Five Indian spices
The Kerala kitchen : recipes and recollections from the Syrian Christians of South India
Lathika George ; illustrations by Latha George Pottenkulam.
New York : Hippocrene Books, c2009.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 230) and index.
Curry lover's cookbook : deliciously spicy and aromatic Indian dishes
Mridula Baljekar.
London : Southwater, c2009.
Featuring more than 115 recipes, the book offers dishes from the far-flung corners of the Indian subcontinent. There are over 480 photographs throughout: with easy-to-use step-by-step instructions for each recipe, and colour pictures of every dish.
The healthy low-fat Indian cookbook : the ultimate collection of 160 authentic Indian dishes adapted for low-fat diets
Shehzad Husain and Manisha Kanani.
London : Southwater, 2009.
This book dispels the myth that healthy eating has to be boring. Here are all your favourite traditional Indian dishes as well as many new ones - showing you just how, with a few simple changes, you can enjoy delicious, flavoursome food without guilt.
Modern spice : inspired Indian flavors for the contemporary kitchen
Monica Bhide ; foreword by Mark Bittman.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Includes index.
Everyday Indian : 100 fast, fresh, and healthy recipes
Bal Arneson.
North Vancouver, B.C. : Whitecap Books, 2009.
Classic and contemporary Indian cuisine with a healthy focus. This new cookbook introduces a modern concept in Indian cuisine -- dishes that can be prepared in less than 25 minutes. The healthy recipes in Everyday Indian prove that Indian cooking doesn't have to be complicated. Bal Arneson provides recipes that use everyday spices and common techniques to create simple, mouthwatering dishes that even the novice cook can whip up at home. Arneson also offers low-fat options for the health conscious without ever compromising taste. Indian food is simple, quick and delicious with dishes like: Bal's no-butter chicken Baked samosas Whole wheat naan bread Tandoori halibut patties Lamb kabobs with Thai-Indian fusion sauce Grilled sockeye salmon with mango salsa New York steak with fennel seeds and ginger potatoes Mango lassi with low-fat yogurt Indian cuisine is easy for the home cook using this comprehensive cookbook.
Meena Pathak's complete Indian cooking
Meena Pathak.
London : New Holland, 2008.
Simply more Indian : more sweet and spicy recipes from India, Pakistan and East Africa
Tahera Rawji.
Vancouver : Whitecap Books, 2008.
Includes index.
660 curries : by Raghavan Iyer.
New York : Workman Pub., c2008.
Presented by an award-winning cooking instructor and author of "Betty Crockers Indian Home Cooking," this collection is the gateway to the world of Indian curries.


“Tadka”, also called chounk, is an Indian word to describe the seasoning of a dish.

Cooking tadka involves spices, oils, and fresh ingredients.

One tadka method is this: Heat oil to “high” in a frying pan. Add whole spices and stir, then reduce heat to medium. Add fresh ingredients (onion, garlic, ginger) and cook until soft. Add ground spices.

Aromatic Indian food from the sub-continent can be an exotic mystery to Western cooks. But if you start with the basic spices used in this cuisine and work exclusively with them in simple dishes, you will soon become adept at Indian dishes.

Experts agree that these spices are essential to Indian cooking (though not all are used in one dish!)

  • Cumin: seeds from the cumin plant are used raw, fried, roasted, and powdered. Most popular for seasoning lentils and vegetables, these seeds have a peppery, fragrant flavor.  
  • Coriander: an aromatic plant that produces both leaves and seeds for cooking. Seeds release an earthy smell when roasted or cooked in hot oil. Ground coriander seed has a mild, slightly sweet taste. Fresh coriander (known as “cilantro” in the west) is added to many Eastern dishes for a bright, fresh flavor.
  • Mustard: seeds from the mustard plant are often crushed and ground for use in Indian dishes. This spice has a sharp smell and taste. Whole seeds can be fried in oil for a rich, nutty flavor.
  • Chile: cayenne is a popular chile, but there are others. All together the chile family provides heat and color to Indian dishes.
  • Tumeric: ground tumeric has a distinctive yellow color and a musky flavor that defines Indian curries.

Whole spices (seeds) are cooked first at a high temperature to bring out flavor. A medium to low temperature is best for ground spices.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff