This is one of the best vegetarian cookbooks ever (and thus an ideal gift for meatless friends). Sahni points out, quite persuasively, that vegetarian cuisine has unfairly gotten a bad rep from insipid California Lite health food style cooking. Indians have been vegetarian for millenia--time enough to forge a full-flavored, satisfying, nutritious solution for those hoping to eat healthier. Sahni's writing is direct, wise, and funny ("This dish was a favorite of the British during their brief but memorable stay in my country..."), and her wonderful chapter on ingredients alone conveys enough knowledge for the reader to cook without reading further. Sahni's cooking style is very "down-home", and these recipes--neither stilted nor diluted for Westerners--are skillfully designed to help you to cook likewise.