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Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen Hardcover – Apr 21 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 21 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416566597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416566595
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 18.8 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 41 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Are you afraid to try cooking Indian food? Don't be. Nov. 19 2009
By Suzanne Fass - Published on
Format: Hardcover
First, I must admit that the author is a friend, and that I worked with her on this book. But please don't let that make you think that any praise I give the book is unearned. Believe me, if this book had fallen out of the sky into my kitchen I would also love it.


Reason #1: The recipes WORK. I'm lucky enough to know that Monica tests her recipes, and has people with all different levels of cooking skill test them, too. And she won't let a recipe go until everyone can make it. So even if you are a novice cook, you *can* make these dishes. And if you are already skilled in Indian cooking, you just might find a simpler way to make something you love. Case in point: the recipe for Cream of Wheat and Paneer Pancakes (page 200). When I read it, I recognized it immediately as idli. But where is grinding the grains for it? Where is letting the batter sit overnight (or longer) to ferment? Gone! But what you get is a delicious pancake that works as a side, as a bread, as the basis for a meal.

Reason #2: She is there to guide you through things that might be new to you. It might be a bit much to call this a "Mastering the Art of Indian Cooking," but there is very helpful information about ingredients and techniques that might be unfamiliar. And again, even if you think you know all about them, you just might learn something.

Reason #3: This really is a book for *modern* cooks. Who has time to grind spices, and make complicated multi-day recipes? Very few of us. But even the simplest, quickest recipes are so full of flavor, you'll almost feel guilty at how easy they are. There is no such thing as a recipe that is too simple, as far as I'm concerned, not if the people I serve it to eat up every last bit! When I told the wife of one of my cousins about this -- she's an engineer who was born in the United States to parents from India who live now in North Carolina -- she exclaimed, "I would love that. And my mom would LOVE it, too!"

Reason #4: This is more than "just" a cookbook. Monica writes beautiful essays that may touch your soul, or remind you to call a friend you haven't spoken to in too long, or make you forgive your spouse for a silly argument, or let you marvel at how wonderful simple cooking can be. Even if you never cook anything from this -- although I can't imagine not wanting to -- you can sit with it and have a glass of wine or a cup of tea and lose yourself in her writing.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
GREAT cookbook! May 20 2009
By Kristin Ohlson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There are so many wonderful recipes here, plus I love the little personal stories that Bhide drops into the book, like pearls. I find her recipes for vegetables especially helpful: we're trying to eat less meat in this house, and Modern Spice gives me so many new ways to cook old favorites like eggplant. She's also given me a reason to like green beans. Many nice seafood recipes, too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Indian recipes that work in an American kitchen Jan. 27 2011
By K - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook has been a great addition to my kitchen. While I love Indian food, I often struggle to pull off recipes in my own home because it's difficult to obtain the right ingredients. Fortunately, many of the recipes in this book use recipes that are easy to access (yes, I had to make a special trip to Whole Foods for some, but that's still obtainable). And while the ingredients are easier to find, the recipes are still inventive and interesting (it's more than just a book filled with dal and chicken recipes). I personally enjoyed the short stories scattered throughout the book. However, they don't dominate the book, so if they're not your cup o' tea, you won't be too distracted by them. The photographs in this book are mouthwatering, and will make you want to try every recipe. Not only has this book become a staple in my kitchen, but I have given it twice as a gift to adventurous cooks, with rave reviews from the recipients.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A personal, fresh approach to Indian cooking! Aug. 13 2009
By L. Campbell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Bhide's third cookbook features sophisticated, boldly-flavored recipes that reflect her unique life experiences in India, the Middle East, and the United States. While the recipes are grounded in traditional Indian flavors, they incorporate ingredients and techniques from many cultures. Each section is preceded by an essay that captures Bhide's relationship to a particular recipe, ingredient, or cooking philosophy. Her recipes are very personal, and the stories behind them are compelling. Like many of Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks, Modern Spice offers a friendly, unintimidating approach to Indian cooking. Many of the recipes feature simple preparations and commonly available ingredients. They are forgiving, and encourage substitutions and creativity. Bhide thoroughly explains spices and herbs which may be unfamiliar, and recommends sources for unconventional ingredients and time-saving commercial products. Recommended for readers who enjoy a blend of recipes and personal narrative, or readers looking for a fresh approach to Indian cooking.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
My Favorite New Cookbook! May 7 2009
By Tara W. Dahill - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Modern Spice" is hands-down my favorite new cookbook. I am reading it cover to cover, and I simply can't say enough good things about this book. For those out there who fear the exploration of this cuisine, let "Modern Spice" be your guide. The pantry chapter alone will allay your fear of mysterious spices and by the time you've gotten to the first recipe you'll be chomping at the bit to get to your stove.

"Modern Spice" is more than a cookbook; its a deeply personal exploration of food, family, culture and more. Monice Bhide's passion for life and food is infectious - it will draw you in, keep you reading, and encourage you to explore. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this treasure - your heart and your palate will thank you.