Gujju Goes Gourmet, the recently-launched digital cookbook, published by Juggernaut, is just the thing you want to scroll through on your commute back home to fix yourself a quick, healthy dinner. Written by food writer Sonal Ved, who loves her traditional home-cooked Gujarati food as much as, say, Vietnamese cuisine, the book lives up to the disclaimer in its title. It is indeed a “no ketchup” – Gujaratis love ketchup and mayonnaise – guide to gourmet vegetarian food informed by Ved’s travels across the world. “From the Moroccan Chickpea Soup, a recipe that a friend wrote on a postcard during her short stay in Casablanca to Spicy Korean Tofu that I created on my way back from a supermarket in Bangkok, after I spotted Korean gochujang, the book has several dishes that have international inspirations,” says Ved, who took a year to put the book together.
And yes, gourmet does mean that you’re cooking with relatively more expensive ingredients such as edamame beans and asparagus, but dishes such as the Moroccan Chickpea Soup and No Bake Lime Pie, for instance, use everyday ingredients. The recipe for the Barley and Mushroom Burger with Turkish Cacik (a kind of a dip) stood out considering a healthy, vegetarian burger is an anomaly. While the mushroom lends the burger its meaty flavour, the cacik made with greek yoghurt replaces the mayo or the usual junk that is slapped onto the burger patty. The cold Spanish puchka, a brilliant combination of Indian street food and Spanish gazpacho, is another recipe that set Ved’s cookbook apart.
Ved’s favourite cuisine – Mediterranean and ingredient: Avocado (see recipe below) – find prominence in her book, but again, she turns recipes around and makes them her own. So while you will find hummus in the book, her recipe is for a Ricotta and Red Bean Tartine, which is made using red bean hummus and not your regular chick pea variety. The Zatar Roasted Veggies is another recipe with a Mediterranean influence. “I love the way they respect their vegetables. From charring, curing, grilling, brining, smoking, marinating to more – they treat veggies with as much fervor as one would treat meat,” says Ved
By the time you’re done browsing through the book, you’re ravenous for your next meal. Is it time to prep for dinner yet?
Zucchini ‘Pappardelle’ with Avocado Mash (Serves 2)
2 green- Zucchinis
2 tbsp- Avocado oil
1 cup- Avocado (chopped)
1- Fat pinch mint leaves
1 tsp- Lemon juice
½ cup- Macadamia nuts (skinned)
* Chop the ends of the zucchinis and slice them lengthwise into long and thick pappardelle-like sheets using a kitchen peeler.
*In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of avocado oil and sauté the zucchini in it. Stir for 30 seconds and transfer to a serving plate.
* In a blender, blitz the avocado, leftover oil, mint leaves, lemon juice and macadamia nuts. Season and toss with the ‘pappardelle’. Serve immediately.
Tip: Zucchini pappardelle works fabulously with any other pasta sauce as well, especially basil pesto.