Modern Spice – Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen
Born in New Delhi, raised in the Middle East, and living in Washington, D.C., acclaimed food writer Monica Bhide is the perfect representative of the new generation of Indian American cooks who have taken traditional dishes, painstakingly prepared by their Indian mothers and grandmothers, and updated them for modern American lifestyles and tastes. Respectful of the techniques and history of Indian cuisine but eager to experiment, Monica has written simple but deeply flavorful recipes. Modern Spice takes the vibrant tastes of India into the twenty-first century with a cookbook that is young, fun, sassy, and bold.
Dishes like Pomegranate Shrimp, Paneer and Fig Pizza, and Coriander-and-Fennel-Crusted Lamb Chops are contemporary and creative. Bhide pours Guava Bellinis and Tamaritas for her guests, and serves Chile Pea Puffs and Indian Chicken Wings; instead of Chicken Tikka Masala, she serves Chicken with Mint and Ginger Rub. Make-ahead condiments such as Pineapple Lentil Relish and Kumquat and Mango Chutney with Onion Seeds add a piquant accent to the simplest dish. There are plenty of options for everyday meals, including Butternut Squash Stew with Jaggery, Indian-Style Chili in Bread Bowls, and Crabby Vermicelli, along with plentiful recipes for elegant dishes like Tamarind-Glazed Honey Shrimp and Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Paneer. For an original and effortless finish, spoon Raspberry and Fig Jam Topping over tart frozen yogurt or a store-bought pound cake, or if you have more time, tempt guests with exotic sweets such as Saffron-Cardamom Macaroons or Rice Pudding and Mango Parfait.
As Mark Bittman says in his foreword, “there is not a cuisine that uses spices with more grace and craft than that of India,” and Bhide’s recipes do so, but without long and daunting lists of exotic ingredients. In keeping with its local approach to global flavors, Modern Spice includes a guide to the modern Indian pantry and Monica’s thoughtful, charming essays on food, culture, and family. Eight pages of gorgeous color photographs showcase the recipes.
About Monica Bhide (Washington, DC Author)
Monica Bhide is a bestselling fiction and internationally renowned cookbook author, known for sharing food, culture, mystery, and love in her writing. Having roots and experience in many places, Monica inspires readers everywhere with present day stories which transcend cultural, chronological, geographical, economical, and religious borders.
As a noted international food writer, Monica has built a diverse and solid audience through her books and articles in top-tier media such as: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Bon Appétit, Town and Country Travel, Food and Wine, Cooking Light, Better Nutrition, and many others. Her work has garnered numerous accolades and has been included in four Best Food Writing anthologies (2005, 2009, 2010, and 2014). Her memoir, A Life of Spice, was picked by Eat Your Books as one of the top five food memoirs of 2015. Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi picked Bhide’s Modern Spice (Simon & Schuster, 2009), as one of the “Best Books Ever” for Newsweek in 2009. The Chicago Tribune named Monica “one of the seven food writers to watch in 2012”.
Monica Bhide, a respected writing authority, appears regularly on NPR and conducts sold-out workshops on writing, food, culture, and scheduled speaking events at prestigious venues as the Smithsonian Institution, Sackler Gallery, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Georgetown University, and Yale University. She has taught all over the world including conferences in London, Dubai, US etc. She has also been the “Writing Coach in Residence” for the annual conference of the Association of Food Journalists. Monica is a graduate of the George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), and holds a master’s degree from Lynchburg College (Lynchburg, VA) and a Bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University (Bangalore, India). She feels fortunate for her rich, multicultural education and enjoys giving back to the global community by serving on committees and volunteering for Les Dames d’Escoffier, The International Association of Culinary Professionals, and at her children’s schools in Northern Virginia. Monica lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons.