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50 Great Curries of India Paperback – December 30, 2005
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As the title promises, the book has 50 curry recipes... as well as several accompaniments (such as bread, rice, and raita) and a 60 page introductory section on ingredients. There's quite a selection here, in main ingredient (lamb, fish, chicken, vegetables), region, spiciness, etc. Twenty of the recipes call for lamb, 11 for chicken, 9 fish and shellfish, 12 vegetarian (from potato curry to, of all things, watermelon and mango curries).
Nothing calls for beef or pork, but I think most of the lamb dishes could be prepared with them. We dislike lamb, so at our house the lamb and apricot curry is more likely to use inauthentic pork, and bori curry (with nuts, sesame seeds, tamarind and potatoes) will probably be made with beef.
Every dish has an attractive photo, so you have some idea what you'll end up with. While many recipes have a long list of ingredients, none is particularly hard -- assuming that you can get your hands on the spices. If you have a spice shop or Internet store from which you can buy black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and tamarind you'll be set. But there's plenty to cook if you're stuck with the selection in your local grocery store. Most are strongly spiced, but not all are exceptionally "hot." These aren't fast recipes, but *darn* they're good -- and most curries reheat very well; they're stews, after all.
The curries in this book are from the British Indian community rather than an American idea of Indian food. I've found that most U.S.Read more ›
1. this book says to whisk natural yogurt, natural yoghurt never works just whisked (I use greek yoghurt instead), and many indian chefs add flour or for a more authentic taste powdered dhal to the yoghurt to when whisking to assure that it does not split when cooking (greek yoghurt can split too!), at first I used cornflour to whisk into the yoghurt after many failed splitting curries and it worked every time but now I use gram flour to eleviate glugginess.
2. when the book says to add water at the end of the cooking of onions and spices, the amounts made for a very watery weak flavoured gravy as liquid was also being added from the meat, so halving or even thirding this makes it work much better and provides a fuller flavoured gravy
If you address these 2 areas you can end up with a very nice book, the madras style curry and the meat cooked with cardamon being standouts.
Oct 2011 update: i have recently got the 2004 reissue of this book with 10 extra curries and is can say it worth getting. It is smaller than my 1994 edition (which this review was based on) and not as pretty but the extras are well worht it.
The major problem with the book is that the recipes are not proofread properly. In the introduction, the author waxes lyrical about a bright red curry that one of her schoolfriends used to eat, she then includes this "Parsee red chicken curry" recipe in the book but the ingredients don't tie up with the instructions and some of the errors are material. For example, the recipe instructions call for you to prepare 400ml of Coconut milk and then you are instructed to use "800ml of the coconut milk" in the cooking process. The amount of fresh coconut also does not add up and you'll have some left over if you follow the instructions. Other readers of this book have also noted that there are other recipes which have similar problems. Obviously one can use judgement but this book is in its umpteenth printing and one would think they'd have ironed out the errors by now.
I have made the garam masala and what the author refers to as "Daag" (although I haven't seen this term used elsewhere). I freeze the Daag and use it as a base for a basic curry or an improvised variation. I also use the garam masala as per Camellia's instructions and it is very fragrant and much better than anything I've ever bought.
The recipe for Vindaloo is excellent and I also had high praise from my family for the Goa Fish Curry. The main issue I have with the recipes in general is the amount of liquid is often wrong and you have to use your own judgement.Read more ›
I have two pieces of advice if you use this book. The first one is obvious and that is to read through the recipes beforehand. A bit of planning can really speed things up. The second is to avoid the 'beginner's curry' at the start; it is not particularly nice and the other curries in the book are not so madly complex that you'd need to work up to them!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic and beautiful, a treasure. Also a very hand resource.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It appears the book has been translated without much care: repeated ingredients; vague or conflicting instructions; etc. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wicky
Amazing cookbook. The recipes, the one's I've tried, are terrific starting points. They're complex but worth the effort.Published 3 months ago by John H. Weiss
Being British, I grew up around Indian food and love curries. I used to have many Indian cookbooks but threw several out when I moved. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brit Abroad
The best indian cookbook I've found. Varied, clear and simple recipes.Published 7 months ago by tlaloc
Would have been great but mutilated by inferior packaging.Foolish way to post such from England to New Zealand. Read morePublished 10 months ago by ROBBEE
Let me preface my review by disclosing that I have been using this book since the year in which it was first published, and so I cannot tell whether the text has been revised in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by maria eng