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Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals: The New Indian Cuisine for Fearless Cooks and Adventurous Eaters Mass Market Paperback – Bargain Price, December 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452282322
  • ASIN: B006G87FH6
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Merchant, best known for the films he makes with partner James Ivory, presents more than 200 innovative Indian recipes, many considerably less labor-intensive than traditional Indian fare.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Merchant is not only a talented film producer (with director James Ivory) but a talented-and passionate-cook. His previous book, Ismail Merchant's Indian Cuisine (LJ 8/86), is still highly regarded, and now he has gathered more of his favorite recipes, innovative and mostly quick Indian dishes for friends and family. Some of the names may sound familiar, but Merchant, a natural in the kitchen, likes to improvise, and so these really are personal recipes, accompanied by a personable and inviting text. A number of Indian cookbooks have appeared in recent months; this one is particularly recommended.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
We have made numerous dishes from this cookbook and loved them all.
S. D Haynie
Finally, he has done a good job creating recipes that either borrow from traditional Indian dishes or those that complement standard Indian Fare.
mxc41@po.cwru.edu
I have thoroughly enjoyed both the stories and the recipes and have shared many with friends and family.
Sharon K Randolph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mxc41@po.cwru.edu on August 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've been cooking Indian food for several years now, starting with Madhur Jaffrey's books. I recently received Passionate Meals and am intrigued by the wide array of recipes. Unlike some of the others who reviewed this book, I've not had any problems with measurements in any of the recipes I've tried. I agree that some of the techniques aren't as well described as they could be, but perhaps the book isn't for beginners to Indian cooking. Overall, I've enjoyed the anecdotes and history of the dishes. I also appreciate that he's directed the book to Americans (rather than Brits, like other Indian cookbooks do) and the ingredients available to us. Finally, he has done a good job creating recipes that either borrow from traditional Indian dishes or those that complement standard Indian Fare. I have no hesitation recommending this book to adventuresome eaters or cooks!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By momofmadeleine on January 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've had this book for a few years now, and I'm finally ready to give up on it. The only problem with this book is that none of the food I've made from it is good. I have to twist arms to use up leftovers.
I'm really sorry to say this because I absolutely love Indian food and of all my Indian cookbooks, this one has the easiest, quickest recipes with commonly found ingredients. Merchant doesn't send you on a hunt for fresh curry leaves, for instance. And nothing I've made from this book took much work. The dishes fall into place effortlessly.
Perhaps I've tried exactly the wrong recipes, but looking back through the book, I see page after page of notes to myself not to repeat this dish or that one. I agree with the reviewer who comments that Merchant overuses Dijon mustard. It just tastes out of place.
For simple recipes suitable to a home cook, I'd suggest Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. Like this one, it has no hard-to-obtain fresh ingredients and it has no complicated processes to follow. The results from her books are more reliable.
I'll remain a die-hard fan of Merchant himself and of his movies.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. D Haynie on August 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My husband and I "discovered" Indian food on our honeymoon nine years ago in, of all places, Seattle (on our way to Alaska). It was fabulous, of course. When we returned home we had a strong desire to replicate those meals. We live in New Mexico, now, and at the time lived in West Texas. I probably don't really need to describe the paucity of restaurants that would satisfy our needs. So, we went cookbook looking.

We found this absolute treasure. We have made numerous dishes from this cookbook and loved them all. We have an absolute favorite. Dhaniya Murgh (Coriander Chicken) gets made in this house so much we both could do it without the instructions (and the instructions are complex). It's the dish we make in huge quantities and freeze. It's the dish we serve company.

The cookbook tells you about Indian cooking and how to mix what with what. There are sections on lentils, on chicken, on meat. You even get a recipe for making the strange cheeses and the wonderful raita that are served alongside the meals.

It's one of those cookbooks where you drool reading the recipes even if there's no picture right there (all pics are in the center).

One thing: the guy's pretty proud of all the people he knows. He's a name dropper. Funny thing, maybe because I'm only 31, but I know NONE of those people. Never heard of them. Oh well, the man can cook AND he can teach you how, too.

My husband now experiments based on what he's learned from this book.

Want some adventure in your cooking? Looking for Indian food that doesn't call for Cream of Chicken soup? This is the book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a novice at Indian cooking, and I did not have any trouble with these recipes. Every one I've tried is delicious. Some tend to be higher in fat than I like, and I prefer cookbooks with a nutritional analysis for each recipe, but overall this was a great addition to my collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Though there are a lot of good recipes, and Mr. Merchant does know Indian cuisine, too many of the recipes have been "personalized", usually with Dijon mustard. A novice would certainly get the wrong impression, and my Indian friends didn't appreciate the added flavor.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I love many of the recipes in this book, and I have not had any real trouble with any of the ones I've tried. That having been said, I wish more of the recipes were geared towards 2-4 people, instead of 6, or, in many cases, 10-12. I also agree with the reviewer who commented on the fat content of many recipes, but I have found that it's not too hard to cut down on butter or oil most of the time. All in all, I think it's a pretty good book, and it's made me an Indian food ADDICT!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
What more is there to say? This got four stars instead of five only because as a novice, I like to see more photos of the dish I am preparing. Overall this is an excellent guide for the beginner who is trying Indian cuisine. I have prepared a new dish each week, and my family (even the fussy teenager) gobbles it up!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vivek Bhaman on August 19, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ismail Merchant makes Indian cooking easy. The recipes are all great (and I have cooked every one of them). Merchant is the quintessential bachelor-cook. Most Indian Cookbooks prescribe elaborate and complicated methods, but Merchant cuts through all this.

The recipes in this book can be prepared by anyone. They can be made quickly. And they taste as if they were made by a chef who went through all the traditional hoops of Indian cooking.

The book is perfect for both everyday meals as well as special ones. Trust me. Once you start using this book, every other book seems over done.
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