To catch any of you newbies up on this Blog CookOff, I was invited by Hippocrene Books, a well-known publisher of international cookbooks, to participate in a Blog-CookOff to celebrate the new release of Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya.
During Week #1 of the Blog-CookOff, a few of us bloggers all featured Rinku’s Classic Green Mint Chutney which I tossed into brown rice and topped with tomatoes and nectarines. Week #2 we chose a recipe in the book to cook and blog about – I chose Rinku’s Well-Seasoned Potato and Mint Salad, perfect for summertime BBQs. And this week, we’re offering a Cookbook Giveaway!
Let me tell you a little more about the book:
Layout and Design-
Spices & Seasons is a hardback cookbook of about 150 recipes. Every recipe has an accompanying photo to help you visualize the dish.
Use of spices and herbs is center stage in Rinku’s book and fittingly opens with a primer on essential spices and herbs to have on hand – including health benefits of specific spices and herbs and advice on storing them.
The following chapters are organized initially by type of dish, and then switch to type of food, before finishing with desserts and sweet drinks. The book generally moves from lighter fare to heavier starting with Appetizers and Small Plates, followed by Salads, Condiments & Chutneys, and Soups. Then it switches to type of food with a chapter on Eggs, Paneer, and Tofu, followed by a section on Vegetables before moving onto Fish, Meats, Grains & Pasta, and Flatbreads & Crepes.
Each recipe includes prep and cook times, and many include cooking tips.
The final chapter is devoted to making spice blends for your pantry, including Chaat Masala for relishes and salads, Tandoori Masala for grilling, and Basic Curry (Kari Powder).
Spices and herbs are unequivocally the focus! Throughout the book are inserts of tips on their use, as well as storing, growing, shopping, and nutrition.
Although this is not a vegetarian cookbook per se, there are a wealth of vegan and vegetarian recipes throughout the book. For ease of use, symbols identify each recipe as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, fish and seafood, or meat and poultry.
This cookbook is largely aimed at people on the go. It not “meals in 30 minutes or less” but a number of them are designed for nights when you (as Rinku puts it) “want to serve a nutritious, sustainable, appealing meal but are short on time…[her book] strives to dispel the notion that you can’t make good Indian food at home as an everyday meal.”
What I Liked
The recipes make cooking Indian food very accessible for the busy family and uses a wide range of vegetables and spices, like the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Winter Squash Pizza, Masala Omelet Frittata, Shrimp in a Creamy Bell Pepper Sauce, and the Cumin and Chorizo Cornbread Dressing (although I would use soyrizo in place of the chorizo). High on my list to try is the Fresh Ginger Apple Chai Cake.
I was provided a review copy of Spices & Seasons cookbook. All opinions expressed are my own. This giveaway is not sponsored—I just want to spread the word on a great cookbook I think you’ll all enjoy!!
WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THE SCARLETTA BAKES NEW COOKBOOK “THE NEW SOUTHWEST”? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO…
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Deadline: Contest ends June 8, 2014
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