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The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India Hardcover – 9 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Lorenz Books (9 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754827232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754827238
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 3.5 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Recipes work in The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook By T. Susan Chang | Globe Correspondent May 28, 2014 It s a sad fact that there are fewer Indian cookbooks than other ethnic cookbooks. So while you might find lots of subcategories of, say, Italian cookbooks slow cooker, easy, vegetables, grilled, desserts, regional you re lucky to find even a couple types of Indian volumes. Happily in recent years, we ve seen easy-accessible Indian well covered. And now, with The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook, by TV chef Mridula Baljekar, we have a working regional Indian cookbook. The United Kingdom-based author organizes the 300 recipes by area (north, northeast, east, central, south, and west). You can sense some of the differences as you browse: rice here, bread there; vegetarian here, meat-eating there, variations in the use of dairy. But most recipes display a basic shared vocabulary: cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a dozen spices combined in a thousand ways. Indian cheese curry in milk is a simple, easy paneer with the representative flavors of ginger, garlic, and green chile. The milk makes a clingy sauce that s almost overwhelmingly rich, even if you don t try subbing in cream (as a footnote suggests). South Indian dishes put rice through every variation you can imagine, including one tinted golden with turmeric and laced with fried onion. With so many recipes, there are a lot of siblings. A pair of mixed vegetable dishes both rely on a classic five-spice mix (fennel, nigella, cumin, mustard seed, fenugreek). The one that s mixed with roast split mung beans (moong dal) has a grainy, somewhat monotonous feel. But the other, mixed vegetables with five-spice mix, is shockingly complex, an extra dose of chiles and tomatoes and a pinch of ground spices lending intrigue, character, and depth. There s similar layering of flavors in a Goan pork vindaloo, which is hot, acidic, sweet, pungent, fruity, and almost tropical in flavor because of vinegar. Ginger and garlic purees and dark, assertive spices make a paste that would rouse the dead. A fairly involved rendition of butter chicken is rich and seductive, cinnamon, cloves, and tomatoes in a veritable bath of butter. Mustard greens also take a turn in rich, spiced butter, pureed into pillowy softness, the result like creamed spinach. But there are misfires. The liquid proportions are off for a batch of naan dough, leaving it so dry it crumbles to bits on the counter. A dish of shrimp in poppy seed and cashew sauce is filled with small errors, from puzzling misprints (like 14 pounds instead of 1.4) to cooking the shrimp a total of 6 or 7 minutes, far more than necessary. Still, if you tweak, you can end up with something truly wonderful. A slow-cooked chicken over rice is, I guess, not slow enough, as the boneless pieces overcook in the oven. Still, the saffrony, oniony rice, and a thick spice paste make up for it. Minced lamb in yogurt sauce would have been a lot better if it had called for draining the lamb fat midway through (there was so much fat it curdled the yogurt); afterward, it occurred to me that perhaps the author had leaner lamb than I used. Because Baljekar is based in Britain, many of her measurements were converted to US volumes from metric weights. There are many slips between a test kitchen and the printed page, particularly when conversions are involved. Even with the abundance of step-by-step color photographs, you ll have to make some judgment calls, and some frustration may ensue. But this slightly uneven, generous volume amply rewards the extra effort. --The Boston Globe

About the Author

Mridula Baljekar, best-selling author of many cookbooks, was born in north-east India. In England she turned her passion for cooking into a highly successful career. Mridula has presented her own TV series and has appeared on Channel 4, BBC2, UKTV Food and Sky One.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nikki on 6 Feb 2014
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very good.... easy to follow
the only problem was the writing... it was to small
thats the bad point to it
other than that its good
with so many different dishes
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lsb23 on 26 Jan 2014
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This is my new favourite Indian cookbook. It has a really great selection of regional recipes with lots of vegetarian meals. I love the regional aspect of it and it clearly shows the difference between the the areas of India.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Col on 15 May 2014
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This is probably one of the best, varied & most useful Indian cookbooks ever produced, albeit a synthesis of two previous works by the same author (of whom I am an avid fan). There are, as is usual with all books a few minor errors, some of which should have been edited out. For example, on p258, 'aniseed' is probably incorrect. I think ajwain (lovage) seed is probably intended. I know from a previous work of Mridula's that she did at one time confuse aniseed with ajwain (see Indian cooking without fat, p7). Again, on p294, 7.5 ml of lemon juice is not 1.5 tablespoons (I think she means 1.5 teaspoons). For these minor indiscretions, she is to be forgiven, especially when she gives us delights such as "Rainbow trout in lemon & mustard marinade" - quite the best trout recipe I have ever sampled - & totally devoid of the 'muddy taste' often described - more like what you might expect of a dover solel or sea bream in texture & quality. Certainly, recipes like this knock some of those of so-called 'fine dining' into a cocked hat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By peter cooper on 2 April 2014
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fantastic book and just what I was looking for. I use all the whole and ground spices, aromatics and herbs in my Indian cooking and don't rely on ready made stuff. you can't beat making your own fresh and the aroma is amazing. I want to try all the regions of Indian cuisine which is want the is about, many thanks
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