I have been a longtime fan of Nik Sharma’s on Instagram (where he is @abrowntable) and have been charting his progress over the years with a keen eye and keener appetite. I had hoped he would write a book, and the fact that the book he has written turns out to be this fills me with joy. What the subtitle promises, the book delivers exactly: what we have here is indeed big flavours and beautiful food. Sharma comes from India, and lives in California, via the Midwest and the East Coast, about which he has written movingly, and it is richly conveyed in his recipes; his food is so precisely his own, merging the disciplined curiosity of the scientist with a particular delicate sensualism and bright, bold palate. And his photos are just beautiful.
Because Season is so much an expression of place, too, not every ingredient will be available everywhere, but any cook will be inspired by his recipes. Steak with Orange Peel and Coriander; Turmeric and Lime Mussels; Caprese Salad with Sweet Tamarind Dressing; Crispy Pork Belly Bites; Bombay Frittata; Apple Masala Chai Cake: I feel hungry just listing these. But the recipe I’ve chosen for you offers a combination of flavours I have a particular fondness for, so couldn’t resist here — his Date and Tamarind Loaf.
Reprinted from Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018.