From Publishers Weekly
Paneer Kofta (Paneer Cheese Balls in Curry Sauce) takes at least three hours to prepare, but the result, with a creamy, deeply flavored sauce and crisp balls of tender cheese, is so good that a cook might be tempted to fly to Berkeley, Calif., for the sole purpose of eating at Ajanta, the award-winning restaurant on which this cookbook is based. These recipes are not easy: those that use just a few ingredients, like the Gajar Halva (Carrot Pudding with Nuts) take at least an hour and a half to make. Finding dried fenugreek for Methi Wala Alu Gobi Matar (Potatoes, Peas and Cauliflower with Fenugreek) might take longer than the Mango Mousse does to freeze. Moorjani does all he can to make the process easier, and complex instructions are usually accompanied by step-by-step photographs, particularly for the regional breads. Each chapter also includes a shopping list, which can make the search for specialty ingredients easier. Though these additions are helpful, the indexing makes navigating and finding recipes difficult, as recipes are listed under their full, often unfamiliar, names and are not always included under the logical heading. The rest of the book sparkles with personal touches and the author's memories that go along with many of the dishes. With its upbeat section on pairing wine with Indian food (yes, it's possible), Moorjani's book could easily become the introductory bible of haute Indian cuisine.
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From the Inside Flap
Ajanta: Distinctive Indian Cuisine
From Ajanta Restaurant in Berkeley, California, comes the essence, flavors, and richness of Indian cuisine. Ajanta: Distinctive Indian Cuisine captures the best recipes from Bengal to Kashmir to Delhi to Punjab, bringing to life for the western palate the most pleasing of Indian fare. Traditional Indian favorites and the author's own creations merge to create a fusion of Indian dishes that are sought out by lovers of Indian food throughout the United States.
You will discover delicious recipes that will become addictive whether they are old favorites or completely new to you, including Paneer Cheese Cakes in Thickened Milk Sauce, Stuffed Chile Peppers in Chickpea Batter, Spicy Scallop Cakes, Chicken Mulligatawney, Lamb in Mint Curry Sauce, Tandoori Asparagus, and Mango Mousse.
In the cookbook, each region has a menu for a feast that includes an appetizer, main dish, side dish, rice dish, bread, and dessert. A chapter is devoted to tips on Indian cooking and another chapter to introducing Indian ingredients. The author's succinct style and specific instructions make the recipes very accessible whether you have ventured into this type of cooking before or not. The book is beautifully illustrated with full-color food photography as well as dozens of color process shots that show step-by-step how to make the dishes. Step into the sensual world of Indian cooking with Ajanta, and bring to life the fabulous feasts of India.
Lachu Moorjani was born in the state of Sind, India, which later became Pakistan. He grew up in Rajasthan, and later moved to Bombay. Lachu immigrated to the United States in December of 1969. Formally trained in engineering, he left this field in December of 1987 to open a small restaurant in Berkeley, called New Delhi Junction. In 1993, he sold New Delhi Junction and opened Ajanta. Lachu lives with his wife in Berkeley, California.