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Flavors of India: Vegetarian Indian Cuisine Paperback – January 1, 1996
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Bias: I will admit a bias that I actually met the author; I went to high school with her son and was lucky enough to have dinner at her house once.
Review: This is the absolute, number one, best Indian cookbook on the market today. I own most of the big ones and many little ones, and nothing else out there even approaches this book for utility and quality. Most cookbooks offer a good base for a recipe, but you have to make it once and then adjust and improve it. All the recipes in this book are excellent as written; I have not had to modify any of them! There's no padding in this book. She doesn't include every Indian recipe you've ever (and never) heard of, but she does include all the basics you need to eat well every day. This is the only time I have seen okra treated properly in a cookbook, and the recipe for pakora batter is phenomenal. Her style is authentic Gujarati-style cooking. Having spent some time in Gujarat and eaten at many Gujarati houses, I should know.
All in all, a highly recommended resource for any kitchen. Having eaten at the author's house, I can attest that her cooking is excellent, authentic Indian vegetarian cusine, and she used the same recipes included in the book. She is the real deal.
Even if you don't like Indian cuisine, you'll get a lot out of the rice and lentil (dal) chapters. It gives a tremendous amount of information on both these items, their many different types, and how to cook them to perfection.
The "Dal-Based Dishes" is a superb chapter, and one can even "mix and match" these recipes and come up with a delightful side dish.
Other good chapters are "Snacks" (oh ! those heavenly samosas !), and the many pages of veggie recipes...you'll also get a lot of info on spices and ingredients.
Most of the spices and ingredients are available in any good supermarket, although if you're lucky to live in an area with an Indian market, you'll find the same items, usually for a fraction of the cost.
I have the 1972 hardcover edition to this book, and though the chapters have been moved about, the contents in this edition are almost the same. With all my many moves, I don't have a lot of cookbooks, but this one will always be a keeper.
This is not some sort of foo-foo picture book written by a well-known chef. It's a rubber-meets-the-road sort of book by a real mom. The book is a sensible size for setting on the counter while cooking, and the binding stays open fairly well. The author includes a shopping list ("The Healthful Indian Pantry"), which is very helpful. Each chapter has an interesting introduction that provides a cultural background for the food. Most of the recipes are actually vegan, and when they are not, the author includes adaptations to make the recipe vegan. For anyone who lives nowhere near an Indian market, at the end of the book there is a list of addresses for mail order. And, of course, there is an index and glossary--also helpful.
I am writing this paragraph a few years after I wrote my original review. Just want to add that I now have a few other Indian cookbooks, and this is still my favorite. It is practical and all the recipes I've tried have been delicious. I use this cookbook more than any other, Indian or otherwise.
She then covers a variety of chutneys, pickles, snacks and appetizers. There is so much variety in this book, covering salads, vegetable dishes, beans, dals, rice, breads, sweets and even beverages. And it's not just how to cook them, but also she gives you cultural background, traditions, and how and where the item is served, and what significance it has in reference to the holidays. Even if you never cooked a single dish, you can learn a lot about Indian cuisine, culture, holidays and festivals from reading this book.
The chapter on dals has more than enough variety for you to experiment, as it covers all sorts, chana, mung, urad, toor, masoor, and even pancha dal (combining all 5 dals). I have enjoyed several of these, and the only comment I have is that she does not tell you how much cayenne pepper to put in, so you can suit your tastes. The other thing I noticed is that if you use all of the water the recipe specifies, your dal will be too watery. For example, 5 cups of water for 1 cup of masoor dal is too much, turning it into a soup. She does a great job explaning the vaghar, which is a hot oil mixture that is added to the dal in the last minute to flavor it with spices.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this cook book!!! It is how I got started with Indian cooking. If you follow the instructions exactly as they are written, you are going to be making some super amazing Indian... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Trillis
This is a must-have for anyone interested in exploring home-cooked Indian cuisine. Along with the recipes, there's a thorough discussion of spices, ingredients, and techniques. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Love the book, great recipes. Everything came on time and in the condition promised.Published 16 months ago by Marla Joy Matthews
This book simplifies recipes somewhat so that when I'm in a hurry but still want a taste of India, I can put something together fairly quickly and easily.Published on June 26, 2014 by Book Lover
This book is great if you just read it carefully. Very authentic. All Indian vegetarian. it does not have a lot of pictures and gloss like some cookbooks but the information is... Read morePublished on April 24, 2014 by Martin Jackson
Cookery books aren't very practical on Kindles, unless there is a way of skipping about the book I do not know about.Published on August 12, 2013 by C F Dutta
This book was actually a replacement for my earlier edition which has seen much use. My family loves the pakora, alu matar, and moth with peas pillau. Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by k.a.o.
This was the first cookbook I used to learn to make Indian food a couple years ago. The recipes were great, the layout of the book intuitive. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by ph
Flavors of India: Vegetarian Indian Cuisine
Wonderful recipes in this book and not too complicated. I bought this as a replacement for an older edition I had. Read more