By Suvir Saran, with Raquel Pelzel and Charlie Burd
Chronicle Books, $30
In this inspiring book, acclaimed chef Suvir Saran, owner of the Manhattan restaurant Devi, invites readers to join him at his beloved American Masala Farm in rural upstate New York. That’s where Saran gardens, raises goats and chickens, and delights in nurturing and cooking for a seemingly endless stream of visitors. Organizing the book by seasons, Saran thoughtfully recorded the recipes he makes for his guests and paired them with entertaining stories that reflect his country life, which is unpretentious, connected to the land, and deeply satisfying. While there’s a generous smattering of Indian dishes, such as Shrimp and Sweet Corn Curry, New Year’s Black-Eyed Pea Curry, and Tamarind Chicken Wings, the book celebrates masala (which Saran translates from Hindi as “spice”) in a figurative sense more than in a literal one: Saran’s recipes are rich with character and the spice of life.
Farmhouse Crispy-Creamy Potatoes (page 43) These parboiled and then poached potatoes are wonderful—golden-brown and salty-crisp outside, creamy inside, and infused with garlic and herbs.
Garam Masala Roast Chicken (page 100) Rubbed with spices and splashed with balsamic vinegar at the end of roasting, this chicken becomes deeply flavorful, browned, and crisp.