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India: The Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated, September 17, 2010
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From the Publisher
Pushpesh Pant was born in Nainital, northen India, and is now a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. A regular recipe columnist and author of many cookbooks in India, he has spent two decades collecting authentic family recipes from all over the subcontinent, which have been carefully edited, tested and collated to produce a remarkable collection documenting the rich diversity of Indian cuisine.
Potatoes Tempered with Cumin
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Heat the oil in a kadhai or heavy-based pan over high heat, then reduce the heat. Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until they start to splutter. Add the turmeric and immediately afterwards the sliced potatoes.
Stir well and sprinkle over a very little amount of water just to make them damp. Season with salt, then reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for about 15–20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, stirring once or twice and sprinkling very small amounts of water whenever required during cooking, so the potatoes do not burn or catch on the base (bottom) of the pan.
Garnish with dried red chillies and chopped coriander.
- 3 tablespoons mustard oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- pinch of ground turmeric
- 500g / 1lb 2oz (4 medium) potatoes, cut into slices lengthways
- To garnish: 2-3 dried red chillies/1 sprig coriander (cilantro), chopped
More than 1,000 traditional recipes, fully explained and adapted for modern kitchens
The definitive book on Indian home cooking, with simple and authentic recipes from every region brought together by an acclaimed Indian food writer
Covers pickles and chutneys, starters, snacks and desserts, as well as vegetable, fish and meat mains and curries
Explains Indian ingredients, cooking techniques and culinary history so that anyone can cook their favourite Indian dishes in the authentic way
From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Beautifully-designed... Indispensable information on ingredients and equipment... Manages to make even the most exotic and esoteric regional recipes accessible with straightforward methods and plain language."—Good Things
"Part of Phaidon's ridiculously popular culinary-bible series, it could mean you'll never need a takeaway again."—Sunday Times
"Phaidon have once again produced another wittily packaged, yet comprehensive cookbook... An excellent collection."—Chef
"Beautiful... 1,000 family recipes that have been collected from all over the subcontinent."—The Independent
"This professor–cum–Indian food scholar offers up a mammoth work that encompasses every region of the country and provides 1,000 recipes."—Publishers Weekly
"This is a favourite as it is one of the original guides to Indian cooking."—Atul Kochnar, Benares, ShortList
"A dazzling and all-encompassing account of Indian food from all over the continent."—Miles Thompson, Michael's Santa Monica
- Grade level : 7 and up
- Hardcover : 960 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0714859028
- ISBN-13 : 978-0714859026
- Item Weight : 3.45 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.5 x 2.25 x 11.25 inches
- Publisher : Phaidon Press; Illustrated edition (September 17, 2010)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #69,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As such, the recipes in this tome... wow. This is the first Phaidon cookbook I've tried in which I didn't have to alter the recipes; I cook from it as written. The chicken tikka masala, rogan josh, and paneer makhani were excellent, even better than the local restaurant's! And the grilled cauliflower was divine; I want to make the marinade and use it as a vegetable dip. The lamb samosas were delectable, and I used the chole recipe as well as Monisha's recipes for chaat masala and sev to turn them into samosa chaat, which is one of my sister's favorite. The garam masala recipe (I used the second version sans rose petals as I couldn't procure good supply) is very handy as it makes a huge batch, and many recipes call for it.
Even as I'm writing this review, I'm browsing through it to prepare the next meal (I'm thinking a sambhar and dosa). I do a bit of research before attempting a new dish, and from what I've gathered a lot of the recipes in this book stay true to how cooking is done in India. For example, many rogan josh recipes online add tomatoes and garlic, but traditionally, no tomatoes are used and the flavor of garlic is added through asafoetida/hing, which is how this book does it.
Of course, there are errors (it is a huge book, after all), but none that have deterred me. Honestly, in the way of typos, the serving sizes are the only errors I've seen so far; what it says serves four can usually serve 6-8 people. There are no basics section, but cookbooks of this scope usually don't have them. The index is not the best edited and leads to some reviewers thinking certain recipes are not included but actually are, like pani puri (and the puri itself) and chai (not listed under tea nor chai but is under masala chai), although there are so much variation in the English version of Hindi as well as the names of dishes, there are bound to be some limitations (multiple spelling variations are not a major issue with this book, but paratha elsewhere can also be parantha, parauntha, prontha, paronthe, as well as the Punjabi parontay and Bengali porota; one has to track down specifically how this book spells paratha).
Despite the cons (and partly because I'm used to the Phaidon format), I gave this book 5 stars because the recipes are fantastic. This book isn't for the faint-hearted or disorganized, but if you have been cooking for a while and are interested in Indian cuisine, then try this book. The recipes are worth your effort. And it is an excellent way to taste the many different regional cuisines India has to offer.
This is not that type of book...at all.
Pushpeth Pant, as a professor, seems far more interested in the preservation and proper representation of regional cuisines, and as such the book goes into culinary territories well outside of what you'd find in other cookbooks....and it's fantastic!
But be aware that because of this, it's really a book for chefs and those committed to a much deeper understanding of Indian cuisine. If you have NO understanding of basic techniques and preparations in Indian cooking, this probably wouldn't be a good place to start. It has no instruction on such things.
But for those with some experience, it's easily one of the best cookbooks out there. Enjoy :)
The "rice bag" it comes in is a nice touch. There are different sections for appetizers, main dishes, desserts, masala mixes, etc. It also mentions the region of India a dish is from. The cook and prep times are pretty accurate, and I haven't seen any typos so far (flipped through most of the main dishes)
Hope this helps.
Top reviews from other countries
In a 30 page introduction, each region of India is explored, telling the reader a bit about its character, history, and distinctive cuisine. The main part of the book is the recipes, which are well-organised. The main sections are arranged as appetisers, main dishes, pulses, breads, and so on. Within each section, a lot of effort has been taken to group dishes by type, or by main ingredient, depending on what makes most sense. For example, all of the pakora recipes are grouped together into 10 pages. All of the main dishes where okra is the main ingredient are gathered together. This makes it really easy to browse, looking at a dry potato dish from Punjab, or a slightly different Delhi dish of potato and yoghurt, or a potato dish from Kerala involving coconut... you get the idea.
To give you an idea of the depth of the book, there are 54 recipes for pickles, chutneys and raita, which vary from requiring a few ingredients, to over 10, and from 10 minutes preparation, to hours. There's something in here for everyone. Want to make a quick half-hour lunch of potato curry with some plain parathas? It's in here. Want to make a pan-Indian thali of ancient and modern dishes? You can do that. Or maybe you'd like to plan an intimate meal centred on a particular region of India, to make it as authentic as possible?
I think that the main advantage of the book is that it gives you so many ideas, you aren't going to make the boring chicken curry you always make, you might decide instead to go to the supermarket and buy some taro roots and jackfruits!
The paper quality is obviously a conscious design decision to make it have a slightly rough feel, and it is not an indication of poor publishing. Each section is also printed on a different coloured paper, which is a nice touch. People have also commented that the photos should appear by the recipes. I disagree - the idea of having a photo of a bench containing 5 or 6 different plates of food is so you can see them with reference to other dishes. All pictures are labelled with the page numbers where you can find the recipes, and the recipes are labelled with a camera icon and a page number so you can find the photos. It's fine.
Finally, those reviews indicating the amount of errors, quite simply I don't believe in them. The errors are there, of course - but they are so infrequent and so obvious that it in no way detracts from the quality of the work as a whole. There are 1,000 recipes - the hit rate with flawless instructions is actually very high. Sure, if you want to go out and buy 10 cartons of yoghurt for the morsel of chicken you are cooking, be my guest. I'm exaggerating a bit - but there's some common sense needed here. Like the recipe that forgets to tell you to combine one main part of the dish with another main part of the dish. Please, this is not NASA, we are not making a moon buggy. We are making a pakora, just spend some time studying the WHOLE recipe before starting it!
It's a pleasure to just flick through the book - I've been spending all weekend just browsing the recipes (and cooking some, too), it's been great!
Like most cookbooks you need to adjust and refine certain quantities to get the taste right but that comes with preparing that dish a few times. That said I've yet to be disappointed with any of the dishes I've made.
The dishes are from all regions are easy to follow, the wealth of different flavours and textures demonstrate the limit of 'curry house' foods in Europe and how the multitude of Indian cuisine can and does taste.
Phaidon seem to be on a mission to create these high quality, amazing encyclopaedias of foods from around the world with recipes collected locally. Having previously bought the Phaidon Thailand book I had no hesitation in buying this and pre ordering the soon to be released Chinese cookbook.
One negative if any, the pages are wafer thin, so be carful not to tear.
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