Showing posts with label recipe books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe books. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Pinch of This, A Handful of That - A Book Review

There is something about a recipe book, isn't there? The joy of leafing through the pictures, checking to see if you have all the ingredients, the frustration of not having some, the anticipation before the final product. The whole whirl of emotion that one book can make you feel.

When the people at India Book Store asked me to host a book review, I was more than willing to oblige. Go on, read the review and also pop over to their blog, it is quite awesome.

This post is part of a guest post exchange with IndiaBookStore. IndiaBookStore is a Book Search

Engine which helps you find the best deals on books. We are book lovers ourselves; we define

ourselves as 'Of the Bookish, By the Bookish, For the Bookish.' Check out our book blog here: and start finding the cheapest books here: http:// Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @IndiaBookStore. Happy Reading!

This is a book that lives up to its name. A Pinch of This, A Handful of That has recipes from here, there

and everywhere; some everyday, some exotic; some easy, some extremely complicated.

I don’t rightly know whether this book should be classified as a cookbook. That definition is both

restrictive and untrue. Because this book is much more than that. Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal is a food

blogger who is passionately interested in cooking, and this passion spills out in her stories. Every section

in the book begins with a food story. Moti Mummy ordering all the women of the household to make

a year’s worth of tomato ketchup because tomatoes are at their cheapest, Maharaj, her family’s cook

who makes the best Mohanthal, Rushina the enthusiastic new bride stocking her kitchen to feed twenty

instead of two, and later, as a young mother, taking a leaf out of Calvin’s (of Hobbes fame) mom’s book

by giving gory names to simple homemade fare – those are the stories that stay with you, long after

you’ve glanced through the recipes.

Taken strictly as a cookbook, I have mixed feelings about the book. The book contains such varied

recipes; Gujarati, Sindhi, Italian; vegetarian, non-vegetarian; desserts, snacks, main courses; that unless

you plan to randomly dip into the book and cook whatever turns up on the page (which may not be

very easy to do, considering that some of the dishes feature exotic ingredients that may not be readily

available in your neighbourhood supermarket) the book may leave you feeling a bit clueless. Neither

does it have a detailed table of contents. How am I to know, for instance, that the book contains a

recipe for Rainbow Chard Saute?

That being said, dipping into the book is a bit like putting your hand into Santa’s bag of goodies and

waiting with bated breath to see what you’ve landed. If, like me, you think you’ve exhausted your stock

of recipes and want to surprise your family or friends with something unexpected, this book is the cure.

The individual recipes are explained in a simple manner, and I tried a couple of things for myself, to

check them out (the Chhole and Nairobi Butter Tawa Prawns) and both tasted great. I feel inspired to try

some of the more exotic recipes; the Undhiyu, for example, and the above-mentioned Rainbow Chard


I suspect the book is aimed at people who read Rushina’s blog. I think it could have been organized

better; into sections based on the type of cuisine, for example. On the other hand, as I said before, the

book might be the perfect antidote to kitchen boredom. Pick a page at random and try something new!

- written by Mugdha Wagle

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Happy! Happy!

Yesterday was a fun day! I was to go for my farewell lunch organised by some friends. See the cake below? That was for me! It was a chocolate fudge cake. It was divine and not too sweet, as sometimes fudge cakes can be. It was soft and moist and gorgeous. 

My friend had borrowed my recipe book for it (i know!) and this was the first cake I had ever baked. I trust this book and all it's recipes with all my heart and I am glad it didn't let her down. 

The top view of the cake. The prettyness courtesy, my arty friend. 

There was also paneer chilli and stir fried noodles. Both were amazing. the noodles was simple and mildly garlicky. The paneer was great, soft and spicy.
Another reason for yesterday being a good day was my friend who was vacationing in the US, came back and with her came my new laptop (Nemo. yes we name inanimate objects) and her gift for me, the gorgeous recipe book you see below.

Her choice was great because all the ingredients are easily and cheaply accessible in India. They even suggest substitutes that can be used, which I find very useful because some books can be pretty obstinate that way. 

Oh the pictures in tho book! AAH! They are so pretty and look so delicate with tea china. I have a secret obsession with tea china since we did a cultural paper on Jane Austen and had to display things from her era. My mother produced this gorgeous tea set from the depths of her kitchen attic complete with miniature victorian paintings on it! (In case you are nit picking, I know Jane Austen didn't write about the Victorian Era, but the tea set looked very English). Also one of our favourite professors who looks as delicate as the tea set herself, fell in love with it. 
What keeps you happy these days?

P.S It is my sister's birthday in a week and I will get to try the new book!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I read, I bake!

I am a recipe book whore! There I said it.

I know that someday, when I have the money, I will own a huge recipe book collection. I cook from them often. There is no denying that, but some of them just speak to you. Some appeal to you with their pictures and some with some never-fail recipes.

These are my go-to for when I bake:

The first from L-R is Great Cakes by Womans day and White wings. The book starts with familiarising you with the equipment, then teaching you how to do make some frosting and cake decorations. The cakes are divided by category into classic, seasonal, novelty etc. Most of the recipes call for the use of White Wings self raising flour, but the regular ones you get at any store would do. I must confess I have never used any recipes from this book, no particular reason, but it has the prettiest pictures. No book with pretty picture of cakes can be bad right?

The next sans it's red cover is Favourite Cake Recipes by Family Circle. I couldn't find this book for over two years and I thought I had lost it forever. The first cake I baked was from this, chocolate fudge cake, I remember how sinfully awesome it was and how Aditi and I had distributed it to everyone in the society for Christmas. Sigh!

The third and a birthday gift is Sanjeev Kapoor's Cakes and Bakes everyone in India knows of this always smiling and amazing chef who taught India how to cook with Khana Khazana. His recipes are fail-proof! Just follow them to the T and even if you think you have screwed up (unless you have forgotten to add something crucial like flour) his cakes will always, always turn out to be amazing. It also helps that there is a smiley at the bottom of every recipe stating the difficulty level - Easy, Moderate and Hard.

I do have a list of book I would love to have. Nigella tops the list. Her book is like a person, breathing, alive and even though a lot of her recipes have meat, I love the way she writes.