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The Bombay Cafe Paperback – March 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (March 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898159350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898159356
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

At the Bombay Café, Neela Paniz's Santa Monica, California, restaurant, Paniz takes the classical Indian cooking she learned while growing up in India and gives it new twists. Her dishes have the brightness and warmth of a California day rather than the smothering intensity of her native sun. She also lightens them by using less ghee and vegetable oil than is traditional. The 160-plus dishes in The Bombay Cafe cookbook call for the full range of Indian seasonings, from kari leaves to sambar powder, and specific dals, which means that a visit to an Indian food store may be in order.

Knowing that Westerners like soups (which are not part of the classic Indian table), Paniz creates Golden Lentil Soup with Lemon and Chiles, among others. She remedies a similar lack of appetizers by suggesting you start the meal with chile-sparked Potato Pancakes and other savories that Indians normally enjoy at tea time.

A prime feature of Paniz's eclecticism is her salads. The most popular is California Tandoori Salad, a combination of grilled chicken, paneer cheese, mushrooms, and raw vegetables, all tossed in a cilantro-cumin dressing and topped with crisp fried noodles. Dipping into the distinctive cooking of Southern India, Paniz offers recipes for fluffy Uttampams and helps you through the complexities of making a paper-thin, pizza-size dosa with a potato and onion stuffing, via careful text and a series of illustrations.

For Indian food that is fresh and pleasantly different, The Bombay Cafe is a book that can guide you into new adventures. --Dana Jacobi

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Neela Paniz cooks like my mom: no fuss, no pretence, we are here to celebrate good food with fresh ingredients just as the nature intended. Her book has wonderful recipes (got to try her Chicken Curry) that are easy to follow, easy to make (even tho you do have to stock up on your spices), and the result is your reward. I love it when she noted in the instructions "Chop garlic and ginger in the food processor, set aside, and WITHOUT washing the bowl, puree the tomatoes". That just shows how sensible and forgiving her techniques are. I am used to making European style breads and most of them require 2 ~ 3 rises which takes a whole day. Her paratha recipe is so simple that finally I can make a bread the moment I want it in less than an hour. She has stories and helpful tips about cooking Indian. In the back of the book, there is a glossary on spices used in the book, their individual charactristics, and possible substitutes. Here and there you see special techniques that can cut down on the fat as well. If you like Indian food, do try this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karen on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Bombay Cafe was my favorite haunt when I lived in Santa Monica. When I discovered that Neela had published a cookbook of her remarkable food, I bought it immediately. I am happy to say that this book includes many of my favorite dishes, written simply and clearly enough that I can faithfully reproduce everything I loved when dining at Bombay Cafe. In my experience, this is not something that 'restaurant' cookbooks commonly achieve. An excellent effort by an uncommon chef. Thank you, Neela!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sunita on August 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best cookbooks I have come across. I love the recipes - they are creative and light - like the Tandoori Chicken salad, or the Garbanzo beans sweet and sour salad. There are also some very Indian recipes that make you travel back in your mind to India - like the Railway station potato curry, or the Frankies. Most recipes are fairly easy to make.
This is Indian cooking with a fresh approach, and a lot of style.I have tried and served so many recipes to friends, and the reactions are always - that tastes GOOD!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Undulation on June 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is simply too bad that this book is out of print!

My husband loves Indian food and although I consider myself to be a pretty good cook, I was intimidated about trying my hand at something that seemed so foreign and exotic. An Indian friend had even brought me a few cookbooks, but I found them hard to follow. The last time he came to visit he brought me Neela Paniz' "The Bombay Cafe." Wow! What a difference! The directions are easy to follow even for people completely unfamiliar with the workings of an Indian kitchen. And while some recipes call for hard to find spices, there are plenty that use nothing more exotic than fresh ginger, garlic or serrano peppers. Special favorites are the Shrimp with Chiles and Garlic, Pepper Chicken (made with nothing more exotic that black peppercorns) and Nan (Indian flat bread.)

I highly recommend this book to the novice Indian chef.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
I ate several times on Bombay Cafe Restaurant in Los Angeles. My huge admiration for indian food begun when I first tasted Neela's "Lamb Vindaloo" (the recipe is not included in this book). Since this day I decided to learn how to cook indian food. I bought several indian cookbooks but this is the one that I use more often. Try the chicken frankies, the shrimp with dill and cilantro and the tamarind/date chutney and you will understand why this is a five star cookbook.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book does an excellent job of presenting Indian recipes for American cooks. I would use this in conjunction with The Indian Spice Kitchen because Paniz leaves out alot of useful information about the ingredients. The recipes are excellent however, and that makes the book very worthwhile.
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