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Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country Hardcover – December 14, 2011


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Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country + Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811872335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811872331
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Masala Farm is as fresh as a carrot just pulled from the earth. The wholesome and appealing recipes spring directly from a passionate way of living and celebrating the rhythms, diversity and surprises of life. Readers will be inspired by the food and just may be inspired to flee their jobs and find an idyllic green haven for themselves. Suvir Saran writes enchantingly about friends around the table, goose-raiding ravens, food and community, the richness of goat milk, and his inclusive concept of family. A brilliant masala! Frances Mayes - Author, Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany To find work that is fulfilling and rewarding, that's luck. But to build not just a career but a life around your passion, in this case, for food, as Suvir and Charlie have done with American Masala Farm, is good fortune almost too breathtaking to imagine. To deepen their understanding of our sustenance all the way back to the land, and to the animals and plants that also sustain and are sustained by it, to reorganize complex modern lives around the seasons, as nature intended-what could feel more organic, more real, more right? Yet what really seems to motivate them in this ongoing project is not just to enjoy this idyll on their own, but a deep desire to give and share, with their guests, their students, their friends-and now, with you, holding this beautiful book, Masala Farm. When I first saw photos of the farmhouse, I said to Suvir, "I can't believe you painted it turmeric!" When he told me that it came that way, it was clear that American Masala Farm was meant to be. How lucky, indeed, that we all are welcome there. Ted Allen, host, Food Network's "Chopped," author, "The Food You Want to Eat" How rare it is to have the ability to synchronize your life on a farm with life in a restaurant! With just-picked ingredients tied to each of upstate New York's four seasons, Suvir and Charlie's recipes come to life, and guide the reader to explore gastronomy from a horticultural perspective. Alice Waters - Owner, Chez Panisse Restaurant "Suvir and Charlie have created a home in the countryside made of magic, an impeccable sense of fashion and an art collection from their travels to every corner of the world. Masala Farm is the perfect blend of The Selby and Green Acres, where their chickens roost in style and produce the most sublime eggs I've ever eaten. The experience of creating food together, with ingredients from the farm and local community had an intensity of flavor and sense of love I never thought could be recreated outside of that kitchen. But, the recipes from the Masala Farm cookbook bring all those flavors and the feeling of their bucolic farmhouse to my kitchen in the city." Zoe Francois - Author, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day "Two urban men, Charlie from West Virginia, Suvir from New Delhi, India, fall in love with country life on remote American Masala Farm and woo the neighbors with Grandma Mae's biscuits, Masala fried chicken and an Indian Auntie's sensuous fruit cake in the globally inspired cooking of this marvelously gifted chef. Reading their intimate tales as they leap into local folkways and acquire an expanding family of heritage animals is a rich pairing with Suvir's delicious dishes -- at once familiar and surprising." Gael Greene, Author, Insatiable: Tales From a Life of Delicious Excess and InsatiableCritic.com "Suvir and Charlie's Masala Farm represents everything I love about the food world. Globally inspired but growing where it is planted..... for them that means the deeply verdant hills of Upstate New York. Suvir and Charlie aren't out to save the world or obnoxiously climb on a soapbox and get too preachy. This is real food for real people, spun through the fabric of the lives of two men from opposite corners of the world who made their dream their home." Andrew Zimmern - Author, host and creator of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern U

From the Back Cover

Masala Farm is as fresh as a carrot just pulled from the earth.  The wholesome and appealing recipes spring directly from a passionate way of living and celebrating the rhythms, diversity and surprises of life.  Readers will be inspired by the food and just may be inspired to flee their jobs and find an idyllic green haven for themselves.  Suvir Saran writes enchantingly about friends around the table, goose-raiding ravens, food and community, the richness of goat milk, and his inclusive concept of family.  A brilliant masala!

Frances Mayes - Author, Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany

How rare it is to have the ability to synchronize your life on a farm with life in a restaurant! With just-picked ingredients tied to each of upstate New York's four seasons, Suvir and Charlie's recipes come to life, and guide the reader to explore gastronomy from a horticultural perspective.

Alice Waters - Owner, Chez Panisse Restaurant


"Suvir and Charlie have created a home in the countryside made of magic, an impeccable sense of fashion and an art collection from their travels to every corner of the world. Masala Farm is the perfect blend of The Selby and Green Acres, where their chickens roost in style and produce the most sublime eggs I've ever eaten. The experience of creating food together, with ingredients from the farm and local community had an intensity of flavor and sense of love I never thought could be recreated outside of that kitchen. But, the recipes from the Masala Farm cookbook bring all those flavors and the feeling of their bucolic farmhouse to my kitchen in the city."

Zoe Francois - Author, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day


"Suvir and Charlie's Masala Farm represents everything I love about the food world. Globally inspired but growing where it is planted..... for them  that means the deeply verdant hills of Upstate New York. Suvir and Charlie aren't out to save the world or obnoxiously climb on a soapbox and get too preachy. This is real food for real people, spun through the fabric of the lives of two men from opposite corners of the world who made their dream their home."

Andrew Zimmern - Author, host and creator of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern


"Flip through the pages of Suvir Saran's "Masala Farm", and an idyllic pastoral landscape complete with brown-spotted Buttercup hens and vines heavy with heirloom tomatoes and the flavors of summer beckon. Suvir spins a lovely yarn, sharing how two souls growing up literally across the world from each other, came together to create a new world-take on country life and living. From stories about their "girls" (their endangered Leicester Longwool sheep and heritage hens), to the secret to his famous fried chicken, this is a book that will whisk you out of the city, and into the country, as Suvir puts it, "masala style". "

Aarti Sequeira - TV personality and author of aartipaarti.com


"I LOVE this book! This food speaks to my hunger for approachable rustic cuisine and balances it with smart, modern twists and crisp honest photos.The recipes run the range of daily dishes and Sunday dinners to special occasion dining and they have me salivating and wanting to try them all."

Scott Conant - TV Personality, chef and author


"How fortunate we are to have another helping of Chef Suvir Saran's spice-laden world. This time, we get an intimate look into a life well-lived, including the home he and Charlie have created in upstate New York. It's a distinct slice of paradise and a place where one goes to restore the spirit and feed the soul.  The meals at American Masala Farm are simple yet remarkable. I recall morning feasts of pastry and fresh yard eggs, their yolks deep as persimmon, lunches of kitchen garden vegetables, the heat of fried peppers, and mostly, the sweetness of being at the table. Masala Farm is book to share and cook from every day."

-Kim Sunée, author of Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home

More About the Author

"In the kitchen, I found the answers to all my curiosities."

Viewing the kitchen as both a culinary and spiritual haven, New Delhi-born chef Suvir Saran has nurtured a lifelong passion for the traditional flavors of Indian cooking, which has lead him to become an accomplished chef, cookbook author, educator, and a natural/humane farmer.

As Executive Chef/Owner of Dévi, Saran shares the authentic flavors of Indian home cooking in an inviting 75-seat restaurant in the heart of New York City. Devi has consistently received popular and critical acclaim, earned a three-star rating from New York magazine and two stars from The New York Times. It is the only Indian restaurant in the U.S. to have earned a Michelin star.

A respected culinary authority, Saran is Chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and travels extensively to teach audiences, ranging from home cooks and fellow chefs to physicians and nutritionists. He has been a featured speaker and guest chef for notable gatherings such as the "Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives" conference hosted by the CIA and Harvard Medical School Osher Institute; Smithsonian Folklife Festival; Food Network's South Beach Wine & Food Festival; New York City Wine & Food Festival; and many others. Saran has also led classes for culinary centers and schools nationwide including the Institute for Culinary Education; Sur La Table; Williams-Sonoma at Time Warner Center; Central Market; and Apron's Cooking School at Publix.

Renowned for his accessible approach to Indian flavors and techniques, Saran has penned several cookbooks including "Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes" (Clarkson Potter, 2004) with Stephanie Lyness and "American Masala: 125 New Classics From My Home Kitchen" (Clarkson Potter, 2007) with Raquel Pelzel. In November 2010, Saran was the only U.S.-based contributor to the largest Indian cookbook ever published, "India Cookbook," featuring 1,000 recipes (Phaidon Press, 2010).

Saran's approachable and informed style has helped to demystify Indian cuisine in America and ultimately formed American Masala, his culinary philosophy which celebrates the best of Indian and American cooking. His recipes have been featured in publication such as Bon Appétit; Cooking Light; Food & Wine; Fine Cooking; Travel + Leisure; Condé Nast Traveler; Departures; InStyle; The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal; USA Today; and more. He is a contributor to Food Arts magazine.
He has been a featured judge on Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef on the Food Network and numerous appearances on national and local broadcast including NBC's "Today"; "The Martha Stewart Show"; Travel Channel's "Epicurious TV"; Martha Stewart Living Radio "Living Today"; BBC Radio "The World"; APM "The Splendid Table"; WBEZ-FM "848 with Steve Dolinsky"; WHYY-FM "A Chef's Table with Jim Coleman"; KGO Radio "Dining Around with Gene Burns"; among many others. In spring 2011, Suvir will compete as a contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, cooking to raise money for the Agricultural Stewardship Association.

When he is not on the road, Saran and partner Charlie Burd live and care for American Masala Farm, a nineteenth century farm on sixty-eight acres of rolling land in upstate New York and home to lovingly raised heritage breed animals and pets including two dogs, cat, sheep, ducks, geese, alpacas, chickens, guinea hens, and goats. Dedicated to the recommendations of the American Livestock Breed Conservancy (ALBC) in choosing the farm's animal population, Saran and Burd exemplify farm-to-table living by providing local restaurants with their heritage breed eggs and goat's milk.

For more information about Suvir Saran or Devi please contact:

Chloe Mata Crane (cmcrane@baltzco.com) or Rachel Wormser (rwormser@baltzco.com)
at Baltz & Company, 212.982.8300

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The recipes are simple and easy enough to follow for the average home cook, and are meant to be made & shared with family.
Niv Mani
While I think finding only one great recipe in a cookbook makes the purchase worthwhile, Suvir's cookbooks have become my most used books with dozens of go-to recipes.
S. Longo
Masala Farm is a captivating and enchanting book, chock-full of mouth-watering recipes, heart-warming stories, and eye-catching pictures.
TNeal/Ellen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Longo on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having cooked extensively from Suvir Saran's two previous books, American Masala and Indian Home Cooking, I was anxious to get my hands on Masala Farm. While I think finding only one great recipe in a cookbook makes the purchase worthwhile, Suvir's cookbooks have become my most used books with dozens of go-to recipes. Suvir's palate is unique in that what pleases him seems to please most people. I'm a caterer and have added many of his dishes to my catering menu and they've been received with rave reviews. He has a unique way of adding Indian flavor to classic American dishes (don't miss the meatloaf in American Masala!)and he will definitely teach you a new way to think about spices and building flavor in dishes. I am especially enjoying the many photographs in Masala Farm and love the natural way the food is portrayed. You can tell by reading this book that the recipes are what Charlie and Suvir actually eat at the farm and serve to their guests. The Farm Tales at the beginning of each chapter are delightful to read and offer charming insight into small town farm living. Love the resources at the end of the book, too. I've made the fruit cobbler which is fantastic and so easy to make. Also loved the veal chops, omg. The recipe directions are concise while giving you enough information to get the promised results. Whether you just read cookbooks or actually use them, Masala Farm is one you must have!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S.P.A. on December 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, I rarely buy cookbooks, and even more rarely cook from them. This should tell you how much faith I have in these recipes and in the authors.When I first received the book, I merely looked through it, thinking about what to make first. I saw many things that piqued my interest, but did not get to really read through the book. Then, I took the book on the bus with me. Now imagine me, sitting ...on the #12 bus traveling through Westside Chicago. I am guessing most of the other riders weren't reading cookbooks on their way to their destination. This is what struck me. I was captivated by not just the recipes, or the pictures (all of which are fabulous). But no, it was more about the text, the subtle pictures, the tapestry-like pages that separated the seasons in the book. All of it was perfectly arranged, not by appetizer, entrée and dessert, but by seasons and information about local produce, along with true, honest pictures that did not look airbrushed or perfected to the last pixel. I read the text and I felt like I was there. Very few cookbooks can transform a bus ride in this way. So buy it for the stories, the prose, the warmth, and then, for the recipes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TNeal/Ellen on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been cooking from Suvir Saran's first two cookbooks, Indian Home Cooking and American Masala, for some time now, and when I found out that he was releasing another one, I waited anxiously, hoping it would have the same wonderfully user-friendly recipes that the first two did. I wasn't disappointed! Masala Farm carries on the traditions that make cooking from Suvir's books so delightful.

The recipes are a-MA-zing! Crispy-creamy potatoes (made with the lyrical sage, rosemary, and thyme!) that crunch and then are pillowy soft on the inside, roast chicken that is incredibly easy yet packed with moisture and masala flavor, a delicious crock-pot apple-cider recipe that will warm you through and through this winter, and biscuits that are melt-in-your-mouth crispy and so light, they'll change the way you think about biscuits. There's also a Banana-Caramel Pudding recipe that I'm dying to try!

The great thing about all of Suvir's recipes is that they are so do-able. I'm a normal person, with a normal kitchen. I don't have fancy equipment; I don't have access to exotic ingredients. And yet, with a couple of very affordable trips to the store, I stocked my spice rack and pantry with what I need to make most of the recipes in the book. All that's left is just an occasional trip to pick up a cut of meat or fish.

I don't have a culinary degree. I don't have "knife skills." I got a C in Home Ec 40 years ago. I didn't have a grandmother who taught me her secret way of making anything. But Suvir's directions don't assume that I do--he explains the "why" of what I'm doing, without condescension, without making me feel stupid. He comes alongside me to explain, instead of from above me, assuming I should know what I don't.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Laura Thibeault on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Upon receiving my copy of Masla Farm, I dove into it immediately, feverishly trying to take it all in. The book is glorious! Suvir and Charlie have perfectly depicted the magical life, experiences, and flavors of their enchanting home in Hebron. The photographs, stories, graphic design, and attention to detail make this so much more than your standard cookbook. Masala Farm is a true work of art, crafted with love and care, with Suvir and Charlie's generosity oozing off every page. They've even included their friends' recipes and given plugs to the small local farms and businesses they patronize.This book will teach you how to live and eat anew! So much flavor for not only your palate but your soul! The genius, care and artistry put into the book is second to none! Do not even hesitate to click buy now! Hit it a few times and share it with your friends! This book will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! You will thank me for doing so!

-Tom Thibeault
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