Friday, 24 January 2014

World Food Cafe - Vegetarian Bible

Since the clock clicked over into 2014, I've heard so many people resolve that whilst they may not give up meat completely, they're looking to reduce their meat consumption by, say, a couple of times a week.  Whatever the catalyst for their decision, it means there will be more demand for blogs like mine and veggie cookbooks to provide inspiration.

As such, it is a delight to see that a new book from the World Food Cafe series has been published.  Following the success of their last title - World Food Cafe:  Quick & Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey, this month sees the launch of  World Food Café Vegetarian Bible: Over 200 Recipes From Around The World  written by Chris & Carolyn Caldicott and published by Frances Lincoln.

An extension of Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey, this book contains over 200 recipes, 130 of them being vegan, sourced from the authors' globetrotting adventures all tested and ideal to be re-created in home kitchens.

For twenty years, Chris and Carolyn Caldicott's World Food Café in London’s Covent Garden was the hub of new flavours, colours and combinations in vegetarian cooking which when coupled with their world-wide travels, provided the perfect knowledge-base to create their cookbook range.

The Vegetarian Bible accompanies recipes with photography that shows glorious images of vibrant market scenes, vivid bright ingredients and a snapshot of how food is made and celebrated across the globe.   The authors' passion is evident through their written word and their in-depth introduction to each chapter entices you join in their zest for food through their recipes.   

The book explores more adventurous climes including the regions of:  The Seychelles, Bolivia, Oman and Laos and the amount of vegetarian recipes that come from each is remarkable.

As with Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey, the book is tailored for more confident cooks who can replicate the dishes as is outlined in the recipes.  Authentic ingredients as listed in the book may be difficult to source but can be improvised upon.

One recipe which caught my eye was Mkomazi Cardamom Mashed Sweet Potato with Pepper Relish.  The authors' stay at Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania saw the camp cook veer from the meat stews he normally prepared to making this veggie alternative.  So intrigued were the other guests, that the camp cook ended up making this for everyone!

I was attracted to this recipe not only because of the use of different vegetables and colour, but because of its twist on a typical vegetable stew.  As I don’t eat red chillis (due to allergy reasons), I omitted this from the red pepper relish yet I found it was still packed with flavour, lifted by the hint of lemon, and was (as the recipe suggested), a great accompaniment.  As a standalone sauce, it would work well with other vegetables or pasta.

All in all, a delightful read both as a travel journal and as a cookbook that would certainly lend itself as a fascinating ‘coffee table’ book  for those moments when you only have 5 minutes for a quick read.  

Also it brings to light recipes that would never make the mainstream culinary arena ordinarily and provides that impetus to ‘have a go’ at bringing this vast vegetarian world right into our kitchens.

Recipe taken from World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible (9780711234642) 
by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott, published by Frances Lincoln 

This mash, served here with a zingy relish, would also be good with an onion gravy.

250g/9oz sweet potatoes
250g/9oz sweetcorn kernels
175g/6oz shelled fresh peas
250g/9oz spinach
45g/11/2oz butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon honey

For the relish
3 garlic cloves
3 fresh red chillies
4 tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 large red pepper,
deseeded and chopped
handful of fresh parsley
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

  • Well ahead, make the relish: in a food processor, blend together all the ingredients with 2 tablespoons water and seasoning to taste. Set aside, preferably in the fridge, and leave as long as you can – the longer the better.
  • Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling salted water until they are soft enough to mash. Drain.
  • Cook the corn and peas in boiling salted water until tender. Just before the end of cooking, add the spinach to wilt it briefly. Drain.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy pan, then fry the onion in it until it is well caramelized.
  • Combine the sweet potatoes and the onion, sprinkle with cardamom, salt and pepper and mash, adding more butter if desired. Add the other vegetables and mix in the honey.
  • Serve hot, with the relish and a green salad.


Special Offer:  
To order World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible at the discounted price of £16.00 including p&p* (RRP: £20.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG58. 

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to: 
Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, 
Littlehampton Book Services, 
PO Box 4264, 
Worthing, West Sussex 
BN13 3RB. 
Please quote the offer code APG58 and include your name and address details. 
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

Disclosure:  This post was written following kind receipt of a complementary copy of:  World Food Café: Vegetarian Bible by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website. 


1 comment:

  1. Awesome Dish.. thanks for share, it looks mouthwatering, will try it definitely :D