Book Review – Cooking with Coconut by Ramin Ganeshram

Cooking with Coconut.jpg

5 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Now THIS is a proper Coconut cook book! I’ve read and reviewed a few in my time and they’ve barely touched on the most common of recipes. But ‘Cooking with coconut’ goes far beyond that and brings you some of the most amazing traditional coconut recipes from around the world. Some I grew up with, others I do similar dishes to today as coconut makes up a large part of our diet. I absolutely LOVED this book.

The array of recipes from starters, mains, dessert, drinks and everything in between was wonderful. You can tell there is a love and passion for recipes here, and not just for the ones Ms Ganeshram grew up with, but the ones shared from other places.

And yes, my own food intolerances to seafood and allium would restrict me from making some of these recipes… but there are a few that I’d still attempt and just leave out the allium or sub fish for chicken and see how it goes. I’m a big girl, I know my way around the kitchen. 😉

And, be still my sweet toothed heart for all the coconut sweets recipes! I was in HEAVEN!

For me, the ingredients will mostly be easy to get my hands on. Let’s see, I already have coconut jelly, coconut water, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, coconut oil,coconut flour, coconut milk, shredded dried coconut and desiccated coconut (both unsweetened as we don’t do sweetened coconut in Australia). Oh, I have other stuff too of course, but I wanted to show that I was indeed the right person for this book as, yeah, we eat coconut daily in this house. 😉

To the technical side of things, the layout and formatting of ‘Cooking with coconut’ was also excellent. Clearly laid out sections, easy to understand and follow recipes – though they are in, I believe, American measurements so realise the cups and spoon measurements won’t be the same for Australian measurements. All the same, so easy to understand, convert and work with. Heating temperatures shown in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Another thing I liked about the recipe formatting is that there is a clearly shown tab for recipes that are allergy/intolerance friendly. Well, gluten and dairy at least. Pretty sure I remember some vegan tags there too. It’s good to be able to flick through a book and see these tabs right away if you’re cooking for specific dietary restrictions without making a big song and dance about it. Wonderful.

There is also a wide range of recipes too so people wouldn’t get tired trying the different dishes. Coconut is such a versatile ingredient; it is just lovely to see it all put to such good use!

There was also an in-depth introduction to the different types of coconut ingredients, a lovely explanation as to why Ms Ganeshram is so passionate about this ingredient and a great glossary at the back to help smooth out any questions the novice cook may have.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. In fact I was showing my electronic copy off to my dad and telling him we should buy a paper copy to share. Some of the recipes do contain a lot of ingredients – and therefore may put off some of the less experienced cooks – but the wording and instructions for each recipe is clear and precise and so if you wanted to give it a go, I feel cooks of any skill level would have success.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Well duh! 😉 Yes, I simply fell in love with ‘Cooking with coconut’ from the dips to the curries to the sweets to the teas. Yes there are recipes I would avoid, but there are so many more I would and do want to try that they outweigh those I can’t make due to food issues.

In summary: If you truly want to explore all the different options of cooking with coconut – this book is for you. Loved it.

Until next time,

Janis.

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