Masala & Meatballs: Incredible Indian Dishes with an American Twist

Cover of Masala & Meatballs: Incredible Indian Dishes with an American Twist by Asha Shivakumar

Masala & Meatballs: Incredible Indian Dishes with an American Twist
Asha Shivakumar
Page Street Publishing, 2017

Take one Indian gal, transplant her, newly married, in San Francisco, and let her figure out how to cook not just Indian food, but the foods of her new country. Asha Shivakumar has not only figured out how to cook, but how to combine Indian and American dishes for a collection of really mouth-watering flavours.

For instance, her fried chicken and waffles… By adding rice flour, chickpea flour, chili, and ginger to the chicken batter, as well as chilis and turmeric to the waffles, she’s put the most interesting (and flavourful!) twist on this southern classic. Or the ubiquitous fairground funnel cake — Shivakumar’s added dash of cardamom makes this dessert go pow. And, white chicken curry pot pie, made with coconut milk, cashews and Indian spices. I mean… come ON!!!

The hook here is that Shivakumar hasn’t reinvented the wheel, she’s literally taken North American dishes and thought about ways to add Indian flavours, and in some cases techniques, to the process. It’s brilliantly simple yet the results are fantastic, likely leaving lots of American cooks scratching their heads and wondering why they hadn’t thought of the idea themselves. (Because, seriously, I can’t think of anything that isn’t better with cardamom in it.)

From masala chicken wings (baked, with a dipping sauce made from garam masala and pineapple juice) and masala meat balls, to tandoori fish and chips, and orange chiffon cakes with pistachio cardamom swirls, I want to try everything in this book. If you like Indian food, traditional or not, this is definitely a cookbook that needs to be in your collection. I know it will be in mine,

Usability: Very good. Ingredient list is in bold, and measurements include metric. Instructions are written in a straight-forward manner and are in a font that is easy to read on a white background, with a line break between steps. Some Indian spices and ingredients such as chickpea flour, asafoetida, and garam masala might be hard to track down outside major cities but most should be available at a good supermarket.

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