I am not sure how long ago I’ve started following Amisha through her food blog and IG page. But definitely it’s been a long time. She is one of those people who is good at everything, from cooking savory meals to baking spectacular desserts. When I heard she was going to publish a cookbook – Mumbai Modern – I pre-ordered it right away. And today I share a wonderful recipe from her book, a small review and as I always like to do, a teaser recipe with just the photo and a short description. If you are into colors and “fusion cuisine”, this book has your name written on it. Amisha is not only a superb cook, photographer and writer, but one of the sweetest human beings out there! I am thrilled to share this review with you.
MASALA SMASHED POTATOES
(slightly modified from Mumbai Modern)
for yogurt sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
for Masala potatoes
12 baby potatoes
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chaat masala
Heat the oven to 400F.
Make the sauce by mixing all ingredients in a high-speed blender. You should have a drizzle consistency. Adjust with a little bit of water, if needed.
Add the potatoes to a pot with water to reaching a level 1 inch higher than the potatoes. Add the 2 tsp salt. Boil for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and reserve to cool so you can handle them for the next step.
Make the olive oil sauce by mixing all the spices into the 1/2 cup oil. Whisk well. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, add them to a baking sheet sprayed with oil. I used a non-stick aluminum foil to protect the baking sheet. Place the potatoes over and, using a flat-bottomed glass, gently press each potato to flatten until each one is no thicker than 1/2 inch.
Brush each potato generously with the olive oil mixture. Place in the oven and roast for about 25 minutes. I flipped the potatoes and let them roast for 5 minutes longer. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes or so. Serve with the yogurt sauce drizzled all over them.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: These were absolutely WONDERFUL. Hubby said – well, your potatoes stole the show. And that they did. But of course, they were not really “mine”. They were Amisha’s… Nothing else got much attention at the table. I advise you to make more than you think you’ll need… They will be part of our dinner on a regular basis. The mixture of spices is perfect, not too hot, and very complex. If you don’t have chaat masala, add a little amchur powder, which is part of the mix, and will add a bright flavor.
And now for the teaser recipe…
Cabbage and Carrot Salad
When I told you that if you like color you will love this book, that’s one tiny example of what you’ll get. I loved this salad so much that I was close to tossing a coin to decide which recipe to feature here. What makes this salad special is that you temper the spices in oil and they VERY briefly toss the veggies in the hot, spicy mixture. It changes their texture, mellows everything considerably. Brilliant!
Without further ado… let’s start a virtual tour of Amisha’s book…
To order the book, visit amazon.com with a click here
The book is organized in 7 chapters.
Pantry and Refrigerator Staples… She shares recipes for goodies that will be part of recipes in other chapters. For instance, her Apricot and Saffron Jam is one of her favorite concoctions, that of course stands on its own, but wait until you see the masterpiece Peacock macarons she fills with that jam… Like jewels, I tell you! I am making her Avocado, Cilantro, and Poblano Pepper Dressing this weekend.
Breakfast… Color opens the chapter: Apple, Fennel and Cardamon Tarts. Her description of being fascinated by things she saw in grocery stores in the US as someone arriving from a foreign country made me smile. I felt EXACTLY the same. My love-affair with TV dinners was something I cannot quite comprehend today. But her fascination with Pop-Tarts led her to make her own version, and that was a perfect outcome. More beautiful color in her Chocolate Cardamon Pastry Cream, Halvah and Pistachio Danish. Exotic (to me) and intriguing Sooji Dhokla (Semolina Savory Spongy Cakes).
Appetizers and Salads… Masala Smashed Potatoes opens this chapter and you know how I feel about them. Sambhaaro follows along. I would love to try the Dahi Wadas (Lentil Fritters in Yogurt Sauce), and her version of Arancini ( Aloo Tikki Arancini). They look amazing! Other serious temptations for me are Corn Mushroom Tomato Chili Cheese Danish, Handvo (Savory Rice-Lentil Vegetable Cake), and Khaman (Chickpea Flour Savory Cake).
Mains… Undhiyoo called my attention right away because it is a vegetable stew that includes bananas, and that of course reminds me of Brazilian cooking. Moqueca is originally made with shrimp and/or fish, but there is a version that uses a particular type of banana, and it is delicious. Vegetable Koftas in Tomato Cashew Curry almost made the cut to be featured, and I intend to make it very soon. Perfect for this time of the year. Same goes for the Ultimate Mumbai-California Veggie Burger. I simply must make it.
Desserts… Let me just say I would like to make them all. Period. Just choosing a few to mention here: Blood Orange and Hibiscus Tart (gorgeous!), Thandai Shortbread Cookies Dipped in White Chocolate with Pistachios and Rose Petals (swoon!), Carrot Halva, Chai Masala Creme Brulee with Cashew Cardamon Shortbread (OMG), Mini Maple Sandwich Cookies with Pear and Spice Buttercream, PEACOCK MACARONS (my heart flipped, I kid you not, they are masterpieces), Coffee Cardamon Mini Cheesecakes, Eggless Chocolate Fudge Cake (worthy of a Parisian boulangerie).
Drinks… Well, I don’t drink, but she has many non-alcoholic options like a Ginger Masala Chai, and Brazilians out there will be pleased with her version of “caipirinha” using Kumquat and Ginger. She also shares shrubs (I am quite fond of those) like one with Nectarine, Star Anise and Ginger. And a version of Turmeric Milk I might try soon: Haldar Nu Doodh.
Accompaniments and Snacks… Pass me the whole lot, and I want to make them all. Just a few to include here: Spinach Puri, Plain Rotli, Triangle Paratha (so so cute), Masala Puri, Masala Potato Chips, and Turmeric Rice (have I mentioned I am a Turmeric Cheerleader?). Chorafali Crackers are also adorably cute and I bet super tasty.
As most people who read my blog should know, I am not vegetarian, but I eat meatless meals often. Amisha’s book is a wonderful source of ideas, whether you are vegetarian or just flirt with that style of cooking sometimes. It is clear she put a ton of love, and attention to every little detail in the making of her book. The photography is outstanding, the tone of the book very conversational, as if she is standing next to you. I love it!
Amisha, thank you for allowing me to publish a recipe in my blog! I wish you all the success in the world, and I hope you already have a second cookbook “in the making”.
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