Sponge cakes to chicken parcels, strawberry puddings to breads. This Great British Bake Off chef always adds the vibrant flavours of the East.
But chilies, turmeric, tamarind or cardamom? Well Chetna Makan thinks they very much have a place and, as a finalist in BBC’s The Great British Bake Off, she should surely know.
This book will change your view of baking as well as liven up teatimes with exotic new creations using spices and herbs. Think a steamed strawberry pudding flavoured with cinnamon or a bread roll rolled in coriander.
The bakes are not all desserts either, if it has pastry it’s in the book with for example a recipe for chickpea curry pie, an aubergine and onion tart and savoury snacks like Karela Papdi, coriander chicken parcels or cashew nut and paneer koftas.
But it is of course to the sweet bakes that one is irresistibly drawn – saffron brioche buns with mango cardamom cream, star anise and rhubarb profiteroles, coconut and cardamom and coconut doughnuts or raspberry biscuits with lemon coriander curd.
There’s plenty of info about spices and herbs; what they are, where they come from and how best to select and store them and the photos are a dieter’s nightmare, all far too tempting. As are the chutneys and accompaniments that end the book.
This is not a book you’ll have ever seen the like of before and its mix of sweet, savoury and somewhere in between is just what the jaded home chef has been looking for.