Cookbook review: Spices & Seasons | Recipe Renovator

I am always happy to get new cookbooks in the mail. When it’s the second cookbook from an online friend, and the first cookbook contained nothing but incredibly delicious recipes, well, that’s a really good day. I loved Rinku Bhattacharya’s first book, The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles. Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors looks equally delicious. While The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles taught me about the author’s heritage, Spices & Seasons shows me her current family life in Westchester, NY; what she grows in her garden and cooks for her two children and husband.

Cookbook review: Spices & Seasons | Recipe Renovator

Layout and design:
The hardcover book has a glossy color exterior, so it will hold up to years of cooking in busy kitchens. The book includes the following chapters: Essentials (Indian cooking), Appetizers & Small Plates, Salads Condiments and Chutneys, Soups & Lentils, Eggs Paneer & Tofu, Vegetables, Fish & Shellfish, Meat & Poultry, Holidays, Rice Grains & Pasta, Flatbreads & Crepes, Desserts & Sweet Drinks, Tool Chest. The layout made sense to me, and the recipe layout is user-friendly. I would not have used the lightweight sans serif font the designer chose for the body copy, as it’s a bit difficult to read, but otherwise the design works for the reader.
Cookbook review: Spices & Seasons | Recipe Renovator
Nearly every recipe features a full-color photograph, offering a glimpse into what the finished dish might look like in your kitchen.
Super simple fish curry from Spices & Seasons | Review by Recipe Renovator
I used one of her fish curry recipes as a starting point for a quick dinner, and it was delicious. (I adapted it to my diet, so I can’t really say I “tested” it, but I would definitely make it again with my changes.) There is a huge variety of dishes to choose from: fritters, crepes, dals, puddings, all using fresh local ingredients. I have bookmarked: sweet potato soup with saffron, sage, and nutmeg; comforting slow-cooked chickpeas with tomatoes and ginger; coastal coconut and tamarind fish curry; lamb curry with mint and apricots; herb and spice roasted chicken; and crispy spiced lentil crepes. Each recipe is clearly labeled if it is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free at the top.

What I liked about the book:
Nice layout, wonderful collection of dependable recipes, and even gluten-free and vegan/veg recipe indices at the back!

I wasn’t so keen on:
Without nutritional analysis, I can’t say whether these are suitable for low-sodium diets.

Recommended for:
Anyone wanting to learn how to make fresh Indian food; celiacs, gluten-free eaters, vegetarians, vegans (see next note)

Not recommended for:
Migraine sufferers; as there is no nutritional analysis included, I can’t say whether this is suitable for low-sodium diets. Vegan recipes are labeled and even have their own index, but if it will upset you to have a cookbook that includes meat dishes, pass on this one.

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.

Required FTC disclosure: I received one copy of this book from the publisher for the giveaway on June 27th, and one from the author for my use.
Here’s the book if you want to dive in: