Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes Hardcover – Aug 31 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
There's much to like in this informative cookbook, which offers an accessible take (if, inevitably, not a comprehensive one) on one of the world's most vast and complex regional cuisines. It's a natural development for Saran, who teaches Indian cooking classes and opened the New York restaurant Amma last year. Such expertise is welcome in a book that cherry-picks freely from Moghul meat dishes, Gujerati dals, Hyderabadi greens and Punjabi tandoor dishes. That said, many of the curries are familiar, like Chicken Tikka Masala and Simple Lamb Curry with Coriander and Garam Masala. Surprisingly straightforward vegetable dishes include Smoked Spiced Eggplant, and Crisp Whole Okra with Fennel and Coriander. Rice dishes range from simple (Cumin-Scented Rice Pilaf) to elaborate (Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Nuts and Currants). Lassis, raitas, breads and some unexpectedly Western-sounding desserts (e.g., Blueberry-Lemon Pie and Gingersnap Pudding) complete the volume. Unfortunately, the book's minuscule print poses a nuisance for home cooks, who may be called upon to dash back and forth, adding spices to the pan every 30 seconds. Just taking the time to find one's place on the page can result in smoke and burnt seasonings. Still, Saran and Lyness fill a crucial niche in the cookbook market; their work should be avidly welcomed. 75 color photos.
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From the Inside Flap
With its exotic aromas and complex flavors, Indian cuisine is one of the world's best. It's no wonder that so many people adore it--and also no surprise that it could seem daunting to cook Indian food at home. Now, acclaimed chef and cooking teacher Suvir Saran cuts out the fuss, sharing casual, home-style Indian dishes that are perfect for everyday cooking.
Indian Home Cooking is a celebration of the food Indians cook in American kitchens today, using ingredients found in most supermarkets. With streamlined techniques and intense, authentic flavors, Indian Home Cooking heralds a new generation of Indian cookbooks. From slow-simmered curries with layered flavors to quickly sauteed dishes, these approachable recipes explore the wide world of Indian cuisine, including:
*Irresistible snacks and appetizers, such as Puff Pastry Samosas with Green Peas, and Spinach-Potato Patties
*Seductively spiced lentil dals, from the North Indian classic flavored with whole cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves to a Southern Indian version with dried red chilies, mustard seeds, and curry leaves
*Aromatic meat and seafood curries, like Coconut Chicken with Cashews and spicy Goan Shrimp Balchao
*An incredible range of vegetable dishes, including Stir-Fried Green Beans with Cumin, and Cauliflower with Sauteed Green Peppers, Tomato, and Yogurt
*Easy, colorful chutneys and pickles to fill your pantry
Filled with gorgeous photographs, fresh flavors, and practical advice, Indian Home Cooking is an illuminating guide to real Indian food.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The photographs are great and refreshingly accurate, unlike some cookbooks that use presentation elements not revealed in the recipes. You will know if you did it "right" just by comparing the colors of what you cooked up against the photos.
Yes this book is limited and really not representative of all Indian cooking, but the country is way too diverse for any single cookbook. You'll just have to find books that specialize in a particular region (like Cooking at Home with Pedatha for Andhra cooking).
My only complaint is that the dessert section is very poor, but given this is a "home cooking" book, this is an acceptable omission.
My first recipe was Indian spicy fried salmon and it turned out great. It was not too spicy and I served it on top of brown rice. My only mistake was not following the recipe fully and removing the small amount of skin on the fish, but it was still very good. I used Panko breadcrumbs in place of regular breadcrumbs and they worked very well with the recipe.
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a great cook, but with this book, you can surprise your family and guests with something imaginative and different. I am anxious to try other recipes.
Fortunately, I think Saran's Indian Home Cooking might have slowed down my buying binge of Indian cookbooks (my mate will leap for joy!)
I really like this cookbook. Why? The recipes are great. Even more, I like the extra comments the author offers on the recipe and why he included it. Best of all, the recipes have the feeling of being both tasty and authentic while also being accessible to an everyday American home kitchen.
I've looked through the whole book and every recipe looks so interesting I want to try it. The instructions are so clear that the intimidation factor of cooking an unknown cuisine is removed. Also, when the author uses a hard to find ingredient, he always suggests an available subsitute.
Finally, I like the presentation and layout of the book. It's quite attractive. The pages are glossy, the photos top rate. For me, there really is nothing I do not like about this book. And that's the first Indian cookbook I've been able to say that about.