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5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices Paperback – May 31, 2007


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5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian Recipes Using Five Common Spices + Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking + The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 6/30/07 edition (May 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081185342X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811853422
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ruta Kahate teaches regional Indian cooking from her home-based school in Oakland, California, which has been featured on the Fine Living Network.

Susie Cushner is a Boston-based photographer whose work can be found in many cookbooks, including Martha's Vineyard Table and The New England Table.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Recipes are well-presented, clear and easy to follow.
Bay Area Reader
I have made several recipes from this book and have been delighted with all so far.
Steven Muni
Even my husband who dislikes Indian food likes these!
rue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Bay Area Reader on July 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. It's premise is simple, but not simplistic - take 5 spices combined in various ways and produce a variety of Indian dishes for any occasion. Everything I've made from it has succeeded, and I will certainly make again. The coverplate (chickpeas with dill) is total comfort food, and uses dill as a vegetable in a new and surprising way. I've also made and enjoyed the Cabbage Salad (a fresh take on slaw), Indian Fried fish (tasty and savory), Sweet Potato with Ginger and Lemon, Corn with Mustard Seeds, and the fantastic Mussels in a Green Curry. And anyone who thinks they don't like okra NEEDS to try the Okra Raita - my favorite of all favorites in the book.

Recipes are well-presented, clear and easy to follow. I cook a lot of Indian food, but in no way felt that these recipes were dumbed-down at all. Kahate wisely confines her recipes to simple, practical ones with accessible ingredients. Does Indian food offer complex biriyanis with 15 spices and many ingredients? Sure. But that's not what is offered here. This is fresh home cooking, bursting with flavor, yet able to be cooked quickly. The flavors of the ingredients is prominent. And Kahate is a good guide to ingredients and techniques.

Highly recommended. Mine is already stained from much use!
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By D. Montgomery on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've really enjoyed exploring some of the recipes in this book and getting a feel for the simple spice combinations. It's been a great addition to our broad ambitions for cooking styles to have learned, from this book, how to use these spices effectively. The shrimp and fish marinades alone are worth the price of the book.

The only problem is the binding. The pages totally fell out of the cover after about a dozen uses. Quite poorly made. 5 stars for content, 1 star for printing = 3 stars.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Steven Muni on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have made several recipes from this book and have been delighted with all so far. I cook a lot of Indian food, and am a fan of the books of Mahadur Jaffrey and Julie Sahni, but this book is going to be used as much as their books. The premise is simple but not simplistic. The recipes are easy to follow and the results are delicious. Particular raves at my house go to the carrot raita, with it's inclusion of walnut pieces and raisins, (I used dried cranberries.) And the Goan eggplant and shrimp curry is a winner, although I used a little more shrimp and eggplant than called for in the recipe and used a full can of coconut milk instead of the cup of water and cup of coconut milk called for. This is a worthy addition to anyone's collection of cookbooks.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Food Lover on June 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I usually don't buy cookbooks because most of them don't work or are not thoroughly tested, but I bought this one. And for once, I'm glad I did.

The recipes are easy to work through, don't call for a laundry list of ingredients that are impossible to track down and most importantly, delicious! I've now made the book's chicken in cashew nut sauce, black-eyed peas in a spicy goan curry, shrimp curry with eggplant, spicy seared shrimp and cucumber salad with crushed peanuts for my family and everyone has loved them.

As someone who cooks alot, I was pleasantly surprised at just how flavorful everything was, even though sometimes you're not using a lot of spices. And her premise that you can cook Indian food with just coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds and cayenne really does work.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alison Negrin on July 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This fine little treasure of a cookbook can be a great introduction for gourmet cooks who are unfamiliar with Indian cuisine. For the professional chef it contains creative, seasonal and well tested recipes that can offer new possibilities for any restaurant menu. I am particularly attracted to the array of vegetable recipes, for example corn with mustard seeds or butternut squash and green beans in coconut-milk curry. The clever lay-out of the book as well as the number of recipes(50) and beautiful photos make this a must-have cookbook to add to your shelf.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Francois on April 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Indian food and I often have it for lunch at a nearby
restaurant. My wife has been disappointed in the dishes she
ordered in restaurants over the years. I bought this book based
on the reviews and I haven't been disappointed. I found the book
very clear in its description of the recipes. The photographs
were helpful in selecting the next dish to make. I'm extremely
grateful to the author for demystifying the spices and techniques
used in Indian cooking.

Tonight I made "new bride chicken curry" and it was a great success.
My wife and I both loved it. The house still smells of the
wonderful aroma. And she's taking leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

It may be helpful for others to know that I was able to find an
outfit on the web that sells the spices mentioned in the book:
"The Spice House." I was happy with the quality of the spices
and the professional transaction.

Update: I've now been using this book for a while and have a bit
more experience with the recipes in it. I can say that this is my
favorite cook book so far. Today I made the "Everyday Yellow Dal"
and it was just heavenly. I suppose you have to appreciate Indian
food and its spices to enjoy this dish this fully. But I was tickled
as much as one can be.

I also made "baked fish in a spice broth" with halibut and was
extremely pleased.

A couple of comments regarding the "indian brown beef stew" recipe.
If you make it in a pressure cooker, cooking time should take altitude
into consideration (ie. increase cooking time by 5 percent for every 1000
feet in altitude). I live near Denver and I need to follow this rule.
Read more ›
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