Spices and Seasons: Meet Columnist Rinku Bhattacharya


I am Rinku Bhattacharya, a food obsessed, working mother of two lovely children.  I am thrilled to connect further with the Small bites community, with a new column called Spices and Seasons, where I will “chat” with you about spices, and how to work with them through the seasons. This column is named after my two loves, spices (masala) and the seasons. I think that in particular, we in the Hudson Valley region are blessed with an amazing diversity  and bounty of four distinct seasons. This allows us to maintain and manage a wonderfully balanced table.

Every week, I shall talk about a new spice or seasoning or a seasonal produce and how to cook it with spices. Here and there, I shall try to highlight local sources, viewpoints and any thoughts of interest in the spicy arena.

Small Bites, has been an important part of my foodie life for the past few years, since, I get food finds, restaurant choices, local links and information of many things of interest from this site, so it is very exciting for me to join the space as a contributor.

I hope that you noticed I used the word, “chat”, because I would love to have this become an interactive feature. I hope, that I can tell you about a spice or spice infused seasonal recipe every week, and also persuade you to share your spice recipes, questions and any thoughts you may have, through my facebook page or comments to the post on Small Bites.

Since, I am a transplanted Indian, the term for spice that resonates with me is masala. In Indian culinary parlance, the word masala incorporates spices, aromatics and herbs. So, this column shall be including all the components of masala, spices, herbs and aromatics.  I hope to incorporate your ideas on spice or masala into this column as I tell you about mine. I like to teach, share and talk about India food and spices because I feel it is the best way to stay connected to my heritage. This being said, I get excited with food from all parts of the world and would love to learn about different ways to use the same spice.

Rinku Bhattacharya, is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester, where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes a great way to teach and learn.

Her cookbook the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, is scheduled to be published in November 2012. Rinku can be found on facebook, twitter and pinterest.


About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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