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The top three contenders this month are:


VOTING ENDS TUESDAY APRIL 19TH AT 5 p.m. CDST. Please use ALL CAPS for the book title you choose. Here we go,......!

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  1. RADICALLY SIMPLE (although I'd never turn up my nose at Ottolenghi). I have My Bombay Kitchen, but have never cooked from it for some reason.

    1. PLENTY and OTTOLENGHI. Please and thank you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greedygirl

        Hmmm....which to choose? Will have to decide later.

        Looking forward to trying any of these, though.

        1. Thanks bayoucook. I hope my copy of BK arrives before Tues to help me decide!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            PLENTY and OTTOLENGHI

            PS: However, I could happily do another month of Dorie G's Around My French Table.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              BC - may need you or someone who has the chosen book(s) to help out with the chapter links -
              will keep looking for the info....

              1. re: bayoucook

                Bayou, the Ottolenghi book is already posted so people can simply post in the old thread:

                That keeps all the recipe reports in one place.

                Now, who shall I vote for...

                1. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN, mostly 'cause its the one I have access to, I'd be very up for plenty later in the year.

                  1. PLENTY and OTTOLENGHI, but will be happy to participate with any of the choices.

                      1. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN. I have all of these books, so I'm in good shape no matter which wins.

                        1 Reply
                        1. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN, there's a fantastic fish stew recipe in it and I want to get further into it.

                          1. MY BOMBAY KITCHEN

                            Thank you!

                            1. I haven't decided yet. It's between Bombay and Radically Simple. I won't be able to get a copy of either Ottolenghi book in time. After two weeks of cooking Indian, I'm not loving the aftersmell in my apartment. It's so perfumacious. But I have the book, and I don't yet have Radically Simple.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jay F

                                JayF- I'm somewhat new to COTM, but I think when you put a book in all caps, that is a vote. But I don't think you can vote for two books. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, please.
                                Edit: I see you changed to lower case. I just feel for the moderator trying to sort through all these posts, whatever we can do to make it easier for her!

                              2. Wanted to show pix of my tomatoes and herbs that I talked about in the nominations thread.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: bayoucook

                                  I am so envious....I won't have tomatoes until August, if the weather co-operates this year . And I long to have rosemary that looks as lush as that!! Sigh. I think I need to move farther south!

                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                    Well, it looks like I'll have to live vicariously through you and your lovely potted garden bayoucook! Your herbs appear to be huge! Oh, and I even noticed the sunshine!! Could you send a little our way bayoucook, we've been getting horrible winds, rain and snow all day today!!!

                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Sending it to you! The very bad storm system with tornadoes that went thru Mississippi a few days ago stayed north of us, so we didn't get any needed spring rain. So sorry for the folks here (and everywhere) who got the tornadoes from it; I think 9 people died here in our state. I have 4 or 5 more pots of herbs but couldn't get a shot of them b/c they were in shade. The bugs will get worse later in the spring so we're really counting on this first crop of tomatoes. Thanks for looking!

                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                        So terribly sorry to hear of the tornados bayoucook.

                                        I hope you get your much needed rain bc, do share your photos again when things ripen, it warms our hearts here in the great white north!!

                                    1. PLENTY and OTTOLENGHI
                                      A certain amount of internal debate went on, but I don't think I'll mourn if any of these three choices win. Just thought that these two might be good with all the produce that will start coming to markets and CSAs over the next few weeks.

                                      1. RADICALLY SIMPLY

                                        I've been silent so far in April because I'm still on hold for Greenspan (#7 in line as of today). At this rate, I won't get it until June. But Radically Simple I'm first in line for -- I may start early!

                                        1. PLENTY & OTTOLENGHI

                                          I just rec'd a shipping notice for My Bombay Kitchen and I won't have it before the voting closes so I'm not able to assess it as I'd hoped. I have no doubt I'll love the sound of the dishes, my concern is whether the recipes would be quick enough to pull together on a weeknight.

                                          Since I wasn't a member of CH the first time Ottolenghi was a COTM I think this would be a good opportunity to take a deeper dive into the book. I don't own Plenty so this would also be a great way to get a sense of whether the dishes appeal.

                                          Thanks bayoucook

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            You'd be surprised - there are some masalas that take time to assemble (weekend project?) but the dishes I've made have been quite quick.

                                          2. I don't know, my library doesn't have any of these. I may end up skipping this month.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: sarahcooks

                                              Neither does mine. That's why I'll probably need help with the chapter postings.

                                              1. re: sarahcooks

                                                remember that most of Plenty and a lot of Ottolenghi is available online, if those are chosen.

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  ...there's a ton of Ottolenghi recipes on-line:

                                                  First of all there's his blog:


                                                  Then his Guardian UK column:


                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Not much voting so far, but two contenders are neck and neck. Oh well, I am poised to buy whichever one wins, the books are already in my cart.

                                              2. "Not much voting so far, but two contenders are neck and neck. Oh well, I am poised to buy whichever one wins, the books are already in my cart."

                                                I was simply going to use whichever book won since I am not sure how much time I will be able to devote to the winner, but, since voting is light, and this is our Civic Duty, I will chime in:

                                                MY BOMBAY KITCHEN

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: DougRisk

                                                  I'm going with MY BOMBAY KITCHEN too. It seems like it will be closest to how I already cook. Disappointed the Indian choice isn't 660 Curries since it'll probably be ages before people are willing to do Indian again, but I'm sure MBK will be educational in terms of getting to know a specific regional cuisine.

                                                2. PLENTY and revisit OTTOLENGHI

                                                    1. RADICALLY SIMPLE

                                                      I read through the first 60 pages of Bombay Kitchen yesterday and today, and skimmed a lot of ingredients lists, and I realized I probably won't make anything from it.

                                                      13 Replies
                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        My copy of Bombay Kitchen hasn't arrived yet but I couldn't resist stopping by the bookstore on my way in this morning to take a peek. I was a bit disappointed w my first impression.

                                                        I found the formatting to be very poor. Recipes seemed to be "crammed" on the pages somehow w ingredient lists in italics and lots of text. on the pages. The headnotes, ingredients, method and footnotes all just seemed to be one mass of text w little whitespace to aid in identifying where one part ended and the next began.

                                                        There also seemed to be a number of recipes that call for use of an ingredient you need to prepare from a recipe elsewhere in the book. That's not an issue when time's on your side but things get trickier for me during the week.

                                                        The other thing that stood out was that the vegetables section was very, very light.

                                                        That said, I only had a quick peek. I'm hoping I'm more inspired when the book arrives later this week.

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          I think you'll really enjoy reading it anyway, it's a university press book (UC Berkeley, my dear old alma mater) and that shows a bit, but it's engagingly written and extremely informative on Parsi food.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            I think it's a well-written book, very well-written, really. My objection isn't to the cookbook or the author, but rather to the number of things that have cumin, coconut or coconut milk, and/or ginger in them. And I don't feel like substituting anything or just leaving out things I don't like. When they're this essential to the flavor of the dish, I feel I'd be changing the food into something other than what it's supposed to be.

                                                            Last night, I BSCBs I'd marinated in tandoori spices mixed into yogurt, and even using less than the Penzey's recipe called for, it ended up tasting so cumin-y, I couldn't finish it.

                                                            I think cooking Indian more than once in a while is something I'm just going to leave to others. I like it enough to eat it out from time to time, but I just don't want to eat some of these things as much as I have been during the last month or two.

                                                            But I don't blame any of this on this book. This is totally about me, not Indian food, Parsi food, or this book (or any other Indian cookbook).

                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                              I don't know anything about Parsi food, so this book really intrigues me. Not sure how much I will cook out of it, but I am sure I will learn a lot.

                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                Some things appeal, some don't, to each his own. Indian food is a hard sell in my house because my husband isn't totally crazy about it (which I am). He did like the fish stew from this book (I used frozen langoustines).

                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                  That's how it is for us. I like Thai and have lunch at a restaurant for it every other month or so, but my husband simply doesn't like the flavors: the coconut, cumin, cardoman (sp) etc. Even with Mexican and other foods I have to watch the cumin for him - it CAN overcome some things.

                                                                  1. re: bayoucook

                                                                    I don't mind a small (infinitessimal?) amount of cumin, but it's the second ingredient (after coriander) in Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning, which, of course, I didn't realize until after eating a couple of bites of the chicken.

                                                                    I used to like the Sharwood's (day-glo red) Tandoori Spice Mix, but they don't make it anymore.

                                                                    In any case, I still want to make Jamie Oliver's Chicken Tikka Masala, from Jamie's Food Revolution. Having him as the COTM guy in March has really been a good influence.

                                                                    Ottolenghi Plenty seems more and more impossible to find with each link I click. Amazon can get it in 1-3 months. An immediately available copy on Amazon Marketplace costs $116. Barnes & Noble will have it July 5. Borders can "usually" ship it in 2-4 weeks. It is "on order" at Jessica's Biscuit. Etextbook.com lists it as "temporarily unavailable."

                                                                    And both copies my library owns are checked out, which means it would be at least three weeks.

                                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                                      have you tried Amazon UK? thats where I got mine and I got it fast. - in days. Personally I recommend the first book over Plenty but both are good.

                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                        Thanks, Jen. Are the recipes written with American measurements?

                                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                                          No. Everything is weighed in grams. Get your scale out!

                                                                      2. re: Jay F

                                                                        Amazon.ca seems to have it available, as well.


                                                                        Probably a bit more money than if you got it from the .com site, though....

                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                          Thanks for thinking of it. It's the same price shipped as the UK version, ~$37. I'd rather get it cheaper, of course, especially since I can't look at a copy anywhere. But if it's the way the voting goes, well...

                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                            we see now evidence of why cookbooks are one of the few categories of books still selling vigoriously- I would be happy with the online content, personally

                                                              1. PLENTY/REVISIT OTTOLENGHI tho bk is just fine too.

                                                                1. I'm not sure I deserve a vote at this point given that some personal upheavals have me dwelling in the land of good intentions and poor follow-through on COTM the last couple of months, but I can't resist the chance to Ottolenghi, so...

                                                                  PLENTY AND REVISIT OTTOLENGHI please (although the other choices look great as well).

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mebby

                                                                    I feel bad too when I have 30 whole days and 100+ recipes and I only manage to do 4 or 5 in the month. Wish I could have 1/2 vote -- haha wouldn't bayoucook love that!

                                                                    The Indian book scares me off when I see taro leaves, banana leaf mentioned -- I just don't have access, I'd just be pretending/subbing more than usual...

                                                                    Plenty and Ottolenghi less problematic, and I know I can always do the desserts,

                                                                    so PLENTY and OTTOLENGHI this time.

                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                      I wish I was at 4 or 5, but alas, no. Hoping to make up for lost time in the waning days and earn my right to vote after the fact (it's rationalization time)

                                                                  2. Wow, the top two are in a tight race! Have you ever had to have a second run-off?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                      I was wondering the very same thing LN!

                                                                    2. One hour to go and I am having a tough time choosing! I have Bombay Kitchen and would like to get into it more, but somehow I feel more in the mood for Ottolenghi. But for Ottolenghi I would only have access to online recipes as I don't have the books and not sure I want to shell out the cash to get it from Amazon UK. If Ottolenghi wins, could we make an official adjunct thread for the online/guardian UK recipes?

                                                                      That said, I don't think Bombay Kitchen calls for too many esoteric ingredients, and I looked through it last night and found a few recipes that sound quite appealing for this time of year (tava peas, allium confit ... )