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Curried Favors: Family Recipes from South India Hardcover – October, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Few cooks know their subject as personally as Maya Kaimal MacMillan who in Curried Favors focuses on the less familiar cooking of Southern India, particularly the province of Kerala, her family's original home. "Curry," she informs us, correctly refers to a range of dishes calling for differing blends of spices known as "masalas." Coconut, curry leaves, and mustard seeds are particularly key in the wet masalas often used by her aunt and others in Southern India. MacMillan offers intelligent substitutions, where necessary. Curried Favors provides detailed directions so you can comfortably try dishes such as Idli, Yogurt, Aviyals, Kichadis, and Pachadis as well as more familiar northern favorites such as Khormas and Biriyanis. Something of a mini-coffee table book, Curried Favors would be a good gift, thanks to its handsome presentation and MacMillan's conversational commentary.

Review

"Looking for a great cookbook?Not only is it a beautifully bound bookbut its offerings are delicious alternatives to now mundane dishes like curry chicken and rice." -- Redbook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1st edition (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789200554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789200556
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Easy to follow.
Jay
We have tried many recipes from many different books, and after the last few years, we have found this one to be the very best.
"camhu3"
Come home and start making the best Indian food you have ever tasted.
drdebs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By drdebs on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
My recipe for success: After you receive this book, make a list of all the spices and cooking stuff (like Tamarind Paste) that you don't have. Go shopping. Come home and start making the best Indian food you have ever tasted. Begin inviting your friends over for the best Indian food they have ever tasted. Enjoy.
This wonderful cookbook is a treat in many ways. There are beautiful pictures, clear explanations of techniques, detailed descriptions of products you need (and substitutions if you can't find curry leaves, like me!), and accurate estimates of time needed for preparation and cooking. And that doesn't even take into account the marvelous food that you will rather effortlessly produce!
Indian food is really starting to become popular in the US, and in Europe South Indian food (the kind featured in this book) is the trendiest wave of Indian cuisine. I find the cuisine of South India less heavy and "brighter" than many Mughal dishes, and I think that even those of you who haven't particularly liked Indian food in the past will gobble up the food in this book. Some of my favorites include Shrimp Thiyal (yummy coconut-shrimp curry), Lamb Korma (admittedly a Mughal dish, and you can easily substitute chicken), and the spinach Dhal (green split peas with spinach and flakes of coconut).
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Soudamini M. Nath on February 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book is well written and demonstrated with color photos. This makes it very impressive. The receipes are easy to follow. I gave this book as a gift to my son, since he always asks me the receipes for some of the Kerala food. Every time I give him the receipes, he loses it or complaints that the measurment is not easy to follow. Then I found this book and I was really excited. This is the best Kerala receipe book that I have ever found that is close to my home town cooking. Thanks to Maya.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Leslie D. Ehrlich on November 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I do a lot of cooking, and this book enables me to produce more flavorful, interesting results for a given -- modest -- amount of work than just about any other book on my shelf. And you don't have to love or even know anything about Indian food to love the results.
What makes it so terrific? First, the recipes are clear and easy to follow, from the crisp ingredient lists to the step-by-step instructions that give just the right amount of detail to keep you confidently on track. No more guessing about how brown the onions should be; she tells you.
Next, while the ingredient lists can be long, half tend to be spices you simply throw together before you start, and just about everything can be found in the average American supermarket. (Yes, really.)
Third, from a technique perspective its demands are modest -- chop, saute, simmer -- so even novice or unconfident cooks can produce good results. And, most recipes take the same basic steps in the same order so the more you use the book the more you grow in speed and confidence. The only thing that's a pain is she sometimes calls for a meat which is hard to find off the bone, e.g., chicken thighs. Sometimes I bone... and sometimes I substitute boneless chicken breasts. Either works just fine.
Lastly, the meat recipes come with accompaniment suggestions -- veg, rice -- which is very helpful for those not well versed in Indian cuisine.
All in all, this book is now one of few dependable staples I take down every other week to do my menu planning and shopping lists. And it will be for you, too.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Abreu on October 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I Was disappointed with this book. There are several recipes that are not a staple of south India such as paneer, rogan josh, puris, koftas and birayani and chapatis--the list goes on--. I already have plenty of north Indian cookbooks so these recipes are not the kind that I was looking for. I suppose she used them as fillers. I was rather annoyed when I looked up the recipe for dosas. She substituted the rice in the recipe for wheat--not a common starch in south India--I would have been ok with this if she would have included the original recipe as well. She claims it's too "tricky" so she omits it. I have found nothing in this book that I did not find by doing an Internet search. As a matter of fact I did find the traditional dosa recipe that this book omits
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book with little knowledge of Indian cooking. The recipies, however, are well explained and easy to follow. The dishes I've prepared have been wonderful tastes on the palette. It's hard to figure out which recipie is the best -- they're all so great! The tandoori chicken and chicken vindaloo were incredible. The coconut rice a treat to eat. The vegetables tangy and a pleasure to eat. If you like to cook and you like spicy food flavoured with a hint of coconut and other exotic spices -- it's a must! Great presentation style and an informative introduction to each of the ingredients and where you can find them makes this book a winner from the novice to the expert chef
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elena Hernandez on May 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was searching for an Indian Cookbook and a friend of mine recommended "Curried Favors". She had treated a group of fellow Indian food lovers including me to dinner and her dishes came from this book, so finally I ordered it a few weeks ago myself.

So I went shopping for ingredients and set myself in the kitchen to prepare Chicken Biriyani, Potatoes and Tomatoes, Eggplant and Tomatoes (both are vegetable curries), and Raita. They were awesome dishes and best of all, easy to follow recipes that even the novice cook can make.

I have really enjoyed this book, and would recommend as an introduction to Indian cooking.
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