Welcome to the nbmagazine.co.uk stop on the blog blitz for Spices & Seasons: Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya!

Here’s a little info about the book:

Rinku Bhattacharya combines her two great loves―Indian cooking and sustainable living―to give readers a simple, accessible way to cook seasonally, locally, and flavourfully. 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 appetisers through to 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 just 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.

And about author Rinku Bhattacharya:

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.

For our stop on the blog blitz, we’re pleased to present this mouth-watering recipe from Spices & Seasons:

Fragrant Shrimp with Whole Spices and Coconut Milk

This shrimp curry, known as malaikari, is a classic from Eastern India. This version is an adaptation of my great aunt’s signature dish, something that she reserved exclusively for festive occasions. Don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients—I have broken the recipe down for you in fairly simple steps. The seasoning base is close to my aunt’s recipe, but she used whole prawns that were almost as big as small lobsters. So if you are feeling indulgent, feel free to use lobsters or lobster tails for this recipe.

Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes | Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes | Serves: 6


  • 2 pounds large or colossal shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped, plus 1 medium onion, grated with the coarse side of the grater
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger paste
  • 2 or 3 mild dried red or kashmiri chillies
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk (for a richer effect you can make ⅓ cup of this coconut cream)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick, coarsely broken
  • 3 or 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 4 cloves


  1. Rub the shrimp with half the turmeric and half the salt and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shrimp in a single layer without crowding the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. The shrimp should be just partially cooked. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and heat. Add the chopped onions, and gently cook them on low heat, softly stirring the mixture until it reaches a uniform toffee colour. This process will take a good 7 to 8 minutes and needs to be done with care and love.
  4. Add the grated onion and ginger paste and continue cooking the mixture for another 6 minutes, until the onions are pale golden and fragrant.
  5. Grind the dried red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns into a fine powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Mix into the onion mixture and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the spices are fragrant and the mixture gets a somewhat reddish tint.
  6. Add the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, remaining ¾ teaspoon turmeric, the sugar, bay leaves, and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes, add the shrimp. Let the shrimp simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat the ghee separately in a small pan and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves and pour over the simmering sauce and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes. Serve with rice.

Spices & Seasons: Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya
Hippocrene Books 9780781813310 hbk May 2014