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Menu from Mumbai

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Spice up summertime favorites like shrimp, ribs, potatoes, and plums with fragrant Indian spices.

Food has always been at the heart of my fondest family memories. I can remember as a toddler sticking my nose into our family spice box, used by my mother and grandmother as they cooked together in the kitchen. Spices are so colorful and so fragrant that they were impossible for me to resist exploring.

To say I come from a food-obsessed family is to put it mildly: When my grandparents moved to London in the 1950s, they started creating Indian food in their home kitchen, which soon developed into a line of sauces, chutneys, and the like, designed to bring the bold flavors of India into homes across the world. My father took over the business when he was young and, with my mother, grew the brand into the worldwide household name it is today. (Next time you’re shopping, have a look; you’ll likely find jars of our curries and sauces at your supermarket.)

When I decided to write a cookbook last year, it was with the same aim my family had when launching Patak’s: I wanted my recipes to be a friendly introduction to the spice flavors characteristic to Indian cuisine, but I also wanted to include international food. I enjoyed many dishes growing up in the West, and I love adding a flavorful spice twist on foods familiar to us all. The late-summer menu featured here, with its ribs, potatoes, green beans, and plums, does just that. My hope is that these crowd-pleasing dishes will inspire those of you unfamiliar with Indian flavors to give them a try. Once you do, you’ll never look back.

Menu Timeline

Up to Three Days Ahead

  • Make the spiced simple syrup for the cocktail.
  • Prepare the spice rub for the ribs.
  • Make the glaze for the ribs.

Up to Two Days Ahead

  • Cook the ribs.

One Day Ahead

  • Infuse the oil for the green beans. (Keep refrigerated.)
  • Blanch the green beans; cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate.

Up to 4 Hours Before Dinner

  • Boil the potatoes; let sit at room temperature.
  • Bake the crumble topping for the dessert; let sit at room temperature.
  • Toss the raisins with the cinnamon for the dessert.

1 Hour Before Dinner

  • Take the ribs out of the refrigerator, if necessary.
  • Roast the potatoes.
  • Toss the green beans with the spinach and mint.
  • Cut and pit the plums; cover with plastic wrap to prevent browning, and refrigerate.

Just Before Dinner

  • Make the cocktail; feel free to assign this task to someone else while you cook.
  • Cook the shrimp.
  • Dress the salad.
  • Reheat and glaze the ribs.

After Dinner

  • Finish the plums, whip the mascarpone, and assemble the dessert.

Shopping List

Stock your Indian spice pantry with a just a few clicks: check out our interactive spice guide with easy links to buy anything not available in the supermarket. 

Fresh Produce

  • 8 ripe plums (or peaches or nectarines)
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 8 medium limes
  • 3 to 4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 lb. green beans, preferably haricot verts
  • 10 oz. baby spinach
  • 8 scallions
  • 2 large red chiles, such as Fresno
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 medium bunch fresh mint
  • 1 medium bunch fresh cilantro
  • 20 fresh curry leaves

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • 6-1/2 to 7 lb. pork spareribs (about 2 racks)
  • 2 lb. raw extra-jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per lb.)
  • 8 oz. mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Other Groceries

  • 1 liter sparkling water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 3/4 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 oz. hazelnuts
  • 2 Tbs. raisins
  • 2 dried red chiles, such as Thai bird

Pantry Staples

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 cup packed cup dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbs. smoked paprika, preferably hot
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 20 green cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs. coriander seeds
  • 2-1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, more to taste
  • 1-1/2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)

The Menu


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