The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

SPE­CIAL di­etary food never looked so good. The cover of Gluten-freeCook­ing by Sue Shep­herd (Vik­ing, $35) fea­tures a lus­cious-look­ing pavlova topped with a for­est of fresh ber­ries and ba­nana slices and driz­zled with a berry coulis. It man­ages to look healthy as well as highly de­sir­able.

This book of 100 recipes is for peo­ple with in­tol­er­ance to gluten, lac­tose or wheat, as well as other more sin­is­ter-sound­ing but quite com­mon con­di­tions. The au­thor is an ac­cred­ited prac­tis­ing di­eti­tian who spe­cialises in th­ese disor­ders and is her­self a suf­ferer. Shep­herd gives an in­tro­duc­tion and sur­veys equip­ment and bak­ing tips, but this is a book of recipes, with dishes for light meals and din­ners (in­clud­ing veg­e­tar­ian); ideas for break­fasts, af­ter­noon teas and lunch boxes; soups; desserts and drinks. Each has a full­page colour pho­to­graph of the fin­ished dish. There is no sense of de­pri­va­tion or mak­ing do here. Squid stuffed with gar­lic prawn risotto is light and yummy, and straight­for­ward to make. As does the frit­tata of sweet potato and goat’s cheese. Desserts fea­ture lush fruits, choco­late and more.

Jacki Pass­more’s chunky lit­tle Cur­ryBi­ble (Pen­guin, $19.95) in­cludes 140 recipes from In­dia, Pak­istan, Burma, Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore, Sri Lanka, In­done­sia and Malaysia. There’s tangy Goan co­conut prawn curry and jun­gle curry of fish and veg­eta­bles. There’s lots of chicken, lamb and beef dishes, and some de­lec­ta­ble veg­etable cur­ries (spicy braised pump­kin and ta­marind, and mush­rooms with peas and toma­toes among them). The scope is wide.

Pass­more in­cludes ac­com­pa­ni­ments and ad­vice on spices and spe­cial in­gre­di­ents. Pen­guin’s food­based Bi­ble se­ries makes it pos­si­ble to plan your meal in the bus on the way home and whip it up with a min­i­mum of fuss (the in­gre­di­ents ad­vice will al­ready have helped with the shop­ping).

Both books are avail­able from Septem­ber 3. Ju­dith Elen

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