I’ve worked at Kripalu (the largest yoga center in the country) for seven years, so I have enjoyed my share of Indian food. I love the flavors of India – spicy curries, sweet-piquant chutneys, yogurt and lots of creative plant-based proteins. Indian cuisine in its original form is naturally healthful – filled with plants (often vegetarian) and aromatic spices.
I also love the work of the American Diabetes Association (bias alert – they published Yoga & Diabetes, which I co-authored). They have put together a collection of beautiful cookbooks that reflect a fresh range of ways of cooking and eating for health. If you have not yet looked at their growing collection – check them out! You don’t have to have a diabetes diagnosis to enjoy them – they are simply accessible healthful fare for everyone.
May Abraham Fridel’s Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook has an authenticity and accessibility that are the hallmarks of a great cookbook. It practically smells like cumin – must be the beautiful red-brown of the two-color interior and beautiful four-color photos of select dishes. If you love the smells and tastes of India food and want to bring a bit of that into your own kitchen, this is a book for you.
The book begins with an overview of the philosophy behind India cooking, including the ancient nature-based wisdom of Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga.
There is a Spice Guide, a Pantry List, and some How-To Recipes to introduce you to the staples of healthful Indian Cuisine.
This is the book I will consult the next time I make Dal (spiced lentils). There are three easy tasty recipes and tons of advice to guide me. There’s a healthy version of my favorite Indian dish, Palak Paneer (cheese in spinach sauce) – this one uses tofu instead of cheese and skips the heavy cream that often turns that healthy sounding dish into something that while filled with nutrients is also calorie-dense. There is a chapter on street food and one on elegant dishes, a chapter on curries, a chapter on grilling, a chapter on Indian flatbreads, one pot meals, sides including slaws and salads, and drinks (I love me some lassi – India’s yogurt smoothie).
Ms. Friedel is a food literacy advocate, philanthropist and the founder and CEO of an organic spice company (www.passionforspices.com). She clearly knows of what she speaks when it comes to the flavors and spices of India.
I’m grateful for her offering, happy to add it to my cookbook shelf and look forward to continuing to sample and to learn about Indian cuisine.