Kurma's first cookbook Great Vegetarian Dishes brought tasty, vegetarian cooking into homes around the world. His second book More Great Vegetarian Dishes, deserves the same high praise as his first.
Through television shows and personal appearances around the world, as well as through his cookbooks, Kurma Dasa has jovially introduced millions of people to his special brand of elegant and eclectic cuisine. This book contains hundreds of new recipes from many cultures, an extensive glossary of herbs and spices, and stunning color photos of the finished recipes.
Love international cuisine? Here's your guide to vegetarian versions of all your favorite dishes.
Kurma was the head chef at the famous Gopal's Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, for years, and taught cooking on a TV series broadcast internationally. In Great Vegetarian Dishes he presents the best of world cuisine—vegetarian style.
Kurma's love of cooking, his flare for the art, and his commitment to vegetarianism shine through as he brings you hundreds of easy, practical recipes.
- Over 240 recipes
- Measurement guide
- Special ingredients guide
- Glossary of spices
- Suggested menus
- Full-color illustrations
- Directory of recipes sorted by country
About the Author:
Kurma dasa was born in England in 1952 and migrated with his parents to Australia in 1964. He attended Vaucluse Boys High School in Sydney and then went on to study at the University of New South Wales. It was in Sydney in the early 70s that he became a member of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, more popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement.
Already embracing a healthy appreciation of good cooking, it was a natural sequence of events that led Kurma to the kitchens of the Movement. He started off, as most chefs do, cutting vegetables, grinding fresh herbs and spices and observing the experienced cooks at work.
He became a disciple of the Movement's founder in 1971 at the time of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's first visit to the temple in Sydney. It was from Prabhupada that Kurma first became inspired to follow his natural propensity as a cook, and at the same time satisfy his spiritual cravings.
Kurma has gained a wealth of culinary experience by traveling to India many times between 1974 and 1980, where he learned various regional cuisines. Across the massive sub-continent, he observed and assisted cooks in temples, restaurants, and private homes.
In 1980 he became head chef at Gopal's Vegetarian Restaurant in Swanston Street, Melbourne. His cooking of over 1,800 meals a week propelled Gopals to become one of Melbourne's, and indeed Australia's, most popular and best-known vegetarian eating places.
Desiring to share his experience with others, he first began teaching in 1981. It was not long before his cooking classes at the restaurant became book out months ahead.
Kurma's presentation of healthy, delicious, attractive and innovative cuisine helped shake off the outdated notion that vegetarian food was dull, lack-luster, and bland.
It was at Gopal's that Kurma released his full potential. Using his wealth of experience in various Indian cooking techniques, he was able to branch out into international vegetarian cuisine. He presented the best vegetarian items from the world's most popular cuisines—Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, to name but a few—and expertly blended them into innovative and tasty "East-West" combinations, much to the delight of his enthusiastic clientele.
The mid-eighties saw Kurma travel extensively across the world, simultaneously teaching and demonstrating his cooking in restaurants, schools and colleges of such places as London, Milan, Warsaw, Delhi, Stockholm and Beijing.
For Kurma, his teaching and traveling helped him gain an in-depth respect for international cuisine, although his passion for Indian cooking is still his primary sustaining force.
In 1987, he was contacted by his old friend David Shapiro, who was not head of ITV Productions in Los Angeles. With David, Kurma produced and directed a series of 13 television shows. Cooking with Kurma was screen across North America on PBS and throughout England and South Africa, receiving excellent viewer response.
As a natural consequence to his television shows, Kurma wrote his cookbook, Great Vegetarian Dishes, receiving wide claim for its professional, clearly written and richly illustrated presentation of international vegetarian cuisine. The book, now in its sixth print run—120,000 copies—continues to generate letters of appreciation from readers worldwide.
Perhaps Kurma's biggest success was his last TV series, based on Great Vegetarian Dishes. The 26-part series, also called Great Vegetarian Dishes, was screened in over 46 countries and seen by over 200 million viewers worldwide. It was broadcast across Asia and India via Star-Plus satellite TV.
Kurma lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and son.