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50 Great Curries of India [Paperback]

Camellia Panjabi
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 30 2005
This is the ultimate celebration of the authentic Indian curry, encompassing both the classic and the unusual dishes from across India. With insightful information on spices, herbs, and chilies, and what exactly a curry is, as well as 100 mouth-watering recipes, Camellia shares the secrets she has learnt from curry lovers and cooks-from top chefs to housewives-to inspire and excite your tastebuds.

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Product Description

Review

"The best and most important book yet written about Indian food." -- Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Camellia Panjabi (Bombay) was marketing director for Taj Hotels and founded the great Bombay Brasserie in London. She is featured on a BBC television series. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it works! Oct. 20 2009
Format:Paperback
The best part about the book is that the recipes work. I just made the Chicken Dopiaza, and it turned out absolutely delicious.

The book is well researched, the presentation is excellent, and most importantly, the recipes are superb. I am definitely going to treasure this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very authentic- Jan. 10 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Just wanted to say this book has been one of the best I have come across.. Very authentic & amazingly explained.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition Dec 12 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book is really difficult to find, so when I found it I was very happy. To receive it in such wonderful condition is a huge bonus, Thanks!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Like It Feb. 8 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many many recipies using lamb... but unless I missed it there was no where where it said that. Even shows a pic on the cover with prawns. Thought most indian food was vegetarian??? Waste of monies for me. :(
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent selection of curries from many regions Oct. 14 2007
By Esther Schindler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I own at least ten Indian cookbooks, so you wouldn't expect that I needed to add another to the collection. But I'm extremely glad that I bought 50 Curries of India. It has many recipes that I haven't previously encountered... and which, so far, are really wonderful.

As the title promises, the book has 50 curry recipes... as well as several accompaniments (such as bread, rice, and raita) and a 60 page introductory section on ingredients. There's quite a selection here, in main ingredient (lamb, fish, chicken, vegetables), region, spiciness, etc. Twenty of the recipes call for lamb, 11 for chicken, 9 fish and shellfish, 12 vegetarian (from potato curry to, of all things, watermelon and mango curries).

Nothing calls for beef or pork, but I think most of the lamb dishes could be prepared with them. We dislike lamb, so at our house the lamb and apricot curry is more likely to use inauthentic pork, and bori curry (with nuts, sesame seeds, tamarind and potatoes) will probably be made with beef.

Every dish has an attractive photo, so you have some idea what you'll end up with. While many recipes have a long list of ingredients, none is particularly hard -- assuming that you can get your hands on the spices. If you have a spice shop or Internet store from which you can buy black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and tamarind you'll be set. But there's plenty to cook if you're stuck with the selection in your local grocery store. Most are strongly spiced, but not all are exceptionally "hot." These aren't fast recipes, but *darn* they're good -- and most curries reheat very well; they're stews, after all.

The curries in this book are from the British Indian community rather than an American idea of Indian food. I've found that most U.S. Indian restaurants are surprisingly limited in the list of dishes offered, rather distressingly so. I suspect that our cultural relationship to Indian food is like the Italian-American restaurant experience of the 1950s (meatballs and spaghetti, pizza, and not much else). But India is a huge country with distinct regional differences, and this book really shows both breadth and depth. Several recipes incorporate coconut, for example, or mustard seeds or curry leaves. You'll find the "expected" chicken tikka masala, or something very like it, but among the things I appreciate about this book is that it has plenty of recipes that aren't in the rest of my Indian cookbook collection.

So far, I've made a curry of chicken and cashew nuts in black spices (with ginger, coriander seeds, cumin, cloves, and cinnamon), and a marvelous lemon rice. I'll probably make green chicken korma (wih coriander leaves, mint, and green chili) this week... or maybe it'll be prawns in sweet and hot curry (with tamarind, garlic, cumin, curry leaves and jaggery). I can't decide.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but annoying when first starting June 12 2008
By D B Crisp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I almost gave up on making curries mainly in part to this book. I only kept it for the rice and accompaniments section at the back of the book. My major gripes were

1. this book says to whisk natural yogurt, natural yoghurt never works just whisked (I use greek yoghurt instead), and many indian chefs add flour or for a more authentic taste powdered dhal to the yoghurt to when whisking to assure that it does not split when cooking (greek yoghurt can split too!), at first I used cornflour to whisk into the yoghurt after many failed splitting curries and it worked every time but now I use gram flour to eleviate glugginess.

2. when the book says to add water at the end of the cooking of onions and spices, the amounts made for a very watery weak flavoured gravy as liquid was also being added from the meat, so halving or even thirding this makes it work much better and provides a fuller flavoured gravy

If you address these 2 areas you can end up with a very nice book, the madras style curry and the meat cooked with cardamon being standouts.

Oct 2011 update: i have recently got the 2004 reissue of this book with 10 extra curries and is can say it worth getting. It is smaller than my 1994 edition (which this review was based on) and not as pretty but the extras are well worht it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars V good but some recipe discrepancies Dec 19 2010
By A. J. Shapiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An excellent book if you need an introduction to curry, its heritage and the basic principles of preparation. I enjoyed reading the introductory chapters and have reread it a few times because it makes more sense once you've tried some of the recipes. My book came with a useful DVD as well.

The major problem with the book is that the recipes are not proofread properly. In the introduction, the author waxes lyrical about a bright red curry that one of her schoolfriends used to eat, she then includes this "Parsee red chicken curry" recipe in the book but the ingredients don't tie up with the instructions and some of the errors are material. For example, the recipe instructions call for you to prepare 400ml of Coconut milk and then you are instructed to use "800ml of the coconut milk" in the cooking process. The amount of fresh coconut also does not add up and you'll have some left over if you follow the instructions. Other readers of this book have also noted that there are other recipes which have similar problems. Obviously one can use judgement but this book is in its umpteenth printing and one would think they'd have ironed out the errors by now.

I have made the garam masala and what the author refers to as "Daag" (although I haven't seen this term used elsewhere). I freeze the Daag and use it as a base for a basic curry or an improvised variation. I also use the garam masala as per Camellia's instructions and it is very fragrant and much better than anything I've ever bought.

The recipe for Vindaloo is excellent and I also had high praise from my family for the Goa Fish Curry. The main issue I have with the recipes in general is the amount of liquid is often wrong and you have to use your own judgement. Also, its hard to get the colours right without genuine Kashmiri Chillies which are a deep red but not too hot. I've tried other dried red chilies and the results are good but the bright red colour is often lacking.

I've also been using Ghee in preference to oil because it has the most wonderful consistency and flavour - some claim it is less healthy but I think the latest research suggests its no worse than oil and may even have health benefits - its highly praised in Ayurvedic texts.

A worthwhile purchase albeit not perfect.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for anyone interested in creating original Indian-style creations April 8 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
50 Great Curries of India presents 50 different, authentic Indian curries, each with a full-color photograph revealing its texture and appearance in detail, along with an accompanying recipe designed to harness the curry's flavor. From Chicken and Cashew Nuts in Black Spices to Chickpea Curry and Cauliflower with Shredded Ginger, the recipes perfectly capture Indian cuisine's marvelous ability to harness spices for an unforgettable taste experience. An extensive introductory section teaches aspiring chefs all about different types of spices, seasonings, thickening agents, souring agents, and the elements of a traditional Indian meal, in this "must- have" cookbook especially recommended for anyone interested in creating original Indian-style creations as well as preparing tasty tidbits according to recipe.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That 1 star review should be disregarded - this book is superb! May 24 2006
By A. Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have just gone through the tedious process of checking 20+ of the recipes in this book, to see if any of them have errors given the listed ingredients. I found none!. Now why would I do that? As some one who has been cooking Indian food for 15 years, I rate this as one of the best Indian cookbooks (and one of my favourite of any style) and I own 100's of cookbooks, and 20+ Indian cookbooks.

The accuracy and presentaion in this book is as good as any book I have, and even better; the recipes are superb examples of their cuisine and easily done at home (though I say this as someone who is not a beginner cook!).

This is one of my first choices for an Indian cookbook, and I probably refer to this book more than any other Indian cookbook.
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