The Unlikely Farmer

Suvir Saran, of New York City’s Devi, cooks and shares his adventures on a farm in his new cookbook

Masala Farm

For a man who doesn’t know how to drive a car, buying a farm in upstate New York seemed like an outrageous and, perhaps, foolish decision. The picture-perfect pastoral scene that’s often depicted on yogurt or milk containers also comes with a harsh and often difficult reality. Dairy farming, and farming in general, is not easy — there’s more to milking a cow or raising a goat than just owning it. But Suvir Saran and his partner were inspired and determined.

After purchasing their 67-acre farm, complete with three ponds and apple trees, the duo set out to make the most of their land, and it ended up inspiring their cooking more than anything else. The farm, like Saran’s recent cookbook, is named Masala, after the Hindi word for "spice." He explains that it loosely refers to either a single spice or to a spice blend, like the commonly known garam masala.

Now the owner of four dozen goats and numerous breeds of chickens, the proud farmer, chef, and instructor happily incorporates his love and appreciation of Indian spices into the realities of rural living. The result? Fresh and flavorful recipes that are both resourceful and practical (not to mention fantastically delicious).

The book is split into seasons, and so the recipes below are meant to give a preview of the upcoming bounty that will be available come spring. 

 

Asparagus and Green Pea Risotto with Fresh Herb Tarka

An Italian staple that's made with a tarka (seasoned oil) instead of broth.

 

 

 

 

 

Banana-Caramel Pudding

A Southern-inspired recipe that's topped with a homemade caramel sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Egg Salad on Croissants with Country Bacon and Arugula

A hearty breakfast (or lunch) sandwich that will definitely start the day off well.