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Cookbook Review: Quick Fix Indian by Ruta Kahate

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

This book is the latest by Ruta Kahate who earlier wrote 5 Spices, 50 dishes. All of the recipes mentioned in the book are said to take just 30 minutes to get ready including the time involved for soaking and marinating. She introduces the concept of Quick fix Indian pantry that has ingredients which are used in Indian recipes. The Shortcut shelf segment has 8 recipes for recurring homemade items that can be refrigerated and helps in cooking faster.

Its interesting to note that Ruta mentions blender, electric coffee blender for grinding fresh spices and a small pestle and mortar for grinding less quantities as the only special equipments required for the recipes.

Also the recipes mostly dont have the cooking time mentioned as importance is given to the food being well cooked which may take less or more than the time mentioned.

Apart from mentioning the ingredients in general for all the recipes, there is a segment dedicated to introduction about a few essential ingredients. The importance and health benefits of these ingredients are also mentioned wherever possible.

Every recipe begins with a small introduction about it, serving suggestions, number of servings and there are special notes, variations and tips mentioned wherever possible.

There is a huge influence of Goa's food culture in the recipes where the author keeps travelling.

The recipes are classified into
1. Brisk breakfasts
2. Lightning Lunches
3. Swift soups
4. Speedy salads and Raitas
5. Mains in minutes
6. Express veggies
7. Snappy staples
8. Curries and dals in a hurry
9. Rapid relishes
10.Zippy snacks
11.Double quick desserts
12.Last minute libations

In all there are 125 recipes with more of non-vegetarian recipes. In the end the metric conversions and equivalents for common ingredients have also been published.

There are some amazing pictures of the ingredients involved in Indian cooking in the book. However, the absence of pictures of cooked food is the only thing missing in the book.

In all, the book would be of great help when there is very less time to cook food at home and the short cut shelf concept given here would also help in cooking other varieties of Indian food..

60 Great Recipes for your baby by Roma Sharma

Roma sharma has come up with this interesting e-book titled 60 great recipes for your baby. Most of the first time mothers have tons of queries relating to what food the kid needs to be given after the phase of breast feeding. This ebook would help them give the right kind of food and has also varieties that wouldnt make food boring for the kid.
The book has segments based on the age group of the kid.
Phase 1: 6-7 months where solids are introduced
Phase 2: 8-9 months
Phase 3: 10-12 months
Phase 4: Above 12 months

The recipes involve traditional ingredients like dal, ragi etc as suggested by our elders and also modern day ingredients like oats and cheese that are healthy. The recipes cover almost all the nutritious food like sprouts, fruits, vegetables with greens in particular, nuts and calcium rich food like paneer. There is also a seperate chart as to the fruits that can be introduced to the baby at various stages.

She also shares some tips on how the kid can be introduced to a new food variety, developing good eating habits for the kids and dealing with a fussy eater to name a few.

There is seperate section on home remedies for common ailments among kids and what needs to be done or avoided during such time.
Each and every recipe has a small description about the recipe, the variations possible, the nutritional facts and additional notes too.

There are also a few recipes that can would be convenient to carry along during travel.

My personal favourite recipes are
Instant kichdi mix for travelling in Stage 1
Mini fried idlis for Stage 2
Teething biscuits for Stage 3
Paneer fingers for above 12 months.

Overall this book is a must for all those first time mothers who feel their kid should get the best food in their initial and most important growing years.

You can buy the e-book here

Gujarati kitchen by Bhanu Hajratwala

Author : Bhanu Hajratwala
Publisher : Westland

The author Bhanu Hajratwala was brought up in a traditional Gujarati family in Fiji Island and later moved on to the US after her marriage. And this is clearly evident in the way she has presented traditional Gujarati recipe with instructions to prepare using microwave also wherever possible.

It wouldnt be possible to cover all the recipes of any Indian cuisine in a single book as there are so many varieties and variations. However, the author has selected about 85 recipes of which some are synonymous with Gujarati cuisine and the rest are traditional family recipes.

Browsing through the pages, the first thing I noticed was non-vegetarian recipe and was in a for a shock as all along I have been of the view that Gujaratis are pure vegetarian and many of them dont even use onions and garlic in their daily food. Since I am a pure vegetarian this review doesnt cover the Non-vegetarian sections.

The book begins with a really big introduction by the author where she shares her experiences and experiments related to cooking. She introduces the readers about how she has been putting in efforts in the form of writing the recipes with exact measurements, the smallest details and trying on the written notes to ensure that she doesnt miss out on any detail. Next, comes in some kitchen basics like general tips, utensils required, ingredients used in Indian cooking, measurements and conversions.

The recipes begin a few masala mix(spices) that have been used in the dishes. 

The recipe categories -

1.   Starters - There are vegetarian as well as non vegetarian varieties.
2.   Main dishes -Vegetarian and Non vegetarian varieties
3.   Breads
4.   Rice
5.   Accompaniments with rice
6.   Sweets
7.   Chutneys and Relishes
8.   Pickles
9.   Favourite teatime snacks
10. Drinks
11. Mouth Fresheners
12. Sample Menus

Apart from Gujarati names, the recipe names are also mentioned in English. This would be very helpful for non Gujaratis. The procedure for each and every dish is well explained in a detailed and simple way which would be more beneficial for newbies in the kitchen. The step by step instructions would make it easy to try some hard core dishes that would otherwise be difficult.

The author's stay abroad in US and other countries is clearly reflected as the author has also included freezing method for the recipes. It is also mentioned how long the dish would stay fresh and variations to the original recipe have also been mentioned wherever possible. Most of the ingredients used in the recipes are simple and are easily available. The dishes are cooked to quantities that would suit a family of 4-6 people.

Apart from the all time famous Gujarati cuisine dishes like Oondhiyu, Thepla, Kachori, Khandvi, the author also explores some exotic dishes. Overall, whether you are a lover of gujarati food or have been wanting to try out any authentic Gujarati dish since long, this book is for you. In short, a must have for a complete foodie.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Andu Paatti's cookbook by Andal Rangaswamy

Published by Thirumalai Charity Trust Publications, the book is a treasure house of authentic Tamil Iyengar cuisine. Although the book covers some north Indian recipes too, one can look forward to the entire list of South Indian vegetarian cuisine in the book. Apart from the foreword, translators preface, the author's experiences, there are also notes on glossary, pre-cooking stages and kitchen management.

The recipes are classified as

1. Pongals and payasams (Jaggery and sugar based)
2. Mixed rice varieties
3. Masala and spiced powder
4. Sambar and kuzhambu varieties
5. Rasam varieties
6. Koottu varieties with tamarind
7. Koottu varieties without tamarind
8. Masiyal varieties
9. Kottu varieties -North Indian
10. Dry vegetable curries
11. Leafy green vegetable varieties
12. Fried snacks -Vadai, bhajji, bonda etc
13. Thuvaiyal varieties
14. Chutney varieties
15. Pachadi varieties
16. Uncooked foods, sprouts and salads
17. Chapathi, paratha and poori varieties
18. Idli, dosai varieties
19. Uppuma, sevai, kozhukkattai varieties
20. Kesari, Okkorai, Poli, Puttu etc
21. Sugar based sweets- Mysore pak, burfi, laddoo, halwa etc
22. Jaggery based sweets- Manoharam, Kadalai urundai, suhian, sojji appam etc
23. Fried savoury snacks -Murukku, cheedai, thattai, thenkuzhal, omapodi etc
24. Chips - Potato, Banana, yam etc
25. Pickles - Mango, lime, gooseberry
26. Dehydrated wafers and other vathals
27. Home made remedies and deepavali lehiyam

An ideal gift for a newly wed South Indian bride and an amateur in cooking ......

Simple Indian food- Feel @ home

Easycrafts Video tour

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