Modern Spice Done Right

Indian Fusion In Minutes

Spice Looking for a quick and easy way to spice up everyday meals? Pick up food writer Monica Bhide's latest, Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen. Bhide, who has written for the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and the Washington Post, blends old school spices and techniques with fresh, vibrant flavors, like pomegranate and mango, in both sweet and savory dishes.

Bhide offers a clear, illustrated front-of-the-book primer for those dabbling with Indian cuisine for the first time, explaining how to play with the spices until you find the right masala to fit your tastes. Once you have the basics down, she recommends tweaking the recipes to amp up or tone down the flavors to suit your palate.

Stand-outs include the lux and luscious coriander-and-fennel crusted lamb chops, the tangy, crunchy Indian onion rings with chaat masala, a super-easy guava-coconut kulfi. Yum. Navdeep will no doubt be treated this meal sometime soon.

What sets Bhide's cook book apart from the glut of Indian how-to tomes that weigh down bookstore shelves these days, though, is her thoughtful and thoroughly modern take on sub-continent-inspired libations. Forget mojitos — try Bhide's green mango and rum Emerald-ade. Or, for a more traditional flavor, try the inspired Rum and Roses, a cooling blend of sweet Rooh Afza syrup, lime juice and white rum. For more on Bhide and her culinary adventures, check out her blog.

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