Blog CookOff! Cookbook #Giveaway: Spiced & Seasons by Rinku Bhattacharya

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Spices & Seasons cover

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).

Cookbook Focus

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!!


Spices and Seasons

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, and good luck! There are oodles of opportunities for multiple entries:

… Tweeting about the #giveaway

… Liking The Wimpy Vegetarian Facebook page

… Following me on Twitter

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… Leaving me a comment about anything at all :-)

Deadline: Contest ends June 8, 2014

Sweepstakes open only to U.S. residents 18 and over, with mailing addresses in the U.S.

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You like vegetables? Me too! Keep up to date, get exclusive recipes & don't miss a single delicious thing!

Spiralized beet noodles sautéed in olive oil and apple cider vinegar, with spring onions, over whipped feta cheese. Finish with a fluff ball of sprouts and a drizzle of olive oil.
Comforting gratin of wilted chard, onion, quinoa, cheese, milk and breadcrumbs.
Clam chowder with flavors of the Islands from coconut milk and lemongrass.
Cinnamon Raisin toasts, smeared with apricot jam, and topped with melty chocolate for a quick dessert.
Riced cauliflower and grated carrots sautéed with spring onions in coconut oil, and tossed with lime and cilantro.
Soft savory dinner rolls filled with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and basil.
Mashed fava beans with mint on crostini for a perfect appetizer - from the Vegetable Butcher cookbook.
Lazy weekend breakfast of baked potato skins stuffed with cheese, avocado and an egg.
No Bake Pie: Margarita Pie with a Pretzel Crust. Great frozen dessert to serve for Cinco de Mayo, and tuck away the leftovers into the freezer to have on hand all summer.
Citrus Ginger Carrots
Cheese Tortellini with Fava Beans and Herbed Ricotta Cheese
Trofie Pasta with Creamy Poblano Sauce


  1. Cindy says

    The cook book sounds great! We love all Asian food; however, Indian dishes are our favorite. Being vegetarian with multiple family food allergies and Celiac, Asian is a sure winner. I pick up most of my spices from Penzeys or the Asian and Indian food markets near us. I also always pick up some Papadum and candy coated anise to have on hand for an authentic meal!

  2. Rebecca Parsons says

    I have cooked only a few dishes because I am usually intimidated by how it should taste and me cooking it. I always follow recipes though when I do so hopefully it turns out the way it should taste.

  3. Annette says

    I’ve made a few Indian dishes at home and they were delicious. I’d like to try more recipes, because I love the flavors in Indian food.

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