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

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Deadline: Contest ends June 8, 2014

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26 Responses to “Blog CookOff! Cookbook #Giveaway: Spiced & Seasons by Rinku Bhattacharya” Subscribe

  1. cheri May 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Susan, Both cookbooks sound wonderful, the fresh ginger apple chai cake sounds amazing!
    cheri recently posted..A Double Rainbow and Gyoza Dumplings Two WaysMy Profile

  2. Cindy May 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    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!

  3. sarah May 30, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    I cook it at times, but I’ve been cooking Ethiopian more lately

  4. Becca F May 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    I do but the scent from all the spices is hard to wash out of my pots and pants!

  5. Carolyn G May 30, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I try but I am not very good at it.

  6. Barbara May 31, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    The book sounds fab.

  7. Rebecca Parsons May 31, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    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.

  8. Elizabeth May 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Indian food is actually my favorite cuisine to cook at home :)

  9. Choc Chip Uru June 1, 2014 at 3:32 am #

    These cookbooks sound so great, especially since I am Indian 😛

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Trying To Be Healthy & Massive Giveaway!My Profile

  10. Wendy Read June 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Fabulous giveaway and wonderful review! I would love to have a copy, I adore ethnic foods of all sorts. I don’t usually cook Indian.

  11. lizthechef June 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    I wish I could cook Indian food – my husband is so not a spice guy. I’ll bet I can find something he would like in this book, though – lovely.
    lizthechef recently posted..Pineapple – Meyer Lemon MargaritaMy Profile

  12. Meryl June 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Yes, I cook Indian food, but am always looking for new recipes.

  13. jacquie June 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    no i don’t currently cook Indian food at home but i would like to learn how to.

  14. Tanvi June 4, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    I cook a LOT of Indian food at home but always on the look out for more inspiration.

  15. The Peace Patch June 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    We do cook Indian recipes…I especially love dosas and parathas. Many thanks! :)

  16. Annette June 8, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    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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