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660 Curries Paperback – March 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
While I'm not new to Indian cooking (I've worked through cookbooks like Padmanabhan's exquisite Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from Southern India), this book has certainly added to my repertoire. I'm especially pleased with the scope of the recipes. Not only are the cuisines of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka represented, but also included are recipes for several of the more "common" everyday dishes you might find at roadside food stands (e.g. a simple and delicious recipe for spiced mustard and fenugreek greens).
NOTE: The first chapter, "The Curry Quest," is perhaps the most important and should not be skipped -- especially by someone new to Indian cooking. In it Iyer describes what he calls the different "elements" of a curry (bitter, sour, salty, sweet, umami, pungent, astringent and aromatic). He then uses his background as a chemist to describe the processes of "building" the recipes using those elements. Perhaps it is Iyer's ability to simplify the "how" of the chemistry of Indian cooking that make the recipes work so well at home!
Then along comes this huge book of curries. Not only do the recipes sound mouthwatering, but the whole thing is written in a friendly, often downright impish manner, AND it includes a list of resources to help me find all the ingredients. Sold!
That was about four months ago. Since then, I have cooked exclusively from this book with excellent results. Rice with Yogurt and Mustard Seeds has become a staple, along with Chowli Nu Dal, Garlicky Gourd and several others. A friend who knows from Indian food gave high marks to the Adrak Lasson Waale Chana Masala I made for her. I have found an Indian grocery store and learned my way around it.
Some of the ingredient lists may be long and contain unfamiliar items, but don't let that scare you. The techniques are explained carefully and easy to learn. Sometimes I scale back a little on the amounts of oil and salt called for - that's just my personal preference. There is really no great trick to much of this stuff - heck, they cook it every day in India, right? Do follow Iyer's advice to have all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking, as some of the steps take only seconds to complete, and you won't have time for grinding and chopping while you cook. When you've got everything ready beforehand, the cooking is a happy experience.Read more ›
I lower the heat in most of the recipes by reducing the amount of chili peppers.
I just made the Spicy Potatoes and Spinach with Blackened Chilis and Coconut Milk. Superb! My husband loved it! I served it along side crispy fried chicken(it's the 4th of July weekend so I needed something with lots of deep fried goodness.) Indian food goes very well with fried chicken or roasted chicken. Try it, you'll be hooked.
This potato recipe called for a special spice blend called Panch Phoron. The dish(including the spice blend) was extremely easy to make.
I get all my spices and dried chilies from Penzey Spices. I buy the tiny fresh Thai peppers from a local Asian market. They are sold in a small bag by the produce section(tiny red and green ones in the same bag.) When I don't have any fresh chili peppers on hand, I just use some cayenne pepper.
What I love so much about this book is that no two curries taste the same. It's all about the use of spices and herbs. Once you get the hang of grinding and blending the whole spices, the curries come together in a flash. You will be so happy with the results! Penzey's makes it easy to make these flavorful spice blends. They even have hard-to-find spices like Nigella seeds and white poppy seeds.
I must say that have blended and grinded my own spices for years, using recipes from other Indian cookbooks. But, Raghavan is "spot-on" with all his spice blends.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a marvelous book with lots of detail, worth 10 of similar books. I am glad I was patient for it to come out.Published 19 days ago by Lucie Whitcomb
Best curry cookbook ever! It'll only take us a few decades to make them all though :)Published 1 month ago by Willinston
This if the third Indian cookbook I purchased. I've had this for over five years and haven't thought to look for another Indian cookbook. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Don In Bettendorf
Great Indian recipes. So easy to follow the instructions and the results are delicious.Published 1 month ago by SDM
excellent book. They have curries for all the different spices and pork,chicken, seafood etc. The book is packed with good information. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Snagglepuss
Excellent recipes and cheffing advice, all dispatched with good humor.Published 5 months ago by Robert K. Juul