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Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes Hardcover – August 31, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (August 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609611011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609611012
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's much to like in this informative cookbook, which offers an accessible take (if, inevitably, not a comprehensive one) on one of the world's most vast and complex regional cuisines. It's a natural development for Saran, who teaches Indian cooking classes and opened the New York restaurant Amma last year. Such expertise is welcome in a book that cherry-picks freely from Moghul meat dishes, Gujerati dals, Hyderabadi greens and Punjabi tandoor dishes. That said, many of the curries are familiar, like Chicken Tikka Masala and Simple Lamb Curry with Coriander and Garam Masala. Surprisingly straightforward vegetable dishes include Smoked Spiced Eggplant, and Crisp Whole Okra with Fennel and Coriander. Rice dishes range from simple (Cumin-Scented Rice Pilaf) to elaborate (Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Nuts and Currants). Lassis, raitas, breads and some unexpectedly Western-sounding desserts (e.g., Blueberry-Lemon Pie and Gingersnap Pudding) complete the volume. Unfortunately, the book's minuscule print poses a nuisance for home cooks, who may be called upon to dash back and forth, adding spices to the pan every 30 seconds. Just taking the time to find one's place on the page can result in smoke and burnt seasonings. Still, Saran and Lyness fill a crucial niche in the cookbook market; their work should be avidly welcomed. 75 color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Author

"This is my generation of Indian cuisine, While many of the recipes in this book are traditional, my approach to Indian food is eclectic and, perhaps more important, pragmatic. I devise recipes on the basis of what tastes good to me - using accessible American ingredients in place of some Indian ones - and I simplify wherever possible." from the Introduction

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks Indian cooking is intimidating.
Colleen K. Farnham
This book makes a great present as well for those who like Indian food but are too afraid to try making it at home.
Khalid Wahab
The instructions are always clear and easy to follow and the results are just delicious.
V. Tobin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 137 people found the following review helpful By T. Bojko on February 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have been using this cookbook for over a year now and, like most reviewers, I can't recommend it enough. You'll have to pardon me if I write a long review...I think I enjoy writing about this food as much as I do cooking and eating it...

I'll comment on some of the specific dishes below but, first, I'll say that the recipes and techniques in this book are simple (for Indian food, anyway) but they produce dishes with very deep flavors. That said, even the meatier curries are lighter and fresher than what I have eaten in most Indian restaurants. In fact, for the most part, I now prefer to cook and eat my own Indian food. At the risk of sounding corny, these recipes have given me a lot of pleasure.

Two other quick points: Since I've been using this cookbook I've tried others, as well as some recipes that I've found online but hands down this book beats all. I find that other recipes produce dishes are either too heavy, aren't flavorful enough, take too much time or the recipes themselves just don't feel inviting to me. I use other cookbooks for other types of food, of course, but for Indian food I'd have to say this is the cookbook. Also, I've been to India a couple times, as well as other places with substantial Indian populations--Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia--so even though I've only been cooking Indian for a year I've known quite a range of Indian food over the years.

And now, the food:

The dals: There are several dal recipes in this book and I've cooked them all. They range from very simple with just a few ingredients to more complex, with multiple layers of flavoring.
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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After visiting Suvir Saran's New York restaurant, Devi, where I had what was possibly the best Indian meal of my life, I was delighted to get my hands on his cookbook. Breathlessly, I turned to the recipes for the dishes I had most enjoyed. YES! They were all here. And now they're in my kitchen.

The premise for this book is Indian home cooking, and it definitely succeeds. Some of the recipes have a long list of ingredients, but even in those cases, half the list is spices (4 cardamom pods, 4 cloves, etc.). It's definitely not fussy, and the author is cognizant that not everyone can get unusual ingredients. Most recipes identify which items are optional (such as curry leaves and nigella seeds), and, as long as your grocery and health food store covers such essentials as unsweetened grated coconut, you'll be able to make everything listed. Suvir Saran is also kind enough to give "serve this with... "menu suggestions, as most of us aren't sure enough of Indian accompaniments.

So far, I've made three of his recipes: a simple chicken curry that was undemanding enough to make for a Tuesday afternoon lunch (well received), and a meal of Cauliflower Hyderabad Style (with coconut, mint, and cardamom) with Simple Gujarati Dal with Three Chiles. It was great, although my cauliflower came out much wetter than I'd had in the restaurant.

There is a high proportion of vegetarian recipes in this book, though you'll also find plenty of meat, poultry, and fish. The meat recipes seem to be more in the "usual suspects" range, such as chicken tikka masala; it's the veggie stuff that makes me say Yum when I look at the photos. (Crisp whole okra with fennel and coriander, smoked spiced eggplant, stir-fried green beans with cumin).

The instructions aren't quite perfect, however.
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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I probably have 10 Indian cookbooks in my cookbook library. I keep buying them because I haven't been satisfied with what I've gotten so far.

Fortunately, I think Saran's Indian Home Cooking might have slowed down my buying binge of Indian cookbooks (my mate will leap for joy!)

I really like this cookbook. Why? The recipes are great. Even more, I like the extra comments the author offers on the recipe and why he included it. Best of all, the recipes have the feeling of being both tasty and authentic while also being accessible to an everyday American home kitchen.

I've looked through the whole book and every recipe looks so interesting I want to try it. The instructions are so clear that the intimidation factor of cooking an unknown cuisine is removed. Also, when the author uses a hard to find ingredient, he always suggests an available subsitute.

Finally, I like the presentation and layout of the book. It's quite attractive. The pages are glossy, the photos top rate. For me, there really is nothing I do not like about this book. And that's the first Indian cookbook I've been able to say that about.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Christensen on September 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has been fortunate enough to experience Suvir Saran's cooking - either at Amma, or at his new Manhattan restaurant, Devi - will tell you that this book is an absolute must. Saran's approach to contemporary Indian cuisine, while refreshingly unconventional, maintains an absolute fidelity to traditional Indian flavors. The book is not your run of the mill Indian cookbook: a quick glance through its pages at the inticing photographs, clear recipes, as well as Saran's endearing commentary bears this out. One can easily see why USAToday chose this title as one of the six best cookbooks of the season (...) Try the party cauliflower (gobhi masalam) or the stir-fried okra with tomatoes, onions and northern spices; the only thing more enjoyable than making these dishes is the experience and warm satisfaction of eating them! Saran's masterful ability to layer flavors is evident when you taste these recipes; you'll recognize the flavors, but you'll never have experienced them in quite this way before. While there are several meat dishes, there are also a large number of vegetarian and vegan recipes as well.
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