Giveaway #3 – Complete Book of Indian Cooking

November 21, 2014 Published by Dina 8 Comments


As food bloggers we sometime receive books from publishers asking us to review them. I decided to accept 4 books recently intending to pass them on to you who read my blog. This giveaway is intended as a thank you for keeping up with my food and travel writing, for joining my weekly mailing list, RSS feed and following me on social media. There will be 4 giveaways, 2 today and 2 next week on Friday November 21. Watch the blog for details.

The giveaway begins with this post and will end on November 30. Let me know which book you are interested in and I will randomly draw a winner for each of the books and will mail it to you on December 1st. Scroll to the bottom of the post for easy giveaway entry rules.



Complete book of Indian cooking

Complete book of Indian cooking

An ambitious title for a book that delivers a comprehensive selection of recipes highlighting the similarities and differences between regional Indian foods. Each chapter is organized by north south east and west so you can get a sense of the regions and their uniqueness.


The author, Suneeta Vaswani was born in Mumbai and lived in the US for many years. She taught Indian cooking in the US for 30 years and her recipes have been featured in major publications worldwide.

Indian cuisine can be intimidating if you are unfamiliar with typical ingredients that make up this cuisine. Vaswani offers a chapter describing and explaining common ingredients such as beans, legumes, ghee, oils, spices, Indian spice blends to help you understand the ingredients and make your work in the kitchen more pleasant. This is followed by hints and tips as well as basic cooking techniqus from braising and browning to deep frying, tempering and very importantly, toasting spices.

The chapters range from appetizers to beans and legumes, rice and breads, vegetables, salads and the assorted meats etc. You will find foods like fenugreek and spinach fritters, chick pea dumplings, bengali dal, biryani, many vegetables and of course, sweets. If you are an expert in Indian cuisine this would be a nice addition to your library and if you are a beginner it will be a good resource for easy to follow recipes instructions using accessible ingredients and background information.


The following recipe for Gayatri’s Green Mango Dal is courtesy of Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.


Gayatri’s Green Mango Dal (page 116, beans & lentils)

Serves 4 to 6


A recipe straight from the heart! On a trip to Hyderabad, I met a woman who was not only a fabulous cook, but also more than happy to share her knowledge and recipes. Her love of food was translated into a hugely successful restaurant set in a beautifully landscaped garden. She prepared this dish in her home and brought it to the restaurant to share with me, and I fell in love with it.

Gayartris Green Mango Dal

Gayartris Green Mango Dal


1 cup    yellow lentils (toor dal)            250 mL
1⁄2 tsp  turmeric                                       2 mL
2 tbsp   oil, divided                                 25 mL
1⁄2 tsp  dark mustard seeds                     2 mL
1⁄2 tsp  cumin seeds                                2 mL
1 tbsp   chopped green chiles, preferably serranos         15 mL
1 tsp    salt                                                5 mL
1⁄2 tsp  coriander powder                         2 mL
1⁄2 tsp  cayenne pepper                           2 mL
1 cup    cilantro, chopped                      250 mL
1          green mango, peeled and cut into 3-by 1-inch (7.5 by 2.5 cm) slices
5 to 6   cloves garlic, crushed


1.         Clean and pick through dal for any small stones and grit. Rinse several times in cold water until water is fairly clear. Soak in 4 cups (1 L) water in a saucepan for 15 minutes.

2.         Bring dal to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim any froth off the top. Reduce heat to low. Stir in turmeric and boil gently, partially covered, until dal is soft and mushy, 25 to 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender or in a blender, in batches if necessary, purée dal mixture until smooth. Set aside.

3.         Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over high heat until a couple of mustard seeds thrown in start to sputter. Add all the mustard seeds   and cover quickly. When the seeds stop popping, in a few seconds, uncover, reduce heat to medium and add cumin and chiles and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add salt, coriander and cayenne and sauté for 1 minute. Add cilantro and sauté for 1 minute.

4.         Add mango, including the large seed, and sauté for 4 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) water. Cover and cook until mango softens, 7 to 8 minutes. (Do not let mango get mushy.

5.         Pour dal over top of mango and stir. Cover and simmer to allow flavors to blend, 10 to 12 minutes.

6.         In a small skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Add to dal. Do not stir. Remove from heat,
cover immediately and let rest for 3 minutes. Stir dal and garlic together before serving. Serve hot with rice or any Indian bread. Remove mango seed before serving.


Green mangoes are not suitable for eating as a fruit and are used for their tartness. Look for one that is dark green and very hard, as it will be sourer. They can sometimes be found in the produce aisle and

not in the fruit section of some supermarkets and in Indian or Asian stores.


To enter the giveaway all you need to do is ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:


  • Leave a comment on this post,  OR…


  • Leave a comment on any post on the blog and say you wish to participate in the book giveaway (I personally vet all comments so I’ll see yours),  Or…


  • Like my page on my Facebook page and leave a comment there mentioning the Giveaway, Or…


  • Retweet the post with a link on your twitter, Or…


  • Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the Giveaway post.


And, you are welcome to share this with your friends on your social media.

Contest rules:

  • The Giveaway ends on November 30.
  • The giveaway is open to all readers but will only be shipped to a mailing address in Canada and the US at this time.
  • One entry per book please. Feel free to enter all 4 giveaways to increase your chances to win.
  • Winners will be announced on the blog and social media. I will contact the winners for shipping information.


I hope you join in the giveaway and look forward to hearing from you.



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