Succinctly defined as "curry cooked in a wok", Balti food consists of fresh ingredients stir-fried in a dish called a karahi and served in a sauce based on a blend of onion, tomato, coriander and fenugreek, for which every Baltihouse has its own distinctive recipe. Stemming from the traditional cuisine of northern Pakistan, where Chinese culinary influence is strong, Balti first emerged on the British scene in Birmingham in the 1970s. It quickly won a passionate following, both in and beyond the Asian community. Among its aficionados are Diane Lowe and Mike Davidson, for whom this book has been a labour of love. Frustrated by the absence of published Balti recipes to try out at home, they hit on a simple solution: interviewing the chefs of Birmingham's leading Baltihouses, most of whom were happy to divulge their secrets. In addition to the 100 deliciously varied recipes, the authors provide information about the utensils you need and the ingredients used, ranging from fresh vegetables, pulses, garlic and ginger to chilli and garam masala, cumin seeds and cardamoms; how to prepare and store your own spices; what meat to buy and how to prepare it. This can consist of up to four stages: marinating, par-cooking, making Balti sauce and stir-frying. But Balti cooking is never complicated, and sometimes, where ingredients are simply stir-fried, it is extremely quick. There are also recipes for vegetarian Baltis, bread accompaniments, sweets and desserts.