Pete Mulvihill on Fall Cookbooks

Don’t forget: the books mentioned below are available at 20 percent off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

As fall approaches, there are many big books on the way from brand names like Mollie Katzen, Manresa, Kermit Lynch, and so on. Before those start trickling in, let’s take a look at two innovative cookbooks with an ethnic slant.

Indian Cooking Unfolded

Indian Cooking Unfolded
Raghavan Iyer

Indian Cooking Unfolded by Raghavan Iyer (Workman, $19.95) deserves attention mostly from those learning to cook or looking to branch out a bit. This book is noteworthy, first, for the packaging—its graphically rich, foldout format lends itself to learning. The lie-flat binding is another practical touch.

Beyond that packaging hook, though, the book contains high-quality instruction from an author who has won the IACP Award for Excellent Cooking Teacher of the Year. When Iyer moved from India to Minnesota, he learned the limits of American grocery stores. He faced that challenge head-on, so what you get in Indian Cooking Unfolded is 100 easy recipes using 10 ingredients or fewer. At $19.95, it’s an affordable and innovative book for the curious amateur.

Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love

Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love
Einat Admony

From India, let’s head northwest to the Mediterranean and on toward New York. Einat Admony’s mixed Israeli heritage (Yemenite, Persian) blends with her experience in New York kitchens to reveal a melting pot of deliciousness. Her new book is Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love (Artisan, $29.95).

The basics: there are roughly 140 recipes, all with a Mediterranean angle. The chapters are organized in an unusual but helpful fashion based on how much time you have and for whom you are cooking: Dinner Party Dishes, Recipes to Feed Your Kids, Comfort Foods, Recipes Best Enjoyed Outdoors, etc. And the book is full of photos and charm.

The recipes themselves vary in their complexity and creativity but, on the whole, are pretty doable for the casual home cook. Further, the recipes rate pretty high on the “I have to cook this ASAP” scale, from the Morning “Big O” Cocktail [Ed. note: we had to rename it here lest spam filters think we’re talking about something else!] to the Ricotta, Pine Nut, and Honey Bread Pudding.

If you’re bored of what you’re cooking or know a budding chef who wants to branch out, both of these books are sure to please.

Thanks for reading.