5 Spices, 50 Dishes: A Book Review
Love Indian food? Not finding the mile-long ingredient lists particularly frugal? Ruta Kahate’s book, featuring dishes made only from five readily available spices, could be just what you need.
I have to say, this is one of the more user-friendly ethnic cook books I’ve run across, especially for Indian food. Simple, accessible spices, affordable basic ingredients, and low stress preparation routines. That’s what this cook book provides you with. Along with some of the most slamming (and super affordable) side dish ideas I’ve seen in a long time. The featured entrees aren’t bad either. Some of the items include creamy pumpkin kheer, black-eyed peas in a spicy green curry, and steamed cauliflower with a spicy tomato sauce. Here’s a simple example of a lamb chop dry rub straight from the book:
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp finely grated garlic, ¾ tsp of salt, ½ tsp cayenne, ½ tsp cumin seeds (finely ground), and ¼ tsp ground turmeric. This is good for about eight lamb rib chops.
The canned coconut milk as a frequent ingredient. I thought that was only a Thai food thing. I also particularly liked the fact that these dishes were all way lower on prep than many traditional recipes with mile long ingredient lists. The author also includes a hot tip about a simple flavor distribution technique you can use over and over again with various dishes.
The five spices?
Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ground cayenne, and ground turmeric. Some of the more prevalent ingredients include yellow onion, ginger and garlic. Author penny pinching tip? Buy the seed forms with the spices when possible, and grind only when you need them. This will preserve freshness longer and give you more bang for your buck.
Worth checking out for anyone looking to pinch grocery pennies without sacrificing flavor and style. Definitely a Wise Bread type of title.