I get so excited when a new recipe book lands on my desk. And when the book promises exquisite tastes with an exotic touch that excitement doubles. I could not wait to open Temptations and page through the book to see what it had to offer.
Prim Reddy and Niranj Pather are South Africans of Indian origin who embrace the diverse culinary offering of cosmopolitan South Africa. Temptations is a reflection of their philosophy, a cookbook encompassing various cultures and featuring heritage recipes passed down through generations, as well as dishes experienced on their travels. To these they have added their own flair and the resulting flavours are incredible. The array of recipes will transport you from local Indian cuisine and exotic offerings from the sub-continent, through local braaivleis (barbecue) and salads, to Italian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese and African flavours. Every recipe has a story.Best of all, these are meals that are quick and easy but that will make a home chef feel like a million bucks. They exude laughter and happiness, sharing and celebration. Niranj and Prim’s motto is that food isn’t just about sustenance; it’s about the experience, irrespective of how simple the offering may be.
Chapters are divided into:
- Soups and salads
- Breads, bakes and puds
- Party-time cocktails
Recipes that caught my eye:
- Shisa Cheesa (p16)
- Keftedes (p29)
- Chilli Garlic Prawns (p40)
- Seafood Ramen Soup (p57)
- Prawn and Avocado Salad (p58)
- Durban Lamb Bunny Chow (p72)
- Kleftiko (p79)
- Minty Chicken Breyani (p92)
- Fish Curry with Sangati (p115)
- Orange Cake (p145)
- Honey and Cardamom Sponge (p146)
- Breadsticks (p152)
- Walnut Bread Rolls (p156)
I skimmed over the introduction, heading straight for the recipes. The photographs were great, making the recipes enticing. I liked the explanation that went with each recipe. But, the layout is not my favourite, which I have written about many times. I am also not a huge fan of using pre-prepared sauces as they are usually so high in sugar.
What I made:
I made the honey and cardamom sponge and the recipe itself was easy to follow. But, I had a few issues. I looked at the photograph in Temptations and decided that the almonds used had either been chopped up, or were flaked. The recipe just said almonds so I went with a mixture of both chopped whole almonds and flaked almonds as that is what I had. James said that the nuts made the cake, and for me, the texture plus the heavy on lime topping is what was great. I could not taste the cardamom or the honey so I am going to adapt this recipe before sharing it. The baking time was 25 – 30 minutes. I baked the cake for an hour and it was still a little under in the middle. I covered it the last 10 minutes to prevent it burning.
Disclosure: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Random House South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This post is in line with my blogging policy.