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660 Curries Paperback – March 27, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Iyer (The Turmeric Trail) makes the enormous spectrum of Indian curry dishes enticing and accessible in this hefty tome, bound to be a must-have for lovers of Indian cuisine. Cooks already familiar with this food will be inspired as they cook through its pages. The term curry encompasses a vast range of dishes, and Iyer has uncovered the best from the subcontinent's many regions and cultures, working his way from Goa (chicken in coconut milk sauce) to Kashmir (hearty braised lamb shanks in broth), Calcutta (tilapia in yogurt sauce), Kerala (spinach in pigeon pea-coconut sauce), and everywhere between. The largest chapter features an extraordinary selection of curries using India's rainbow of legumes, but Iyer includes meat, cheese, fish and vegetable curries, plus appetizers and snacks, biryanis and elegant rice variations and breads. Access to a well-stocked Indian grocery is vital, but past that hurdle Iyer makes the recipes quite approachable thanks to his chatty introductions, many thoughtful preparation tips and helpful ingredient glossary. (May)
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Review

"What a wonderful book! I would shovel my way through a blizzard for Raghavan Iyer's cooking and 660 of his recipes will hold me for a while."—Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host of public radio's national food show The Splendid Table, from American Public Media --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 809 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (March 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761137874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761137870
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Heather Fenyk on May 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've had lots of fun with Raghavan Iyer's near-encyclopedic tome of Indian curries since receiving it as a gift two months ago. The recipes are relatively easy, and most of the ingredients are stocked in our local Whole Foods and Stop-and-Shop. Approximately 2/3 of the recipes are suitable for vegetarians. My biggest quibble is the lack of preparation and cooking time estimates -- something I've come to expect in recent cookbook publications. The final chapter "Curry Cohorts" (flatbread, pancake and rice accompaniments) is also rather thin. But these drawbacks are relatively insignificant in the face of so many wonderful recipes.

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!
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Format: Hardcover
I love Indian food, and when I began to crave nothing else earlier this year, I decided it was time to learn how to cook it myself. After all, eating out several times a week is expensive, and the nearest decent Indian restaurant is an hour's drive from where I live. My copy of Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian came to the rescue and served me well, but soon I wanted - needed! - more recipes.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just got this book about a week ago. I've already tried several recipes and spice blends. I couldn't wait to write a review and tell everyone who loves Indian food that this is a "must-have" Indian cookbook. If you're only going to get one Indian cookbook, get this one! The recipes are pretty easy and just plain wonderful.
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.
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