- Hardcover: 191 pages
- Publisher: Silverback Books (January 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596372397
- ISBN-13: 978-1596372399
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.8 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,150,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Modern Indian Cooking Hardcover – Illustrated, January 1, 2007
"Num Pang" by Ratha Chaupoly
100 Cambodian- and Southeast Asian-inspired recipes from New York's favorite sandwich shop. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
However, having said all that, this book and it's recipes have begun to change my mind. As a previous review had stated, yes, this book does not contain puritanic classical Indian recipes. But that's not what this book is about! As the title states, it's focus is on *MODERN* Indian cooking. Yes, this does mean that there is a lot of fusion cooking in this book. It also means that the recipes themselves are simpler, easier to produce, utilizing less exoctic ingridients, less prep time and less cooking time! Some would say that this could be a terrible thing, as it takes away from the millenia of refinement that Indian Cuisine has gone through. but in my earnest opinion, it's for the betterment of the cuisine, as it makes it far more accessible to the average *MODERN* American home cook!
The recipes run the gamut here, from simple and quick to the flavorfully complex and not so quick. Each recipe is accompanied with BEAUTIFUL photographs; clear and implicit instructions; recipes that do not require you to run to an Asian Grocery store to find some obscure ingreident; and best of all, they're EASY to make!Read more ›
Once we began to peel the layers, we discovered that while the book is beautiful, there are some flaws. First was the lack of headnotes. The headnote is a vital part of a recipe - it can offer insight, additional information about an ingredient, a personal anecdote that makes the cook feel connected with the author, so many things that tie the book together and give it a soul. The headnotes were sadly missed. Second, with the abundance of unique spices it would have been helpful to have a glossary in the back or a section in the front that educated the reader about the spices that were widely found in the recipes. We found that the front matter about "Seasonings" wasn't as comprehensive or as detailed as we would have liked it to be. And finally, with sections of recipes for sides, rice, breads, and accompaniments, each recipe would have been well served to have some "serve with" ideas that cross-referenced other recipes.
As far as our cooking endeavors, recipes from most sections of the book were represented. We started with the Tangerine Carrot Cooler (p.167) then flowed into soup where two people made Curry Corn Chowder with Roasted Poblanos (p.40) with two different results - both tasty, one with a lot more heat from the poblanos than the other. Next was Ginger and Lemon Grilled Chicken (p.18) that won raves around the table. The salads we made included Carrot and Cucumber Salad with Spiced Mustard Dressing (p.Read more ›
The introduction says that this is "an attempt to recreate classic Indian dishes by using simplistic techniques along with a delicious juxtaposition of non-Indian ingredients." Many of the recipes struck me more as an attempt at a type of fusion cuisine, only driven by the spices of the southern, and not eastern, part of Asia. But this sort of combination is tricky - you can get a new take on classics, in which case you need to be grounded enough there, or you can try for something in between two cooking cultures, but that requires maintaining a balance and offering adroit flavor blends that offer complementary hints of each.
I find Modern Indian Cooking to stumble about this ground, so that you will see in the same soup and salad section a take on carrot and ginger soup (not all that startlingly new, even with mustard seeds and curry powder) and a curry corn chowder with roasted poblanos (and if you drop the curry powder, is similar to a corn chowder recipe I saw in Fonda San Miguel).
That's not to say that the recipes look bad. On the contrary, I'm looking forward to trying a number of them. But it's the overarching concept that I find weak. I think it would have been better to pick one ground: either simplifying Indian for western cooks, or sticking to modern approaches to Indian cooking. That said, it does offer many ideas for starting to incorporate Indian spices into western dishes, which could open new ways of practicing cooking for many.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There many many excellent cooking books written by Indian authors based in India. This book tackles a specific market that those other books don't:
a) Hari is based in the US... Read more
The book is simple to follow and the recepies are good to understand. I tried a ew already and the result was good. Read morePublished on November 23, 2010 by Amod Saxena
As a world traveler, international culinary afficionada, and avid cookbook collector with some 2000 volumes in my collection, many of them devoted to Indian cooking, I heartily... Read morePublished on July 31, 2008 by C. Tennant
Having tried many exquisite creations of Vikas Khanna's at Purnima in manhattan, I was already a fan of his and didnt hesitate for a second before ordering this cookbook. Read morePublished on February 24, 2008 by H. Arif
Personally, I wasn't holding out much hope for this book since I am not a fan of Indian cuisine. But Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna make the mysteriousness of these recipes very... Read morePublished on November 29, 2007 by Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man