The Wonderworld of vegetarian cooking introduces an extensive array of vegetarian dishes to suit the tastes of even the most fastidious Indian or foreign palates.
This Book contains more than 335 recipes which are simple, practical and tasty. Profusely illustrated with diagrams and colour plates, the book is invaluable to both beginners as well as veteran cooks in obtaining the best results.
Eminently suited to all kinds of kitchens, the book also contains a glossary of simple cookery terms as well as ingredients and a table of measurements. As additional value, the reader is also introduced to the art of frits and vegetable carving, which greatly enhances the beauty of any well prepared dish.
Jyoti Nikunj Parekh is a well- known figures in the field of vegetarian cooking since 1969, she has been teaching Indian and international vegetarian cooking along with the art of fruit and vegetable carving to a large number of students.
Apart from being a busy housewife and mother, Jyoti regularly teaches the art of cooking, bonsai, candle-making and gift wrapping. There have been a number of demonstrations of her arts at various places in India. She has also displayed her skills in many cities around the world- Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan; Boston, New York, Honolulu and Minneapolis in the U.S.A.; Toronto in Canada; London, Heidelberg and Antwerp in Europe and Hong Kong. A regular contributor to many leading periodicals and newspapers, both Indian and International, she has also given a number of radio and television programmes on the above mentioned arts.
She has been a pioneer in the field of miniature tree-growing in India and has co-authored the books Wonderworld of Tropical Bonsai and Wonderworld of Bonsai and Saikei with her husband Nikunj.
Her other book Wonderworld of Gift Wrapping, co-authored with her daughter Sonali, is also on the stands.
The word vegetarian comes from the Latin word vegetus, meaning ‘whole, sound, fresh or lively’. The original meaning of the word implies a balanced, philosophical and moral sense of life, a lot more than just a diet of vegetables and fruits.
These perceptions have an ancient tradition, manifest in the Hindu and Sikh religions. The front jacket of this book depicts the manner in which we Indians serve our meals on flat, circular plates with shallow rims, known as thalis. The liquid foods such as curries and dals are poured into bowls known as katoris, which can either be arranged on or near the thali. On festive occasions, the thali and katoris are arranged on a raised stand made of wood and known as a patla. Another patla is placed for the person to sit on. The festive border design on the floor is either rangoli or alpana — an ancient art of India — which is hand drawn with powdered marble, sand or rice paste. Generally, all items of food, including the puris, dals, curries, sweets, savouries and kachumbar (salad) accompaniments are served together, except for the rice and papudums, which are offered separately.
Food is eaten with the fingers of the right hand only, while the left hand is kept clean for taking additional helpings or picking up a glass of drinking water.
It is the usual practice amongst the devout in India, to offer the prepared dishes first at the altar of the Lord to seek blessings and thank the Almighty for the food. Only then is this prasadam distributed to family members and friends for partaking.
The back jacket of the book depicts the art of Fruit and Vegetable carving, which is explained in almost every section of this book. This art of carving helps in enhancing the ambience and beauty of the well prepared dishes at the time of serving.
In urban India, we observe that housewives and chefs adapt and create exciting new dishes out of the most common vegetables, grains, legumes, pulses, herbs, fruits and spices. A dinner may start with a soup and its accompaniments and then continue with puns and curries — side by side with Western style salad and savouries like croquettes or even a baked dish—all co-existing perfectly. Such a juxtaposition of cuisines, alongwith well decorated and presented food, creates an atmosphere of gaiety and happiness for everyone to enjoy.
Many of the world’s great artists, philosophers, writers and thinkers, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pythagoras, Leo Tolstoy, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer and Albert Einstein, have all thought that vegetarianism is an essential step towards a better society.
Lord Buddha, Lord Mahavira and Emperor Ashoka preached non-violence while the Shojin cookery of the Zen sect developed from the prohibition against the killing of any living being. Today, the Buddhist temples and shrines of China, Korea, Japan and Thailand still use vegetables and seaplants to create wholesome vegetarian dishes for the priests as well as the common people.
Vegetarian food thus sustains us without hurting any living creature and at the same time imparts pleasure in life to one and all. There are certain combinations of vegetables, legumes, pulses and grains that are necessary for a sound diet, which can be a harmless alternative to a diet full of meat, fish and eggs.
The Wonderworld of Vegetarian Cooking is an effort towards bringing together tasty dishes for both the diet-conscious as well as the most fastidious cooks. The book includes 346 recipes of vegetarian dishes along with nearly 75 illustrated drawings and about 20 colour plates, which also takes you into the enchanting world of fruit and vegetable carving. Before trying out the recipes, I request each of you to read the recipes carefully. I am confident the dishes thus prepared will give you, your family members and friends, the satisfaction and happiness of having shared many memorable meals.
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