Book Review

The Indian Spice Kitchen

The Cooky Cat has already made it quite clear that the world does not need another cook book. The field is growing exponentially and is already littered with ever more narrow takes on all kinds of narrow things. There are probably books out there, one for omelets with white eggs, and another with brown. Or, chili con carne with beans, and without. Or, kimchee with and kimchee without salted shrimp.

It's a tower of babel out there folks, and we're just talkin' cook books. When cats dream of a scratching post, the tower of babel is an archetype that all felines can relate to. Sort of gives you an idea of what it's good for from a cat's eye view.

While the world doesn't need another cook book, you may. And one that Cooky Cat gives "full whiskers" to is this one, The Indian Spice Kitchen.

The Indian culinary pantry is indeed exotic. To even experienced cooks it may be unknown territory and too daunting to feel comfortable to approach. If you want to have the experience of the uninitiated, just go to an Indian food store and mosey about looking at it all. Just what the heck is all that stuff for? Some of it will be familiar. Hey, jeera, it's cumin! But what about the spice mixture panch phoron?

You need a resource to demystify the Indian pantry. We have one for you.

The Indian Spice Kitchen lays it out in the most accessible and beautiful way. The contents are organized first according to classes of ingredients, then the specific ingredients themselves for each category. There are suggested recipes under each topic. There is a good bit of history and references to medicinal properties. How things are cultivated and stored. The uses, in general and great recipes.

This is a culinary student's book. Wondering what to do with that package of tirphal berries you bought on impulse; the book gives chapter and verse. Then you can conjure up "visions of Goan beaches at dusk, when the notes of the guitar fill the air and curry and rice stalls start their trade." 

Another book that is biblical in its importance to high Indian cuisine...

Lord Krishna's Cuisine