I do rather enjoy Indian food and am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Rinku Bhattacharya’s Spices and Seasons today. Rinku has kindly allowed me a share a recipe with you today, a recipe for the rather delicious sounding Masala Sunshine Cornbread. Read on to find out more about the book, see the recipe and find out about the author.
Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors
Rinku Bhattacharya combines her two great loves―Indian cooking and sustainable living―to give readers a simple, accessible way to cook seasonally, locally, and flavorfully. Inspired by the bounty of local produce, mostly from her own backyard, Rinku set out to create recipes for busy, time-strapped home cooks who want to blend Indian flavors into nutritious family meals. Arranged in chapters from appetizers through desserts, the cookbook includes everything from small bites, soups, seafood, meat and poultry, and vegetables, to condiments, breads, and sweets. You’ll find recipes for tempting fare like “Mango and Goat Cheese Mini Crisps,” “Roasted Red Pepper Chutney,” “Crisped Okra with Dry Spice Rub,” “Smoky Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Puree,” and “Red Harvest Masala Cornish Hens,” to name a few. As exotic and enticing as these recipes sound, the ingredients are easily found and the instructions are simple. Rinku encourages readers to explore the bounty of their local farms and markets, and embrace the rich flavors of India to cook food that is nutritious, healthy, seasonal and most importantly, delicious.
Masala Sunshine Cornbread for a Crowd
I developed this cornbread for my lovely cousin Sharmila, who loves “jhal” (spicy things). She requested spicy cornbread the last time I made chili, and this recipe was born. This cornbread is also a great accompaniment to the lentils and soups in this book. While a lot of cornbread recipes add fresh corn, I tend to make this recipe during the cooler weather months and add freshly grated carrots instead, giving it a sunny orange-flecked appearance. These flavors are reminiscent of Indian corn flatbreads, making this a good option for the Indian table. If using whole grain cornmeal, you will get a heavy rustic textured cornbread. This recipe can be comfortably halved for a small group.
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes plus 15 minutes cooling time (all unattended) |
Makes: 1 10-inch cornbread
1½ cups finely ground or whole grain yellow cornmeal
¾ cup self raising flour
¼ cup granulated brown sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups whole milk
¾ cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for coating the baking dish
2 jalapeno chilies, minced
½ cup grated cheddar
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup freshly grated carrots (about 3 to 4 medium)
1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish or 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter and set aside.
2. Place the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Place the milk, yogurt, and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up. Pour the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and using a rubber spatula, stir until just incorporated. (Do not overmix.) Stir in the melted butter until just incorporated and no streaks of butter remain.
4. Gently mix in the jalapenos, cheddar, coriander, onions, and carrots until well incorporated.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish or skillet. Bake until golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Do not overcook the cornbread as it will dry out.
6. Remove the dish or skillet to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Thank to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour for this cookery book. You can buy a copy of the book here:
US – Spices and Seasons
UK – Spices and Seasons
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.