Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (August 31, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #206,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #71 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Indian #113 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > International
I have been using this cookbook for over a year now and, like most reviewers, I can't recommend it enough. You'll have to pardon me if I write a long review...I think I enjoy writing about this food as much as I do cooking and eating it...I'll comment on some of the specific dishes below but, first, I'll say that the recipes and techniques in this book are simple (for Indian food, anyway) but they produce dishes with very deep flavors. That said, even the meatier curries are lighter and fresher than what I have eaten in most Indian restaurants. In fact, for the most part, I now prefer to cook and eat my own Indian food. At the risk of sounding corny, these recipes have given me a lot of pleasure.Two other quick points: Since I've been using this cookbook I've tried others, as well as some recipes that I've found online but hands down this book beats all. I find that other recipes produce dishes are either too heavy, aren't flavorful enough, take too much time or the recipes themselves just don't feel inviting to me. I use other cookbooks for other types of food, of course, but for Indian food I'd have to say this is the cookbook. Also, I've been to India a couple times, as well as other places with substantial Indian populations--Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia--so even though I've only been cooking Indian for a year I've known quite a range of Indian food over the years.And now, the food:The dals: There are several dal recipes in this book and I've cooked them all. They range from very simple with just a few ingredients to more complex, with multiple layers of flavoring.
After visiting Suvir Saran's New York restaurant, Devi, where I had what was possibly the best Indian meal of my life, I was delighted to get my hands on his cookbook. Breathlessly, I turned to the recipes for the dishes I had most enjoyed. YES! They were all here. And now they're in my kitchen.The premise for this book is Indian home cooking, and it definitely succeeds. Some of the recipes have a long list of ingredients, but even in those cases, half the list is spices (4 cardamom pods, 4 cloves, etc.). It's definitely not fussy, and the author is cognizant that not everyone can get unusual ingredients. Most recipes identify which items are optional (such as curry leaves and nigella seeds), and, as long as your grocery and health food store covers such essentials as unsweetened grated coconut, you'll be able to make everything listed. Suvir Saran is also kind enough to give "serve this with... "menu suggestions, as most of us aren't sure enough of Indian accompaniments.So far, I've made three of his recipes: a simple chicken curry that was undemanding enough to make for a Tuesday afternoon lunch (well received), and a meal of Cauliflower Hyderabad Style (with coconut, mint, and cardamom) with Simple Gujarati Dal with Three Chiles. It was great, although my cauliflower came out much wetter than I'd had in the restaurant.There is a high proportion of vegetarian recipes in this book, though you'll also find plenty of meat, poultry, and fish. The meat recipes seem to be more in the "usual suspects" range, such as chicken tikka masala; it's the veggie stuff that makes me say Yum when I look at the photos. (Crisp whole okra with fennel and coriander, smoked spiced eggplant, stir-fried green beans with cumin).The instructions aren't quite perfect, however.
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