Books Cover

Title: Anjum's Eat Right for your Body Type
Author: Anjum Anano
160 pages; Glossy Softcover $24.95 US
Publisher: DaCapo Press, Cambridge MA, 2011
Reviewed by Chef John Vyhnanek, April, 2011

The review---There is a new lineup of cookbooks that have come out for spring, one of which is by a Cooking Channel personality. Anjum Anand has created Anjum's Eat Right for your Body Type a book inspired by Ayurveda. Ayurveda is India's traditional, natural system of medicine that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda literally translated means science of life or practices of longevity. It emphasizes prevention of disease, rejuvenation of our body systems, and extension of life span.

With this in mind the author has created 75 recipes based on the belief. In the first 60 pages you will learn all about Ayurveda and how to plan menus to balance your lifestyle and detoxify your system and soul. Learn about Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the Doshas. Dosha, the five elements; air, ether, fire, water and earth then become the Vatta dosha of air and ether, the Pitta dosha of fire and a little water and the Kapha dosha of earth and water, all three are the makeup of our bodies. So to this end, you need to eat a certain way to keep all three doshas in balance although one or even two will dominate and you will be in harmony.

Recipes are broken down into categories like breakfast, soups, salads, fish, chicken, vegetarian, grains and desserts. Recipes are creative and modern with an Indian influence on seasonings. Beware that this isn't the Indian style of cooking found in most restaurants whether they be northern, western or southern styles of cooking. An example of this is the recipe for South Indian Haddock and Corn Chowder; as far as I know haddock doesn't exist anywhere other than the north atlantic ocean. The dish was fairly easy to prepare but some of the ingredients might be hard to find if there are no Indian food markets in your area. If you lean towards vegetarian dishes then try the Vegetables and Edamame in Chile, Ginger Coconut Broth! The dish was beautiful looking and fragrant and the ingredients were easy to find.

The book is nicely made with a high quality soft cover and glossy pages inside with many colorful and good looking photographs of the recipes but maybe a bit too many pictures of the author for my liking. All in all this is a good book and it would make for a nice addition to your cook book library.

Recipes tested---!

Vegetables and Edamame in Chile,Ginger Coconut Broth
Serves 2

Omit chile and pepper
Omit chile and pepper
Great for kapha
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 black peppercorns (pitta omit)
1small onion, sliced
1 Chinese red chile, stalks off (medium heat, more for flavor) (pitta omit)
1/2-ounce piece ginger, peeled weight
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled
1 lemongrass stalk, halved and bruised with a rolling pin, or a little lemon zest
Generous 1 cup water
1 small carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal
3 1/2 ounces small broccoli florets
1 head bok choy, quartered
1/2 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup edamame (soybeans) or fava beans, cooked (shelled weight)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
Cilantro leaves

This is a great dish for kapha. Edamame (soybeans) have a wonderful flavor and are high in protein; they can be found in the freezer section of supermarkets or health food stores (Iook for GMO-free). Use fava beans when in season or even half package of firm tofu instead of the soybeans, or vary thevegetables. Even though there is coconut milk in this dish, the quantity is small and this type of lightly spiced brothy dish is really easy to digest and grounding.This dish can work for vata and even pitta without the chile and black pepper. Serve with basmati rice (vata and pitta) or add some cooked bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles) to the bottom of your bowl
they are made from mung beans, which are good for kapha.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium nonstick pan, add the black peppercorns and onion, and saute until soft and lightly golden.

Meanwhile, blend together three-quarters of the chile with the ginger and garlic and a splash of water to make a smooth paste. Add this the cooked onions with the lemongrass. Reduce over moderate heat until you have only the paste, then cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until little oil droplets appear around the pan.

Slice the remaining chile and add to the pan. Add the water and season. Add the carrots, cook for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli and bok choy, cover, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are just cooked.There should be enough water in the pan to do this, but if pan starts to dry up, add a splash of water from the kettle.

Add the coconut milk, edamame beans, and lemon juice, bring back to a boil, and serve garnished with the cilantro.
Haddock Chowder
South Indian Haddock and Corn Chowder
Serves 1 generously, can be doubled

1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or ghee (kapha I teaspoon, pitta
1 1/2 teaspoons, vata 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 curry leaves (optional)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 green chile, pierced with the tip of a knife, optional
2/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup water
5 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 ounces smoked haddock fillet, skinned
4 ounces unsmoked haddock fillet, skinned
Large handful of baby or whole leaf spinach (shredded if whole leaf)

I have always loved chowders big bowls of creamy, smoky, comforting deliciousness. However, Ayurveda is very vocal about not mixing dairy with animal proteins so I have made this chowder with coconut milk instead and spiced it up a little to complete the Southern Indian touch.This soup is good for vata and pitta (leave out the chile), served with a hunk of bread (buttered if you are vata). It is also light enough to be eaten by those with a kapha imbalance as long as you don't serve it with anything else.

Heat the oil in a small nonstick saucepan. Add the mustard seeds; once they splutter, add the curry leaves, onion, and chile. Cook for 40 seconds, then add the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and fresh corn (if using), bring back to a boil, cover, and cook until the potatoes are soft. Mash a few pieces to help thicken the soup. Add in the frozen corn (if using) and adjust the consistency of the soup, if necessary, by adding a little extra water from the kettle.

Adjust the seasoning, add the fish and spinach, cover, and simmer on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and flakes easily.