Book - 2010
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India: The Cookbook is the definitive guide to the rich and varied cooking of India. Doing for India what The Silver Spoon did for Italy and 1080 Recipes did for Spain, it contains 1,000 easy-to-follow, authentic recipes covering the length and breadth of India, including starter salads and kebabs; fish, vegetarian and meat main courses; breads and snacks; pickles and side dishes; and desserts and drinks. It also provides a wealth of information on the different regional cooking styles, the food philosophies of India, and guides to cooking equipment and ingredients. The recipes have been extensively researched, tested and collected from all regions of India by Professor Pushpesh Pant, author of several Indian cookbooks and an expert on Indian cuisine. They have been fully updated for western kitchens, retaining all the colours, flavours and textures of this fascinating and mouthwatering cuisine.
Publisher: London ; New York : Phaidon, 2010.
ISBN: 9780714859026
Characteristics: 815 p. : col. ill., col. map ; 28 cm.


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Jul 22, 2019

We Spent A Week Cooking Recipes From This Book For Our Cookbook Blog. Read About Our Results Below!
Indian cuisine is something we enjoy but, admittedly, don't know much about. Often, we feel people falsely assume that everything contains "curry" and is spicy - much like the uninitiated would believe "American" food is all hamburgers and hot dogs. This book serves as a fantastic introduction to the various regions within India and the ingredients / techniques commonly used. We loved reading the introductory materials on the history of Indian cuisine. However, one executive decision we made was to omit the large amounts of recommended ghee (a form of clarified butter) and use MUCH smaller amounts of unsalted butter instead. No apologies. We don't need to undo six days of gym workouts each week in just one (albeit delicious) meal. One unique concern we had was how well these dishes would photograph - since we post all the dishes on our social media. Indian food, while delicious, tends to be very brown and uninteresting in appearance. I think we succeeded in making the dishes appealing. Here are the dishes we made:
• Murg Dalcha Kebab (Chicken & Lentil Kebabs) - The yogurt-based marinade provided a nice, tangy flavor to the chicken - while also ensuring an attractive char during grilling. We served this with a quick cauliflower rice for a more substantial meal.
• Baigan ka Bharta (Roasted Mashed Eggplant) - Roasting the eggplants, studded with garlic gloves, on our gas grill gave these such a depth of flavor. We'll be using this technique in the future. A really delicious dish!
• Kath Kaha (Mixed Vegetable Curry) - Aside from the step explaining the vegetable cooking instructions, this was a fantastic recipe. The yam and potatoes should be added first, followed by the carrots, green beans and, lastly, the peas. We opted for using a bag of shredded coconut instead of bothering with the effort (and mess - and danger!) of cracking open a fresh coconut.
• Ga Archa Meen Kari (Fish Curry with Coconut) - This one surprised us a bit. Admittedly, our diet consists of very little seafood. We found a fantastic looking Lake Superior Whitefish at our local fish monger that we knew would be robust enough to stand up to the cooking process. It also took on the flavors of all the traditional spices beautifully! The depth of flavor was off the charts! It's amazing how the proper use of spices can really elevate a simple dish.
• Moong Dal (Yellow Lentils with Vegetables) - These dishes are such a joy to cook. We really love the construction of flavors - beginning with gently toasting the variety of spices (bay leaves, cumin seeds, chillies, ginger, etc.) to form the foundation for the meal. The potatoes and cauliflower were supposed to be fried, but we roasted them on high under the broiler (trying to be healthy!) This worked great. Omit the ghee and you'd have a fantastic vegan dish that stands on its own without attempting to be something it is not (ie: vegan bacon - I'm looking at you!)
• Lamb Biryani - We got a bit lucky with this one. Following the recipe exactly would have yielded enough food to feed a small army (5 cups of rice?!) We greatly reduced the amount of lamb, garlic, rice, ghee and yogurt - achieving, somewhat miraculously, a delicious portion more suitable for two. Even with reducing the amount of butter considerably, the rice had a rich, intense butter flavor that was quite pleasing. We opted for sealing the lid of the cast iron pot with dough. This created a steaming affect, along with an impressive "reveal" when the lid was removed.


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