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.