Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ginger Honey Shrimp ala Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken; A Book Review

The folks over at the Book Club Cookbook introduced some of us to author Monica Bhide who kindly offered us a free download of her cookbook, Karma and the art of Butter Chicken, based on her novel of the same name.

I downloaded the cookbook and ordered the novel onto my kindle from Amazon.  Today I am sharing my thoughts on both and while I appreciate the free download of the cookbook I will only offer my complete, honest opinion in regards to both books and the recipe I made.  The novel, which I purchased, is shareable so if you are one of my kindle friends and would like to borrow this book just let me know.  First come, first served.

The novel takes place in Delhi, India where the rich are very rich and the poor are everywhere.  The story centers around a young man, Eshaan, who was rescued and raised by Buddhist monks after helplessly watching his mother starve to death.  Eshaan, is unable to overcome the guilt and accept the fact that he was too young to have saved his mother from this terrible fate.  He has decided to make it his life mission to feed the hungry.  But more than that he wants to give the hungry hope and a sense of purpose.  Eshaan, with the help of many others that we get to know and care about in this novel, opens the Karma Kitchen.

Product Details

I love learning of other cultures and this book was a true eye opener for me, who has had very limited contact with Indians or Buddhists.  I don't think I have ever, personally,  met anyone of the Buddhist faith.  I have met several Indians through blogging but personally have only had contact with Indians in a professional setting where their culture has not been discussed.  I know from other books and movies that there is a huge disparity in India between the haves and have nots but being from the USA cannot really fathom people actually starving to death.  Not only did I find the historical aspect of the book interesting, I loved the story and the characters that I got to meet while reading this novel. There is going to be a sequel and I, for sure, will be reading it to find out what happens in the lives of these people that I now consider friends.  I would highly recommend this book and it is only $4.99 to download it to your kindle.

I am definitely going to make the Butter Chicken found in the cookbook but it was not the first recipe that I decided to make.  I was having a dinner party and the first section of Monica's cookbook is dedicated to appetizers.  Perfect!!   I decided to serve the Ginger Honey Shrimp with cocktails before dinner.  I did make some adjustments.  I bought some fresh ginger just for this dish but I'll be danged if I could find it when I went to prepare this dish.  The ginger elf must have stolen it or something.  I normally have ginger paste from Gourmet Garden, but, of course, since I had company coming and needed to have it, I didn't.  What I did have was some Gourmet Garden Thai seasoning paste that contains ginger, chili pepper, cilantro and lemongrass.  I knew this would work as the recipe also called for chili flakes.  There is lemon in the recipe so I knew the lemongrass would fit in and the cilantro added a bit of freshness to the dish.  The other change I made was to cook my shrimp on a griddle instead of my grill pan which I still haven't located since the move.

We were having 6 for dinner so I made 3 large shrimp per person for a total of 18 shrimp.  The marinade is enough for a pound of shrimp.  I let the shrimp marinade for a few hours, putting them on the grill right before guests were due to arrive.  These shrimp were wonderful!  The perfect blend of sweet and hot that needed no sauce to accompany it.

Thank you, Monica, for authoring not only a great novel but the cookbook from which I got this recipe.  I am looking forward to trying the other recipes, especially the butter chicken.

This will also be my final #FoodiesRead for 2016.  I have had a lot of fun with this challenge.  My goal was to read 9-13 food related books. I read 2 in January, 2 in February, 2 in March, 1 in April, 2 in May, 1 in June, a whopping 5 in July, but not a one in August, back to 4 in September, 1 in October, 1 in November and this entry for December for a total of 22, far exceeding my goal!!  I have read and reviewed a total of 44 books this year.  Check them out on my 2016 Reading List.

Ginger Honey Shrimp
adapted from Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken Cookbook

1 T. honey
1 1/2 t. thai seasons paste
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. large shrimp, cleaned, deveined and peeled with tails intact
1 T. olive oil

Whisk together the honey, thai paste, lemon juice and garlic in a large bowl.  Add the shrimp, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Set a grill pan or griddle over high heat.  Remove the shrimp from the marinade and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through.  Be careful not to overcook the shrimp or it will be tough.


  1. I love shrimp and this sounds very good. I don't know if I can read another book about India right now. Maybe in the future!!

    1. Yes, I find it difficult to read about the disparity between the rich and poor in that country as well especially when, though you may be reading a novel, you know there is so much truth in it.

  2. You read so many foodie books this year! This one sounds like one I'd enjoy. I'll have to look for it.

    1. I think you would enjoy it Heather. I know you like to read of other cultures as I do.

  3. Both the novel and cookbook sound great. Our library doesn't have them, so I'll probably order on my Amazon Prime. Thanks for the review.


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