Indian food has become very popular over the years. People enjoy the Indian spiced flavors in food, and it has become one of the more popular take out foods as well. Cooking with Indian spices is considered a novelty and exotic, and people find it intimidating to use a lot of spices in dishes, in fear of not getting it to be the right flavor and texture. I have had many folks say to me as well – Indian food is so intimidating with the number of spices required! A lot of the Indian cooking is mainly ginger-garlic-green chillies paste, along with tomatoes-onion paste and dry spices. Then you simply add the lentil or meats or vegetables and flavor it that way.
I have been following Asha for a few years now, both on her gorgeous blog Food Fashion Party and her Instagram @foodfashionparty. We got to know each other over Instagram and I still remember the first conversation we had, and my first impression was wow Asha is such a bubbly and chirpy soul and she seems really nice to talk to! Then we realized we live within 10 minutes of each other! What were the odds?! We have met many a times after that and become good friends, sharing personal stories and conversations. When I found out that Asha was writing a cookbook, I was thrilled and ecstatic for her!
There are no good Indian cookbooks in the American market per se, and with Asha’s creativity, and her beautiful blog full of wonderful innovative recipes and stunning pictures, and her heartfelt stories about her family in India and her family here in the US, I knew the book would be a sure hit! An Indian Cookbook with an American Twist was lacking in the market!
The cookbook Masala and Meatballs is about Indian recipes with an American Twist, and what a fun, clever, creative way to introduce folks to Indian cooking! The photography is simply beautiful, and is by the ever so talented, Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet! 2 of my favorite bloggers merged into one cookbook, so you know the result is going to be stunning! So coming back to the cookbook, think Chicken Pot Pie but with a Curry Twist to it, or Chicken Wings but with an Indian touch, or a Pumpkin Pie with Indian flavors, Or Chicken Meatballs with garam masala or a savory Galette with Sweet Potatoes and Paneer! The list goes on and the recipes are very well thought out and each recipe has a story behind it, as to how it originated! The book is broken down into sections segregated by how we eat in a day, starting with Breakfast, Starters, Vegetarian dishes, Meat dishes, Sweet Treats, Drinks, and Information about Spices ! This is a great book for vegetarians especially with the whole vegetarian section which got me very excited 🙂 .
I have tried 2 recipes from this book and I love both of them so much that I will definitely be making it again! My next recipe to try is Fennel Spiced Cashew Cookies! Fennel is one of my favorite spices to use in sweet bakes, and I just know these cookies would make me very happy!
Here I am sharing the recipes for these Hush Puppies with Pepper and Cumin! They are essentially rice bondas but with an American twist! The Hush Puppies have cumin and amaranth leaves, along with flavorings of red onion, green chillies, asafoetida. The recipe comes together really quick, and then it’s a matter of frying these delicious balls of batter! I made a Spicy Cilantro Chutney to serve with them, along with Ketchup for a sweet and spicy touch to the hush puppies. Super simple recipe and super delicious, best eaten when they are freshly fried, and enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee to go with it! My kids loved these adorable hush puppies, and had leftovers the following day! All I did was heat them up in the toaster oven and they were crisp again!
If you are looking to get into Indian cooking and explore your options with Indian cooking, this book is a MUST. You can get it at Amazon at the link here.
Now for the giveaway! Asha is generously giving away a copy of the Masalas and Meatballs Cookbook. Simply leave a comment either on my Instagram post or this blog post and you will be automatically entered into the giveaway! The giveaway is open till February 10th, 2018 9pm. The winner will be announced on Feb 12th. This giveaway is open to US residents only, and you must be 18 years and older to participate. Good luck!
Hope you all are having a wonderful week my friends!
With much love,
- Disclaimer: Recipe is from Masala and Meatballs and printed with permission from Asha Shivkumar.
- Serves 4 – 6
- ½ (60 g) cup white rice flour
- ½ cup (60 g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (150g g) plain cornmeal(not the mix)
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper(optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
- 1 cup (40 g) packed amaranth leaves, washed, patted dry and finely chopped
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk, soured on the countertop for a few hours
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 2 green chiles, finely chopped or to taste(seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cumin seeds, black pepper, asafoetida and salt. Add chopped amaranth leaves and whisk to combine.
- Pour the buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir together until smooth but some lumps remain. The batter should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Fold in the onion and green chiles. Let the batter rest for 20 minutes on the countertop.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or in a kadai(a round bottomed pan for deep-frying) over high heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer, adjusting the heat to maintain the temperature. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels.
- Using a mini ice-cream scoop or with the help of 2 teaspoons, drop the batter very carefully into the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pan too much. Fry 5 to 8 at a time. Fry for 2 minutes and then turn the hush puppies until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Remove the hush puppies from the oil with a skimmer. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm.