"A large sign greeted us: 'No smoking, drinking alcohol or eating non-vegetarian food' Gulp. Our lives were temporarily over."
Or, alternatively, my life. Now I could be offended or I could be captivated by the glossy and often irreverent style of Mallika Basu. Let's go with the second. There recipes here - and there are 90 of them, 63 (clearly marked!) vegetarian, 35 vegan - are nestled amongst talk of food, kitchen gadgetry, and personal stories. You can read it cover to cover, like a novel. I did, twice. And it was a lot of fun. As was the cooking.
Well what of the food? It's simple and delicious. The morning after I bought the book I was up early making Pakoras. Well I don't smoke, drink or eat meat, I had to do something! They're shallow fried which is a relief. And ridiculously easy considering how long I've been putting it off. The hardest part is finding the chickpea (also known as gram) flour and I already had a bag in the pantry. For other Torquay residents you can buy a bag on the market or order online from Doves Farm.
After the smashing success of my pakora breakfast I thought I'd treat myself to a block of paneer and try out the Mattar Paneer. Again it was very easy to follow. The instructions are written in a very intuitive, easy to use way. And it turned into a very delicious supper.