JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • Go inside the mind of a chef to learn the fundamentals of Indian cuisine and decode the secrets to cooking with spices in this beautiful collection of over 100 timeless recipes.
“This book will exhilarate your senses and invite you to explore the richness of Indian cuisine.”—Deepak Chopra
Award-winning chef Anita Jaisinghani of Pondicheri restaurant in Houston, Texas, shows just how easy, delicious, and healthy Indian food can be in this stunning and accessible debut cookbook.
Born and raised in Gujarat, India, Anita’s approach to cooking is simple: Following the tenets of ancient Ayurveda, food is seasonal, texture and color are celebrated, and spices are used to enhance, not overwhelm. As the star of Indian cuisine, spices are used from morning to night, in simple infusions, such as cinnamon water for a warming start the day, while cilantro and mint add a cooling balance to a fiery grilled corn salad, and cardamom lends an aromatic sweetness to mango rice pudding. Masala will teach you to think like an Indian chef, revealing the wisdom and techniques to cooking with fresh whole spices: identifying warming versus cooling, what order they should be used, how to temper in hot oil, and much more. Drawing inspiration from every corner of India, these recipes include fermented dosas, sweet and savory chutneys, fragrant chicken, fish, and pork curries, samosas, pakoras, and naans, and pay homage to one of the oldest and most diverse cuisines on the planet. Expect to be wowed with new flavors and combinations, such as Saffron Citrus Pilaf, Coconut Lassi, Jackfruit Masala, Vindaloo Ribs, Avocado Mushroom Chilla, and Smoked Eggplant Raita.
Masala will change the way you think about Indian cooking and the way you use spices in the kitchen.
Jaisinghani, chef and owner of Houston's Pondicheri restaurant, brings an education in microbiology and a passion for the holistic lifestyle known as Ayurveda to bear in this vast and flavorful collection. Creating a "life of balance" by eating the proper foods in the proper combination is key to her approach. She advises, for example, that raw foods should not be eaten with cooked foods because they are "energetically incompatible" and will result in digestive distress. A treatise on Indian cuisine's essential spices explores their three functions—medicinal, preservative, and seasoning—and includes a handy chart listing flavor characteristics and proper pairings. Breakfast pancakes take a savory turn with avocado mushroom chillas, made with chickpea flour and topped with crumbled feta, while a large sampling of street foods include pomegranate pani poori, as well as samosas filled with potato, crabmeat, or grilled corn. Elsewhere, the Indian societal relationship with eating meat, from sacrilegious act to signifier of wealth, is noted in a fascinating preface to a chapter offering such delicacies as vindaloo ribs and hearty sayel goat. Fruity chutneys, traditional breads, and fragrant rice pilafs round out the work, leaving room for desserts like saffron chocolate bread pudding, washed down, perhaps, with a coconut lassi. Mindfulness and spiritual energy prove to be essential ingredients in this insightful guide.
Excellent intro to this cuisine
Modern, educative, with illustrative pictures and recipes I can’t wait to try.