Happy Spring everyone! I couldn’t be more elated to be sharing this post with you all. This recipe is compliments of an amazing chef by the name of Chitra Agrawal. I fell in love with Chitra’s work years ago when I found her blog/website the ABCD’s of Cooking. Shortly thereafter, I learned that she was the owner of an amazing line of Achaar’s, called Brooklyn Delhi and let me tell you, they’re soooo good! So when I learned that Chitra would be releasing a cookbook, I was beyond ecstatic. The name of her cookbook is Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn and it’s available for purchase now. I truly enjoyed reading her cookbook, cover to cover. From learning about her parents, to her upbringing, and to her deep rooted love for South Indian food. I love how she’s taken recipes that have been passed down in her family and made them her own.
Let me just say, this cookbook will be getting a lot of use. In flipping through the pages of her beautifully written, photographed and illustrated cookbook, so many recipes jumped out at me. I love how Chitra labels each recipe according to season and that her recipes are vegan and vegetarian friendly. If you don’t know by now, I adore South Indian food. It may be my southern roots, but this one in particular grabbed me instantly. The creaminess from the Polenta, and the layers of mouthwatering flavors in the veggies. This recipe is one of those types of meals that you can eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and although it’s titled spring, you can change the vegetables to accommodate whatever season you’re in.
I couldn’t help but to throw in a little of my own touches into this dish. Don’t stress if you don’t have or can’t find certain ingredients. I substituted the Red Radishes mentioned in the recipe with raw Watermelon Radishes and also topped my dish with Radish Micro-Greens. The recipe calls for a little Chana Dal and/or Urad Dal, which adds a nice nutty flavor to the dish, but don’t go out and buy a whole bag of it, if you’re only going to use it for this dish. It also calls for fresh Curry Leaves, which is not always the easiest to find, unless you can find it at a specialty store or at your local farmers market, but they certainly bring a lot of depth to the recipe if you can find them. I also seeded my pepper…just so that it wouldn’t be spicy. Lastly, if you’re wanting to keep this recipe vegan, then simple use only oil and not butter or ghee.