Modern Spice

the leftover five-spice squash

Fresh curry leaves. Pomegranate seeds. Turmeric that leaves little trails of neon-yellow dollops on saucers. Brown basmati rice. Fenugreek. Coconut milk-simmered chicken. Cardamom pods.

These have been the flavors of our kitchen this week.

What a feast it has been, thanks to Modern Spice.

fennel and chiles

You see, Danny and I are still deep in the throes of final edits for the cookbook. We slip into working on our editors’ comments on recipes when Little Bean has gone to bed, after we have eaten our dinner while watching Jeopardy on the couch. (I may have the literature questions, but Danny kicks my butt on geography.)

Our days might look mundane from the outside — reading books to Little Bean, picking up the pile of books that Bean has taken off the shelves to “read” by herself, breakfast lunch and dinner together about the same time every day, trips to the playground, cuddles and wonder at hearing her talk, waiting for naps, a dance party to Caspar Babypants every evening about 6 — but to us they are wild and alive. There is never enough time.

Especially when it comes to editing. We are exhausted. I hunch toward the computer screen late at night, trying to decipher comments through the blue squiggles of tracking changes, then I have to ask Danny, “How long will it take for potatoes to cook until they are fork tender?” Or we wonder together how to best describe the texture of pumpkin soup, or veal stock after it has simmered for six hours. Most evenings we are baking — Asian pear tart, one more time — measuring and writing, comparing notes. I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for this chance.

But I do know this: I never had any idea how much work goes into producing a cookbook.

To everyone who has ever written a cookbook? We salute you.

And this work we have been doing has inspired an idea, a new feature here on the site. We’re going to start cooking out of one cookbook each week, to delve into its flavors and make at least 10 recipes to know its rhythms (and whether or not they work). If we love what we make, we’ll recommend it to you.

When I was first diagnosed with celiac, I gave away all my baking books and some of my favorite cookbooks. Erroneously, I believed that I’d have to eat a “special diet” all my life. It only took me a couple of weeks to realize that was ridiculous. But that was after I had kneeled down on the carpet in front of the “special diets” section of the cookbook collection of Queen Anne Books in Seattle, then chose a fistful of cookbooks to take home.

Somehow, I got the message that big, glossy cookbooks were beyond my reach. I thought I had to look for “gluten-free” cookbooks. None of that is true.

Anyone new to this? We want you to know that good food is yours, if you want it.

And those of you reading who can eat anything? We’re sure you need another great cookbook, dog-eared and stained, on your shelf.

You should definitely buy Modern Spice.

Be prepared to have fennel rub and dried red chiles in your kitchen soon.

roasted cauliflower with fennel-chile rub

Monica Bhide, the author of Modern Spice, is a graceful and generous writer. Born in India, she has lived outside of Washington D.C. since the early 1990s. This makes her cooking grounded in both the traditions of India and the United States. Although she has written two cookbooks before this, somehow Modern Spice feels to me like her life’s work. Clearly, she hopes to inspire more of us to cook with Indian spices and flavorings, without the burden of having to cook for days and stick entirely to traditional ways. More than that, however, the book has the urgency of the deeply personal.

As she writes:

“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 Indian cooking that I learned has changed so much. All these experiences are what I am sharing with you in Modern Spice.”

This is what I love in a cookbook — the feeling when you read that you are holding in your hands the best that author could give.

Besides that, all these recipes work. And how.

When I made the red chile, garlic, and basil chicken, Danny and I both wondered if it would work. A pan full of shallots and only 1 1/2 pounds of cubed chicken? But I trusted Monica and made the recipe as written. (Danny has taught me this. Make every recipe once, just as it is written. Only afterwards should you change it.) 20 minutes later, we had a satisfying pile of chicken and chiles, tender shallots, turmeric and basil on top of our steamed basmati rice. “Wow,” Danny kept saying, as he spooned more in his mouth. There were no leftovers.

I loved the pomegranate shrimp, the red seeds dotted against yellow shrimp (turmeric really does stain everything that color), hot with chile flakes and garlic, fresh with curry leaves and coriander. That plate emptied fast too.

There was cilantro-mint chutney (incredible and simple both), roasted spicy fig yogurt (I would eat this for breakfast every morning if I could), butternut squash stew with jaggery (but mine was with palm sugar, since I couldn’t find jaggery anywhere). The whole roast chicken with fenugreek will make you taste roast chicken new.

Mostly, though, I loved the simplest recipes. The brown basmati rice with pine nuts, mint, and pomegranate. And the fennel-red chile dry rub works with everything. Simple, simple — fennel seeds, dried red chiles, peppercorns. Somehow, it manages to smell like Christmas. We patted it on escolar, a firm-fleshed white fish, and ate them up near midnight last week. One of my favorite tastes of the entire time? The roasted cauliflower with the fennel rub. I could have eaten an entire head of it myself. But I saved half for breakfast the next day. Little Bean ate every piece.

That rub won’t last long in this kitchen.

mango rice pudding

And late at night, after hours of editing, the rice pudding with mango parfait tasted like the sweet release of sleep.

I made the rice pudding after reading Monica’s lyrical essay about the first time she made it in Virginia, just after she arrived in the States. Flattened by loneliness and culture shock, she cooked to assuage her sadness. When the pudding didn’t work, she burst into tears and left the kitchen to call her mother. Half an hour later, she remembered the pudding:

“…I rushed out to see the milk and rice in perfect unison. The cardamom had taken over the air in the room. The pudding, thick and creamy, was at a perfect simmer. My roommate took a spoonful. ‘Wow, it’s sweet, but it’s good. Is it like a rice pudding of some sort?’”

Just after, the man who would become her husband walked in to taste the rice pudding. That was the first time he tasted her cooking.

It’s stories like these, and the other open-hearted essays scattered through the book, that made me fall in love with Modern Spice. The food we ate this week is what gave the book a permanent place on our shelves.

We think you’d like this book too. So we’re giving away a copy of Modern Spice. Leave a comment about why you think this book will be useful to you in the kitchen, and we’ll pick a winner by random at the end of the week.

Also, for the purposes of transparency, we’d like to tell you that this book was sent to us by the publisher, who wanted us to take a look at it. We would buy it on our own, however.

five-spice Danish squash

Danish Squash with Five Spices, ever so slightly adapted from Modern Spice. The voice of the directions is that of Monica Bhide.

This was one of my favorite recipes in the book, particularly because it’s squash season right now. The original called for acorn squash, but I found a firm, green Danish squash at our farmstand that day. Danish squash it is, then. And this dish had a kick to it.

For this recipe, you’ll need paanch phoron, which is a five-spice blend common to Bengali cooking. (It’s black mustard seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek, fennel seeds, and cumin.) This also works on so many dishes that you won’t regret the purchase. You’ll also need shallots, a green serrano chile, and some warm honey.

That’s one of the parts of cooking from Modern Spice that I liked best. As adventurous as we can be in the kitchen, we can fall into a rut of flavors too. We didn’t have any paanch phoron in the cupboard. Now, we do. Thank goodness. That means we can make this again.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons paanch phoron
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
2 large or 4 small shallots, peeled and diced
1 small green serrano chile, minced (and if you don’t like that much heat, de-seeded)
1 dried red whole chile
1 medium (about 3 1/2 cups) Danish squash (or acorn, or Delicata, or…), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup water
warm honey (optional)
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)

Heat the oil in a deep lidded saucepan over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the cumin seeds, paanch phoron, garlic, and shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the shallots begin to change color.

Add the green chile, red chile, and the squash and mix well. Add the salt and turmeric and mix. Raise the heat and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the squash just begins to brown.

Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the squash is soft and the water has almost dried up, about 20 minutes (it was more like 35 minutes on our stove).

Serve hot. Drizzle with warm honey and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, if you wish.

Serves 4.

138 comments on “Modern Spice

  1. Anonymous

    Loved this turn of phrase: “flattened by loneliness and culture shock, she cooked to assuage her sadness.” Food is so healing on so many levels, isn’t it? Thank you so much for sharing about Monica Bhide’s “Modern Spice.” Indian cuisine has been calling to me lately, so this was perfect timing!

    Always love your insights and joy. Thanks Shauna.

    –Jocelyn

  2. shila

    Gorgeous post! I normally have traditional Gujarati/Indian meals at my parents’ home and consider myself an adventurous cook, but I’ve shied away from Indian cooking. I could never keep the ingredients on hand when living on my own or flavor my food as well as my mother.

    I think I need to pick up more cookbooks like Modern Spice that are adventurous but still accessible.

  3. Emma

    Dear Shauna, I would dearly love a copy of the book. My (new) husband is a vegetarian, I’m almost one by default, and find that Indian food lends itself so well to veggie food. Of course I can also drool over the non veggie recipes and maybe even cook them once in a while!
    At the risk of sounding a wee bit sycophantic, I am quite addicted to the way you write about adventures in food, and like many of your loyal readers I’m sure, feel as if I know your delightful little family very well!
    Best of luck to you on your new book. Emma

  4. Kristin

    I’d love to add this to my cookbook collection (do you ever really need to justify why you need another cookbook?) because it would encourage me to cook with spices I don’t normally use.

  5. hoolooovoo

    I need this cookbook because my house of college students doesn’t have any cookbooks at all. I never quite got the point of cookbooks, since there are millions of recipes online, but now I kind of want some. If only so I can make that rice pudding, because wow that sounds good right now.

  6. periscope knits

    Oh, cookbooks! As the daughter of a librarian, I have a hard time buying books for myself. I read quickly and find that quite a few of the “must-have” books for others are ones that I am content to read once and let go. But cookbooks? My non-textbook allowance is meager, but I can almost always make an exception for a cookbook. Moreso than novels, a good cookbook can take you places, you know? Fried chicken made with chickpea flour and served with raita, green tomato relish, and cucumber limeade. So simple, but for me the sentence is a time machine. Back to the first Indian food I ever ate (in high school, with my best friend). To my first apartment and shopping for delicious spices to fill rows of tiny glass jars. To listening to my father talk about the fried chicken he grew up with, crispy and golden in the Texan sunlight. Forward, too, to recipes I will share with my own family. Forward to new tastes, just as surprising and delightful as cucumber in my limeade. And, of course, forward to stepping off the plane (in New Jersey, or Tucson, or Fort Worth) and being greeted by friends and family eager to share their own food-memories with me. Just one sentence, but oh! The places you will go. Cookbooks have a life in them you create yourself.

    But wait! You asked how this will help me in the kitchen (though my life is inextricably connected to my food and my kitchen). So I will tell you this: there is nothing in the world quite like opening a cookbook, choosing a recipe and saying “This is where I want to go today. Here. Just here.” Cooking is something I can do on my student budget; the returns feel greater and richer than the sum of their parts. It is instant gratification in the best way possible–I can smell and taste and stir now, and in a few minutes or hours or, at worst, days, I have something delicious and nourishing and satisfying. The hours of homework (and years until I finish my degree) are suddenly much more bearable.

    As an aside, I use buttermilk for my fried chicken. It’s tangy, delicious, and stretches across time and distance to connect me to my Southern roots. If I am really lucky, I have the time to buy a gallon of raw Jersey milk, skim the cream, and make the butter and culture the buttermilk myself. It. Is. Glorious. On days like that I make up a pan of buttermilk cornbread and dish of greens to go with the chicken. Here. Just here.

  7. emily

    Mmmm, that book sounds amazing. I think Heidi of 101 Cookbooks wrote about Monica Bhide recently (meaning in my memory of six months) and I would absolutely LOVE to have one of her books!

  8. Adrienne

    Indian food is such a good fit for a celiac diet. When we are on the road, we feel fairly confident we’ll find something my husband can eat at an Indian food restaurant. And now that my teenaged daughter, who is also a vegetarian, has been newly diagnosed with celiac, I can’t think of a better cuisine to introduce more often to our home. Love your blog, Shauna. I will certainly look for Modern Spice (after the draw!).

  9. Fiona and Andy

    I love indian flavours but am scared of cooking with the spices .. this book might be just the answer!

  10. sk

    This book sounds fantastic. I LOVE indian food, but am intimidated by making it. When I was in high school I tried to make my family a lavish indian meal and.…it was a total flop. I’ve never recovered. This book sounds like it would give me another shot.

    I’ll be looking for it at my local library!

  11. Mama JJ

    The cookbook sounds lovely. I enjoy Indian cuisine, but I don’t know nearly enough about it. I want my children to be raised with exposure to many different foods—this book would be a great aid in helping me to accomplish that!

  12. Sue

    Mmmmmmmm! Sounds like a must-have. I love cooking Indian-influenced food and Mona Bhide sounds to have a very good take on it. I’m drooling after reading this post!

  13. Shannon

    I’ve been eyeing this book up for a while now. I’m just discovering delicious curry and Indian spices along with using “sweet spices” for savory dishes. We are on a budget and try to eat locally and organically, so adding some delicious spices to lentils and other legumes is a goal of mine to cut down on the cost of grass-fed meats.

  14. Engineer Baker

    This is what I love about Indian cooking — they *know* spices, like whoa. And I love the color turmeric stains everything, yellow yellow yellow everywhere. This book reminds me of the Flavor Bible, which I erroneously chose to buy and give to my dad for his birthday rather than keep it all for myself. Maybe this is one I’ll keep for myself :)

  15. Grace @ Front Porch Yoga

    I have been living in a sad burgundy and yellow tiled kitchen, and I have been stuck in an “Outdated Bland” cooking routine. But I recently moved into a kitchen filled with sunlight and love, and I am eager to awaken my palate again. I would be honored to create the soulful Indian-inspired meals in “Modern Spice” for my new roomie, sharing bliss in every bite.

  16. Janine

    My dad has traveled to India for work a lot over the past few years and has developed quite the collection of Indian spices. As a favor to my mom (and because who would want to turn down free spices!) I took about half of them home with me — but I have no Indian recipes. In fact, I’ve never even had Indian food. This book would keep all those lovely aromas and colors from going to waste!

  17. Jennifer R.

    Wow, sounds like an awesome cookbook that I’d love to add to my collection — and to learn to use even more spices in my cooking — my family would love it too!
    (cropwithme@cox.net)

  18. babyjenks

    that sounds like a wonderful book with delicious food. i would love to add that to my cookbook shelf (though i have quite a few indian cookbooks already). i could definitely use a book that brings indian spices to modern american cooking. i love cooking the longer more traditional recipes, but frequently just don’t have the time it takes.

    and as always, thanks for the beautiful writing as well.

  19. nimrodiel

    I would love to read this cookbook, and add it to my collection. I find myself at a bit of a standstill when it comes to spices lately. We seem to be using the same four or five on everything recently…

    This looks like it could be a great push to try something new in our meals.

  20. jbeach

    Love this post. I have been wanting to delve into my cookbooks and cook from them more often, too. I so often turn to the internet, yet I have gorgeous books at home that are the culmination of such hard work! –I should know, I’m a cookbook production editor!:)-

    Modern Spice sounds truly lovely. I think I’ll go in search of paanch phoron tonight to make this dish with a beautiful acorn squash I have from my csa. Like you and Danny, my boyfriend and I love to discuss food and we often proclaim Indian cuisine our favorite, yet we rarely make Indian dishes at home — I think because we’re intimidated by the unfamiliarity…I think this book would lay down the stones for us to start building our path to delicious dishes! I’m excited thinking of the smile on Jeff’s face when I tell him about the book! Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

  21. Julie Keen

    I’d love a copy of this book! My roommate in college was from India, and her mother would send the most delicious food up to us for weekend/late night noshing. It is still one of my favorite cuisines, but one that intimidates me. Perhaps this book will make it so that I can bring these delicious flavors to my family!

  22. B and B

    I would love to use this cookbook in my kitchen because your description makes it sound so inviting! It will become part of my library soon!

  23. cara harjes

    i would love to play with this cookbook to help me through the cooking plateau i seem to have hit.

  24. B and B

    I would love a copy of this cookbook because your description of it is wonderful. It will become part of my library.

  25. mennogirl

    Like Kristin said, one rarely needs an excuse for another cookbook, however in this case the recipes you mentioned sounded amazing and I am trying to push myself to be a more interesting cook these days. So the infusion of Indian spices and recipes would do my kitchen good.

  26. Margot

    Hey Shauna!
    My mouth is watering. I would love a copy of Modern Spice and if the free copy doesn’t come through you can bet it’s jumping onto my Christmas list. My boyfriend of three and a half years is a celiac and early on in our relationship I was ecstatic to learn that Indian and Indian inspired cuisine was a perfect cuisine for us. It has been our experience that wheat/rye/barley flours don’t sneak into really anything (garbanzo and lentil flours being preferred) and servers at restaurants are very well aware of what ingredients are going into dishes when we ask. I’ve managed
    to find an ethnic cuisine that doesn’t leave us worrying that
    he may be eating something contaminated and we love it. Thanks for this post. :)

  27. Debra

    Enjoyed this post very much. I would love a copy of “Modern Spice” — though I have a healthy herb garden that I use frequently, I’d love to be ‘stretched’ to try new spices, & it sounds like this book would be a great help. (Meanwhile, I’ll add it to my Amazon wishlist!)

  28. City Girl

    I would love love love this cookbook. I love Indian cooking, mainly because, aside from the breads, it is naturally wheat-free (I am on a wheat-free/corn-free/dairy-free/egg-free diet for health reasons) and I could use more cookbooks like that :)

  29. Anonymous

    Looks and sounds so yummy! I imagine the smell.….… These recipes would really shake up this Polish/Swedish/American household!

  30. Anonymous

    Oh my! Now I’m hooked. I’ve already placed an order for the book at amazon.de (don’t expect you to mail a copy to Germany…). Btw, I just love your blog.

  31. Kay Guest

    Oh Shauna, thank you for letting us know about this book! I would LOVE to have a copy. My husband must eat gluten free but would surely appreciate the flavors of Indian cooking. Originally, he is from England and Shauna, since you once lived there, remember the popularity of Indian cooking? It would be like a taste of home! (Hmmm.. sounds like a good name for a cookbook! Good luck with your new one…)

  32. Lori in SC

    I have always shyed away from India cooking, because I was never introduced to it. Your descriptions make it sound so inviting. I would love to learn more about the food and the culture. Thank you.

  33. GREEN KEY

    I’m intrigued at the thought of simple Indian recipes. I adore Indian food — the complex flavors, the unexpected combinations of sweet and savory. When I was a stay at home mom, many, many years ago, I took the time to explore some complex Indian recipes. In recent years I’ve just taken myself out to India House in Northampton, Mass.! Their entire menu, except for the naan, is gluten free. I would love to dive back into Indian cooking at home. Thanks for offering the book, and I wish you and Danny and Little Bean all the best as you work your way through to the end of your cookbook project.

  34. h. hart

    Your post gets right to the heart of what makes a cookbook great, and that makes me look so forward to your own, to get messy in my kitchen!

    In the meantime, I would love this copy of Modern Spice. I lived in India for a period of time, and have since longed for a beautiful, approachable cookbook to learn what all of those flavor combinations I can’t get right on my own are. And I’ve a hankering to turn all my dishes yellow, as well.

  35. Jenna

    Sounds lovely!

    As to why I’d like the book (and will most likely be ordering it if I don’t win it!) — while I’ve always loved cooking and have found a great deal of joy in exploring new tastes and trial runs with my husband… I find myself in a more frantic pace to expand my abilities. Not only do I need to cook for my own celiac (and my husband’s health — he is slowly but steadily dropping weight from the dangerous levels of 400) and crave more flavors and spices…

    my nephew (4) has been diagnosed with celiac and allergies to everything from rice to soy, from GARLIC to beef (and dozens other). My brother and his wife don’t cook and are frantic, so this auntie is trying to find all the ways I can cram flavor into this child (and teach his parents to cook!) that I can so he doesn’t feel so deprived.

  36. Dorian

    Oooh…It sounds like just the ticket to stick my toe into the world of Indian cooking. I love to eat it, but I’ve never found a cookbook that presented the food in an accessable way.

    ~M

  37. Shelly!

    Like I said on Facebook…

    You had me at curry. I cannot get enough of that stuff…red…green…yellow…

    Our “spicy” kitchen is quite limited to Mexican or Chinese flavored dishes.

    And while I know how to make life spicy is most areas of my life…I could use some help from Monica and Modern Spice in the kitchen!!

  38. San

    I would love to have this book so I can feel confident enough to move past the packaged curry powders and on to something more adventurous.

  39. Cicero Sings

    We keep borrowing a book from the library that uses the Indian spices in a marvelous way (my husband and I both cook). This particular books only drawback is its size … it is very awkward to handle. I can’t say as I have seen “Modern Spice” but we sure could use such a book to have at our fingertips! We’ve been looking for a good one to buy to add to our bulging recipe book cabinet and this one sounds ideal.

    I always enjoy your posts, personal and informative. I don’t always comment because your blog is an indulgence without commitment. Pretty bad eh?!

  40. megc

    In a few weeks, I’ll move from an apartment with a typically cramped NYC kitchen, to an apartment (still in NYC) that has an astonishing amount of space in which to prepare food and cook. And we’ll finally — FINALLY — have a room in this home where I can feed ourselves and others, something I’ve sorely missed (my current apartment is not set up to have a dining table so we eat on the couch, always). I expect to use my coming kitchen even more than I do now. My boyfriend and I love Indian food and would like to delve into it some more. Bonus is that I work near the wonderful Kalustyans in Manhattan, where spices abound; I am sure I would enjoy getting more familiar with this incredible resource of a shop for purposes of preparing food from this cookbook. I can’t wait to cook all sorts of things in my new space.

    Thanks for highlighting this wonderful book.

  41. Jyoti

    Have been eyeing this book for a while and would love a copy of my own. I do cook traditional Indian food but am keen to experiment with Monica’s modern twists.

  42. categirl

    I am a Home Economics (Foods) teacher and am always trying to find recipes that aren’t the “norm” for the classroom. It is one of my goals to expose them to a variety of cultural foods and different flavour profiles and hopefully break some preconceived ideas about what they like and don’t like. Teenagers can be a tough sell. This book sounds like something that they might really eat up. Thanks for sharing!

  43. GJ

    I’d love to add Modern Spice to my shelves! I love the smells of curries and blends, but I seldom buy them because I don’t really know how to use them. New spices, new flavors — definitely!

  44. awolanna

    I’ve always been a bit intimidated by Indian cooking. Perhaps this could be the book to lead me on new culinary adventures.

  45. Laura

    I have always, always wanted to be able to cook Indian foods at home. I have tried–(boy have I tried!)–but I never found the inspiration I needed. Sounds like this book might be perfect for me!

  46. suz

    I’m so excited to try this recipe! Even if I don’t win the cookbook, I have this bookmarked to try now that squash is back in my csa box.

    I think the idea of reviewing cookbooks is an excellent one. I try to get them from the library first to see if I like the way the recipes flow before I actually buy a new cookbook.

    I don’t currently own any Indian cookbooks but I play around with the spices a bit while cooking on my own, the warmth and fullness of the spices make the cuisine right up my alley!

  47. GFyoginiChris

    I’m two — almost three, wow — months into this Celiac diagnosis. I’ve been through the rage and the denial, the dispair (read: self-pity) stages. In the middle of it all, I found your book at the library. As I got toward the end, I realized I had to own it, so I bought one, and I can’t wait to make the rosemary roasted chicken (Thanksgiving?).

    In anusara yoga, we are taught to savor life, to suck the marrow from its bones — the ‘rasa’, we call it. I had forgotten that. Thank you for sharing your story, for helping me find the rasa in life again. I look forward to your new cookbook and I am looking forward to a life of enjoying every bite.

    Of course, I’d love to win the Indian spice cookbook — the one way I know I can keep the fiance happy at home, in his newly gluten free kitchen, is with Indian food.

  48. Swiss

    I got this book a few weeks ago to spice up my meal plan — maybe you linked me to her site — I bought the book right away and began buying some of the ingredients. I have not cooked from it yet so now I am inspireder– (more inspired) I already knew I would love the dishes. Thanks for the reminder.

  49. Erica

    I’d love to have a copy of this in my kitchen, to help teach my three girls that not all spices are spicy, and to remind our whole family that food is an adventure, too.

  50. Heather M.

    This food is beautiful! I discovered Monica months ago through the Washington Post — she has a regular feature in our beloved food section now.

    I would love a copy of this book to deepen an exploration of a cuisine that I’ve always loved every bite of, but don’t feel familiar enough with to try cooking. I love finding authentic recipes that make me seek out the international food stores in the area.

  51. Christine

    Ooooh! I’m so intrigued by the Pomegranate Shrimp recipe. We just got a huge bag of pomegranates from my in-laws, and I’ve been trying to think of a way to use them other than our usual pomegranate and arugula salad with goat cheese.

  52. mina

    the book sounds incredible. me and my fiance just moved into a tiny apartment but there’s a great indian shop almost at the foot of the building. every night when i get home from work, i can smell delicious meals wafting out of at least 5 of the windows along the building. all those spices sitting in the store are a little overwhelming to me but i really want to tickle someone’s nose with my dinner. ^^

  53. Shoshana

    I’d love to try something new — and as I live in the middle east, all of the spices you wrote about are at my doorstep — and pomegranates are just now going out of season : ).
    I love your site — it helps me find the joy in food.

  54. lisaz

    The local Indian market was one of my favorite places to shop long before I had to give up gluten — it was such a treat to find that there were so many new things to try that I could eat and Indian food is high on my list of “comfort foods” now…meaning that I can eat without worry and also feel like I’m eating what everyone else at the table is having. I’d love to explore this book!

  55. Chloe (Naturally Frugal)

    My boyfriend and I have just discovered the wonderment of Indian food. So many spices and flavors to explore still. We were happy to find that he could eat most of the menu, not having to worry about sugar or soy sauce in it, hardly any yeast products or vinegar. He avoids these foods due to a special diet he is on.
    I love it because of the boldness and the mix of flavors that I would never choose. Recently I’ve stopped eating dairy, which is used only sparingly in Indian food and when it is can easily be detected.
    This cookbook would help us to branch out and grow as a couple, exploring our first year living together and learning about each other’s tastes without the same thing every night for dinner.
    What a wonderful book this could be.

  56. Livia

    Great post — and a wonderfully generous plan. I find it so hard to stick to one recipe and one cookbook for very long, but you make it sound so worth the attention.

    I am starting to cook this way already, and this book is definitely going on my wishlist.

    (Does it also have a section telling you how to make the spice blends?)

  57. Il Fornaio

    I would adore a copy of this book, not just because I love Indian cooking and any new cookbook, but because your essay was so persuasive and beautiful that even if i don’t win it, i’ll need to buy it soon.

  58. The Diary of an Epic Failure

    Lucky for me, there are two Indian restaurants in Providence, RI that feature gluten-free menu items! I never get tired of the infinite flavor combinations or the excitement of new flavors dancing on the palate. This has inspired me to give it a try on my own!

  59. Brandy

    Dear Shauna,
    Earlier this year it was recommended by a functional medicine doctor for me to eat gluten-free. I’d never heard the word gluten until then. To be honest I haven’t given my ‘best shot’ at eliminating gluten from my diet but in reading your blog it inspires me to make this important and necessary change. Thanks for writing from the heart and sharing your life experiences with us all! I’ll be sure to pick up a copy of Modern Spice (if I’m not randomly selected this week). It comes at the perfect time — thanks for the great recommendation. And best of luck on the editing.…you can do it!

    xo,
    Brandy

    p.s., if I find jaggery here in LA I will be sure to send some your way! But first I need to find out what it is I’m looking for :-)

  60. La Niña

    My life needs more spice. It’s been mostly burnt to a crisp, and you, my dear, know why.

    I love my bargain book, “50 Great Curries” but… I want to fuse and be Modern like Monica.

    “Modern Spice” sounds delicious, but so does anything you write about. You could write about chewing gum stuck to the sidewalk and I’d want to pick it up and eat it.

    Miss you.

  61. Kelly Sweazea

    My husband loves Indian spices and flavors. I think this book would be amazing for him to start actually cooking them instead of just dreaming of them! Your post is beautiful, and what an cutie Lu is! Your flickr is inspirational!

    –Kelly

  62. Cheryl

    As a newly diagnosed Celiac we are pushing our food horizons in new directions. Fortunately we were a family that cooked so that helps, but as I loved The Gluten Free Girl, I would welcome the foray into new foods that Modern Spice would bring. Frankly I will likely buy it anyway, but free would be really great! I also look forward to your weekly cookbook review!
    –Cheryl

  63. beastmomma

    I think that the principle of getting gluten-free recipes from different sources is also true of vegetarian cooking. You can find good food and flavors everywhere. I would love the chance to win this book and I would use it to extend my bi-cultural experience and background to the kitchen!

  64. M

    I would love to get a copy of this book. Since I cook for myself I tend to use the same spices and flavors. This book might be a good way to get me out of that rut. Your pictures make my mouth water!

  65. Sasha

    I love Indian food but consider it restaurant food because I don’t usually cook with cookbooks and don’t have an intuitive sense of Indian flavors and spices. This cookbook looks like an exciting chance to learn! I would love it.

  66. Michelle

    I would love the chance to learn more about spices I haven’t played with yet. I recently had to cut dairy out of my diet, and it would be great to have more tools to make food exciting.

  67. sweetpea

    Love Indian food and am very fortunate to have a well known, local mentor for Indian cooking, Raghavan Iyer who has published three great Indian cookbooks including Betty Crocker’s Indian cooking. I know big oxymoron but it is very good. We have big Indian dinner parties around here at least once a month! You can make all those spice blends yourself, especially with the help of a vitamix and the dry container. I had a Indian spice blending party last fall with a few friends and we made a zillion blends and pastes which we froze in ice cube trays. It was great to have the blends and pastes on hand through the winter! A caution to anyone with Celiac, asafoetida also know as hing is rarely GF and almost always laced with wheat flour to prevent caking, even in the block form! It is common ingredient in Indian food. I got very very sick after eating something Roghavan and I cooked together. It took us a while to figure out the culprit. Raghavan did some research and discovered it was hing. Initially he suggested using the block form but called me a few days later to day avoid it all together. I would never turn down a copy of Modern Spice if I were lucky enough to be the random winner of your give away!

  68. moi

    When I left my cheating husband and realized I would have to raise my infant all by myself I went shopping — not for shoes or lingerie — but for a granite mortar and pestle, for a good mandoline, for new big knives. Yes I was raging but I also wanted to eat well as the best revenge. I did not use any of the implements on his private parts. My now 3 year old son grinds spices with me for fun in the huge mortar and pestle. We roast our spices and grind them all and I would love a new approach.

    thank you for all your writing

  69. Susan

    I am fairly new to menu planning and cooking. I am gluten intolerant and would like to try a new cuisine to make my meals more interesting. I love curry, but am not really familiar with other indian dishes. Your blog has greatly helped me to not settle for hum drum gluten free. This book sounds wonderful from your description. I use Penzey’s spices from a catalog and would love to try new ones, even if I have to special order them! — Susan

  70. Kathleen

    I love Indian food and Indian spices, but I often find that foods are too hot for me. I’d love to have a book of recipes that I could tinker with and explore the Indian spices I’m not familiar with.

    Thanks for sharing. If I don’t win the contest, I’m likely to go out and buy myself a copy thanks to your recommendation.

  71. gfpumpkins

    I’d love to add this cookbook to my collection. I love Indian food but find many of the recipes hard to follow, mostly because of long procedures. Something that is clear cut and simple would be wonderful!

  72. Rosiecat

    I love the idea of a weekly dance through a new cookbook! How fun! I should try the same thing with my own cookbook collection, just to keep the tastebuds entertained.

    And seriously: who doesn’t love Indian food? I once went on a date with a guy who said he didn’t like Indian food, and it was alarming. I’m ever so grateful now to be dating someone who makes fantastic Indian-inspired dishes.

    Modern Spice sounds gorgeous and you did a wonderful job reviewing it. It’s nice to hear how many things you tried from its pages!

  73. Palmer Public Library

    Okay, I live in ALaska, and I love Indian food — which is not readily available here. There are a few restaurants, but I’d rather make it at home. Finding the spices is a challenge, but I’m gradually finding them. I would so love this cookbook!

  74. Monique in TX

    Wonderful. I love Indian food and wish someone would open one in our town. I’d surely enjoy this book!

  75. j.cro

    Earlier in the year I read My Life in France by Julia Child and now I’m reading Appetite for Life — the biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch — It took Simone Beck and Julia Child about ten years to write Master the Art of French Cooking. TEN YEARS!!! Keep it up — you can do it… Like Dorey — Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

  76. Randi

    Love your posts Shauna! They are so alive! I desperately need to cook something different. Modern Spice would be so great to have. My family is all gluten free and that makes it feel harder. Can’t wait for your cookbook. Interested in “Modern Spice” because I have never tried Indian cooking and think it will open a new world. So cool that you are giving a book away.

    Thanks for sharing all that you share!

    Randi

  77. shelagh

    oooohhhhhhhhh, spice. i live in maine, where we’re heading into the half light and root vegetables portion of the year. seems sometimes as though all the spice is on the trees as they change color, and somehow not in my cooking. modern spice will certainly make its way into our library — thanks for sharing it!

  78. Amy

    I love Indian food, and have also been a little afraid to try it at home. Sounds as though the author makes it accessible. This book sounds great!

  79. Jennifer

    Ooh, Indian food is my all-time favorite. Since I went GF I cook and eat more Indian food than ever. I am not deprived! My two books that have most-stained and useful status are ‘Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: the Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking’ by Yamuna Devi and ‘Savoring the Spice Coast of India’ by Maya Kaimal. I do cook the same recipes over and over, so could use some new inspiration. Plus, I read anecdotal cookbooks in bed, just for fun! Thanks for your yes spirit!

  80. Lyndie

    I have 2 different sets of in-laws from India. I would love to make a meal for them but I don’t know a thing about Indian cooking, I think this book would really help!

  81. laurel

    my boyfriend in wheat intolerant, so we regularly indulge in indian food. while delicious, it is also ridiculously expensive in a little town — I’d love to have a cookbook so we could make some for ourselves!

  82. Anna

    Great to hear about a cookbook and writer who seems to intertwine food, life and flavors the way that you do in your blog. I would love to learn more about indian cooking and using new spices.

  83. Shayla

    I imagine spices open up a whole world of possibilities for those of us with food limitations. Good post. I’ll have to check out some online sources for some of the more unusual ones.I prefer cookbooks that have good writing and stories to go with the food. Sounds like a great book

  84. sonya

    This cookbook seems wonderful. Though I live in a neighborhood with a large Indian population (and thus have access to excellent Indian food shops), I have never cooked the cuisine as it seems intimidating. I would love to read through and cook recipes from this delicious sounding book!

  85. Tiffany

    A Modern Spice, sounds like a dream of a cookbook. I started collecting cookbooks before being diagnosed with Celiac and ALMOST threw them all out when I was diagnosed. But then I thought, most of the recipe books were a mixture of entrees and baking and I could eventually adapt my favorite recipes. I’ve started collecting more specialized cookbooks now and would love to add this one to my collection.

    Another reason for having an interest in the Modern Spice is because my grandparents, although British, lived in both India and Burma in their youth (fantastic, but long stories). As a result our family has grown up with more East Indian cooking than your average Caucasian family would and we love the stuff. We have it for almost every special occasion (except Thanksgiving and Christmas as those require Turkey). I add curry to everything, including hash browns and tuna melts. It would be fantastic to learn how to incorporate other spices into my every day meals as well!

  86. alice

    This sounds like a lovely meal! I’ve been stuck at the palak’s sauce level of cooking for a while now, and it’s largely because I keep getting stuck on the spices, not wanting to invest in getting a whole bunch for a recipe that’ll turn out to be a dud. (and not wanting to put my lazy self through the time involved in making most of them.)

    A pre-vetted cookbook would be great to get over those hurdles, especially if it’s got less time-intensive options!

  87. Anonymous

    I am sentimental, simple, and sweet on spices, which is why I read your blog and why I would love this cookbook.

    Emily

  88. Susan

    I still have my mother’s red and white Better Homes and Garden cookbook, with its stained, torn pages.

    I’m so glad I held onto it, even after I realized I could no longer eat any grains or cow dairy.

    I still return to it now and then, but I feel more free to experiment these days. I confess, Gordon Ramsay brought me back to cooking for pleasure. His enormous passion — and his propensity for making foods that I can eat, with few substitutions — helped me to capture the pride I used to have.

    I’m proud of the food I can make now. Chicken stock — oh, I was so glad for the nearly full Ball jar in the fridge when I caught a cold! Almond butter brownies molded into spiders and jack-o-lanterns for my son. Meatloaves bursting with spinach, garlic and onion. The best beef stew that took 24 hours in total to prepare. A perfect crustless pumpkin pie.

    I’m learning how to use cookbooks all over again.

  89. Grace

    I really like how you combine a love of writing with a love of food.
    When I read something you write, I want to cook it. Eat it too, of course, but for some reason I feel more compelled to cook it first. Though, as a middle-schooler, I usually feel much more compelled to eat stuff.
    You describe Modern Spice very well, and I feel that all food has a story, so a book that would combine that would be wonderful.
    I love cooking (recently i went chanterelle hunting and made Baked Fresh Cheese with Chanterelles and Heirloom Tomato Coulis)and I need food that is naturally gluten-free. Indian food is perfect, but I don’ really cook it. I don’t know why. I also don’t use cookbooks. it is because few cookbooks cater to my needs, either in quality or because I can’t eat anything in them.
    Indian food, and maybe quick enough I can do math homework or climb trees afterwords, is perfect.

    Really like your blog,
    Grace

  90. Marci

    I have just recently started experimenting a little more with new spices and the recipes you describe sound AMAZING!!! I have always loved Indian food, it’s about time I learn to make some myself!
    marci6tx at msn dot com

  91. gfe--gluten free easily

    I would love the book because I want to expand the spices and seasonings I use, but still make simple and wonderful recipes. I ate something made with fenugreek for the first time this summer–ice cream at an amazing inn. The ice cream was equally amazing. I can’t wait to try making it myself and using fenugreek in other ways. The author sounds like a fabulous storyteller, too.

    Shirley

  92. Meadow

    Shauna, you have inspired me in more ways then you can know over the last couple of years. Not only in cooking, but in how to lead one’s life. I am not writing this for a cookbook, but to say, keep doing what you are doing. You are following your passions, your bliss, and that is inspirational every day. Keep writing, keep cooking, but most importantly, keep doing what you love with your family. Thank you.

  93. selena

    Hi Shauna,

    Thanks for the nice post! I’m a vegetarian, and my brother has a host of food allergies including what might be celiac. This cookbook seems like it has many great whole food recipes that steer away from a lot of those common allergens — milk, wheat, soy. Please enter me in the drawing!

  94. pseudostoops

    I’d love to cook out of this book, to give me one more excuse to patronize the amazing little spice shop I just discovered in our neighborhood!

  95. Anne

    This book made Danny say “Wow,” bite after bite. It caused you to want to eat an entire head of broccoli. It offered sweet relief after a night of hard work. This is the kind of book that I live to have–one that continually returns me to delicious. One that seems to gain sentimental value before even cooking one recipe from it. Shauna, thanks for luring me into your flavors, as usual!

  96. Cegoodner

    I would love a copy of this book! A favorite date night spot for my husband and I is a local authentic Indian place down the road from us. I would love to recreate some of the things we love to eat and discover new flavors and spices. Thanks for letting us know about the book — it looks great!

  97. erita

    shauna–your post makes me excited to try cooking with more exotic spices at home. i’ve always loved indian food, but was too intimidated to try it in my own kitchen. now, it sounds accessible.

  98. theater simpleton

    I LOVE how the blog gives people a chance to share their discoveries or ‘secrets’ of themselves to the community at large, whether its the idea that spicy don’t mean ‘hot’ they mean flavor, intensity, the back-of-the-head sense of recognition…

    I’d love the book because it would travel with me — perhaps not in the literal sense, but in the ways I’d take it to my friends and families homes with food, love and conversation… across the world to my friends in other ountries, becuase there is OBVIOUSLY recipes to share, that are toooooo gooooood NOT to share! I (as do everyone else) hope I win, but I know there is a copy of it at the library I can borrow, and read, and share…
    Thanks, S! You and Danny are open, delicious, honey-filled hearts.

  99. Tassiegal

    Oh Indian type cooking.…its something I have always TRIED to get right but still cant. I suspect its because growing up my Auntie Harriet cooked me proper homestyle Indian, and then at college I lived on a floor with lots of Indian girls, and we had huge cooking parties in the buttery that involved cooking home made roti on the burners of the stove, buttering them and storing them in huge soft piles until everyting else was cooked.
    Hmmm — I wonder if you could make a GF roti.…..

  100. CatherineMarie

    I was raised by an Indian nanny for six years, and adore Indian food. I recently found an Indian supermarket in the neighborhood, and have been buying things to try there, but I do not have an Indian cookbook! (I have a collection of cookbooks, but so far, lack the Indian subcontinent). I have scattered recipes here and there, as well as a vegetarian cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey. Please help me fill this hole in my cookbook shelf, and help me figure out how to use some of these wonderful ingredients by sending me this cookbook! (I also need a new excuse to go to Penzeys!)

  101. Alexandra

    I would really love a copy of this Modern Spice book, Shauna. You know why ? I have to whisper this in your ear, so please come closer.…(whispers)“there is nothing in this world which makes my man more romantic than Indian food”. There…I said it and no matter how funny it may sound, every single word of it is true (giggle). And if I then tell you he’s Norwegian and I am Dutch it makes that fact all the more special, doesn’t it ? Hugs !

  102. Sirena

    Another wonderful post! Modern Spice has been on my list of must-try books for some time. In our Mexican-middle eastern fusion home, spices are an essential part of almost every meal, and I can’t wait to expand on that theme with Modern Spice. I also write online about some of the recipes I’ve tackled as home cook in a home that takes inspiration from the global table, and can’t wait to tackle Modern Spice next :-)

  103. jumping jolly jelly beans

    this’ll be a very useful addition to my cookbook collection, as i do not have a cookbook exploring the mysteries of indian food yet. i am intrigued by the use of exotic spices, and i would love to try preparing something vegetarian/vegan from an indian cookbook. it would be a new experience for me, and it would help me jumpstart my food-tripping around the world. :)

    btw, i love how personal your writing style is, and thank you for welcoming us into your world. :)

  104. melissa

    Why would this be useful? I need more spice in my life. I need someone to help me fall in love with things like rice pudding and curry, because I’ve no idea where to start on my own.

  105. Ana

    I’ve been dying to try out indian cooking but unsure where to turn for guidance, thanks for the recommendation! I’ll be putting this in my xmas wishlist (unless I win it here…I hope!)

  106. Anonymous

    Hi Shauna,
    Loved this post, this books sounds tremendous. Indian cooking has always intimidated me. Those spices and flavors are so exotic and enticing though, aren’t they? I am putting this on my wish list.
    Thanks for broadening my horizons Shauna and Danny :)
    Eileen

  107. Mary

    I have been trying for a while now to be more an adventurous cook and this book sounds like it would be perfect for that!

  108. arbtax

    We just moved our family of 6 from NY to Israel. We are missing our NY restaurants (Indian was always a crowd pleaser with our kids) and Whole Foods but are thrilled about the spices at the shuk (open air markets) and would love to have a little more guidance and inspiration…so we’ll glady take that book off your hands

  109. Susan G

    Not only was this a beautiful post, you have also inspired such lovely comments. This book sounds like the perfect bridge between continents, distinctive and unifying.

  110. Kristina

    Last year, I decided that I wanted to learn how to cook Indian food and Thai food– two of my absolute favorite cuisines! I didn’t want to buy a cookbook without knowing if it was any good, and the selection at the library was pretty pathetic. This looks great– think I’ll put it on my wish list (or perhaps the powers-that-be of probability will be on my side and I’ll win that copy)!

  111. Becky

    Loved the posts that I’ve read so far. I am recently starting a new dietary adventure, due to health problems related to fibromyalgia. I believe that any kitchen could use more cookbooks, and modern Indian sounds divine!

  112. Sarah

    Wow, the food in your pictures jumps off the page! I’ve been intrigued by Indian cuisine for a while, but haven’t graduated past Madhur Jaffrey’s books. I would love to try something more adventurous like the recipes you highlighted in “Modern Spice” — I think my family would really like these dishes. Thanks Shauna, Danny and Little Bean!

  113. bbElf (a.k.a. panda)

    Lovely! I would love this book; I’ve just realized that I know next to nothing about using spices, and that just won’t do for any home cook worth her salt.

  114. Stephanie

    I have always loved Indian food, but of late, have not had time to experiment. It’s not as easy as it once was, when I could run to the local Indian restaurant and explore the flavors. I would love a tried and tested cookbook to teach me how to make my favorite dishes!
    Plus, your description of the recipes you’ve had left me with my mouth watering…

  115. The Golden Papaya

    Wow, looks like a lot of people want the cookbook! Here’s my reason: Now that I’m in Brazil, I have access to so many of the ingredients featured in Indian cooking, fresh. Tamarinds, homemade coconut milk, green papaya…
    And (if I were lucky enough to win) I wouldn’t ask you to ship the book to Brazil.
    Glad to see your more frequent postings!

  116. Maria (etschmann at web dot de)

    I need this book because I have a cupboard full of spices and never seem to get it jus’ right.

  117. Maria (etschmann at web dot de)

    I need this book because I have a cupboard full of spices and never seem to get it jus’ right.

  118. Maria (etschmann at web dot de)

    I need this book because I have a cupboard full of spices and never seem to get it jus’ right.

  119. Amanda

    Wow! This sounds wonderful! I would love to win this book…just starting to learn about cooking Indian food and sounds like this would be the perfect book to start with!

  120. nighttrain

    Dear Shauna,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog to see what you and the Chef has been up to. Recently, my wife has been diagnosed with Celiac’s and we know 2 of our 3 daughters have gluten issues. I consider myself an amatuer chef (only at home) and have been honing my skills at gluten-free cooking since I lost my job in June. It has been a wonderful time spent with my wife and girls (my wife homeschools) and we have adjusted well to a gluten-free existence. I would like a copy of the Modern Spice cookbook as it would give us other options in a world of bland food, plus right now I cannot afford to go buy it. I use plenty of spices in my cooking and even before we found out about the Celiacs, we ate out less and less because what we made at home was so much better! The book would be a fine addition to my collection of cookbooks while I work to keep my wife healthy and teach my girls that slow, flavorful, local food is a much better option than anything else. Keep up the good work and God Bless!

  121. Binnie

    Lovely post, Shauna. My mouth is watering — I’ve just come off a two-year cooking slump since being diagnosed with celiac (after ten years of cooking GF for one of my children). Now that I love to cook again, I would love a copy of Modern Spice, and look forward to your cookbook when it is available.

  122. Sho

    Shauna,

    “Wow” is the only thing I have to say about the recipes you described. Don’t put me in the raffle because I live in northern Virginia. Maybe I can buy her cookbook in person if she does a signing at a bookstore.

    Now that I think about it, this book would make me a better cook in the kitchen because I get bored making the same thing over and over again. It also sounds like a lot of healthy recipes are in that book. I am off to do a google search to see if she will be having a book siging any time soon.

    Take care,

    Shoshannah

  123. Julie R.

    Oh man alive, this book would be right up my alley. I’ve been devouring books on spice from the local library– they make such a fascinating read. I’d be tickled pink if randomly chosen!

  124. Mindy

    I hope it’s not too late to get my comment in for Modern Spice.

    Being newly diagnosed with fairly severe Celiac Disease, my list of food restrictions is fairly long. On top of that, I’ve found that I have to rotate the foods I can eat as I quickly build up intolerances to other things (almonds and balsamic vinegar, among other things).

    Normally I’m a very adventurous eater, but I find that I’m anxious in the kitchen and having a hard time trying new things. Economically speaking, I don’t want to try something, mess it up, and have to throw it away.

    I’m hoping that Modern Spice can liven up my meals by increasing my food choices and bring a little adventure into my life.

  125. valerie

    Your writing about this book sold me, and I couldn’t wait. I just bought a copy and can’t wait to dive into it! Thanks for sharing!

  126. Keri

    My husband would LOVE this cookbook! He’s an AMAZING cook and not even Indian himself nor has he ever gone to the country. He has no formal training in cooking. His palate is remarkable. This would be an AWESOME Christmas present for him so that he can continue to cook gluten-free food for my best friend and our soon-to-be roomate! =D

  127. Merav

    The book looks amazing! I am a college student, so all my favorite cookbooks live at home with my mom. I’m now in the process of (slowly) building my own little collection. I love spices–the book would be a wonderful addition!
    Thanks!

  128. Dorothy

    I enjoyed the post. And, I am interested in the Modern Spice cookbook. My husband and I are trying to get away from eating a lot of meat and include more vegetables and legumes. We also are striving to be more economical. The recipes have to be pleasing to my teenage son…I think that we will succeed!

  129. Navare

    After finally getting the hang of gluten-free cooking, definitely utilizing lots of spices, I realized I was allergic to corn as well. Now gluten-free cooking is even more challenging, but I am grateful to have rice, potatoe flakes, and quinoa as options.

  130. rita

    I would love this cook book! I’m new to the gluten free (and lactose free) diet. Trying not to get depressed and overwhelmed by it all. I love to cook and bake. Your blog came highly recommended to me.

    Thanks Shauna.
    - Rita

  131. Shauna

    Thank you, everyone. These comments gave us great joy to read. And wonderfully, Monica Bhide had a chance to read them too.

    She was so moved that she’s offering 2 copies of the book, autographed. The winners have been chosen, by using random.org, and they have been notified.

    Comments are now closed.

    I hope you have a wonderful time in the kitchen together.