THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED
Congratulations to our winner, Accidentally Meatless.
Richa Hingle is a cookery star. With a bestselling book, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, under her belt, and hundreds more recipes on her blog, she’s become known as one of the best vegan bloggers out there. And did you know she participated in VeganMoFo herself for many years? You can find her VeganMoFo posts here!
Richa recently released her new book, Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen, which you can find details of where to purchase it here on her blog. In celebration of that, we’re teaming up with the book’s publishers, Vegan Heritage Press, to give one lucky VeganMoFo participant the chance to win a copy! We’ve also got an interview with Richa herself to share with you. For competition details, see the end of this post.
First things first, welcome back to VeganMoFo, Richa! You participated in VeganMoFo for a few years in the early 2010s, do you have good memories of the event?
Absolutely! I had so much fun getting creative through the month, participating in the Chopped Challenge, and meeting so many bloggers. Its so great to find people who are vegan, and who cook amazing vegan food.
Your first book, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, was a huge success. Did you ever dream of being a cookbook author when you were younger?
I might have thought of writing fiction book but never a cookbook. I used to spend some time in the kitchen with mom in high school, when I felt like it and would mess up her recipes by adding my own spin. She would then make back up meals just in case .
Do you have a favourite recipe, out of the ones you’ve published on your blog and in your books?
This is so hard to choose. I mean there are over a 1000 recipes now between the blog and the 2 books. It depends on the day, the amount of work I want to do and so on.
With food blogging, I often am cooking for the blog and trying out new stuff, so in general on an off day when I cook with leisure or if hubbs is cooking, we prefer simple Indian meals. Some Butter Tofu, Chard and peas and creamy sauce, Pasanda sauce with veggies, Rajma or Pindi Chole. On the weekend, I make a batch of my mozzarella (in the book) to make a margherita or top any other pizza. I have also been using Baharat and berbere blends in various new ways and loving the broccoli Baharat casserole from the book.
What would be your advice for someone looking to start cooking Indian food?
Buy my first book! Don’t be intimidated by Indian food. It is probably easy for me to say that, but Indian food has amazing options and so much is easily vegan or veganizable. The spices and preparation might be intimidating at first. But just pick up one recipe at a time, for which you have most of the ingredients and spices and go with it. Try it once, twice, thrice. It is just the initial hurdle of ingredients and newness. Once you start cooking some Indian dishes, its easy to get a hang of the style, timings, the spices needed and so on. The dish can always be adjusted during cooking.
Also, don’t let one recipe make your decision of whether you like Indian food or not. There are also many spices and flavors that make up a dish and one of them might not be to your liking. Or it could be just the wrong recipe. There are several different sub cuisines in Indian cuisine using very different textures and flavors, so you can hopefully find one that you love.
Your latest book, Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen, has several chapters with different kinds of meals and cuisines. Which was your favourite chapter to work on?
Another tough one. I had fun making Burgers and Pizzas and the favorite was the Buffalo and Firecracker and the Masala Chapters. Spice + Heat! The buffalo chickpea pizza, Pecan lentil burgers, Baharat chickpea burgers, the deep dish pizza, lentil balls in butter sauce, firecracker crunchy salad…
You have so many recipes! How do you go about getting inspiration for them?
It is mostly organic. Someone will request a recipe that I haven’t put on the blog and I put my spin to it. I try new things at restaurants and something will pique my interest and I note the flavors and textures to make a similar thing, or just an idea of using the flavor combination or technique elsewhere. Sometimes the inspiration is seasonal, and I have this amazing produce or an amazing new spice that I should use in some ways and I will look up ideas on the web or make variations of my existing recipes. For me, it is easier to experiment with ethnic cuisines than everyday American meal options. The Burgers, Alfredo, desserts tend to be the ones that get a lot more searches on the web. So I look for inspiration from popular recipes and make my version of them as well.
What are your plans for the future? More cookbooks? Or would you like to go down the Isa Chandra route and open a restaurant?
Restaurants aren’t something I can do with my physical limitations. If anyone wants to open one with my recipes, then go for it. Cookbooks and blog are keeping me busy for now.
Fans of your instagram will have seen your stories featuring your dog. Tell us a little bit about him!
Chewie is a very loving dog who we adopted from a rescue many years ago when he was 3. He is 12 now, has slowed down and has opinions about everything. He loves to sleep, eat, sleep, cuddle and repeat. He is one of the reasons we went vegan. He has so much personality and so much love(and orders these days) to give.
Do you have any vegan heroes – people who’ve inspired you along your blogging and cookbook writing journey?
I have several people I look up do in different ways. People like Eileen Weintraub and Erika Abrams, who work with rescues and sanctuaries in India with a complex set of problems for animals there. People like Gene Baur who work in the field here and spread the message of the choices we need to make. My husband who constantly encourages me to put in my best at what I love to do. Blog readers who write to me about their journeys into eating more plants and eliminating animals from their plates. People who look at the current issues and problems in an open and clear way and work to find solutions and actions. Animals who survive after the many different ordeals thrown their way. I also take inspiration from great food, chefs, authors and bloggers, such as Terry Hope Romero, Miyoko Schinner, Isa Chandra.
Thanks so much to Richa for doing this interview!
Win a copy of Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen!
We’re giving you the chance to win a copy of Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen by Richa Hingle. Author of Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen and former VeganMoFo participant, Richa has put together a book packed full of flavoursome dishes like one-pot peanut butter noodles, chickpea chilaquiles and (brace yourselves) samosa-stuffed French toast. Wow!
For your chance at winning, leave a comment either here on our Instagram post telling us: What would the theme of your cookbook be? We’ll choose a winner at random. This giveaway is only open to participants in the USA who are registered for VeganMoFo. Participants are allowed to enter all five giveaways this week, you don’t need to limit yourself to one. The competition closes at midnight Pacific Daylight Time. Good luck!