Gorgeously quick Indian recipes for every day
I’m always happy to get a book from Tuttle Publishers, whose sole focus is Asian culture. They are always beautiful and well designed and this one is no exception. The Cafe Spice Cookbook: 84 Quick and Easy Indian Recipes for Everyday Meals by Chef Hari Nayak is an excellent addition to any kitchen looking to create Indian flavors at home.
Layout and design:
The book begins with some key information for Indian cooking, including techniques, tools, tips, and ingredients. Chapters include: the basics, chutneys & accompaniments, starters & salads, soups & dals, vegetables & cheese, fish & seafood, poultry & meat, breads rice & grains, desserts & drinks. The sole use of sans serif fonts makes parts of the book a little difficult to read, especially on pages where there is a background image. But overall the book’s design is user-friendly.
Recipes include spiced pear chutney, Goan fish cakes, black-eyed pea curry, baby corn and green beans, grilled tandoori fish, Mom’s chicken curry, lemon rice with peanuts, and steamed yogurt pudding. Recipes are traditional and may include sugar, dairy products, wheat, and meat.
What I liked about the book:
Rich photography brings the spicy food to life. I definitely wanted to dive into this book and start cooking. Excellent overview of Indian ingredients and techniques to demystify this cuisine. Good variety of recipes without feeling overwhelming.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
Adventurous eaters who love Indian food, can be adapted for paleo, vegan, vegetarian, celiac, and gluten-free eaters. If you omit the salt, this should be a great cookbook for low-sodium eaters, as Indian food is usually very high in sodium.
Not recommended for:
Migraine diets, unless you’re 100% clear on your triggers.
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.