Deepa's Secrets - Deepa Thomas

Part cookbook and memoir, Deepa's Secrets: Mouthwatering, Slow-Carb New Indian Recipes introduces the author's breakthrough slow carb and gut-healing recipes that are simple and nutrient-packed, without sacrificing traditional rich South Asian flavors.

After her husband's diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, Deepa Thomas set out to demystify and create healthy Indian cuisine. Here, in her debut book, she shares shortcuts and techniques that will make her "New Indian" cuisine our everyday fare.

A stunningly photographed book, packed with dishes that will inspire cooks to explore the beauty of Indian cuisine - it is clear why Deepa's Secrets is a winner of a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

I visited Deepa's website and found inspiration in her words: "I did not set out to write a book any more than I set out to have an arranged marriage, raise two sons, or be the CEO of my own international design company. Deepa's Secrets is a hybrid cookbook and memoir, wherein I impart kitchen wisdom - recipe tips, techniques, menu plans, stories and advice for a healthy life."

The author has an amazing background steeped in success. She graduated Delhi University with degrees in journalism and political science before moving to the US. In 1985, she founded Deepa Textiles. After 23 design awards, the company has been credited with transforming the $10 billion a year contract furniture industry.

Since 2010, Deepa has combined her passion for journalism with her newfound love of cooking, deconstructing the principles of the most successful diets and healthy living practices in order to create a simple, slow carb New Indian cuisine. Apparently, there is nothing this woman can't do.

The Ginger cabbage slaw, General Joseph's five-star chicken batons, and her Best-ever oven-roasted sweet' potato fries (which Andrew, my son, did declare as best ever) are full of flavor and simple to replicate. Deepa's New Indian gremolata is my new favorite condiment. If you enjoy Indian cuisine, you need this book - stunning dishes that are good for you and approachable, make it a must-have.

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing the following recipes with us today and for providing three copies of Deepa's Secrets in our contest below. 

 

Smashed Chickpea and Toasted Peanut Cakes

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Vendors in Delhi used to toast peanuts on the streets during the cooler winter months. They'd light fires and warm the peanuts in their shells, then slip them into newspaper cones. The peanut-chickpea combo doubles the protein in this recipe for a great vegetarian meal, side, snack, or appetizer.

SERVES 6

Toast and grind:

  • ¼ teaspoon anise seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 cup peanuts, shelled, toasted, and rough chopped (skin-on Indian peanuts are fine)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut or chickpea (garbanzo) flour
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

Make ahead: Cakes, cooked or uncooked, freeze beautifully for a grab and go snack, appetizer, or meal. Use parchment or waxed paper to separate layers before freezing.

Toast and grind seeds. Mix all the remaining ingredients except for the flour and coconut oil. Use a hand blender to puree to a rough consistency. Check seasoning.

Shape into 2-inch patties.

Press patties into coconut or chickpea flour to help them hold their shape.

Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Use enough oil to "moisten" the pan (about one tablespoon).

Brown the cakes (several at a time, without crowding) over medium heat (about four minutes). Gently flip (I use two spatulas) and brown the other side (another four minutes). Repeat until all cakes are done. You may need to add oil between batches. Keep the finished cakes warm in a 200ºF oven until ready to serve.

Serve with Reemsie's Tamarind Sauce (p. 34) or Chutput Ketchup (p. 36) for dipping. (Recipes below.)

Reemsie's tamarind sauce
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Yield 1 cup

  • 6 Medjool dates (seeded and soaked)
  • 1 cup tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon (Lucknow) fennel seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teasoon chaat masala

Make ahead: Your Medjool dates need to be soaked in hot water for at least an hour. If you soak ahead, make sure to reserve the water.

1. Mix soaked dates with tamarind paste and dilute with reserved soaking water.

2. Add remaining ingredients.

3. Mix well and add more water to thin, if necessary. Check seasoning. 

4. Store in an airtight glass jar for up to two weeks in the fridge, and up to one month in the freezer. Reemsie's Sauce is great for dipping and glazing - brush fish with olive oil and Reemsie's Tamarind Sauce before cooking.

Chutput ketchup
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Yield 1 1/2 cups

  • 8 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teasopon chaat masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

1. Blend all ingredients well in a food processor or blender. Check seasoning. 

2. Refrigerate in an airtight glass jar for up to 2 weeks. 

The publisher is offering copies three of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on March 15th, 2018.

61 Comments

  • lauriesk  on  2/4/2018 at 4:19 PM

    Roasted cauliflower soup

  • Dannausc  on  2/4/2018 at 5:05 PM

    Deepa’s green sauce

  • Signe  on  2/4/2018 at 6:23 PM

    Mamamimi 's 'shroom soup

  • Karla123  on  2/4/2018 at 7:04 PM

    New Indian pesto and bean soup...flavorful and irresistible!

  • EmilyR  on  2/4/2018 at 8:20 PM

    Zingy citrusy salad dressing

  • AnnaZed  on  2/5/2018 at 12:45 AM

    Deepa's "Curry" powder sounds interesting. There are many, many things that can be called curry powder.

  • jmay42066  on  2/5/2018 at 9:19 AM

    Fried eggs on a bed of cabbage

  • sarahawker  on  2/5/2018 at 10:18 AM

    Quick chana masala

  • kmn4  on  2/5/2018 at 11:00 AM

    Dal for dummies!

  • lpatterson412  on  2/5/2018 at 1:56 PM

    Sweet and Spicy Mango Salad!!!

  • lean1  on  2/5/2018 at 2:59 PM

    Chop chop lamb chops!

  • maria411  on  2/5/2018 at 5:59 PM

    sweet and spicy mango salad

  • mjes  on  2/5/2018 at 6:24 PM

    Herbed asparagus and macadamia soup

  • LaurenE  on  2/5/2018 at 6:59 PM

    Sweet and Spicy Mango Salad

  • zesty77777  on  2/5/2018 at 10:48 PM

    sweet and spicy mango salad

  • rchesser  on  2/6/2018 at 3:02 PM

    Crackling okra! I love okra.

  • littleminxgirl  on  2/6/2018 at 5:18 PM

    I'd start with eggs on a bed of cabbage

  • ebs  on  2/7/2018 at 7:56 PM

    Crackling okra! I love it too

  • sdg8trgrl  on  2/8/2018 at 2:31 PM

    Truck stop pork chops

  • Siegal  on  2/8/2018 at 8:33 PM

    I want to mke the peppery papadum

  • sgump  on  2/9/2018 at 4:59 PM

    The crackling okra indeed sound lovely!

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 7:29 AM

    New Indian pesto and bean soup

  • Sharmiro  on  2/11/2018 at 10:49 AM

    Deepas secret spice sounds so good!

  • mpdeb98  on  2/11/2018 at 4:55 PM

    General Joseph's five-star chicken batons

  • Lem9579  on  2/14/2018 at 5:26 PM

    Crackling okra

  • ravensfan  on  2/15/2018 at 12:59 PM

    Dal for dummies!

  • LeePicard  on  2/15/2018 at 6:54 PM

    Ammachi's clay pot fish molee. But honestly, it's a very hard choice. I've always wanted to learn to cook like this. We eat heavily vegetarian and this book will have many spice rubs/sauces/recipes that work for us. I do make dahl frequently but the way of combining spices for the different sauces is still a mystery to me. The smashed chickpea and toasted peanut cakes look amazing. I think I'll have to try that next week!

  • Scotsman61  on  2/16/2018 at 9:44 PM

    Chop chop lamb chops

  • Floramaven  on  2/17/2018 at 12:41 PM

    Sucy's lemon pickle with Medjool dates entices!

  • JenJoLa  on  2/17/2018 at 6:08 PM

    You had me at the Smashed Chickpea and Toasted Peanut Cakes recipe.

  • centraljersey  on  2/17/2018 at 8:21 PM

    Kerala quinoa or the sweet potato fries

  • lgroom  on  2/19/2018 at 2:02 PM

    Crackling okra

  • amyz218  on  2/20/2018 at 4:47 PM

    Hot and crispy cabbage sounds great!

  • icicle  on  2/20/2018 at 9:26 PM

    Barley pilaf

  • RickPearson54  on  2/25/2018 at 1:32 PM

    Barley pilaf

  • jaelsne  on  2/25/2018 at 1:44 PM

    crackling okra

  • rosyannposy  on  2/25/2018 at 3:11 PM

    Those Chickpea and Peanut cakes look delicious.

  • PennyG  on  2/25/2018 at 4:09 PM

    Peppery papadum!

  • HermionieG  on  2/25/2018 at 4:55 PM

    Eggplant Roulades

  • rachael_mc  on  2/25/2018 at 5:34 PM

    quick chana masala

  • feliciakw  on  2/26/2018 at 7:44 AM

    Aviel - veggies!!

  • Sfgordon  on  2/26/2018 at 3:15 PM

    Sweet and Spicy mango salad!

  • tararr  on  2/26/2018 at 3:39 PM

    Chop chop lamb chops

  • parnassus  on  2/27/2018 at 11:03 PM

    omg clay pot fish molee

  • lhavard  on  2/27/2018 at 11:40 PM

    Keralan fisherman’s prawns

  • bluestocking  on  2/28/2018 at 8:11 AM

    Ralph's garlicky spinach a la dal

  • Julia  on  2/28/2018 at 10:41 PM

    I would start with making the curry powder. I’ve always wanted to make that instead of buying it made.

  • BrandonGM  on  3/1/2018 at 10:32 AM

    Crackling okra, its so hard to find a good Okra dish!

  • RecipesLost  on  3/1/2018 at 10:48 AM

    Scented chai

  • ket06e  on  3/1/2018 at 11:54 AM

    Quick Chana Masala!

  • rrobb  on  3/1/2018 at 7:21 PM

    Spicy snacking peanuts! I love a good pantry recipe.

  • t.t  on  3/3/2018 at 2:42 AM

    Magic finishing spice

  • beetlebug  on  3/3/2018 at 4:59 PM

    Snacking peanuts!

  • RSW  on  3/4/2018 at 10:27 AM

    Sucy's lemon pickle with Medjool dates (

  • Jenamarie  on  3/8/2018 at 9:27 AM

    Kerala quinoa! Yum!

  • Coffeebean  on  3/9/2018 at 10:44 PM

    Sweet and spicy mango salad

  • NaomiH  on  3/12/2018 at 12:11 PM

    Roasted Cauliflower Soup

  • kelliwinter  on  3/12/2018 at 7:13 PM

    Reemsie's tamarind sauce

  • genie28  on  3/15/2018 at 8:38 AM

    I've never tried to make my own tamarind sauce so that's definitely going on the list - my kids love that stuff! 2nd - The Cacciatore recipe sounds pretty tasty.

  • vickster  on  3/15/2018 at 10:05 AM

    Lucky, Lively Black-eyed Peas

  • ejsimpson  on  3/15/2018 at 1:53 PM

    There are two that are screaming at me...one being Dal for Dummies as Dal intimidates me for some reason...and second is, Truck stop pork chops because this speaking to me. Make me!

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