Modern Spice

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27 Apr Modern Spice

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In the interest of full disclosure, I’m fessing up to a personal relationship with the author of Modern Spice. Although I’ve never met Monica Bhide in person, I took her excellent food writing course, have exchanged dozens (perhaps hundreds) of emails with her and we’ve spoken on the phone a few times. Yes, I’m biased, but I’m not the only one who sees Bhide as a rising star.

Take a close look at the cover. Sure it’s got a funky font and mouthwatering shrimp, but look at the bottom. What’s it say in fine print? “Foreword by Mark Bittman.” Yes, that Mark Bittman. Flip over the book and the editor-in-chief of Saveur, executive editor of Bon Appetit, and three celebrity chefs give glowing reviews. I’d be jealous if I weren’t so proud.

The recipes in this book use traditional Indian spices in non-traditional ways. The dishes cook up quickly and are lighter and brighter than the standard heavy curries. Bhide serves up cocktails that will steal the show, and a wide range of appetizers, mains and even desserts.

While the recipes will please your palate, the essays will make you want to curl up with this book and a jug of her Guava Bellinis. Between the chapters you’ll find touching and warming essays. Having an eclectic collection of coffee mugs myself, I related strongly to her story about mismatched tea cups.

I’m going to share a recipe or two from this book over the next few days, but thought I’d give you a glimpse at the Monica I know. Here she is, making her trademark Guava Bellini and some spiced popcorn in anticipation of Slumdog Millionaire’s Oscar triumph. While Slumdog’s sweep of the Academy Awards is old news, this video will give you an idea of Modern Spice’s always fresh approach.

No Comments
  • cheryl
    Posted at 11:56h, 27 April Reply

    Love this post — it’s a fitting tribute to a super talented woman.

    I just got my copy of Modern Spice on Friday and am eagerly awaiting a few quiet moments when I can tuck into it and give it the attention it deserves. I’ll look forward to seeing which recipes you’ve enjoyed as a little preview for my own cooking.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:04h, 27 April Reply

    Charmian, I loved every minute of that video and I am so ordering her book as soon as I click away from here. Wonderful recommendation. Thank you!

    (I can’t wait to try that popcorn!)

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 14:04h, 27 April Reply

    Charmian, I loved every minute of that video and I am so ordering her book as soon as I click away from here. Wonderful recommendation. Thank you!

    (I can’t wait to try that popcorn!)

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 21:28h, 27 April Reply

    I don’t have Monica’s book yet but I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy – she’s a dynamo!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 13:59h, 04 May Reply

    Oh my! I am behind in my commenting.

    Cheryl, you will love Monica’s book. If you don’t I will fly to California and hit you over the head with your copy. Note, it’s a hard cover and will smart!

    Diva, glad you liked the video. Monica is such a warm, enthusiastic person I wanted to show her off.

    Dana, you’re right. Dynamo is the word for her. And this book.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:13h, 04 May Reply

    I’m circling back to thank you again for this recommendation. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend reading Modern Spice and I’m entirely captivated! So much so that I wrote to Monica and she’s given me permission to reprint her incredible “Hot, Hotter, Hottest Shrimp” on my blog tomorrow. This dish was outstanding and I’m completely in love with the book. Thanks so much, Charmian.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:13h, 04 May Reply

    I’m circling back to thank you again for this recommendation. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend reading Modern Spice and I’m entirely captivated! So much so that I wrote to Monica and she’s given me permission to reprint her incredible “Hot, Hotter, Hottest Shrimp” on my blog tomorrow. This dish was outstanding and I’m completely in love with the book. Thanks so much, Charmian.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 19:38h, 04 May Reply

    Diva, thanks for the update. Monica is wonderful and I’m so glad you like her book. I’ll have to see how your Hot, Hotter, Hottest Shrimp turns out.

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