Thursday, 23 May 2019

Spices And Seasons by Rinku Bhattacharya


Spices And Seasons by Rinku Bhattacharya
Published in America by Hippocrene Books on the 15th May 2014.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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In Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors

Rinku Bhattacharya combines her two great loves―Indian cooking and sustainable living―to give readers a simple, accessible way to cook seasonally, locally, and flavorfully. Inspired by the bounty of local produce, mostly from her own backyard, Rinku set out to create recipes for busy, time-strapped home cooks who want to blend Indian flavors into nutritious family meals.

Arranged in chapters from appetizers through desserts, the cookbook includes everything from small bites, soups, seafood, meat and poultry, and vegetables, to condiments, breads, and sweets. You’ll find recipes for tempting fare like “Mango and Goat Cheese Mini Crisps,” “Roasted Red Pepper Chutney,” “Crisped Okra with Dry Spice Rub,” “Smoky Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Puree,” and “Red Harvest Masala Cornish Hens,” to name a few.

As exotic and enticing as these recipes sound, the ingredients are easily found and the instructions are simple. Rinku encourages readers to explore the bounty of their local farms and markets, and embrace the rich flavors of India to cook food that is nutritious, healthy, seasonal and most importantly, delicious.

Rinku Bhattacharya now lives in New York state so in Spices And Seasons she blends together recipes that make the most of New York's seasonal produce with rich Indian culinary heritage. I loved the sheer variety of dishes and was swiftly enticed by the delicious colour photographs and Bhattacharya's straightforward style. Each section is introduced with a fascinating short essay discussing aspects of her food philosophy, her family's influences - both Indian and American - on her cookery, and the history of some of the forthcoming recipes. Despite the strong American slant, I found most of the recipes suitable for a European cook like me! Indian ingredients are widely available in the UK at least and I was already familiar with a number of the dishes from Indian restaurant visits. Launching into my own Indian cookery journey with Rinku has been great fun!

Recipes are grouped by logical subjects and there are multiple indexes at the back of the book which are a fantastically useful idea. Cooks can search by main ingredient or by dietary requirement, for example Gluten Free recipes or Vegan and Vegetarian recipes. As a vegan I didn't attempt any of the meat recipes, but have spent the past month making several of the vegan (and veganised vegetarian) ones as well as exploring making chutneys and pickles, refining my flatbread making skills. The photo here is my Aloo Gobi dinner served with Coconut Green Beans and Beetroot Chutney. An enticingly colourful meal with a satisfying blend of flavours!

I was a little overwhelmed at the start by some of the longer ingredient lists, but we actually already had jars of most of the spices and it is a delight, having chosen a recipe suitable for the current time of the book, to be eating food in tune with the season. Emotionally it feels 'right' to eat spring greens and new potatoes in springtime. Spices And Seasons is definitely a keeper cookbook and, while the ebook is absolutely fine to use, I would recommend cooks treat themselves to the beautiful physical book.

Meet the author

Rinku Bhattacharya (spicechronicles.com) was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”

Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.

Author links: 
Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram




Etsy Find!
by Green Heart Store UK in
Birmingham, England

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Books by Rinku Bhattacharya / Food and cookery books / Books from India

13 comments:

  1. Oh, looks amazing and so delicious.

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  2. I've only tried a few Indian dishes on my own, but good explanations and easy to find ingredients sound great.
    Wow! Your Aloo Gobi looks delicious!

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    1. I was very proud of that Aloo Gobi! It both looked and tasted just as it should!

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  3. It must be a great book with rating 5 of 5 stars.

    I have some Indian cuisine cookbooks because I love curry so much.

    Thank you Jane

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    1. Yes, I am quite miserly with my 5 star ratings

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  4. I wish that I knew more about spices

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    1. This cookbook explains about the most popular ones in a good accessible way

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  5. I love spicy food so this appeals to me. It was nice getting to know more about the author too.

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    1. Yes, I thought Rinku struck a good balance between personal chat and cookery advice

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  6. I loved this book too.

    I run a link up for reviews of books about food. You are welcome to link this review for a chance to win a gift card. Https://www.spiritblog.net/May-2019-foodies-read

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    1. Thank you for sharing this link. I'm on my way ;-)

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  7. I love Indian food. Thanks for sharing this cookbook with us.

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