Synopses & Reviews
Do you relish intensely spiced curries and deliciously cool raitas, velvety chicken korma and exotic Kashmiri lamb? If you love Indian food, you may wonder whether recreating the complex textures and delicate interplay of spices found in your favorite dishes is truly within your reach. Have no fear. In The Dance of Spices, seasoned chef and acclaimed food writer Laxmi Hiremath guides you every step of the way to bring the subtle, richly layered flavors of India's extraordinary culinary tapestry to your own kitchen.
Raised in southwest India, Hiremath perfected her own culinary art after moving to the United States, and so her recipes display a unique awareness of how Americans cook and eat. From microwaveable rice preparations to tangy-sweet chutneys used as memorable marinades for barbecued fish or chicken, Hiremath shares valuable guidance on how to cook exotic Indian specialties at home. She explains not only what to do but also why, combining clear, detailed explanations of specific techniques with important background knowledge that you can apply to every dish you prepare.
More than 200 recipes feature signature classics as well as eye-opening originals created by the author. Choices range from the irresistible opulence of Moghul Lamb Biryani and the elegant, soothing sweetness of Warm Mango Soup to the sweet-spicy surprise of Tandoori Turkey with Pomegranate Juice and the delectable crispiness of Quick Semolina Crepes and other South Indian dosa pancakes.
You'll find chapters on starters and sides, such as breads, rice pilafs, soups, and chutneys; meat and poultry, seafood, vegetable, tandoori, and other main dishes; desserts and drinks; and much more. Along the way, Hiremath demystifies the enticing palette of spices and herbs used in Indian cookery—their origins, flavors, and textures, and how they are best bought, stored, and used.
Peppered throughout the book are intriguing historical details and memories from Hiremath's own childhood: Tales of the Moghul elite's imperial kitchens mingle with enchanting stories of the mouthwatering street snacks (chaat) the author eagerly anticipated during childhood vacations in Mumbai.
Well organized and clearly written, The Dance of Spices is destined to become the new classic on Indian cooking. It will give you the skills and the confidence you need to make authentic Indian dishes at home—with spectacular results.
Praise for The Dance of Spices
"The Dance of Spices is filled with excellent, authentic curries, as well as dishes rarely explored in American home kitchens such as street-fare chaats. With this book, Laxmi Hiremath proves herself a skilled, intuitive teacher of real Indian cooking."
Paula Wolfert, author of the award-winning The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
"Laxmi's book is a clearly explained, friendly invitation to cook Indian food with confidence and pleasure."
Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, authors of Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey through Southeast Asia; Home Baking; Seductions of Rice; and Flatbreads & Flavors
"The Dance of Spices is a hands-on cooking class. [It] provides one with the information to truly understand and prepare a delicious Indian curry. I love that Laxmi includes information on history and social customs, as well as personal anecdotes to supplement the recipes."
Roxanne Klein, chef and coauthor of Raw
A new classic on adapting authentic Indian seasonings and techniques to todays American kitchen
Indian cuisine has finally come into its own in the United States, as evidenced by the opening of numerous stylish, upscale Indian restaurants. The "dance of spices" refers to the complex, subtle layering of flavors that is at the base of all Indian cooking. This definitive cookbook showcases the wonderful diversity of new Indian cuisine with 238 recipes: fragrant basmatis and rice pilafs; rich, soothing dishes like Chicken Korma; exotic dishes like Fennel-Scented Kashmir Lamb; tongue-teasing chutneys and relishes; side dishes like Velvety Mango Paneer; and sweet confections, all of which can be made with ease at home. Special chapters are devoted to subjects not fully explored in other books, such as tandoor barbecue, chaats-the savory street snacks of India-and popular flatbreads.
Laxmi Hiremath (San Ramon, CA), born in the South of India, has taught Indian cooking in the United States for more than a decade and is one of the San Francisco Chronicles most popular food writers. Her articles and recipes have appeared in such publications as Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Fine Cooking.
About the Author
LAXMI HIREMATH has taught Indian cooking for more than a decade and is one of the San Francisco Chronicle's most popular food writers. Author of the critically acclaimed Laxmi's Vegetarian Kitchen, she has written for such publications as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Gardens, and Fine Cooking. Her signature line of spiced nuts, Laxmi's Delights, is widely available at gourmet food stores, including Dean & Deluca, Wild Oats, and Whole Foods.
Table of Contents
Basics of the Indian Kitchen.
The Treasures of the Indian Pantry.
Chapati, Poori, Naan and Other Fresh, Hot Breads.
Sweet-scented Basmati: The Fabled Pilafs and Biryanis.
Chaat: Tantalizing Small Plates and Snacks.
Pakora, Pappadam and Other Starters.
Idli, Dosa and Other Casual Fare.
Tongue Teasers: Chutneys and Pickles.
Cool Yogurt, Refreshing Raitas and Kachumbers.
Fresh Paneer--Cheese Panache.
Bountiful Blossoms: The Vegetable Kingdom.
Everyday Meat and Poultry Specialties.
The Tastes of Tandoor: Indian Barbecue.
Dal, Rasam and Mulligatawny Soups.
Chill Chasers: Bean and Lentil Sambars and Stews.
A Sweet Note: Desserts.
Thirst Quenchers: Cold and Hot Drinks.
Indian Breath Mints.