These are rough days for the America I value and fight for, the one of compassion, inclusion and acceptance. We can — and must — resist and persist but then we have to refresh and nourish before going back into the fray. That’s why on the day Trump buddied up to Putin and aimed to discredit American intelligence, I reached out to Richa Hingle, aka Vegan Richa.
As with Madhur Jaffrey, another culinary gem from India, Richa is a generous guide in the kitchen — with a generous hand with spices. She creates vegan versions of iconic Indian dishes. She does the same with American everyday eats. She can (veggie) burger, she can biryani, she can Buffalo sauce, she can burfi (not a gorgeous word but you might like it more once you know it’s India’s answer to fudge).
Richa can do all that and more. She’s an animal-loving vegan, her blog, with over a million followers, has been going strong since 2009, her food styling and photography makes you want to lick your screen (um, don’t, please) and she’s author of two best-selling cookbooks.
These are challenging times, though, even for Richa. She doesn’t let it get to her. “Blog work, recipe development, editing, photography keeps me positive enough to handle the other stuff life keeps throwing,” she says. “I like to experiment in the kitchen and cook up new and creative things. It’s therapeutic for me.” So is a simple, healing bowl of dal, a sunny day (she’s Seattle-based) and spending time with her husband, her rescue dog Chewie and all the dogs she fosters.
For Richa, healing starts with the kitchen and with compassion. We will resist, we will persist. But first, let’s eat.