Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen [NOOK Book]


Born in New Delhi, raised in the Middle East, and living in Washington, D.C., acclaimed food writer Monica Bhide is the perfect representative of the new generation of Indian American cooks who have taken traditional dishes, painstakingly prepared by their Indian mothers and grandmothers, and updated them for modern American lifestyles and tastes. Respectful of the techniques and history of Indian cuisine but eager to experiment, Bhide has written simple but deeply flavorful recipes. Modern Spice takes the ...
See more details below
Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$16.99 price


Born in New Delhi, raised in the Middle East, and living in Washington, D.C., acclaimed food writer Monica Bhide is the perfect representative of the new generation of Indian American cooks who have taken traditional dishes, painstakingly prepared by their Indian mothers and grandmothers, and updated them for modern American lifestyles and tastes. Respectful of the techniques and history of Indian cuisine but eager to experiment, Bhide has written simple but deeply flavorful recipes. Modern Spice takes the vibrant tastes of India into the twenty-first century with a cookbook that is young, fun, sassy, and bold.

Dishes like Pomegranate Shrimp, Paneer and Fig Pizza, and Coriander-and-Fennel-Crusted Lamb Chops are contemporary and creative. Bhide pours Guava Bellinis and Tamaritas for her guests, and serves Chile Pea Puffs and Indian Chicken Wings; instead of Chicken Tikka Masala, she serves Chicken with Mint and Ginger Rub. Make-ahead condiments such as Pineapple Lentil Relish and Kumquat and Mango Chutney with Onion Seeds add a piquant accent to the simplest dish. There are plenty of options for everyday meals, including Butternut Squash Stew with Jaggery, Indian-Style Chili in Bread Bowls, and Crabby Vermicelli, along with plentiful recipes for elegant dishes like Tamarind-Glazed Honey Shrimp and Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Paneer. For an original and effortless finish, spoon Raspberry and Fig Jam Topping over tart frozen yogurt or a store-bought pound cake, or if you have more time, tempt guests with exotic sweets such as Saffron-Cardamom Macaroons or Rice Pudding and Mango Parfait.

As Mark Bittman says in his foreword, "there is not a cuisine that uses spices with more grace and craft than that of India," and Bhide's recipes do so, but without long and daunting lists of exotic ingredients. In keeping with its local approach to global flavors, Modern Spice includes a guide to the modern Indian pantry and Monica's thoughtful, charming essays on food, culture, and family. Eight pages of gorgeous color photographs showcase the recipes.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bhide (The Everything Indian Cookbook) provides a personal look at modern Indian cooking, showcasing new versions of her native cuisine that pay homage to tradition but also acknowledge the everyday lifestyle of India today. While Bhide's recipes use authentic spices and techniques, she departs from the stereotype of complicated meals that take hours to prepare. Her recipes focus on spices and flavor, spanning the gamut of Indian cuisine. She also includes recipes for meat, rice, breads and desserts. Highlights include coriander-and-fennel crusted lamb chops, curried scallops, and onion bread stir-fry. Scattered throughout are personal stories on a variety of subjects, including a visit to Vaishno Devi Maa's Temple and recollections of a meal prepared by grand master Indian chef Imtiaz Qureshi. Bhide also provides a detailed spice pantry section and an insider's guide to time- and labor-saving ingredients. The author offers a refreshing look at the diverse and changing cuisine of India, with a new perspective that will be embraced by Indian food lovers everywhere. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Bhide (The Everything Indian Cookbook) was born in India but has lived in the United States for most of her adult life. She describes her style as Indian food for a new generation but "true to...[her] love of Indian tastes and flavors." She's also a cooking teacher, and her recipes are thoroughly detailed; she doesn't hesitate to recommend high-quality prepared spice mixtures and similar items to make them even more accessible. With a foreword by Mark Bittman, this is for all subject collections.

—Judith Sutton
From the Publisher
"At once contemporary and rooted in tradition, sophisticated yet straightforward, creative but comforting, Modern Spice is perfectly suited to the times; it offers new directions, interpretations, and ideas for taking Indian food to the next level. Thanks to enriching personal and informational essays, Modern Spice is also a great read." — Steven A. Shaw, author of Asian Dining Rules and director of

"Monica Bhide — a proven expert in all things South Asian — has compiled a witty and practical guide to Indian-style cooking. Her recipe for curried egg salad is alone worth the price of this book." — James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief, Saveur, and author of Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore

"For those of us who love Indian food and want to cook it at home, Modern Spice is the cookbook we've been waiting for. Monica Bhide's simple, flavor-packed recipes make this exciting cuisine modern, accessible, and right at home in the American kitchen." — Victoria von Biel, Executive Editor, Bon Appétit

"Monica Bhide is a mistress of spices who uses them like enchanting spells. Her recipes will take you to distant lands but bring you right back home with their taste and ease!" — Chef Art Smith, television personality, award-winning chef, and author of Back to the Table

"The real spice in Modern Spice is love! No one writes about food with as much joy as Monica Bhide does. Her passion makes this book's beautiful stories and recipes a pleasure to read." — José Andrés host of the PBS series, Made in Spain, and author of the companion book Made in Spain

"Monica Bhide...invites you along for a tasty ride in her forthcoming book, Modern Spice....Bhide offers a modern interpretation of Indian flavors and cooking techniques. The result is something cooks need— new ways of thinking about common ingredients. — J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416566892
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 4/21/2009
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,149,596
  • File size: 634 KB

Meet the Author

Mark Bittman is the author of Food Matters, How to Cook Everything and other cookbooks, and of the weekly New York Times column, The Minimalist. His work has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines, and he is a regular on the Today show. Mr. Bittman has hosted two public television series and has appeared in a third.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

introduction to
Modern Spice

A husband says to his wife, "Honey, I love the way you bake ham. But why do you cut the end off? That is my most favorite part."

"My mother cooks it this way," she replies. "It's tradition."

Later she calls her mother. "Mom, why do we cut the end off the ham?"

The mother does not know. She calls her mother-in-law, from whom she learned the recipe.

"Why do we cut the ends off, Mama?"

"Ah, that," says the 100-year-old mother-in-law. "When I first cooked a ham, I didn't have a pan big enough."

I love this story -- just because we have always done things in one way, it does not make it the only way to do something. So if fennel- and-chile-crusted tilapia and basmati rice with pine nuts and mint, accompanied by a Guava Bellini, does not sound Indian to you, think again! Indian food has come a long way from the same old, same old world of mango lassis and tandoori chicken. While traditional Indian cooking required slaving in the kitchen for hours, modern Indian cooking makes a virtue of quick-cook techniques. While traditional Indian cooking relied on a myriad of spices and herbs, modern Indian cooking focuses on taking a few spices and bringing out their flavors. While traditional Indian cooking was perceived to be difficult and fussy, the foundation of modern Indian cooking is perfection in simplicity.

Yes, as a new generation of modern Indians, we are changing everything.

We love tradition, but embody change.

We respect technique, but are playful.

Our style is refined; our tastes are global.

Our new cuisine is a reflection of our lives today, here and now. Just as traditional curries and dishes cooked painstakingly from scratch reflect our mothers' and grandmothers' generations, our dishes reflect our modern lifestyles. They are easy, fun, and intensely flavorful.

This fun, sassy approach to Indian-inspired food is what you will find in this book. The recipes I have created and present here are vibrant and enticing, yet they are simple, refined, and adapted to modern lifestyles: this is Indian food as it is cooked now. This is a book for today's generation that does not want yesterday's style of doing things. As a community we are creating new styles, new traditions, and a new cuisine that needs to be captured.

This book takes Indian cooking and translates it for our generation -- this book embraces the intense, spicy, Indian flavors but is not stuck on an artificial standard of authenticity that no longer exists even in India.

I understand the soul of Indian cuisine; I understand the dishes, their roots, and the richness of history that surrounds the food. It is this knowledge that sets me free and gives me the freedom to play with them, to evolve the dishes. Growing up in the Middle East, I learned authentic Indian dishes from the talented and knowledgeable hands of my father and mother. During frequent visits to India, I moved from my grandmother's kitchen to those of my mother's cousins and friends, along the way gathering delightful anecdotes and learning authentic recipes. Fifteen years ago I moved to the United States, and since then the Indian cooking that I learned has changed so much. All these experiences are what I am sharing with you in Modern Spice.

This book does not have any recipes for mango lassi -- there are 200 books out there (including two of my own!) that you can read for that -- instead it brings you a Guava Bellini. It doesn't offer chicken tikka masala; it provides a recipe for chicken gently simmered in fresh cilantro and mint. This is Indian, my way: a reflection of the Indian cooking of today and the style of the modern Indian. Copyright © 2009 by Monica Bhide

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2009

    Simple recipes, distinct flavors, available ingredients.

    I've worked my way through - and love - all of Jaffrey's books, but find this little gem provides uncomplicated access to some simple dishes with distinct flavor notes. Its not a guide to technique, not an encyclopedia of recipes, not a travelog to India - that's Jaffrey; but it achieves its modest goals in providing recipes that will actually get cooked and enjoyed. I'm giving this one as a gift to a son teaching in Spain - who's teaching his male roomates how to feed themselves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2009

    pretty pictures that's it!

    Really basic recipes she just throws in cardomoms or some store bought chutney. I don't need a recipe book that list some store bought ingredients in every recipe. I can take any meat and add something store bought and call it Indian, this book dissapoints

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)