Title: ‘Seasoned‘ for Family and Friends
Author: Morvarid Fernandez
Genre: Cooking, Food, & Wine
Seasoned for Family and Friends by Morvarid Fernandez is a book of simple, easy-to-read, and easy-to-make recipes. The book contains recipes from across the globe, including a few that are the author’s own creation through a fusion of spices and meats. The book also offers a simple yet engrossing narrative that explores a simpler time from the author’s past. The recipes are well explained and incredibly diverse in variety while still being carefully categorized based on the kind of food the reader would like to eat. The recipes also incorporate ingredients and cooking techniques that fuse the cooking of different ethnicities. For example: below is a recipe for one of our most famous dhals which is paired with seaweed, which is a staple food in Japan.
Masoor Dhal With Wakame (Sea Weed)
You require the following:
200 grams masoor dhal
750ml water (approximately)
1/3 cup dried wakame or any other seaweed on hand*
1/3 cup green peas
2 or 3 mild dry red chillies
1 good sprig curry leaves
80 grams onion
1 small vegetable or chicken soup cube
A small knob of fresh ginger
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 to 4 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon cumin seed
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil of your choice
Set the dhal to boil in 500 ml of water with the green peas, the turmeric, curry leaves, soup cube and the red chillies. Meanwhile, rehydrate the wakame in a little warm water, and finely slice the onions, mince the ginger and garlic. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seed, fenugreek seeds and fry half a minute on low heat, then add the ginger and garlic fry half a minute more. Next, add the onion and cook until a medium brown. Tip in the dhal and green peas and mix well adding a little more water to thin it if needed, finally add the drained seaweed and season to taste. Ready to eat!
*All seaweeds expand when rehydrated, sea veggies such as arame, hijiki or wakame are all varieties that you can use, just remember that they have different characters, wakame expands to seven times its original size hijiki roughly quadruples.
Why we loved it:
‘Seasoned’ surprised us within the first five minutes of reading the book. We opened the book expecting another catalog of recipes that we’d have to sift through. But what we ended up with was an incredibly engrossing story that documented the author’s life through the 1970s and 1980s. It was the first time we’d seen a cookbook that had the potential to be a well-written autobiography. The story was beautifully written as it described the idyllic life of a guest house filled new and old faces every season. But story aside, let’s focus on the main theme: It’s still a cookbook right? On that note, it had recipes that spoke to each of us. It had wild salads for the health conscious, chicken casserole and other meat dishes for the meat-lovers, and even a huge range of vegetarian dishes for the non-meat lovers. To sum it up, the book blew us away, made us rethink the importance of food in our culture and in our relationships, and had some amazing recipes that left our mouths watering.
You’ll love it if:
If you enjoyed books like Sanjeev Kapoor’s “How to Cook Indian: More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen” and other books in his series. Pushpesh Pant’s “India: The Cookbook” and Meera Sodha’s “Made in India: Cooked in Britain: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen”. You’ll also love it if you enjoy shows like Food wars, Masterchef, “Raja, Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan”, and Khana Khazana.