Rasika: Flavors of India

Ashok Bajaj, Vikram Sunderam, and David Hagedorn. Ecco, $34.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-0624-3555-2
Bajaj, a restaurateur, and Sunderam, a James Beard Award–winning chef, head up the noted Washington, D.C., restaurant Rasika. Together, along with writer Hagedorn, they share their approach to food as well as the recipes behind the restaurant’s success in this splendid celebration of Indian cuisine. While they emphasize using local, seasonal ingredients, their strength centers on reinterpreting traditional dishes with new twists. The authors provide a lengthy and enlightening look at the foundations of Rasika’s cooking and include lists of frequent ingredients, key vegetables, cooking oils, and useful utensils. They offer a valuable chapter on basic flavorings and sauces such as toasted cumin powder, crispy fried onions, and peri-peri paste, which are used in a variety of dishes including tikkis, biryanis, and vindaloo. Appetizers are unique, such as masala popcorn and crispy fried spinach with tomato, onion, tamarind, and yogurt. The chapter on vegetables is outstanding, offering up butternut-squash bharta; okra with mango powder; and green pea and paneer scramble. Additional chapters center on fish and seafood; poultry, game, and meat; and tandoori-style grilling. The authors include numerous chutneys and flavorful desserts, among them chai masala crème caramel and white chocolate rice pudding. Vibrant full-color photos accompany most dishes, many of which are vegan. Innovative yet familiar, this collection offers many excellent, appetizing recipes home cooks are sure to embrace. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 10/10/2017
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-243554-5
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