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Masala Lab: The Science of Indian Cooking Paperback


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Ashok is neither a scientist nor a chef. But his new book Masala Lab breaks down the science of Indian cooking. It’s practical and lively – one chapter, Burn the Recipe, offers clever hacks. Others explain the physics that goes into a great biryani, the perfect tadka. – Hindustan Times

With chapters covering everything from zero-pressure cooking to the science of spices and more, the title offers explanations and cheat sheets galore. Tongue-in-cheek writing coupled with scientific explanations by experts make up a large portion of this book, and the result is oddly gripping. – The Hindu

Krish Ashok’s Masala Lab demystifies the science of Indian cooking in a way aspiring cooks will find delightful, accessible – Firstpost

Krish Ashok’s Masala Lab: The Science of Indian Cooking is full of such advice which, if followed, promises to not just improve the taste of the food you cook, but also make the whole process of cooking more efficient and rewarding. – Indian Express

Krish Ashok makes a great start for Indian dishes. His emphasis on cooking techniques to extract flavour works well for Indian dishes where one can’t really play around with the spice profile and create the same dish … how often can you say that you tasted a book and had great fun doing so? Masala Lab is a useful reference book too which charts out the flavour molecules and pairings of the spices we use in our dishes, the basic gravy and biryani algorithms, and for the more adventurous, the temperature and time taken to sous vide meats and vegetables – Open Magazine

About the Author

Krish Ashok is not a chef but cooks daily. He is not a scientist, but he can explain science with easy-to-understand clarity. He trained to be an electronic engineer but is now a software engineer. He learnt to cook from the women in his family, who can make the perfectly fluffy idli without lecturing people on lactobacilli and pH levels. He likes the scientific method not because it offers him the ability to bully people with knowledge, but because it confidently lets him say, ‘I don’t know, let me test it for myself.’
When he is not cooking, he’s usually playing subversive music on the violin or cello. He lives in Chennai with a wife, who sagely prevents him from buying more gadgets for the kitchen, and a son, who has the flora and fauna in the neighbourhood terrorized.
You can follow him at @krishashok on Twitter at your own risk.


Product details

  • Publisher : Penguin (14 December 2020); Penguin Random House India
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 280 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0143451375
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0143451372
  • Item Weight : 230 g
  • Dimensions : 216 x 135 x 26 cm
  • Country of Origin : India

 499.00

Ever wondered why your grandmother threw a teabag into the pressure cooker while boiling chickpeas, or why she measured using the knuckle of her index finger? Why does a counter-intuitive pinch of salt make your kheer more intensely flavourful? What is the Maillard reaction and what does it have to do with fenugreek? What does your high-school chemistry knowledge, or what you remember of it, have to do with perfectly browning your onions?
Masala Lab by Krish Ashok is a science nerd’s exploration of Indian cooking with the ultimate aim of making the reader a better cook and turning the kitchen into a joyful, creative playground for culinary experimentation. Just like memorizing an equation might have helped you pass an exam but not become a chemist, following a recipe without knowing its rationale can be a sub-optimal way of learning how to cook.

Exhaustively tested and researched, and with a curious and engaging approach to food, Krish Ashok puts together the one book the Indian kitchen definitely needs, proving along the way that your grandmother was right all along.

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