Apple Relish with Mint – Book Review and Giveaway

Apple Relish_sqmdApples are probably in season almost all the time in New York, I am still amazed to find the range of varieties that this versatile fruit has to offer. The recipe that I am about to feature today, whips up the apple, into a simple relish and offers you a different way to celebrate the everyday apple. Lovely and enticing as the recipe is, I want to share a little more about the author of the recipe and her latest cookbook.

Many moons ago, when I was a graduate student I remember my delight in spying a small no-fuss volume entitled something like Healthful Indian Cooking at our local library. Closer observation and exploration, led to my realizing that the collection of recipes were mostly influenced by South Indian flavors. It was a small pocket sized book, with a yellowish cover and a chock-ful of user friendly recipes.

This was the first edition of Alamelu’s cookbook, that is currently on to its third edition called Healthy South Indian Cooking. I

I am delighted to report that Alamelu has paired up registered dietician Margaret Pfeffer with to come up with her second cookbook, Indian Inspired Gluten-Free cooking. Sticking to her general emphasis of healthy Indian cooking, this time Alamelu has moved her focus to the ever increasing Gluten-Free population.

The beautifully illustrated book, has over 100 simple and well tested recipes using powerful, but essential India spices. The essential spices of garlic, curry leaves and black pepper all hallmarks of Alamelu’s Chettinaad heritage are prominently enmeshed in the recipes of the book. The book includes several lovely vegetable recipes, ranging in diversity from tri-colored bell pepper stir-fries, simple mushroom sautés to well seasoned spaghetti squash dishes.  Super grains like Quinoa get a lovely Indian makeover, from the addition of pistachios, vegetables and Indian spices.

What I love about the simplicity of these recipes is that they allow plenty of room for embelishment and are of course, great just as they are.

I have already shared a stir-fried mushroom recipe that has been inspired by her cookbook here. I will also tell you, that while I do have a preference for this lighter quick fix recipes, especially in these super-hot summer days, there is a hearty lamb stew that has my name on it and will show up on my table one of these days.


The book offers good information in the basic ingredients, however is a little stark and dry in its presentation. However, possibly in a world where we do not see enough cookbooks that cut through the chase and offer just the recipes this book might offer a welcome change. In keeping with the saying, A picture says a thousand words, the simple instructions are supplemented by stunning pictures, that offer a good visual on what the finished dish should look like. One lucky reader, will be recieving a free copy of the cookbook and for all the others, I encourage you to visit pick up a copy for yourself.

To qualify for the giveaway, please stop by facebook page and like me. Then in the comments, please let me know that you have done this and why you would like a copy of the cookbook.

Now, onto the recipe that I have spruced up a little with some mint and ginger.

Apple Relish with Mint

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 11/2 teaspoons freshy grated ginger (my addition)
  • 1 granny smith apple shredded (note, I used a honeycrisp, grated it with the skin on and added 11/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced mint (my addition)


  1. Heat the oil on medium heat and add in the mustard seeds and wait for the seeds to crackle.
  2. Stir in the ginger and saute lightly for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the apple and saute lightly for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the apple softens and the juices begin to run.
  4. Add in the red cayenne pepper and the black salt and mix well.
  5. Cook for another minute and stir in the mint and mix well. Cool and serve as needed.


Recipe adapted from, Indian Inspired Gluten Free Cooking Alamelu Vairavan and Margaret Pfeiffer May 2013

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  1. Simran Silva says:

    Hi Rinku,

    I liked your page on Facebook. Being a lover of Indian cuisine and someone who HAS to be gluten free, this is the PERFECT cookbook for me! Thank you for the great review and giveaway! Have an awesome day! :)

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