Indian Superfood by Gurpareet Bains

Nutrionist and chef Gurpareet Bains is all over the review pages right now with his recipe book Indian Superfood. Packed with glowing endorsements from the likes of Dame Vivenne Westood and Sanjeev Bhaskar, to name a few, we had high hopes for this book. That someone should recognise the amazing nutritional diversity of Indian foods, as well as the antioxidant and healing properties of spices long since recognised by Ayurveda seemed like a great idea, and rich material for a book. Alas, the result is not particularly special. There are some recipe books that make you salivate literally by opening the cover, and others which wow you with their elegant photography, food styling, or literary style. This doesn’t really tick either of those boxes, and the recipes (curried baked beans on toast???) do little to excite. It’s also one of the most meat focussed Indian cookery books we’ve come across for a long time, which also grated slightly. Surely part of the nutritional richness found in Indian cuisine is in its wide diversity of indigenous pulses, grains and vegetables, many of which are only just beginning to reach a wider market. None of these are really discussed, instead we get recipes like Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic which sounds about as Indian as a Jamie Oliver recipe. There are a few redeeming dishes here: samphire stir-fried with mustard and nigellla sounds delicious, and an interesting piece of modern fusion: goji berry and green pea pilau. Still, in the long run this book is a good opportunity missed.

Gurpareet Bains‘ homepage is here.
Join his Twitter page here.


5 comments
theindiaphile
theindiaphile

Impressed by the local turnout of Gurpareet's friends here. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.

Deborah
Deborah

Not only am I Anglo Indian but have also been to many Indian restaurants around the world (including all over India!) The food in the book Indian Superfood, I feel, is made with love, passion and an excellent combination of healthy ingredients! I only recently got my copy but have been following the press about this author since he hit the news with the 'worlds healthiest meal' Unlike the review above, I am so grateful that this book is out now as I feel a new audience to Indian food is well over due. Us Indians (and anglo indians) do not need to be sold on the benefits of indian foods its all those other non-Indians that need to be converted! This is a book that will build some very important bridges and introduce many others to a type of food that is now thanks to Indian Superfood very accessible. I cant wait to cook these recipes for all my non-Indian and Indian friends here in Los Angeles.

Nadia
Nadia

He recognises and acknowledges Ayurveda as a key part of the book. The key concept of Indian Superfood is Superfood + Superspices = Indian Superfood, but I'm guessing this is hard to follow in India (yet) as the concept of superfoods is yet to arrive in full!

theindiaphile
theindiaphile

Hi Nadia, Yes Gurpareet seems to have a loyal following and several people have said they thought the review a bit harsh. Ah well, diversity is the spice of life. Thanks for commenting.

Nadia
Nadia

What a load of cobblers. I bought this book last week and I absolutely adore it. Gurpareet demonstrates using scientific facts the nutritional value of all of the recipes in the book, in fact he goes one step further by measuring the antioxidant values for each of the recipes. There are many vegetarian recipes, including sweet potato and beansprout rice paper rolls, puy lentil dahl soup, and ginger and passionfruit kulfi etc. It is a beautifully laid out and photographed book, based on sound scientific research and culinary fusion that brings Indian food on par with its counterparts! And, the recipes when made are 'to die for'. Nadia x