"I really enjoy Kurma's no-frills, no gimmicks television
show. His enthusiasm for vegetarian food is infectious. He has already
written many successful books, but, as the name implies, the emphasis
here is on making quick and easy meals. Quick Vegetarian Dishes
is packed with colour photographs of virtually every dish. Highly
(Brisbane Courier Mail, December 2000)
"Anyone who still thinks vegetarian food is dull and lacklustre
should have a gander through Quick Vegetarian Dishes. Suddenly
vegetarian food has shaken off it's shackles! Dasa, best known for
his TV cooking shows and his dinner time cry of "Kurm and get
it" has sought inspiration from the Mediterranean, the Middle
East, South East Asia and South America for this great collection
of appetising, meat-free meals.
Lavishly illustrated by Melbourne-based photographer Peter Bailey,
Quick Vegetarian Dishes is a cheerful, colourful and inspirational
cookbook for anyone who is looking for an alternative to the ubiquitous
dhal and vegetable curry"
(Sydney City Weekly, December 2000)
"Bright and Breezy, with great pics"
(News Weekly, January 2001)
"It's not easy being green. But help is on hand, thanks to
Kurma Dasa, Australia's vegetarian guru and prolific author, who
will be familiar to many from his television cooking shows. Kurma's
message in his latest book, Quick Vegetarian Dishes, is that
life in the fast lane doesn't have to mean life in the fast-food
line. To be in-and-out of the kitchen in record time, try his Spinach
Risotto or Feta & Potato Spring Rolls with Green Pea
(Brisbane Weekly, Feb 2001)
"The test of a good cookbook in our house can be judged by
the groans of delight as the pages are being flicked over. Remember
that the first bite of any meal is taken with the eyes; I can just
imagine the calorie intake from going through the pages of this
beautifully ilustrated book.
The recipes in Quick Vegetarian Dishes were collected with
busy people in mind, and they really are dishes that can be prepared
in a hurry. And the selection - and presentation - is enough to
sway any meat-lover."
(Noosa Daily News, Feb 2001)
"Those of us who enjoy good food have to zealously safegaurd
the home-dining experience. Life can certainly be busy and stressful,
but cooking is a great antidote. Life in the fast lane doesn't necessarily
mean life in the fast food line, according to Australia's vegetarian
guru Kurma Dasa, who is well known for his books and cooking shows.
Kurma, who began his career in the Sydney kitchens of the Hare
Krishna Movement, recently produced Quick Vegetarian Dishes.
Lavishly illustrated, the recipes have an international flavour,
from Sushi Rice in Tofu Pouches, to Tortilla Triangles
with Smoky Avocado Salsa, and Pumpkin Ravioli with Baby Spinach
and Brown Butter. Kurma's books are a quick solution for the
(Canberra Times Food & Wine, Feb 2001)
"Kurma Dasa, Australia's vegetarian guru, has done it again.
His first two highly successful books, Great Vegetarian Dishes
and Cooking with Kurma, along with their entertaining television
series, made him a culinary celebrity worldwide. His latest, Quick
Vegetarian Dishes, is sure to add to his reputation as the high
priest of vegetarian cooking."
"Kurma's message in Quick Vegetarian Dishes is refreshingly
simple: life in the fast lane doesn't necessarily mean life in the
fast food line. Even if your life is moving at web speed, you can,
with Kurma's expert guidance, quickly prepare something hot and
fresh, and stunningly original and tasty, for yourself, or yourself
and another, or a few others, almost as quickly as you can order
"In Quick Vegetarian Dishes, you'll find the gastronomical
equivalent of sound bites - taste bites, essential gourmet vegetarian
delights that deliver the most palatable results with the least
amount of time and effort. If you're the type of person that jumps
on a plane with only carry-on luggage, this is the cookbook for
you. You'll be in and out of the kitchen in record time."
"Like life today, the fare in Quick Vegetarian Dishes
is fast, stylish, variegated, and multicultural. Kurma has chosen
a tantalizing array of international dishes to showcase your speed
cooking talents. Just reading over the recipe list for each chapter
is enough to make you cancel the restaurant reservations and pick
up a saucepan."
"When I called Kurma a vegetarian guru and high priest, I
was not just using some interesting figures of speech. Kurma's vegetarian
cooking is deeply rooted in his spiritual practice. Back in 1971,
Kurma became the disciple of one of India's most respected gurus,
His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In
addition to being an accomplished scholar of Vedic literature and
the world's leading teacher of bhakti-yoga, the yoga of devotion,
Srila Prabhupada was also an expert cook who delighted his disciples
with his samosas, pakoras, and other exotic Indian preparations."
(Michael A. Cremo, Co-author of The Higher Taste: A Guide
to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet, Divine Nature:
A Spiritual Perspective on the Environmental Crisis, and Forbidden
Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race.)
More Book Reviews
On 'Great Vegetarian Dishes'
"I bought Great Vegetarian Dishes: Over 240 Recipes from
Around the World (Hardcover), by Kurma Dasa about 10 years ago from
a Hare Krishna (I technically made a "donation" to receive
it) and I have to say it's one of the most used and enjoyed cookbooks
in my extensive collection. You don't have to be a vegetarian or
into any kind of Eastern religion to enjoy this cookbook. This book
was my introduction to Indian food in general, and after trying
a few recipes, I realized, "you know, I really could be a vegetarian
if I ate food like this all the time."
This is a beautiful full-color cookbook with excellent photos,
and is therefore different than some of the other cookbooks that
Hare Krishna people give away in the airport or on the beach. In
terms of promoting the Hare Krishna philosophy, I can't think of
a better method... once you try a few of these dishes, you'll be
tempted to chant the mantra a few times. There are two recipes from
this book that I use all the time: "Mexican-Style Beans and
Salad on Fried Tortilla" (the author's fancy way of saying
"Tacos"); and the "Asparagus and Pine Nut Pizza."
I've actually used these two recipes as a point of departure for
making all kinds of other dishes using the basic dressings and sauces
that book author Kuma teaches here.
Hare Krshna cooking is pretty interesting in that not only is it
vegetarian, but it does not use garlic or onions either... whoa!
You would think in a vegetarian diet you need all the help you can
get to keep things flavorful, and how can you do without these staple
ingredients? What ends up happening is that by leaving out the garlic
and onions, you find yourself encountering entirely new flavors with
some of the unique Indian ingredients that have a chance to express
themselves without being overpowered.
To get the full value of this cookbook, you will need to take a
trip to your local Indian grocery store and hunt down a few of the
more obscure ingredients -- like the ubiquitous "hing"
(asafoetida), a sulfury yellow powder which more or less becomes
your substitute for garlic. I highly recommend this book to any
vegetarian or gourmet." (Scott Svatos,Los Angeles, California).
"I have been a vegetarian since i was born and i LOVE cooking.
I have probably had this cookbook for 10 years and have used it
regularly along with three other cookbooks by Kurma. I do eat dairy
(organic and with no animal hormones or any other animal ingredients)
but i have never eaten any meat, fish, eggs, chicken or gelatin.
If you like to eat food that actually has taste than this cookbook
is an essential for your kitchen! A lot of the time eople think
that vegetarian food is some tasteless tofu or a little salad.....because
"WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES A VEGETARIAN EAT??" I have heard
that question many times. Well we eat a variety of things and this
book is a great tasting way to understanding what good vegetarian
food tastes like!
The spices aren't so hard to find......mostly they will come from
your local indian grocery store (which are actually quite common)
or even the regular grocery store and you might spend a bit to buy
most of them but they last for quite a while and you will have more
freedom in deciding what you are going to cook.
I would say that its a little more challenging to find the ingredients
for the chinese and thai dishes just because they are much more
unfamiliar but never hurts to try and it will be worth it when you
get to eat! Also for those of you who don't like garlic or onions
or both...Kurma offers a great alternative called hing or sometimes
aesfatita (which is a yellow powder spice from india)which works
great.In addition to cooking with Kurma i would recommend Yamuna's
Table although i haven't spent as much time with her recipies.....
i have used them and they turn out excellent as well but require
more ingredients and preperation time.
I really love the carob cake.......you might be worried that 'without
eggs how can you make a cake?' but it turns out perfect every time.
I have to admit that i am a chocolate lover and so i use chocolate
instead of carob.....but thats the beauty of these recipies....
have fun with them...improvise a little! ENJOY! I know i am!!"
(B. P. Blumette, Los Angeles, California).
"I'm taking steps to ease my way into vegetarianism, and this
book has been a godsend. For me, the best features of this book
are the short explanation of the authors's philosophy of vegetarian
cooking (keep in mind that Hare Krishna considers cooking as an
act of worship), and a two page list of suggested menus for different
occasions, which is really helpful for those who spends more than
20 minutes deciding what to cook for a proper three course meal.
Also impressive is the glossary section, which give an explanation
of the herbs and spices you might encounter in the book.
To top it off, the book is actually a good read! Clearly this book
is a labour of love. General note: if you want to take cooking a
little bit more seriously, take my advice - don't buy those 30 pages
recipe booklets sitting near the supermarket counters. Spend some
money and get a proper recipe book - along with good kitchen tools."
(Aston, Homebush, NSW Australia).
"This book is wonderful. Its recipes are foolproof and fun
to make. I have tried most of them and none of them ever really
failed. If you are a vegetarian, this book is an absolut MUST HAVE!"
"Even if you are not a vegetarian, you will love this book
! Even if you are not a vegetarian, you will love this book!I got
this book a few months ago and have been happily using it since.
Kurma's recipes are extremely easy to follow and deliver great results
every time. The book has recipes from all over the world - Italy,
India, Thailand, China, Australia, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, America.
It is also divided into easy-to-access categories like rice dishes,
pasta, entrees, vegetable dishes, snacks, pickles/ jams/ chutneys,
desserts, etc. etc. And a small, but useful, thing: the book lays
out flat on the table, so that you can keep it on your kitchen counter
and read from it as you cook along!
The other thing the author shows you is how to 'spiritualize' the
food you make and eat. It works. I can affirm that! I feel much
more healthy and happy since I started making the recipes in Kurma's
books and following the steps listed in the book to spiritualize
the food that we eat. Even if you are not a vegetarian, you will
love to make (and eat) the recipes in this book. Buy it!" (Y.
Deshmukh "Yogibear", New York, NY USA)
"I got this book (Great Vegetarian Dishes) from the Hare Christnas
about 5 years ago and it's wonderful. In fact it's so good that
my brother stole it earlier this year. damn. Great pictuers, easy
to follow recipes (but you'll need lots of weird spices), and a
wonderful glossary of terms in the back." (Tim Wright (Christchurch,
"This (Great Vegetarian Dishes) is the BEST vegetarian cookbook
that I have used to date - all the recipies work. I have been a
vegetarian for over 18 years and tried many different styles. Kurma
bases most of his recipies on the traditional Indian cuisine as
well as adapting them to the western palate. The author also takes
cooking to a spiritual level and shows the reader how to sanctify
his cooking. Highly recommended!!!" (Vasudama, Perth, Western
"I have found this book (Great Vegetarian Dishes) extemely
useful. I have tried several of those recipes and got good results.I
really appreciate the substitutes being a vegetarian myself. The
book contains a variety of dishes that can entertain a diverse group
of guests.Thanks to Kurma Dasa! (Anuradha Gopalachar, Amarillo,
On 'Cooking with Kurma'
"I am not a vegetarian. However, this book by Kurma Dasa has
altered my preconceptions of vegetarianism. Kurma has done his research.
He not only shows you how to cook but shows you how to blend the
spices for the authentic Indian taste. It has a wealth of information
even for folks who might think they know what is Indian cooking.
The glossary with photos of spices and herbs will help those who
don't know how to navigate their way through Asian grocery stores.
The book concentrates mostly on Indian vegetarian recipes but has
many dishes from other parts of the world as well. One of the surprise
packages in the book is "Juicy curd steak". Try it, it's
good. Try 'em all, you'll embark on a saporific journey of ethereal
proportions." (a happy customer)
"Outstanding vegetarian recipes! We are Indian and we find
these recipes better than
any even the traditional recipes we have. Our life is changed with
this book." (Sandesh S. Salvi)
"Meat Lover turned Vegetarian: At the ages of 29, I recently
became a vegetarian (with the exception of fish). I found this book
had some great recipes that you could easily improvise to fit different
ethnic tastes. It has a variety of great recipes, my favorite being
rice and soup dishes and the ingredients are easy to shop for. I
keep my "Cooking with Kurma" out in the open so I can
easily try a new recipe every day." (Roro "Roro",
On 'Vegetarian World Food'
"Kurma Dasa-a well-rounded vegetarian chef: Kurma Dasa has
a special ability to make recipes easy to follow and delicious for
non-vegetarian to enjoy. Not only has he mastered Indian cooking,
but his Mediterranean dishes are also great. Fun recipes for snacks,
especially when you have non-vegies come to visit. My guests always
look forward to coming over as they know they'll be tasting something
great and different...a lot of the vegetarian dishes come from Kurma's
I had the pleasure of attending one of his cooking classes. It
converted a friend of mine, who had never cooked Indian food before,
it isn't necessarily hot, just a lot of wonderful spices. Lots to
enjoy. " (Patti, Australia).