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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, great read!!!
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...
Published on December 2, 2011 by S. Longo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not many recipes - not impressed
Previous reviews made this sound like a great follow on from his previous books, but a huge disappointment from his Indian Home Cooking book. Few recipes no good curry recipes
Published 17 months ago by fiona campbell


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, great read!!!, December 2, 2011
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A cookbook to read and cook from!, December 28, 2011
This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!!!, December 3, 2011
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
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. He bridged the gap that existed between me and the food that I thought I could never have--that I thought was too difficult or too expensive to make.

But Masala Farm is more than a cookbook--it's also an honest and often humorous look at the transition from Manhattan to North Country. In "Goose Number 1,263," Suvir is transparent and brave enough to let us witness his change of heart from city-romance to country-reality in matters of life and death. And I laughed out loud at the "loss" of nine hundred dollars worth of birds in "Ebay for Eggs."

There are also inspiring accounts of a community that works together to educate, equip, and train their young people and entrepreneurs; of small businesses that make commitments to quality and the future; of programs that use resources in mindful and responsible ways.

Masala Farm is a captivating and enchanting book, chock-full of mouth-watering recipes, heart-warming stories, and eye-catching pictures. I'm delighted with it!

Ellen
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!, December 2, 2011
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sprinkled with a bit of masala.., January 20, 2012
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
Life on a farm in upstate New York's Washington County collides with sprinkles of toasted cumin and garam masala. For those not familiar with indian terms, "masala" means or refers to a mixture of spices. The book's title is the actual name of the farm. How appropriate for Suvir and his partner Charlie Burd to have literally stumbled upon a turmeric colored farm house in a small place called Hebron. The book is laid out in the seasons beginning with spring. Little vignettes called "farm yarns" share real time stories about their life on the farm and the community they have wholly embraced.

This is a cookbook but more than just that. I bought my book as a pre order last spring. My book arrived in November and I promptly skimmed the chapters and decided to start appropriately with the fall and winter sections. This is where I have cooked. Starting with a warming cup of Farmhouse chai using whole spices, black tea and fresh farm milk, I moved on to the Mushroom and Farro burgers. These non-meat burgers use an ancient grain that is coming back into vogue. You do not need any exotic ingredients for most recipes in this book but take some time to stock up on some whole spices like cardamom, whole cumin, coriander, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Friends and neighbors from this little community have shared their favorite recipes that are recreated here, sometimes with an indian twist..or not. Sally's veggie pot stickers with ginger-soy dipping sauce are a must make recipe. Make a batch or two on a Saturday and put them in the freezer (which is the recommendation since they cook better from the freezer).

I appreciate a cookbook that is not just another cookbook with recipes, but tells stories that take you on a journey. This is a journey and story about a place I would love to visit or a life I would love to live myself. I own Suvir's other two books and recommend them all for different reasons. They are the most used books in my large cookbook library. I have only begun to cook from Masala Farm and cannot wait to get to next summer's chapter so I can make the summer tomato pie. There are simple recipes like thin crust margherita pizza and butternut squash chaat and even a New Year's day curry using black eyed peas that is delightfully full of flavor and full of nutrition.

Take a journey into farm life in real time where a hint of India meets west. You will enjoy Masala Farm for its simplicity, stories, and easy to follow recipes. There is an excellent resource section in the back and a chapter on Basic recipes like garam masala, tamarind chutney, green chutney, ghee, and creme fraiche. Having a few of these ready made things available will make you fly through many of the recipes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Masala Farm, January 3, 2012
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
My first thoughts at seeing images of Chef Suvir Saran's Farm, was that it reminded me of Enid Blyton & James Herriot. Turns out, I wasn't totally wrong. The farm stories in the book take you back to a comfort zone of good food & conversation.

Chef Suvir Saran is the owner & executive chef of the Michelin rated restaurant Devi, as well as the author of several well known books such as Indian Home cooking and American Masala. In his latest book, Chef Saran invites readers into the heart of his home/farm, to a sumptuous table filled with about seventy classic, comforting, 'stick-to-your-ribs good for you' recipes. The proverbial sprinkling of masala (spice) is provided by heartwarming farm yarns about the myriad goats, a coop of heirloom variety chickens, each with their individual personalities, predatory ravens, coyotes, and the occasional oddball visitor offering a joint in return for egg samples!

The book also offers a glimpse into the responsible practices of modern farming and community involvement. Chef Saran takes the effort to include relevant information about food related enterprises in the area, not just about the wonderful services offered, such as Gardenworks, a pick-your-own berry farm.

The recipes in the book stand out in sharp contrast to the slick, upmarket offerings that Chef Saran creates for Devi. This is a collection of down to earth hearty fare, a delightful set of classic family oriented dishes from Suvir Saran's childhood in India (with endearing & warm credits extended to the family cook, Panditji) and traditional American dishes from co-author Charlie Burd's family (Notably Grandma Burd's recipe for Pasta Primavera, redolent with fresh picked herbs) and other lip smacking contributions from friends & colleagues.

The book has ample goodies for vegetarians in terms of recipes. (I've already cooked my way through three dishes with many more on the list.). The recipes are simple and easy enough to follow for the average home cook, and are meant to be made & shared with family. For the more health conscious types out there, many of the recipes do call for generous amounts of butter and oil, but can easily be made just as delicious with much less.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make it a Trilogy!, December 29, 2011
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
Length:: 1:01 Mins

My kitchen has been filled with the intoxicating aromas of aromatic spices and fresh ingredients, all inspired by Suvir's third, and most welcomed cookbook, Masala Farm. The book is written in is 'voice'; and if you've ever heard him, attended a cooking class of his or watched him on the TV food network, you feel as though you're visiting with him when you open the pages of Masala Farm.

I made the Chocolate Nut Brittle for the holidays, and it's unlike any recipe you've ever tried for brittle. (watch the clip!) These recipes are 'cross-overs'. They're amalgams of Indian and American cooking. Suvir shares his wit, wisdom and some life stories amid some pretty terrific recipes that will whet your appetite and encourage the fledgling Indian cook to push up his or her sleeves, as well as delight the experienced Indian cook with these great seasonal recipes. A butternut squash, apple and cranberry gratin is a 'sure thing' for next year's Thanksgiving table. His 'new' raita and garam masalas, for example, add some great masalas and ingredients that render them perfect.

Ben Fink's photographs are, as always, helpful, inviting and gorgeous!

If you don't own Indian Home Cooking and American Masala, treat yourself to the trilogy. You won't regret your purchases!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not many recipes - not impressed, June 22, 2013
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Previous reviews made this sound like a great follow on from his previous books, but a huge disappointment from his Indian Home Cooking book. Few recipes no good curry recipes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Fusion - Good Enough To Eat!, February 24, 2013
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This review is from: Masala Farm (Kindle Edition)
I live in Vermont, not too terribly far from the farm that author Suvir Saran shares with his partner, Charlie Bard. Life here is much like life on the other side of the border, revolving around the seasons, so I found much that was both familiar and entertaining in Saran's tales of Life On The Farm. (I can see the look on his face as the poultry flies the coop now!)

I also happen to have a life-long passion for the foods of India and Asia, something that is hard to indulge here unless I make a trip to Boston or produce it myself in my own kitchen, so to that end I have a pantry that, if not as generously stocked as Suvir's, contains most of the ingredients to produce nearly any recipe in the book and make no mistake, many of these recipes are extremely enticing. Some are recipes that are brand new to me, many others old favorites or American favorites with a unique spin, like the Upstate Apple Butter that is spiced with cardamom, fennel and anise seeds along with the traditional cinnamon and cloves. I'm looking forward to whipping up a batch or two of that come fall. Do let me mention, BTW, that unlike several cookbooks I've reviewed lately, Suvir's canning instructions are right on the money. You can follow any of his jam & chutney recipes with perfect confidence that you are doing things the right way.

Recipes are given in both US Standard and metric units and temperatures in Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas Mark. You'll easily be able to follow these recipes no matter where you are in the world. The book is beautifully laid out, even in the Kindle version and the photos are gorgeous. Suvir has included both an interactive Table of Contents listing every recipe and an Index. He has also included links to other recipes where appropriate in the text. No reading glasses are required!

This is a job exceedingly well done, a book I'll refer to over and over again - and gift around.

Grandma's $0.02 - You'll find dozens of easy ways to introduce the flavors of India in a very familiar and non-threatening way. Highly recommended!

PS. Even here in the wilds of Vermont there are two Indian groceries within fifty miles of me - a nice day trip to the "big city" for lunch and a movie. The one thing I cannot get easily is curry leaves. I did bring some home dried from the UK (a tiny bottle!), but it is lovely to know I can freeze them. Thanks Suvir.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it great cookbook., December 29, 2012
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This review is from: Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country (Hardcover)
I just love this cookbook, I first seen him on Martha Stewart.....and I knew then I wanted the cookbook....I made the Goat cheese and Herb Frittata for a lunch for girlfriends I haven't seen in years...it was there first time to come and see my little log house in the country......they loved it......the house.....the Frittata...and all the chickens.....and Goats........You have to have this cookbook.
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Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country
Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country by Suvir Saran (Hardcover - December 14, 2011)
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