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J. A. Vanderschaaf (Auckland, New Zealand)

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Rick Stein's India
Rick Stein's India
by Rick Stein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a mind blasting Curry, Rickii!, 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rick Stein's India (Hardcover)
Have both the DVD and the book! Love both. I did not think that Rick Stein being a 'Fish' person would do justice to the meat and vegetarian curries of India, but it is a tribute to this wonderful cuisine that he says "he could go vegetarian with dishes such as these". I am going through the book at present and trying all these absolutely wonderful dishes out. The one vegetable curry I am coming back to again and again is 'Thoran', "Dry curry of cabbage, carrot and coconut" (Pg 72). It is very easy to make and is done in a flash, but the blending of tastes that you get with the fresh coconut is so moreish, that you find yourself eating it greedily, just so you can savour the taste over and over again. It goes with all the meat and fish curries I have made so far.

As to Kashmiri Chilli powder, I happened to be in Queenstown for two weeks and came across it at the Mediterrean Food Market there. Bought some and because the hole to hang the bag up with was punched very close to the contents in the bag, some of the chilli powder had spilled out onto our kitchen counter top. I picked some of the powder up and was expecting a very hot taste in my mouth, but was surprised at the slight tingling. But most of all I really liked the smokey, savoury taste of this chilli powder that compliments all these curries so wonderfully well. I love the bright rich red of the colour of this chilli powder.

I made the 'Lamb Curry with Sweet Potato in Onion Marsala" (Pg 239), but did not use 250g of butter, maybe only about 20g just for the flavour. I love our Kumera, so chopped this up and roasted it in the oven. I used about 1/2 tsp of white pepper instead of the 1 tsp and added the roasted kumera at the end of the cooking time just to heat through and of course I had Thoran with it and Deliah Smiths Pilau. The Shepherds pie (Pg 250) sings. Who wants ordinary shepherds pie when you have the Madras Clubs version. The "Cochin first class Railway Curry" (Pg 254) is fabulous (also with Thoran) and when you cook it, it goes very thick. I just watered it down to the consistency I was happy with as I don't like very watery sauces anyway. I put in only 1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder and it was perfect.

"British Beef Raj Curry" (Pg 268) was great because it harks back to colonial England, Queen Victoria and the British Raj. I also liked it because it has the very colonial desiccated coconut and sultanas in it. Most early curries in New Zealand were like this. I added the Kachumber salad (Pg 305), sliced banana tossed in desiccated coconut and bought Mango Chutney. "Yesterdays Fish Curry" (Pg 176) is wonderful. Rick is a master at getting all the tastes just right. I used Monkfish instead of Salmon and this worked extremely well. I have a small jar of tamarind paste, so water this down to get the 100ml tamarind liquid required in the recipe. Just for my taste I find that the 500ml of water extra would make the sauce to thin, as there are tomatoes in this dish, so used only around 100ml.

Next on the list I think will be the two egg curries (Pg 116 and 104). I would like to try the other vegetable curries, but I can't go past "Thoran". I have bought 2 coconuts and have drained them and smashed them open and prised the white coconut meat out of it. My sliced fingers can attest to this, but I have now got 2 glad wrap bags of grated fresh coconut in the freezer waiting for my favourite vegetable curry. There is also "Amma's Pork Curry" (Pg 224), "Mr Singhs slow cooked curry" (Pg 251), "Lamb Korma" (Pg 246), "Chicken and rosewater biriyani" (Pg 214), "Butter Chicken" (Pg 210), "Rocky's Chicken Korma" (Pg 190) and so on. Then there is "Nimish" (Pg 281), when I think I can handle all that cream.

This must be the best cookbook on Indian food around at present. Every curry tastes different. They are authentic and absolutely top notch. Ricks book along with Madhur Jeffreys books are all you need to make really great curries. I love the photography and colour in the book and is very reminiscent of the colour I believe you would see in India and the photos of all the curries makes you want a curry more often than you would have wanted in the past. I just love this book.

Miette Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop
Miette Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop
by Miette Cakes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I might have bought a Dud???, 16 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This might seem like a strange review as I have just ordered a copy of this book and silly me, I did not read the reviews like I should have. If you go into in the US, reviewers say that the book is FULL of errors and that Miette have put out a revised updated error free version of the book round the middle of October 2011. It is also noted by one of the reviewers that an updated book will be sent out by to all people who have bought the dud in the first place and that as of the middle of October 2011 anyone ordering the book will receive the updated version regardless.

My one BIG question is... Does Amazon UK ship out the Dud version or are they shipping out the revised version available around mid October. If this is the revised version, I will be keeping the book, if it is the dud, then
I will be shipping it back to Amazon UK and asking for my money back.

Sorry Miette, the book looks gorgeous, but if the receipes are such failures as discribed by disgruntled reviewers in the website, then it would have been better not to publish such a book in the first place. Where was your editing eye when it was needed.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 16, 2011 1:31 PM GMT

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