Home Style Garam Masala from Hari Nayak's Kitchen and a cookbook review

Saturday, August 20, 2011
I was contacted by Cheryl Duncan last week asking if I could do a cookbook review, I immediately agreed. A few days later, I received the book and I am already in love with the cookbook. The book looks so appealing and enticing with all its amazing food pictures by Jack Turkel.

"My Indian kitchen - Preparing delicious Indian meals without fear or fuss" by Hari Nayak is a perfect Indian cookbook for every cook - for novice to experts. It has simple recipes like the Sweet Mango Yogurt Lassi to exotic recipes like Samosas and Malabar Crab curry. The book also features recipes of Indian spice mixes to get you started on Indian cooking.

Hari Nayak is a celebrity Indian chef and a restaurateur from New Jersey. Growing up in a coastal rural town, Udipi in southwest India, Hari nayak shares his family's own style of southern Indian cooking that includes meats and seafood. The chef also includes the usual favorites such as his famous melt-in-your-mouth Cafe Spice Chicken Tikka Masala found at Whole Foods hot bars throughout the US.

The book starts with an introduction to indian food which explains that Indian food is much more than just curry! Nayak also gives sample vegetarian and non-vegetarian party menus to get you started. he also gives suggestions on the various wines that pairs beautifully with Indian food. He then gives a few simple techniques and a very interesting introduction to exotic Indian ingredients. The book is then divided into various chapters - Indian spice mixes, chutneys and accompaniments, appetizers, soups and dals, vegetable and cheese dishes, fish and seafood, poultry and meat, bread and rice and finally desserts and drinks.

A few of my favorite recipes from the book which I will be trying very soon..
  • Plum-Tomato chutney with mustard seeds

  • Spicy Paneer Cheese Kebabs

  • Fiery South Indian tomato Soup

  • Mangalore Spiced potatoes

  • Saffron Chicken biryani

  • Flaky Paratha Breads stuffed with potatoes

  • Pistachio Biscotti and Almond Butter Cookies

Here is the first recipe I tried from the cookbook - Home Style Garam Masala. My entire smell is filled with the fragrance of the masala and I cant wait to use the masala in various recipes.

Makes about 2/3 cup (75 grams)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Cumin seeds - 2 tablespoons
Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon
Black peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon - one 1/2 inch stick
Green cardamom pods - 10
Whole cloves - 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
5 bay leaves

  1. Dry roast the whole spices in a small skillet, over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Remove the spices from the skillet and set aside to let cool completely.

  3. Grind the spices, with the bay leaves, in an electric spice grinder or mixer to a fine powder.

  4. Store in an air tight jar for up to 4 to 6 weeks.

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