Knowledge Categories Archives: Book Reviews

The Indian Cookery Course by Monisha Bharadwaj

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Techniques.    Masterclasses.    Ingredients.    300 recipes.

These are the claims on the cover of this newly released treasury of Indian cuisine and take our word for it, it delivers on all those claims and more!

Monisha Bharadwaj is a qualified chef, food historian and an award-winning author who grew up and trained as a chef in Mumbai and also obtained a degree in Indian history.

‘Cooking With Monisha’ is her highly acclaimed and successful London based Cookery School and she has recreated her cookery masterclass in this book.

To quote Monisha “I’d like you to consider this a personal one-to-one lesson with me standing in your kitchen, guiding you with tips and hints as we create the perfect Indian meal.”

The cuisine of India is vast and varied, the diversity as a result of different regional cuisines and ingredients. Within ‘The Indian Cookery Course’ you will find fabulous recipes from every corner of India.

Additionally there are fascinating chapters about the science of Ayurveda in Indian cuisine, culinary terms and techniques, meal planning, equipment, spices and history.

Beautifully worded and illustrated with sensational photographs, this book is not just an inspirational and easy-to-follow cookery book, it is an utter joy to read!

We are exceptionally grateful to Monisha for acknowledging Seasoned Pioneers as a recommended spice and ingredient supplier within her book.

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Rick Stein’s India

Rick Steins IndiaWe have been honoured with a mention in Rick Stein’s new book ‘India’ as one of his recommended spice suppliers. Accompanying his book is the current television series of the same name, which has had us mesmerised with the delectable food that he has discovered and the beauty of the people and the places that he has encountered.
The book itself is exquisite, brimming with wonderful recipes with an explanation of how Rick discovered each particular dish. Throughout the book, which is ablaze with colour, stunning photography transports you into the heart of India and it’s culture.

In conjunction with Rick, we have designed a gift pack to complement his book and tv series, containing five of the spices you will need to create the perfect curry.

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Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi – Jerusalem

The latest addition to our book collection is the stunning cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi – Jerusalem.

Embracing a multi-cultural population, the book celebrates the astonishing diversity of foods that have historically evolved from a fusion of Middle Eastern, North African and European cuisines.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi were both brought up in Jerusalem, Yotam on the Jewish west side and Sami on the east Muslim side. The recipes within the book are a glorious combination of their culinary differences, equally enjoyed within the same city.

Recipes abundant in vegetables, herbs, pulses, grains, fruits, nuts and a myriad of spices, result in an array of colourful and flavoursome dishes which are easy to prepare following the clear and concise narrative.

Not just a cookery book, you are treated to exquisite photography and interpretations of the traditions and everyday life of the people of Jerusalem.

This book caught our attention as it is brimming with the spices and spice blends about which we are so passionate. Although spice blends are widely available in Jerusalem’s grocery stores, they are also often hand made at home, each being unique dependent upon handed down recipes, tastes and use.

Evocative of the time-honoured production methods that we use at Seasoned Pioneers, where each of our spice blends are composed of traditional ingredients, dry roasted and hand blended to authentic recipes, Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s recipes just had to be tried!

Naturally, we commenced cooking dishes comprising spice blends that we make, starting with our zahtar (za’atar). The roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & zahtar / za’atar (page 36) was a divine side dish to accompany the Chicken Sofrito (page 190), as suggested by the authors – a truly delicious repast.

We then made the grilled fish skewers with hawaj (hawayej) & parsley (page 226), which we ate with a spectacular dish of tabbouleh (page 85) made with our baharat spice blend. This was a delightful, light and refreshing meal, incredibly easy to prepare, colourful and impressive when served.

Our next project will be to make the spice cookies (page 278), which sound perfect to offer to the Seasoned Pioneers team with their morning coffee!

For us, it is simply fantastic to cook recipes from Ottolenghi & Tamimi’s stunning book that champions over 38 of the herbs, spices and spice blends for which we are renowned.

In addition to the huge variety of familiar herbs and spices, many recipes use our more unusual products such as sumac, barberries, rose petals and tamarind paste. Our legendary ras-el-hanout makes an appearance in the watercress & chickpea soup on page 132, as does our harissa spice blend in the recipe for pan-fried sea bream with harissa & rose on page 219.

Seasoned Pioneers shawarma blend would be a great time saving substitute in the lamb shawarma recipe on page 210 and of course, we make a traditional and authentic blend of dukkah, if you haven’t got time to follow the recipe on page 300.

To summarise, this book is a must-have for any adventurous cook, complemented by Seasoned Pioneers herbs, spices and seasonings!

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Classic Indian Recipes by Manju Malhi

We’re over the moon with the latest addition to the Seasoned Pioneers bookcase –

Classic Indian Recipes by Manju Malhi

Impossible to put down, this delightful book showcasing 75 signature Indian dishes by Manju Malhi is a treat for anyone who already loves to prepare classic Indian food using Indian spices or is just venturing into this inspiring and rewarding cuisine.

Recognised as an accomplished & innovative cook, British born food writer Manju Malhi learned her cookery skills from her Asian mother. Despite her London upbringing, Manju & her family enjoyed a lifestyle rich with Indian spices, culture and tradition. Some years spent living in India enhanced Manju’s passion for Indian cuisine, Indian ingredients, Indian spices and her career has since flourished.

Numerous television appearances, national cookery workshops and several books have propelled Manju to be one of this country’s most respected cooks of regional Indian food. Her unique fusion of British & Indian cuisine culminated in the publication of her award winning book ‘Brit Spice’. Other books have followed, each equally inspiring, so we’re delighted to share this latest one with you!

In Classic Indian Recipes, each recipe has a short and informative introductory paragraph that contributes to an already overwhelming desire to sample the dish. Simple, clear and concise instructions, easily sourced Indian ingredients and mouth-watering photographs will entice you to strive to emanate the hospitality for which India is so renowned!

Whether cooking for family or friends, preparing meals, snacks or treats, this book has something for everyone….with the added bonus of the heavenly aroma that will pervade your kitchen once you start cooking….

We’ve yet to taste them all, but favourites to date include the Black Pepper Chicken, Cardamom-flavoured Lamb Patties and the Maharashtrian Radish Salad

…….and did we mention the Apricot Nut Dessert and Nan Khatai……!

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The Red Hot Chilli Cookbook

This great new book is a must-have for all those chilli fans out there.

The author, Dan May, is certainly a most well respected authority on the subject having set up the world’s most northerly chilli farm and supplying fantastic chilli products through his company, Trees Can’t Dance since 2005.

Having had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Dan at a number of food shows over the years, it is great to see him sharing his knowledge and expertise in this book. With more than 70 recipes paying homage to the incredibly versatile chilli, there are ideas for every type of dish: soups and salads; nibbles and sharing plates; mains; side dishes; sauces, salsas and marinades; sweet things and drinks. Recipes include Thai Beef Noodle Soup; Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers; Texas Marinated Steak with Stuffed Mushrooms; Sweet Chilli-glazed Ham; Quick Chilli Lime Mayonnaise; three fiery pasta sauces; Chilli Pecan Brownies; and Chilli Hot Chocolate.

We are also delighted that Dan is a real advocate of Seasoned Pioneers listing us in the book as a recommended stockist of spice blends and seasonings. As Dan says “if any spice, herb or blend is proving particularly elusive this is always my first port of call”.

You can order your copy today at an immediate third off price at Amazon.

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