Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Indian Cuisine Next Big Thing!

Chutney Joe's, a "Chipotle-style" restaurant in Chicago, (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Our very own Editorial Director, Priti Chitnis Gress, was interviewed in an article on the increasing popularity of Indian cuisine in America.

"People, especially in metropolitan communities, are fairly sophisticated," she says. "It's not just chicken curry and rice and naan anymore."

"The American palate is no longer bland," [agrees] Andrew F. Smith, editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink of America, who predicts that Indian food will take off in the next decade the way sushi bars did in the 1980s and Thai food did in the '90s.

Check out the full story at ABC News!

And for those who want to master Indian flavors at home, any of these cookbooks are a great place to start:

In the famous cooking tradition of South India's Chettinad region, these mostly vegetarian recipes allow home cooks to create enticing fare such as Lemon Rice, Coconut Chutney, Chickpea and Mango Soondal, Eggplant Masala, Cauliflower Soup, and Black-eyed Peas Sambhar. These low-fat, low-calorie dishes are exceptionally delicious and nutritious, featuring wholesome vegetables and legumes flavored with delicate spices.
Each recipe is presented in a step-by-step format with complete nutritional analysis. Also included are 16 pages of color photographs, a shopping list for spices, and a list of recipes perfect for beginners. Sample menus offer complementary dishes and creative suggestions for preparing fusion meals.

Growing research about the significant health benefits of spices, especially the cumin and turmeric found in many South Indian foods, makes these recipes all the more appealing!

At the heart is the story of two women, a Punjabi villager and her American daughter-in-law, and the lives they built together. More than an exceptionally usable cookbook, this is also the intimate saga of a Punjabi family told through the food that has sustained, comforted, and offered them a creative outlet through the years.

Arguably India's most popular cuisine, Punjabi food boasts mouthwatering tandoori kebabs, satisfying curries, and an array of delectable breads. Twenty-two menus feature a wide range of dishes, from rustic, roadside dhaba offerings like Buttermilk Stew with Vegetable Pakoras and the famous Saag Mukke Di Roti (Stewed Mixed Greens with Corn Flatbread), to elegant Roast Leg of Lamb and Royal Bread Pudding that have graced the tables of Maharajahs. Remarkably healthful, over 125 of these recipes are designated vegetarian or vegan.

Veronica Sidhu will be your trusted guide, providing easy-to-follow recipes and advice on shopping, prepping, and creating menus with harmonious elements. Glossaries of food and religious terms, color photos, a resource section for finding Indian ingredients, and bibliography round out this collection.

This cookbook celebrates Kerala through 150 delectable recipes and the equally unforgettable stories that accompany them. Featured here are such savory delights as Meen Vevichathu (Fish Curry Cooked in a Clay Pot), Parippu (Lentils with Coconut Milk) and Thiyal (Shallots with Tamarind and Roasted Coconut). Equally mouthwatering are a variety of rice preparations, Puttu (Steamed Rice Cake) and Paalappam (Lace-Rimmed Pancakes), and tempting desserts like Karikku Pudding (Tender Coconut Pudding). These dishes are adapted for the North American kitchen, and accompanied by a guide to spices, herbs, and equipment, as well as a glossary of food terms.

In the best tradition of the cookbook memoir, there are tales of talking doves, toddy shops, traveling chefs and killer coconuts, evoking the beauty of a bygone era as well as the compelling pull of the present one. Full of beautiful photographs, charming illustrations and lyrical memories of food and family, The Kerala Kitchen is a delicious, memorable read.

Located in northwestern India, Gujarat is known as the country's "Garden State," and is renowned for its vegetarian specialties. Flavorful India showcases the cuisine of Gujarat—from street foods to traditional home-cooked dishes. Hot fluffy puri breads are used to scoop up fragrant vegetable curries and dals, seasoned with cumin, coriander, and freshly ground garlic and ginger. Kitchdi, the dinnertime staple of rice and lentils, is often served on a thaali, a large stainless steel plate containing four to six small bowls, each filled with a different delicacy. On the side, hot fresh chapatis (flatbreads), pickles, and chutneys complete the meal.

This collection of authentic family recipes will introduce you to some of India's most flavorful, yet often overlooked, culinary offerings. The simple, delectable recipes are written for the home cook and adapted to the North American kitchen. An introduction to Gujarati culture, sections on spices, ingredients, and utensils, and charming line drawings by the author's father bring the flavors of India to life.

Indian Spice Kitchen is not only a comprehensive encyclopedia of the ingredients used in Indian cooking, but a feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Monisha Bharadwaj shares the secrets of Indian cuisine and celebrates its variety and ingenuity. From asafoetida to walnuts, each of 100 ingredients is explored giving useful advice about its appearance and taste, how it grows, how to store it and, of course, its culinary uses, complemented with over 200 classic Indian dishes.

The author regularly cooks on TV for Good Food Live, on the UK Food Channel, and has been food consultant to the Times of India group of companies, creating menus for the Deputy Prime Minister of India as well as several top film stars. She also contributes to Elle, Delicious, and Food and Travel in the UK and Cookery Plus in India.

Short-listed for an Andre' Simon Award and the Guild of Food Writers' Book of the Year Award!