Richa Hingle has a new cookbook out, and it's all about the power of sauces! Vegan Richa's Everyday Kitchen features globally inspired recipes that utilize flavorful sauces as a base.
I have Richa's first book — Vegan Richa's Indian Cooking — which is, hands down, my favorite resource for cooking Indian food at home. This new book still has plenty of Indian dishes but you'll also find Jamaican, Ethiopian, Asian, and even a few nods to the American South (I'm looking at you Chickpea Barbecue Loaf!).
The key to these recipes is crafting a sauce first, and if you're short on time, you can always make the sauces a few days in advance. For each sauce in the book, Richa offers several different recipes using it as a base. For example, you can use the Spinach Curry Sauce to make Chickpeas & Potatoes in Spinach Curry Sauce, Curried Vermicelli with Spinach, and Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry.
I first made the Sweet & Sour Sauce, and then I used it to make Crispy Sweet & Sour Tofu. The tofu is coated in cornstarch and rice flour and then it's pan-fried in a little oil. Then it's mixed with steamed veggies and the sauce and served over rice. The sauce had just the right balance of tart vinegar and sweetness (from sugar and ketchup), and the tofu was perfectly crisp.
Next up, I made Richa's Manchurian Sauce, a rich, soy sauce-based mixture of sauteed bell pepper, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, and a hint of sweetness. That's mixed with rice noodles, tofu, and veggies for her Manchurian Sauce Noodles. Paul and I both LOVED this sauce. He was craving soup, so he added his finished dish to a little vegetable broth and made a very flavorful noodle bowl.
It's so cool to see how you can use the same sauces to create very different dishes! I also love how Richa has the book organized by flavor. For example, there's a chapter on Peanuts & Coconuts, one on spicy notes of Firecracker & Buffalo, and another on Indian flavors of Masala & Saag. There's also a chapter on homemade burgers and a pizza chapter with some really inventive recipes (think Makhani Vegetable Pizza, BBQ Pizza with Jerk Beans & Veggies, and Mushroom-Jalapeno White Pizza).
There's also a dessert chapter, which is less about sauces and more about a diverse mix of sweets (pumpkin bread, nut butter blondies, salted date caramel chocolate pie, lemon chia pudding).