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The Indian Grocery Store Demystified (Take It with You Guides) Paperback – August 12, 2000
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With The Indian Grocery Store Demystified, of course. Author Linda Bladholm walks you through a typical Indian grocery store, aisle by aisle, shelf by shelf. Start with the rice aisle and learn the differences between basmati, gobindavog, red patni, and several others. Learn which rice goes best with what type of recipe, how to prepare it, and what it should taste like. Then head down the flour aisle (here's where you learn how to bake several variations of naan and the popular pappadum), to the spices and seasonings. "Without spices," says Bladholm, "one cannot even imagine Indian food." Be sure to stock up on the cardamom, cumin, coriander, black pepper, tamarind, and turmeric. Mosey down to the herbs, then on to fruits and vegetables where you'll be introduced to the sakriya, a small vine-grown yam, and the sweet-and-sour woodapple, indigenous to the Indian jungle. There's also a chapter on ayurveda, the balancing of mind, body, spirit, and environment, and which foods can help you achieve this balance.
Though a few recipes are included in the back, this is not a cookbook, but rather a preparing-to-cook book. Bladholm thoroughly covers a vast amount of information and makes you feel like you could stroll into your local Indian grocery and make smart, informed purchases. And if you're still a little timid, The Indian Grocery Store Demystified is small enough to stick in your bag to reference while you're there. --Dana Van Nest
“At last there is a book that takes you by the hand and gives a clear and fascinating tour of these markets. It couldn't have a better title.” ―Amanda Hesser, New York Times
“[I]t's a perfectly economical vest-pocket guide that is a real gem.” ―Russ Parsons, Los Angeles Times (also named one of the Times' Ten Best Cookbooks for 1999)
Top Customer Reviews
This rant is only applicable to the Hindi reading section of the Indian populace, who in any case won't need this book to enter an Indian grocery store.
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. Now I can be kind to the book.
I am an Indian; it seems relevant in this context since none of the other reviewers so far are. The information in this book is actually quite good, and pretty comprehensive, and for that I'd recommend the book. The indexing needs to be fixed; at the very least all the non-English words in the text should be present.
The author adds appeal and charm to her book by opening it with a visit to her own local mom and pop run Indian grocery store. The store in question was just a bit better organized and stocked than my own favorite Filipino run store in southern New Jersey, but all the familiar staples were there, if not in all the familiar places.
The device of providing a guided tour of an Asian market is reinforced by mentioning all the major brand names for staples such as rice, noodles, sauces, oils, and spice mixes, with opinions by the author of which may be the preferred brands. While I found a few misstatements, such as describing a gluten free flour as `general purpose' (general purpose flours by definition have 10% to 12% gluten producing proteins), and I missed some possible warnings against Texmati rice as a less than useful substitute for Basmati rice, I believe the advice and information in this book is a really great supplement to other books on Asian ingredients with a more scholarly bent.
By far the biggest weakness of the book is the difference in quality between the promise of `over 400 illustrations of ingredients' and the quality of those illustrations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good fun books, Product information is general and not all inclusive but very interesting. I cook a lot of Indian foods and it has some good tidbits, but the Indian Grocery is a... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jessie R. Smith Jr.
I've been cooking Indian dishes for over thirty years now. When I've served my dishes to Indian friends, the best I got was "very tasty, but not authentic. Read morePublished on February 1, 2010 by James A Paris
As more North Americans become better accustomed to the cuisines of India, the once-obscure ethnic groceries join our shopping destinations. Read morePublished on July 13, 2007 by Melanie Archer