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50 Great Curries of India (Book & DVD) Paperback – 15 Jul 2006

154 customer reviews

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Paperback, 15 Jul 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Cathie; Revised edition edition (15 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856266885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856266888
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 21.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Camellia Panjabi is the author of the world's best-selling book on curry, 50 Great Curries of India. It has sold over 1 million copies and has been described as 'the definitive guide to Indian cooking'. Born in Mumbai, Camellia read Economics at Cambridge and went on to become the Marketing Director of Taj Hotels, India's most prestigious hotel group. With a lifelong passion for food, Camellia helped create several restaurants for these premier hotels, featuring little-known regional dishes.

Camellia opened the Bombay Brasserie in London, in 1982, introducing regional Indian cooking to the UK for the first time, and changing the way Indian cuisine is perceived in Britain. In 2001, she joined her family's restaurant company, Masala World, owner of Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy, Masala Zone and Amaya.

Product Description


...has delectable, completely authentic recipes, comes with
a...usefully analytic DVD and is a fund of...knowledge
-- The Observer, December 3, 2006

..remains the definitive guide to Indian cooking. -- Square Meal Magazine, October 2006

About the Author

Camellia Panjabi was born in Mumbai. She read economics at Cambridge and went on to become Marketing Director of Taj Hotels, India's most prestigious hotel group. Over the last thirty years she has travelled the length and breadth of India and has been involved in the setting up of restaurants in these premier hotels, featuring little known Indian dishes. In 1982 she set up the Bombay Brasserie in London. In 2001 she left the Taj Group to join her family's restaurant company Masala World in London, which owns Chutney Mary in Chelsea, Veeraswamy (the UK's oldest Indian restaurant) near Piccadilly Circus and Masala Zone in Islington, Soho and Earls Court. Amaya, their latest venture, has won several awards including The Tio Pepe ITV 2005 Awards for the Best Restaurant of the Year as well as the Best New Restaurant.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
Ever since I can remember I have loved and been passionately involved in food. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. Robert on 17 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
Part of me thinks this book is great - perhaps because I don't own another book on curries, perhaps because the recipes look so good, perhaps for all the info at the beginning about food culture and history, ideas about balancing flavours etc. Some of the recipes are delicious, like the red chutney - I had a look of horror on my face after piling up all the ingredients in the bowl (fresh coconut and ketchup?!!!) mixed all together and it was wonderful.

But I have had real difficulty with the quantities, like many of the other reviewers. I laughed in total understanding with the reviewer who said the author must have been making a book about soups at the same time. I simply can't understand how anybody (and so many people) could give it five stars. My only guess is that not all the recipes have problems with quantities, and that the four/five star reviewers simply haven't come across them. Basically most of the recipes I've made have specified way too much water, some two to three times more than what I'd say was needed. At least you can boil it down, but trust me, the time it takes to make curry, the last thing you want is to have to cook it til the water evaporates - it takes ages. What's more, it suggests to either lack of care in the editing process, or that the recipes haven't been tested.

Anyway, the book's got great things about it and not so great things. I'd suggest you give it a go, especially if you haven't got another book on curries. BUT be careful with the water quantities. Add it little by little - it's easy to add more, not so easy to take it away.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 1999
Format: Paperback
I am an enormous fan of cooking and I am an even greater fan of eastern cuisine. Especially curries. This is unfortunate for me as the majority of curry books that I either have or have seen are pathetic. The recipes often look nice on reading; but on cooking are far from impressive. This book, however, is the exception. I have cooked all but a couple of them and have loved all but a few. And, what's more, the ones I didn't love were loved by others.
In a sense, this should be reason enough to buy this book - there are few others who try out a whole book before recommending it... I'm not basing my opinion on how nice the words look. And neither am I basing my opinion on the beautiful and tempting full-page photographs that accompany every curry; though, having said that, this fact does separate this book from other less or less-well illustrated books that often fail to tempt one to attempt what turns out to be a beautiful dish.
All the dishes are full of flavour. Not like so many others I have tried. How it happens I don't know because Camellia does not use more spice than others. Maybe just more know-how.
And this is a large factor indeed. As anyone who knows anything about curries will know, you cannot just fling the spices in the pan at any old time you fancy (or you can, but not for best results). There is order to it all. Many books have the spices bunged in the pot in a one-er, or, worse, thrown in after the liquid has been added, often leaving the spices tasting raw and like a cheap, cheap can of curry. Camellia does not do this. Her cooking is the art-form that is required to make good curry.
And, in addition to the curries themselves you will find an assortment of other dishes like pickles, chutneys, rices, dals and, for those brave enough to try them, Indian deserts made almost wholly from oil and flour
Excellent food. Excellent book.
Tell me of other genuinely great books if you know of any.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Katchen on 12 July 2007
Format: Paperback
There are some great recipes in this book; there are several that aren't to my tastes admittedly, but many have become firm favourites that I use again and again. However, the reasons this book has stayed a favourite are the introductory chapters; the first 54 pages of the book (earlier version) cover topics from: an introduction to the philosophy of Indian food; how to use and prepare individual spices, and their purpose within a recipe; to how to rescue a curry that hasn't turned out quite how you expected.

I find a lot of curry recipes can be a little variable in terms of results, due to natural variance in the ingredients and the number of ingredients you have to use, so knowing how to safely deviate from a recipe when necessary is very valuable (and has since helped salvage more than one meal in our household!).

I haven't seen the DVD a previous reviewer has referred to, but was surprised to read it had nothing on breads, as I found the chapter on Indian breads (Roti) within the book to be very instructive, and I gave me the confidence to start cooking chapati at home. I've had a lot of success with many recipes from the book; they have variable levels of heat, but this has generally been described adequately in the descriptions, and they do range from very hot indeed, to mild and fragrant.

I also liked the section on vegetable and potato side-dishes, as this is an area that often seems not to be covered enough in other curry books; these two chapters alone mean this book sees use every time I cook Indian food.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
I don't understand the reviewer who claimed this is a 'vanity book'. It explains which spices have to be cooked for what time to maximise their efficiency. The recipes work (I have yet to make a duff one) and the food comes out better than I can buy at my local Indian restaurant. This book has rekindled by love of Indian food.
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