The Masala Cookbook (Shameless Self-Promotion)


Alix writes, “Your cookbook is fantastic!” Thanks, Alix! You’ve presented me with the perfect opening to wax lyrical about myself.

If I were a sympathetic cookbook reviewer like Alix, but with a bit more space to work with, this is probably what I’d write about that paragon of culinary achievement, The Masala Cookbook, which I also wrote, incidentally.

(“Serious publication” tone starts NOW.)

Dazzling Indian Cuisine: New Cookbook is Perfect Gift for Foodies

The Masala Cookbook has all the ingredients to make the perfect gift for the foodie in your life: radiant photography, gorgeously tempting recipes and a direct route to mastery of an exotic cuisine. The world of delicious Indian dhals and curries, genuine Chai tea, and cardamom-infused sweet delights is now an open book.

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Anyone can be a “curry genius,” say co-authors Parvati Narshi and Ben Williams – a mother-in-law, son-in-law team from Cape Town – who introduce a spendidly simple system that will bring joy to those who’ve always wanted to cook Indian food like the pros. The secret to making divine curries is in the masalas that you use: not the packets of stale powders that you buy in shops, but special chilli pastes and roasted-spice blends that you make at home.

Fortunately, this is a cinch. One of The Masala Cookbook‘s innovations is to bring traditional Indian methods into a modern kitchen. Fresh chilli pastes are minced in a food processor, spices are roasted in just a few minutes in the microwave (or a bit longer in an oven), then blended in a coffee grinder – and voilá! You have your own Indian cookery tool kit. (A simple mortar and pestle will work, too.) With masalas to hand, you’re a scoop or sprinkle away from truly dazzling food.

The stars of this book’s feast of vegetarian, seafood, meat and poultry recipes are the Red and Green Masalas, which are moist pastes, like an Indian version of pesto, that give curries an unmistakable “tang;” and the Warm and 3-Spice Masalas, blends of cumin, coriander and other spices which supply dishes with a mouth-watering, savoury finishing touch. The four masalas are like an alphabet, placing an entire language of cooking within easy reach.

The book also includes directions for blending Tea Masala, so you can brew up your own pot of steaming, invigorating Chai, and Cardamom-Nutmeg Masala, for Indian fudges and other sweet treats. All told, there are over 70 delectable recipes on which to try your new-found “masala magic,” illustrated with stunning photographs throughout.

The Masala Cookbook makes exploring the world of Indian cuisine a tantalising – and rewarding – pleasure.

(END “serious publication” tone.)

Isn’t that lovely?
Links for purchasing The Masala Cookbook: