedgeree” , while the Egyptians added pasta and chickpeas and kept it vegetarian/ vegan.
The recipe below is as it is in the book. I have added my notes in the recipe within brackets, for better understanding. Do use elbow macaroni, other tubular or any kind of macaroni of the same size. Being Indian, I would suggest serving this with plain thick yogurt, a green salad and crunchy pappads or crisps on the side.
Harper Collins was also kind enough to also send me a copy of Vicky Goes Veg to giveaway to one lucky reader of this post who will leave a comment here.
To try your luck at this giveaway, all you have to do is tell me if you have watched any of Vicky Ratnani’s food shows on television and what you like about them. Otherwise tell me about any other favourite television food show of yours and why you like it. Please ensure you leave a link or e-mail id through which I can contact you if you win the giveaway. This giveaway is open till the 31st of March, 2014. Good luck!
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