Everyday Indian

By Bal Arneson
Published by Whitecap 2009, softcover, $29.95; 184 pages

When Bal Arneson realized that “quick, healthy” and “Indian food” were words that were not often used in the same sentence here in Canada, she knew her work was cut out for her.

Punjab-born Arneson came to Canada as a young woman who had already learned the seasonal and seasoning secrets of authentic Indian cooking from the women in her village. The heavily sauced and  caloried dishes we have come to think of as Indian were not what she had been eating and cooking, and Arneson was encouraged to begin teaching Canadians her way of creating the fresh, fast and very flavourful dishes she grew up with. “My mother and other women in the village never used butter, relying on a few spices and seasonal fresh herbs and vegetables for flavour,” she says in the  introduction. Her passion for healthy, organic and fresh foods is clearly evident here and is repeated throughout the book like a mantra. (more…)