What happens when an Indian chef and consummate city dweller buys a farm in the country and endeavors to raise farm animals and grow vegetables? Delicious food, of course! From acclaimed chef and author Suvir Saran, Masala Farm offers a fresh twist on a farm-to-table approach to cooking and welcomes readers into the kitchen. A steady stream of houseguests, the challenges of animal ownership, and the joys of being a part of a small-town community supply the stories woven throughout this volume. Sixty recipes are organized by season. Exquisite photography captures the lusciousness of Saran's food and the beauty of the countryside.
In his third cookbook, New Delhi-born Suvir Saran (Indian Home Cooking; American Masala), executive chef and owner of the New York City restaurant Devi, chronicles his adventures on his upstate New York farm. This delightful book is filled with more than 80 delicious and inventive farm-to-table recipes, and the charming, humorous stories of two city dwellers (with his partner Charlie Burd) learning to live the country life and the magic that occurs when people from completely different backgrounds come together to "share food, ideas, curiosities and convictions." Saran enhances the flavors of classic recipes: "unexpected finishing oils, spice blends, marinades, rubs and seasonings are the trademarks of my cooking." Indian techniques and flavors (masala means spice in Hindi) add a wonderful twist to the familiar with dishes like asparagus and green pea risotto with fresh herb tarka; deviled eggs with cilantro, chiles, and spices; garam masala roast chicken; and braised kid shanks and lentils. Recipes, organized by season, are extremely accessible, accompanied by beautiful photos of food and the farm itself. "This," says Saran, "is American countryside, masala style." (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Showing 1-5 of the 5 most recent reviews
1 . Delightful.. remniscent of James Herriot
Posted August 14, 2012 by Niv Mani , HillsboroughFor those of you unfamiliar with Alf Wight, he was a country vet from Yorkshire, England who wrote a series of delightfully quirky classic books about country life, animals and his career as a country vet, under the pen name of James Herriot.
Fast forward to the 21st century, it seems that such an idyllic scenario is all but impossible in this fast paced life, but believe me, it does.A beautiful oasis called the American Masala Farm.My first thoughts at seeing images of Chef Suvir Saran's Farm, was that it reminded me of James Herriot. Turns out, I wasn't totally wrong.
Chef Suvir Saran is the owner & executive chef of the Michelin rated restaurant Devi, as well as the author of several well known books such as Indian Home cooking and American Masala. In his latest book, Chef Saran invites readers into the heart of his home/farm, to a sumptuous table filled with about seventy classic, comforting, 'stick-to-your-ribs good for you' recipes. The proverbial sprinkling of masala (spice) is provided by heartwarming farm yarns about the myriad goats, a coop of heirloom variety chickens, each with their individual personalities, predatory ravens, coyotes, & the occasional oddball visitor offering a joint in return for egg samples!
The recipes in the book stand out in sharp contrast to the slick, upmarket offerings that Chef Saran creates for Devi. This is a collection of down to earth hearty fare, a delightful set of classic family oriented dishes from Suvir Saran's childhood in India, and traditional American dishes from co-author Charlie Burd's family and other lip smacking contributions from friends & colleagues.
The book has ample goodies for vegetarians in terms of recipes. The recipes are simple & easy enough to follow for the average home cook, & are meant to be made & shared with family. For the more health conscious types out there, many of the recipes call for generous amounts of butter and oil, but can easily be made just as delicious with much less.
2 . A great read with great recipes
Posted August 13, 2012 by avid foodie , ChicagoThis was actually the first of Suvir Saran's books I bought, and upon receiving it, I was delighted to read the stories of the farm, and the care to attention and detail throughout the book. Not only is it wonderful to read, it is a joy to look at. The pictures show the chef and his partner actually working at the farm, which is a joy to see. They clearly love the land and animals they have, and take great care in their farm and in their food. The recipes are also great and fool-proof. I should know, I am a recipe fool! I have not made one thing that has turned out badly - and as proof, you can see on the chef's website and facebook page, countless others to agree. I have made the biscuits as well as other things and all have been delicious. The crispy-creamy potatoes are just that. I recommend this book to anyone I know as I know the food and recipes are great and tested well. The chef interjects his own life into the book, which few do, or do well. It is a personal book, and with artistic touches along the way.
3 . My go-to book!
Posted August 13, 2012 by Homecook , Washington, DCI love this book (and I'm going to get the ebook version, too!)
It provides an amazing breadth of recipes, all seasonally inspired. Because the recipes are drawn on what's grown locally or available on their farm, Suvir Saran and his partner (and co-author) Charlie Burd, make good use of what they have around them. This is not fussy cooking -- these are easy-to-execute and really well-tested recipes that will become a part of any great home cook's repertoire, whether for the every-day dinner, or for casual entertaining. I use this book again and again to know that I am preparing great-tasting dishes and meals for family and friends that we will all enjoy, around a table. Perfection.
4 . Heart-warming and Delicious!
Posted August 13, 2012 by Ellen , WisconsinI've been cooking from Suvir Saran's first two cookbooks, Indian Home Cooking and American Masala, for some time now, and when I found out that he was releasing another one, I waited anxiously, hoping it would have the same wonderfully user-friendly recipes that the first two did. I wasn't disappointed!
The recipes are a-MA-zing! Crispy-creamy potatoes (made with the lyrical sage, rosemary, and thyme!) that crunch and then are pillowy soft on the inside, roast chicken that is incredibly easy yet packed with moisture and masala flavor, a delicious crock-pot apple-cider recipe that will warm you through and through this winter, and biscuits that are melt-in-your-mouth crispy and so light, they'll change the way you think about biscuits. There's also a Banana-Caramel Pudding recipe that I'm dying to try!
The great thing about all of Suvir's recipes is that they are so do-able. I'm a normal person, with a normal kitchen. I don't have fancy equipment; I don't have access to exotic ingredients. And yet, with a couple of very affordable trips to the store, I stocked my spice rack and pantry with what I need to make most of the recipes in the book.
But Masala Farm is more than a cookbook--it's also an honest and often humorous look at the transition from Manhattan to North Country. In "Goose Number 1,263," Suvir is transparent and brave enough to let us witness his change of heart from city-romance to country-reality in matters of life and death. And I laughed out loud at the "loss" of nine hundred dollars worth of birds in "Ebay for Eggs."
There are also inspiring accounts of a community that works together to educate, equip, and train their young people and entrepreneurs; of small businesses that make commitments to quality and the future; of programs that use resources in mindful and responsible ways.
Masala Farm is a captivating and enchanting book, chock-full of mouth-watering recipes, heart-warming stories, and eye-catching pictures. I'm delighted with it!
5 . Good book
Posted August 02, 2012 by Padma , Los Anglesgood book
Chronicle Books LLC
December 14, 2011
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