Naan margherita pizza, popcorn chicken with frizzled curry leaves, lemongrass and green mango crabcakes. Nik Sharma is out to prove that your relationship with Indian food can consist of more than takeout tikka masala. His smart new book, Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, is full of recipes that reinvent familiar dishes by adding flavors from his childhood in Mumbai.
“I wanted to showcase the versatility of ingredients and spices that are traditionally used in Indian food by bringing them to a Western table,” says Sharma.
So rather than elaborate biryanis and firebreathing vindaloos, you’ll find things like recipes featured here—a tangy caprese salad dressed with tamarind and the unrefined sugar called jaggery; an Indian take on tortilla soup with naan and garam masala; a potato salad spiked with chorizo, a legacy of the country’s Portuguese colonizers; and a spiced meatloaf unlike any you’ve ever tasted.
“This is how I cook at home,” says Sharma. “At the end of the day, what I want is something flavorful and not fussy.” Us too.