I’ve got several books to review that I have been sent as part of the Parragon Book Buddies scheme, and time, as usual, always runs away with me, and it’s about time I caught up and told you all about them!
This brightly coloured recipe book brings you 100 authentic recipes from across India. I have cooked several curries from scratch before, and it’s not quite as daunting as you might think it is. We love Indian food – so full of flavour and spice, and this is a book that I hope to cook out of sooner rather than later!
The book starts with an introduction and brief history of Indian cuisine which is a fascinating read. Indian food is steeped in a rich culinary history with influences from all over the world. The most fascinating thing that I read was…
Many Indian dishes may have evolved from the principles of Ayurveda – a holistic approach to food and its preparation based around balancing the six tastes of sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.
– Recipes From An Indian Kitchen
The book then goes on to discus regional cuisine from north, south, east and west India, where the type of dishes prepared are all very different. Again, a fascinating read, punctuated with gorgeous photographs from India and the food.
Next up is a list of essential equipment for cooking Indian food. Scanning the list, I have got most of them, except for the spice grinder for preparing fresh spice blends.
Before getting to the recipes, there is all this in depth information to read through, and another reason why I love to read a cookbook! There is a glossary of ingredients describing some of the more unusual things you will have to source like fenugreek and dried mango powder. There are also recipes for spice blends and pastes, before getting to chapter 1 – Raitas, Chutneys & Pickles.
The book is broken up into 6 chapters, the first which I’ve mentioned, then Snacks & Appetizers, Main Dishes, Pulses, Rice & Breads and finally, Desserts & Drinks. Every recipe you need for putting together a wonderful Indian feast.
Each recipe has got either a small image which clearly shows how the finished dish should look like (I never understand recipe books that don’t have photographs) or a large, full page image. There are also tips on a lot of the recipes, like letting you know that you can make the dish in advance for example.
The recipes are nicely laid out on a full page, and give the Indian name for the dish as well as the English name too – Macher Jhal is Bengali Fish Curry.
As you flick through, you see beautiful double page spreads with photographs of India, the people and the cuisine – it’s truly a lovely recipe book.
As I said, I hope to cook from this very soon, and at the top of my list has to be Goan Spiced Chicken, (although, it has coconut milk in it, and hubs isn’t a fan of that stuff!) and the Chhole Tamattar (Chickpeas with spiced tomatoes) sounds like a very yummy veggie dish.
In closing, if you love Indian food, please check this book out, it’s full of so many wonderful sounding dishes, and the photographs alone are enough to make me want to cook Indian food all day long!
Recipes From An Indian Kitchen costs £16 and is available from Parragon Books.