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From Bengal to Punjab: The Cuisines of India Paperback – October 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Crossing Press (October 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895945096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895945099
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,333,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Over the past several years, Indian cookery has made inroads into the American food scene. And people are beginning to discover there's a lot more to it than curry. For those not well acquainted with Indian cooking, this is a good introduction to a wide-ranging cuisine. As the title suggests, styles vary from region to region, and Canadian journalist Chandra does her best to reflect these differences in her choice of fare. Easy-to-follow recipes cover everything from drinks to side dishes and desserts, and take in both meat and vegetarian foods. Chandra prudently describes different cooking methods and ingredients; recipes for producing such basics as coconut milk, ghee (clarified butter) and cottage cheese are provided. This is also a good source for anyone seeking lighter fare with less emphasis on meat. At least one problem faces cooks, though: some ingredients, chiefly spices and herbs, will not be quickly or simply obtained without access to Asian or Indian markets. An alternative: avail yourself of the mail-order list Chandra offers; substitution or omission is not an option.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Other than Julie Sahni's and Madhur Jaffrey's books, there are few good Indian cookbooks available here. Chandra's collection of family-style dishes is an approachable introduction to the cuisine, including a variety of simple regional recipes. The headnotes are good, and while most of the ingredients called for are readily available, Chandra includes a shopping guide for those essential spices that may be more difficult to find. For subject collections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Can't wait to try some of the recipes.
shawnigirl
I remember the recipes as being relatively easy and understandable.
Songbird
If you enjoy cooking Indian food, you will want this book.
Gwilym Archer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gwilym Archer on March 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
From Bengal to Punjab is an excellent Indian cookbook. There are almost 200 recipes, each with clear instructions, many with comments on regional characteristics and suggestions for use as part of a meal. Best of all, these are dishes full of honest flavors, rather than the watered down or too simplified spicing that other Indian cookbooks often feature. The preparations are straightforward, and not at all fussy. The chapters on dals and vegetables are the best I have found (the Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Chana Dal with dried fenugreek leaves are addictive.) There are fewer meat recipes, but these include a wonderful, rich Rogan Josh and an Attu Kari (lamb in a Madras style) that greatly improves on a similar recipe I have in another book. The chapter on seafood has some delicious shrimp recipes and a fish recipe, in which fish fillets are marinated in a fresh coriander masala, that is simply the best I have ever tasted. A real bonus is a whole chapter of some 20 barbecue or tandoori recipes. If you enjoy cooking Indian food, you will want this book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I got tired of Indian cookbooks with 35 ingredients for every recipe. They sound exotic but intimidate the reader right away, and a lot of them don't end up tasting very good anyway. I don't remember my mom needing so many ingredients for any of her recipes. I was looking for a book that would give me recipes that taste just like mom's cooking, are practical, and actually turn out like they're supposed to. This book offers a fantastic variety and is a great buy for Indian and non-Indian cooks!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By chefdevergue VINE VOICE on August 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
Echoing another reviewer, this is by no means a comprehensive examination of Indian cuisine. The cuisines of southern India tend to be neglected in favor of more familiar Mughal recipes. Smita Chandra addresses regional cooking more equitably in her "Cuisines of India." Also, the recipes contained in "From Bengal to Punjab" are not grand recipes that would be served as a centerpiece at a banquet; they are simple, basic recipes which are easy to make but not dazzling.
If you keep that in mind, you will find this a most satisfying cookbook, which will introduce you to the basic components and techniques of Indian cooking. I have used this cookbook for over 10 years, and have always been happy with the results.
The cookbook is inexpensive, well laid out, and the recipes are very easy to follow. There are virtually no ingredients in these recipes that you cannot find in most good urban market these days, which reflects the rising popularity of ethnic cuisines. If you are interested in learning the basics of Indian cuisine, then this is a very good cookbook to use for that purpose.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By littlelentil on February 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Three years ago, I purchased this book wishing to recreate dishes that I had at local Indian restaurants and to save money. I got more than I bargained for! Since then I bought several other Indian cookbooks, but I cook from this book most often. I no longer need to go to restaurants to taste Indian cuisine because I can cook better! Everything I cooked so far were delicious; I have impressed my Indian friends! Legume and vegetable sections are especially good for people who wants to have more vegetables in their diet and enjoy them too. I think many recipes are from northern India. Ms. Chandra gives menu suggestions and how to vary a dish with her charming writing style. Thank you Mrs. Chandra!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an Indian food freak, and have a tendency to buy Indian cookbooks often. Overall this is definitely my favorite. The instructions are very clear (as opposed to some of my other Indian cookbooks, where they state something like, "cook onions for 5 minutes", which could be anywhere from barely sweated to brown at the edges depending on the heat and your particular stove), and all of the recipes I have tried have been delicious. I especially love the Chicken with Coconut Milk and Ground Lamb with Peas (much better than some of the other versions I've tried). This is a must-have for lovers of Indian cuisine!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer K. Cosham on December 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Smita Chandra's From Bengal to Punjab is one of the two books I use most often when cooking Indian food. She begins with a discussion of the various spices and herbs, with notes about availability, preparation, and storage. Then she discusses appliances and techniques, with helpful suggestions. She provides recipes for basic things such as ghee, coconut milk, and paneer, in case they are unavailable in local stores. She then goes on to suggest menus, with combinations of dishes that go well together. All before the cookbook proper begins. I love the variety of the dishes, particularly the 15 different chicken dishes. Some are nutty, some herby, some with spices you dry-roast yourself and grind, and with a variety of sauce bases, with not only yogurt and coconut milk, but also whipping cream or tomatoes. I must say that once in a while it takes food longer to cook on my stove than hers. My cumin seeds take more than 1 or 2 seconds to darken, and my eggplant takes far longer to fry than hers seems to. However, because of her descriptions of how the food should look, I can tell how long I need to keep cooking it. It's as if she's providing a cooking lesson with each recipe. Highly recommended.
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