"Anyone can do this," Singla insists, dismissing perceptions of Indian food as "difficult or cumbersome" to make. "A few simple steps and an understanding of spices and you can have an Indian meal on the table very quickly."
"In this down economy, Indian cuisine is one of the cheapest on the planet," she says. Singla doesn't waste a thing, neither time nor ingredients. The slow cooker makes a return appearance in this book, most visibly to cook dried beans and lentils for use in dinners now and, with refrigeration or freezing, later. Her approach means less reliance on expensive canned products.
"I think this will change the playing field," she says.
Singla's second book does more than share a slow cooker with her first book. "Vegan Indian Cuisine" is now the best-selling book on Indian cooking found on Amazon.com, an influential barometer to public taste. Ranked second? The former No. 1: "The Indian Slow Cooker."
Though the book reflects her preference for a predominantly vegan diet, Singla prefers not to stick labels on anyone's diet. She says her audience encompasses vegans, vegetarians and others who want to put more flavor into their cooking.
"It's not a book that forces a lifestyle upon you," Singla writes in the introduction. "This is a book that tells you, 'Eat what you want, but make sure what you eat is real, whole food. And open your mind to all the possibilities.'"
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 cups, 8 servings
Note: In "Vegan Indian Cooking," Anupy Singla recommends cooking a large batch of chickpeas in a slow cooker, using one-half of the cooked chickpeas in this dish and freezing the remainder for later use. If you do not want to make your own masala, experiment with commercial masala spice blends. Serve as a snack, in salads instead of croutons or in soups.
4 cups cooked chickpeas (see recipe) or 2 cans (12 ounces each) chickpeas
1 tablespoon chaat masala (see recipe), garam masala or sambhar masala
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon red chili powder, cayenne pepper or paprika, plus more for sprinkling