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Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day Hardcover – October 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Weinstein Books; First Edition edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602860068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602860063
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The host of TV's Top Chef, Lakshmi (Easy Exotic) puts her own culinary skills to the test in this glossy, cosmopolitan cookbook. Here, in vibrant colors, are her own palate-shaping memories in the form of recipes and short but highly personal essays. Like Nigella Lawson, Lakshmi's sex appeal is part of her draw as a food personality, and this collection obliges with adorable family photos as well as glamour shots of the model/actress nibbling on her creations. The global cuisine runs the gamut from a Southeast Asian–style Warm Peanut Salad with Tomato and Cilantro to Persian Chicken Soup with Omani Lemon and Dill to fried chicken battered with Rice Krispies. Keralan Crab Cakes and Pineapple and Pomegranate Crumble are among the fusion dishes that blend cuisines with intriguing results. Interspersed throughout are plenty of South Indian classics, reflecting Lakshmi's own heritage. Lakshmi has an inventive knack for flavor combination, but some of her recipes, like a Barbecued Shrimp with Chili Honey Butter, don't quite live up to the hype. Nevertheless, this book will certainly be well received by Lakshmi's growing fan base as well as home cooks looking to mix it up in the kitchen. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Reality cooking shows have never been more popular (Gordon Ramsay currently has three programs on the air), and Top Chef is no exception. Lakshmi is no stranger to the field: her 1999 cookbook, Easy Exotic, was awarded Best First Book at the World Cookbook Awards, and she was the host of Padma's Passport on the Food Network. Her second cookbook is a much larger endeavor, with almost twice the amount of recipes. The dishes reflect her Indian heritage (curries and chutneys abound), with plenty of Caribbean (coconut crab cakes, chicken made with Red Stripe beer) and American (barbecue shrimp and fried chicken) influences. Though billed as simple, easy recipes to prepare, novices should be prepared to take a trip to the nearest international market for amchoor and jaggery. Lavish photographs, a small section on pickles and chutneys, and a few short essays by Lakshmi round out the volume. Not exactly an essential purchase, but expect demand from Top Chef addicts. Orellana, Carlos

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Customer Reviews

The flavors are fantastic and the recipes are easy.
ALN
The recipes I have actually tried so far have confirmed that impression, tasting very good indeed.
Mariana Chaffee
I feel like maybe this book needed to be proofed a bit more.
Christine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Christine on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I feel like maybe this book needed to be proofed a bit more. The recipe for meatballs in spinach sauce came out so watery with the four cups of water that were called for. And the recipe called for 1.5 pounds of lamb and 1 pound of spinach (which is quite a bit of spinach considering it's light weight, most prewashed bags are 6 ounces) yet serves 4-6?

And then the recipe for Madras Curry, the instructions referred to sauteing the onions until they were glossy, but there were no onions listed, only shallots. Perhaps this is splitting hairs onions versus shallots.

I also would have liked to have the total time a recipe takes to have been listed.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Christy Cricow on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy Padma Lakshmi on Top Chef, and was delighted to hear about this cookbook. Bought it the first chance I had, and dug into it immediately.

The look of the book is great with beautiful, sort of rustic photos, and I love the concept itself. The recipes aren't overly complex or difficult, but include enough exotic ingredients and unusual ideas to make a home cook like me excited to explore them. The recipes I have tried so far have been good, if not quite great, surprisingly. (I'll keep testing, though!) But I can't get past the absolutely awful editing job! The explanatory text before one recipe suggests adding to the lemon juice in the recipe as a substitution for an obscure herb....except there IS no lemon juice in the recipe, only lime juice. A sublime sounding recipe for an exotic mac and cheese neglects to tell you whether to actually cook your pasta before adding it to the sauce. I see here that others are finding similar mistakes elsewhere.

I can't imagine writing a cookbook, and sending it out into the world without paying attention to something as essential as the recipes! I am taking more care with the editing of this review than the author and colleagues exerted on the book in question. I own a lot of cookbooks, and have never come across this before. The book is worth a look, and perhaps two, but it feels like less a serious cookbook, due to the carelessness with which it was created, than a dashed off vanity project. Too bad.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sakmak on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The pictures are beautiful, the stories enchanting... but the food, meh. I don't think all the measurements were calculated correctly and the spicing is hit or miss, ok on some dishes but seriously lacking on others. Really expecting more from Padma.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lilirun on July 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have tried several recipes...all delicious. Red Stripe Beer with Chicken, Candied Pecans, Chili Honey butter on Shrimp. I cook alot, so I was able to make various leaps in the recipes, but it is definitely not a step by step for a new cook. If you know how to cook, this book is LOTS of fun.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Uhlich on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift and while I don't usually go to cookbooks for my dinners--I'm much more of a "what's in the cabinet? okay, look online" kind of menu planner--I've given three of these recipes a go. The curry butternut squash soup was good and filling, and nice to add to my repetoire in that the flavor is easily changed to fit the needs (and meat requirements) of various guests. The Jamaican chicken in Red Stripe was terrible, but I'm not sure if that's partially my fault for rushing the browning, or maybe there was something missing? Editing standards are so horribly low these days that it's possible. And we just had the Fiery Shrimp and Linguine. Fiery? Not at all, but very tasty and like Ms. Lakshmi we found ourselves licking our fingers. The ingredients are difficult to locate only for some of the recipes; there are enough recipes for you to try without having to go hunting through the smaller Asian markets. Definitely a good book to help you play more in the kitchen and broaden your horizons--I'm now at least somewhat reconciled to anchovies!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Always Hungry on November 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you love cooking, this book should definitely have a place on your shelf.

This book contains 100s of great recipes that mix and match ethnicities and burst with flavor. I love that some recipes are short and sweet while others are more complicated for when I'm feeling adventurous. While I live in a city with ethnic groceries, I would imagine that some people may have trouble locating more exotic ingredients. Thankfully, Ms Lakshmi provides an online source for ordering hard-to-find ingredients.

She also provides great personal essays which reveal more about who she is than we see on Top Chef.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jh_reader on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The novelty value of these recipes is VERY appealing, so I persist in trying the recipes. All have been successful, despite the oft-mentioned editing errors. (I've adapted to using poorly-edited cookbooks.) The flavors, however, are mostly forgettable with a few 'pretty goods".

Of the dozen or so recipes I have tried, the only "repeaters" are a couple that are easy, quick, freeze well, or are a good use of ingredients I might have on hand (like herbaceous salad, curried squash soup, white bean & sage soup). I will probably cook another dozen recipes and then donate this one to my local public library. I would recommend that people borrow a copy if possible, then try a few recipes to see if this style resonates at your table.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LBP on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I made all of the following dishes as part of my menu for a SE inspired dinner party with excellent results: Keralan Crab Cakes, Deviled Eggs w/Serrano Chilies, Asian Cole Slaw, Carrot & Cilantro Salad, Green Mango Curry. Most of the recipes are not complicated, but they often require ingredients that you may not find at regular supermarkets (e.g. amchoor, or dried mango powder, and asafoetida) - I found everything I need at Kalyustan's in NYC ([...] The author does suggest alternatives for the more hard-to-find ingredients, and her easy-to-follow recipes have inspired me to try making more labor-intensive dishes like Moroccan Bisteeya.
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