Today I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for a recipe book – always a treat – and, even better, for an Indian cookbook to be used with an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker, if you have a different brand)! Read on to see what I thought… and prepare to feel hungry…!
Title: Instant Indian
Author: Rinku Bhattacharya
Publisher: Hippocrene Books
Rinku Bhattacharya — cookbook author and founder of Spice Chronicles — has put together a collection of 100 authentic recipes that showcase the diversity and range of the foods of India, where every state and region boasts its own unique dishes. Whether you crave takeout favorites or want to be introduced to lesser-known specialties, this cookbook brings the best of India to your table in an instant!
The Instant Pot(R) lends itself perfectly to Indian recipes, making flavorful, nutritious Indian fare (like simmering-all-day dals, legumes and all manner of curries) in minutes instead of hours. Instant Indian features numerous vegetarian and vegan options, and nearly all recipes are gluten-free.
Instant Indian is an inpsiring, easy to follow cookbook that combines two of my favourite things: delicious, authentic Indian recipes with a pressure cooker! I actually don’t use my Instant Pot as much as I’d like to, as sometimes I find myself rather lacking inspiration. As me and my partner don’t eat meat, a lot of the recipes which center around cooking meats are defunct (for us, anyway). This recipe book, however, has a fantastic array of delicious-sounding Indian food, much of which is vegetarian or can be made vegetarian by swapping some of the ingredients.
I love the section on vegetables and paneer – paneer is one of my favourite ingredients in Indian cooking. If I could put it in everything, I would! So I of course loved the paneer recipes (I tried the ‘Creamy Spinach with Paneer’ and it was SO good – and can be swapped for Tofu instead of the paneer if you want to make it vegan). We also eat fish, so the ‘fish and shrimp’ section was also a big hit!
I can wholeheartedly recommend the ‘Mashed Eggplant with Red Onions and Chilies’ and ‘Coconut Fish Curry with Cauliflower and Eggplant’. Some of the vegetable dishes were more side dishes, but there’s nothing to say you can’t make a larger portion and serve as a main dish, and I have earmarked many more recipes to try out.
Some ingredients aren’t readily available here, but only a few. One of these was Spaghetti Squash, which I’ve tried many times to ask for in supermarkets, as it’s in many American recipes I see, only to be met with blank stares or staff thinking I mean spiralised butternut squash (no!). There isn’t too many recipes with these ingredients in though, I’m pleased to say, so it’s not a big issue.
There are photos throughout (my Kindle Paperwhite don’t do these justice though unfortunately), and I always find images useful when I’m preparing recipes, so I know what it should look like!
Overall this is a great recipe for anyone who loves Indian cooking and has a pressure cooker – or indeed even those without, as it’s not too hard to adapt the recipes to a normal stovetop method of cooking. I’ll definitely be dipping into this book a lot more in the future, anytime I need some dinner-time inspiration, and will be checking out some more of Rinku’s books too!
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review, and thanks also for the spot on the blog tour!
[About the Author]
Rinku Bhattacharya (spicechronicles.com) was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”
Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.
[FOllow the rest of the tour]