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Masaleydaar: Classic Indian Spice Blends

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by Nandita Godbole
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For a limited time we are pleased to have copies signed by Nandita Godbole.

This guide to Indian seasoning is also a guide to regional cooking. In addition to covering spice blends which are used throughout the country, author Nandita Godbole offers five chapters which divide India into large areas, showcasing local flavor combinations and, in many cases, exemplary dishes which incorporate them.

An Indian-born immigrant to the United States who, as a cooking teacher, has spent years working to expand Americans’ sense of how complex Indian cuisine is, Godbole is a painstaking guide. She addresses not only spices but other components which are commonly used in blends known as masalas (masaleydaar means flavorful). After listing and describing a dozen different chili peppers used in India, she mentions another dozen chilies, and cautions that her account is not exhaustive.

While access to good suppliers is important to making the most of this book, the book itself is an inspiration to seek out just those kind of vendors in order to prepare dishes like:

  • Baby eggplants with bunt masala from the Southwestern Malabar Coast

  • Pan-fried chicken momos (dumplings) with Khasi-style roasted tree tomato chutney from Meghalaya in the Northeast
  • Jackfruit kernel curry with Xacuti masala from Goa in the West
  • Calabaza squash with Rajasthani masala (often fiery) in the country’s heartland
  • Stewed apples in cream, incorporating fragrant Shahjahani masala from Kashmir in the Northwest

A rewarding exploration for those who have felt other Indian cookbooks never took them quite far enough.

Paperback. Color photographs throughout.

Published: 2023

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