Indian Flavors

Rinku Bhattacharya Indian Flavors. Book Review

Indian Flavors Magic!

Spices and Seasons. Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors

Rinku Bhattacharya’s much-anticipated beautiful new book, will be hitting the shelves in May.

Spices and Seasons. Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors.

It lives up to its title and subtitle, with flying colors. The operative word here is Sustainable. The book is chock-full of gorgeous pictures with every dish. Seasonings and spices lesser known to the American public are clearly described, along with their sources, and you realize how easily obtainable they had been all along, maybe not at the 7/11, but in all respectable groceries markets. Although seasonal is a large part of the book’s equation, Rinku never gets pedantic or didactic in her approach, I didn’t come across a single vegetable you couldn’t easily find at a good produce market at an affordable price.

Dear Kosher diners using Indian flavors:

Please do not write off meat and poultry recipes calling for yogurt (as in Tandoori sauces and creamed curries), just do as I do and use dairy-free soy or coconut yogurt, and keep going! Vegetarian diners will never go hungry, with her countless delicious vegetarian soups and vegetable dishes. Oh I assure you’ll never again throw away all those brilliant dark greens attached to your bunch of radishes, mustard greens, beets and more: They will become… dinner! and what a dinner!

A cook after my own heart, Rinku uses no gimmicks and no short cuts anywhere, and of course ends up with vibrant, lean and exciting dishes each time, much faster than the cooks who did use faux time-saving tools, and in much greater style. There’s a bread basket chapter in the book, when I saw it I said, just like my grandkids, OMG! What else could I do? Desserts: Ditto. Indian desserts, in my humble opinion, traditionally err on the sweet and often frankly uninspired side, but Rinku has some fantastic finales for us: Fresh Ginger Apple Chai Cake, Raspberry Kulfi Ice Cream? Hello?

Kudos to Rinku for removing the mystery and clarifying the esoteric names of Indian Cooking, and spreading on the excitement, simplicity and flavors so thick!