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Miss Masala [Hardcover]

Mallika Basu
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.75
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Book Description

29 April 2010

Cookery goddess and girl about town Mallika Basu reveals her secrets for cooking gorgeous Indian food in this highly covetable book, inspired by her blog. Her no-nonsense kitchen advice demystifies all those glorious, exotic ingredients and spices, and shows just how easy and rewarding it is to cook Indian cuisine at home.

Miss Masala has done the hard work in the kitchen so that you don't have to. So much more than just a cookbook, this beautiful, handbag-sized journal fuses irresistible Indian recipes with Mallika’s quirky and hilarious tales - it will make ethnic cooking an effortless part of your goddess lifestyle.

Alongside easy instructions for making aromatic Kerala Chicken or the best Seekh Kebabs, Mallika shares witty anecdotes about her high-flying city life, and gives handy hints on how to cook a jalfrezi and still head to the bar an hour later without reeking of eau de curry. Bollywood finally meets Sex and the City, and anyone who wants to whip up a meal for friends will be basking in the glory. This is real Indian cooking for busy city living!

Chapter Breakdown:
Know your Bhuna from your Balti; Perfect in No Time; Never Let you Down; Light and Bright; Showing Off; Food for Feeling Better; Sweet Indulgences.

Why not try these recipes?…
• Kosha Mangsho (Lamb sautéed in yoghurt and roasted cumin)
• Murgh Makhani (Velvety butter chicken)
• Baingan Bharta (Smoky roasted aubergine mash)
• Channa Masala (Hot, spicy curried chickpeas)
• Tandoori Macchli (Succulent monkfish in tandoori spices)
• Peshawari Naan (Luxurious naan stuffed with nuts and raisins)
• Mango Fool (Pureed mangoes folded into double cream)
• Bhapa doi (Saffron and cardamom cheesecake)
• Vodka Chilli Cocktails (For those who dare!)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007306121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007306121
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and brought up in Kolkata, India, Mallika Basu now lives in London and juggles marriage, family, a successful career in corporate public relations and an active social life, yet somehow finds time to indulge her passion for cooking. In 2006 Mallika set up her blog, www.quickindiancooking.com, an instant success, with over 25,000 unique visitors each month from around the world.

Mallika has contributed recipes to and has been interviewed by various lifestyle magazines, radio and TV programmes and websites in the UK, India and beyond. She was featured in Elle India as one of the "New Influencers: What does it take to be POWERFUL? Ingenuity. Excellence. Fortitude. Dynamism. And the COURAGE to think up a big, INVENTIVE idea and then make it happen. ELLE presents a list of achievers who are breaking new ground in fashion, literature, technology, music, film, food and sport."

Product Description


one of the ‘Fashionista Foodies’ InStyle

‘book of the month’ Olive magazine (May 2010)

About the Author

Born and brought up in Kolkata, India, Mallika Basu now lives in London and juggles marriage, family, a high-flying career and an active social life, yet somehow finds time to indulge her passion for cooking. In 2006 Mallika set up her blog, www.quickindiancooking.com, an instant success, with 16,000 unique visitors each month and hits from around the world. Mallika has contributed to various Indian and lifestyle magazines, writes for an Indian website and has been featured in the UK press.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb guide to Indian cooking 27 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a big fan of Indian food, and the thought of recreating some of the gorgeous meals at home (which up until now have all been in the form of takeaways) is something which has appealed to me for quite a while. I've come close in the past, but have always been put off by the plethora of herbs and spices needed to make even the most basic of dishes (half of which I'd never heard of, and pretty sure my local supermarket wouldn't stock).

So, upon reading just the first few pages, it was clear that the recipes were indeed aimed at those people who don't have the time to track down obscure ingredients, or a kitchen the size of an airplane hanger to store them all in. The approach to keep it simple and use easily accessible ingredients is just what I needed, and not only that, but the style in which it's written makes it easy to follow, and (shock horror) fun!

The book looks more like a hardback novel that a cookery book, and is interspersed with interesting blog like articles, which makes it something to read even when you're not actually cooking.

If you've ever wanted to give Indian cooking a try, then this is a very good introduction to help you on your way. Highly recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near as good as I had hoped 9 Oct 2011
By bomble TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Despite loving Indian cuisine and having a shelf full of Indian recipe books, I thought I'd make room for another that appeared to offer something fresh. However, it really didn't come up to my expectations.

First of all I find the cover of this book misleading. The implication of a book for 'busy living' is that the recipes will be swift and painless. Much traditional Indian cuisine - in fact true of most cultures - is that it expects lots of time in preparation. Frying spices, soaking pulses & lentils, marinating meats... in short hours of labour for magnificent results. And guess what... many of these recipes call for exactly this approach.

Then there's the presentation. There's nothing wrong with a book being part personal account, part recipe book. Often that sets it above the clinical approach of some of the more generic recipe books. But in this example the balance seems to have swung too far and I soon lost interest in Malika Basu's self indulgent back-story. This might not have mattered if I was bowled over by wonderful looking dishes that made me want to start cooking. But the illustrations are pure fluff - adding a bit of colour to the text but certainly not giving me much inspiration. There are hardly any `end result' photos and maybe I'm too much of a visual beast but these are exactly what typically inspire me to try a recipe.

None of which would have mattered if this were the key to culinary heaven. But the first few recipes we tried just didn't hit the mark. For example, the keema matter required a dedicated shop in an Asian supermarket, was hard work in preparation and ultimately not that special on the plate. We pretty soon lost faith and it's doubtful we'd try many more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book 30 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As long as you don't mind the lack of pictures this is a great book - as well as good recipes it is super to read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a delight! 15 Jun 2010
By Mendo Shutaro VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I can say with certainty that I have never before used a recipe book before as bedtime reading material! 'Miss Masala', however, is a highly entertaining read which portrays the very true to life rituals of succeeding in the Indian kitchen! I found Mallika Basu's tips of spotting authentic Indian restaurants and debunking of British Indian curry terms particularly amusing. Bucket (balti) chicken anyone?

Having grown up in India myself, I found myself yelping in delight as I recognised several authentic recipe names from back home. The book also comes with plenty of little tips and hints that even a newbie cook could easily use. The recipes are varied, from several quick weekday meals to elaborate party pieces. I have already tried several recipes and have enjoyed the results.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone, not just as a recipe book but also as a delightful novel in its own right.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy recipes and an interesting book to read 14 Jun 2010
By A. J. Parkes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoy an Indian meal, but every time I have tried to copy the recipe, the list of ingredients needed and the time and method made it a non starter. This book makes the recipes easy to do. The ingredients are easily obtained and you do not need loads of them, and the method is straight forward.

The pages are cream with lines and a margin, making the look like a note book or diary. There are tips, notes and diagrams dotted throughout the book which made it interesting to read. Even when not cooking, it was nice just to sit down and read the book, it was that interesting.

I have learned a lot about the real Indian cuisine, especially that my favourite chicken jhalfrezi means chili fried, i.e. a stir fry, not a thick spicy sauce as in the local restaurant.

Not only are there recipes for many types of meals, but also naan and pick-me-up drinks and meals.

Overall a great book either for yourself or a present.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good recipes but author is hard to swallow! 23 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Of course it depends entirely on what you want from a cookery book. Personally I am partial to a combination of reliable recipes and foodie anecdotes. "Miss Masala" delivers on the former - I tried a few recipes from the book and all were winners. But for me it fails miserably on the latter. The problem is that the author is obviously a spoilt little rich girl, and after a few pages of hearing her whinge about how much harder life is in London to Kolkata (no servants - the horror!!) and harping on about how she can't eat anything that might endanger her "size 8 bod", I suspected I was beginning to develop a facial tic. And frankly, I am not convinced the recipes are good enough to put up with the self-indulgent, superficial text that surrounds them. If you buy into the whole "Sex and the City" aesthetic of label-obsessed PR girls whose life is an endless whirl of cocktails, launch parties, and shoes and you fancy learning to whip up a quick curry, this is the perfect book for you, but I will be sticking with Nigel Slater and Madhur Jaffrey.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
very interesting book, modern , forward looking, good recipes, and quite amusing to read would give someone for a present
Published 9 months ago by pauline thornton
5.0 out of 5 stars No Photo's but easy to follow
Another book that I USE and COOK from
I have hundreds of cookery books, I always read from cover to cover when I get them, Mark out recipes I want to try with Book stickers,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars fun & quirky
i like the format of this as it's very much like a note pad that you just want to jot down your notes on. Read more
Published on 2 Oct 2012 by Pat B
Miss MasalaGreat book, beautifully written and presented throughout, but why print the Ingredients in a size 8 font (at most), so Page 12 - Essential Gadgets should include... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2012 by Joyce Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect introduction to Indian cooking
I have always been reluctant to cook Indian food: I'm not the world's greatest cook; I have had some pretty bad Indian meals that never compared to the real thing in India; and I... Read more
Published on 1 Aug 2012 by LindaG
3.0 out of 5 stars Every good Cook has a Story for a recipie. Mallika Basu has War and...
After looking at a very lengthy story about this Asian wedding, I decided to skip and prepare the dish. It was really bland. Read more
Published on 17 May 2012 by W. Ahmad
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks!
I've had this book for over a year now and love it! I'm an experienced cook where curries are concerned and have always turned to Madhur Jaffrey in time of need, when I want to... Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2012 by M. Hirst
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes
Easy to follow recipes with (so far) great results. Some reviewers seem irritated by the asides and stories which I think are mostly pretty funny but they are separate from the... Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2011 by A reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Miss Masala
I do like the typography, and the way the book is broken up with stories, it is just a shame the stories are so fake sounding. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2011 by J. Livsey
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit Or Miss Masala
I ordered this because my girlfriend and I both like curries. Though my personal repetoire is mostly limited to Pataks sauces, she likes to experiment with making curries from... Read more
Published on 31 May 2011 by Ben Saunders
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