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The Flavour of Spice

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A book that celebrates spices, and the integral ways in which they shape what we eat.

Throughout a career spanning thirty years, well-known food critic and writer
(and little-known collector of spice-grinders of eclectic origin), Marryam H. Reshii has had a relentless love affair with spices. Such has been her passion that she has travelled across the country and to various
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published November 2017 by Hachette India
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Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
For a self-described foodie that I am, reading food-themed non-fiction is not my forte. Quite frankly, nonfiction, in general, is not my forte. But reading about food make reading nonfiction easier for me. So, in a bid to read more nonfiction, in the latter half of 2018, I picked up 2 non-fiction books on this subject. One is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat ( which I still haven't finished ), and the second is The Flavour of Spice by Marryam Reshi. Hoping to add to that count gradually, ev ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, well researched. I think one of the best food books of the recent times
Madhulika Liddle
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The title and subtitle of Marryam Reshi’s The Flavour of Spice: Journeys, Recipes, Stories say it all: this is a book about spices. Seeds, fruit, flowers, leaves, even resin and lichen and other odds and ends—which make Indian food what it is.

Reshi discusses individual spices through the bulk of the book, beginning with the big four—chillies, turmeric, coriander and cumin—and then going on to others, such as aromatics (saffron and asafoetida included), and seed spices (fenugreek, sesame, et al)
Sourbh Bhadane
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
Reshii takes us through a delightful tour of spices that are commonly found in an Indian kitchen. Each chapter attempts to make sense of the spice through angles of history, geography, botany and most interestingly through its myriad uses in Indian communities, 'peppered' with Reshii's fun anecdotes. At the end of each chapter are a few recommendations for recipes feat. the star spice (no, not star anise).

This read was filled with interesting tidbits. But more importantly a realization; perhaps
Sourabh Rohilla
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an ode to spices. We are surrounded by them. They feature in our meals, in mouth fresheners, in pooja-samagri, in home-remedies. Through this book, Marryam takes us through the lifecycle of spices.
Traversing through fields, to the warehouses, to markets and spice-traders and then to cuisines across India, this book is delightful and instructive at the same time.

Chilli, Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander, Cinnamon, Saffron, Nutmeg, Mace, Pepper, Cardamom, Clove, Asafoetida, Kalpasi, Fenugree
Michelle Mock
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book because as an American, who collects cookbooks and is a self-described foodie, I felt that my knowledge and background on spices was sorely lacking. And now having completed the book it is quite apparent how much it was lacking.
I found her approach to each spice interesting and I sincerely appreciated the recipes that catered to each discussed spice at the end of the chapters. My only wish is that she included some sketch or diagram at the beginning of each chapter illustrating
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is full of great information, and I learned alot. However, if the intended audience is the casual foodie and not a student writing an essay, the author could have emphasized her stories and people and downplayed the rather formulaic set-up of each section. The information is wonderful and I recommend this book. Just be aware that it begins to feel repetitive if you read straight through.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The way I look at the spices has now changed because now they say a story about their existence and evolution.
Ankur Chawla
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
my first book on the subject. Indeed a very well written and informative book. Photos could have been added for better explanation.
Some topic could have been more differentiation between the various varieties etc...
Girl from Mumbai
Spices are an integral part of our culture and identity as Indians and this beautiful and very informative book “The flavor of Spice” by @marryam drives that point home very successfully.

As a young immigrant in the UK (I lived there for 2 years) in 2004, the only other thing besides my clothes that I had carried with me was a suitcase full of spices. Having heard stories of how the British liked their food bland I couldn’t fathom how I would live without my pickles and masalas so I paid for ext
Janaki Balasubramanian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Veena Gokhale
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book from which I learnt a lot about a tantalizing subject. The humourous, conversational style makes it a fun read as well.
My only caveat is that while the author knew certain cuisines well, she made certain statements like, for e.g., turmeric is never fried in oil, which are simply not true. Turmeric is part of fried spices in my home cuisine (Maharashtrian vegetarian) and in South India as well. That said, Indian regional cuisines are many, and it is not possible to know e
Saravan Prabu
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Eye Opener. I really enjoyed reading this combination of Spice + History + Stories + Recipe. We had "Anjara petti" in every kitchen and used the spices for anything and everything. I believed that most of the spices are our own before reading this book because of the inextricable nature of spice usage in our dishes.

I really appreciate the effort taken by Marryam in writing this book. Now i know what details to look for while trying a different cuisine and stories to look for while traveling.
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has changed the way I cook

Having been a reasonably good Indian home cook, spices have been essential part of most dishes. However, knowing about where the spices came from, where they are grown and the sheer variety of itheiir use now has inspired me to pay attention to how I use spices.
The provenance of the spices and history carries through every chapter and makes the reading so much enjoyable.
The recipes are simple and clearly focus on specific spices. I will surely try a lot of th
Antara Koul
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this book and you will never be able to look at the spices in the same way as you did before. You will be able to appreciate each and every spice for its unique flavour and history. The book has helped me to be more aware of my cooking because now i understand the role and function of every spice that goes in my dish. This is a must read for anybody who likes history and is intrigued by everyday things of life.
Ashutosh SHUKLA
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author has delved deep into the world of spices, that too not just from India but all over the world!!. I read it as I liked cooking and love experimenting with the food I cook, so it gave me a lot of things to experiment on.
Great source of information and recipes that can be tried out whether you are a vegetarian or non vegetarian.
Nikitha Reddy
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well-intentioned and enthusiastic, but not edited well. Riddled with contradiction, and lots of rambling. I struggled to finish - odd as I ordinarily have lots of patience for food-related rambles. Enjoyed the recipes included, fairly varied.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
It's a good read but somehow gets lost amongst telling the story of the history of Indian spices or their ethnography. It works more as a reckoner. For those who are interested there are recipes at the end of every chapter! ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book gets into details. Origins, usage, geography and people related to the major spices in use. Plethora of knowledge for those who are new to the world of spices and the reason why it is loved and celebrated in India and across the world.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Though it was pleasure to read this book it is written in authentic storytelling manner. I felt some how the proper index of refrences is missing in the end . Otherwise it is flavoured book, full of different intresting travelogues.
Gaurav Johri
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The history, science, economics and varied uses about the spices that permeate Indian cuisine, all packed in an easy to read yet comprehensive manner. And you will not miss Marryam Rishi’s obsessive love for the subject.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it - the book goes through the major spices used in Indian cuisine, their history, where they are grown and how, and ends each chapter with Indian recipes
Dimpi Madan
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Sharmila V
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book is essential for the kind of food dialogues we are having now. It's time to look at spices as more than just agents of flavour. Reshii's book makes it clear that these are agricultural products which have the nuances that we often talk about in other foods like coffee, wine, and chocolate. By looking at spices the lens of culture, agriculture, origins and history, this book gives spices the podium they deserve.
Complete review and an interview with the author on : http://www.theyellowt
Toms Jose
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Feb 08, 2021
M Thompson
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Nov 18, 2018
Satya Muniasamy
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Apr 11, 2019
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Philippa Kaye
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Jan 04, 2021
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