From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Legendary chef, notable actress, and prolific author Jaffrey demystifies Indian cuisine for the home cook in this appealing and flavorful collection. Jaffrey highlights dishes that are simple, straightforward, and ideal for time-pressed cooks by utilizing simpler methods and fewer steps than traditionally used. Her recipes hail mostly from India but also from southern Asia and reflect the diversity of this large geographical area. From chickpeas for nibbling or chicken mulligatawny soup to eggplant with fennel and cumin, she showcases easy-to-make dishes with readily accessible ingredients. She offers a wide array of fish and seafood dishes including spicy stir-fry shrimp, mussels in a creamy coconut sauce, and squid curry. Jaffrey also includes chapters on eggs and poultry, meat, rice and grains, and desserts. Not surprisingly, sections on vegetables, dal, and chutneys are especially tantalizing, with South Indian–style green beans, potato chaat with variations, green lentils with green beans and cilantro, black-eyed peas with butternut squash, and peanut chutney with sesame seeds. With more than 30 color photos, this book is as attractive as it is appetizing, and Jaffrey's legions of fans will eagerly embrace her newest compilation.
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Jaffrey adds to her already considerable output with a very attractive new cookbook of easily prepared, thoughtful, and unusual dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Anyone looking to explore Indian cooking for the first time will find this volume uniquely helpful. Jaffrey limits ingredients in most recipes to fewer than a dozen, and she restrains the range of required spices to a small handful that can generally be bought in any decently stocked supermarket. In addition to the sorts of stewed vegetable dishes typical of Indian cooking, there are meat and seafood offerings less generally recognized. Lamb shanks braise in an aromatic sauce. She even offers pork sausage patties. Cooks who don’t ordinarily consider Indian cuisine at home may be intrigued by Jaffrey’s inventory of appetizers such as spicy popcorn and perfumed almonds, which present unexpected flavors that will wow as preprandial snacks or between-meal munchies. --Mark Knoblauch
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