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43 Reviews
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 (26)
4 star:
 (11)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb guide to Indian cooking
I'm a big fan of Indian food, and the thought of recreating some of the gorgeous meals at home (which up until now have all been in the form of takeaways) is something which has appealed to me for quite a while. I've come close in the past, but have always been put off by the plethora of herbs and spices needed to make even the most basic of dishes (half of which I'd...
Published on 27 May 2010 by Norman Cheeseworthy

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near as good as I had hoped
Despite loving Indian cuisine and having a shelf full of Indian recipe books, I thought I'd make room for another that appeared to offer something fresh. However, it really didn't come up to my expectations.

First of all I find the cover of this book misleading. The implication of a book for 'busy living' is that the recipes will be swift and painless. Much...
Published on 9 Oct 2011 by bomble


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5.0 out of 5 stars good book, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
very interesting book, modern , forward looking, good recipes, and quite amusing to read would give someone for a present
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK BUT MAGNIFYING GLASS ESSENTIAL, 27 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
Miss MasalaGreat book, beautifully written and presented throughout, but why print the Ingredients in a size 8 font (at most), so Page 12 - Essential Gadgets should include Magnifying Glass.

The author gives easy stepped instructions on what to use, where to buy the ingredients, how to store them, as well as including anecdotes and stories which bring the book to life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect introduction to Indian cooking, 1 Aug 2012
This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
I have always been reluctant to cook Indian food: I'm not the world's greatest cook; I have had some pretty bad Indian meals that never compared to the real thing in India; and I just didn't know where to start. Miss Masala has changed that! Clearly-written recipes and the all important background information on key ingredients and methods. A lot of the dishes in the book are also really healthy, cost-effective to cook and can be made in a realistic time for those with busy lives. It would be great if there were more pictures for those of us who could do with a hand on their presentation, but I loved the running commentary - great to read while something nice is bubbling on the stove. Can't recommend this enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, 30 Nov 2011
This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
Easy to follow recipes with (so far) great results. Some reviewers seem irritated by the asides and stories which I think are mostly pretty funny but they are separate from the recipes so just ignore them. Life is too short to be irritated when you could be rustling up some paneer and spinach! Only slight gripe is Miss Masala and her mates must have bird like appetites - "feeds four" means only if you make four dishes at a time which of course may be the idea.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 14 Oct 2010
By 
artemisrhi "artemisrhi" (Forest of Dean) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
This is a good book. I read it at night over a couple of evenings at it is a very enjoyable read. "Miss Masala" recounts how she seeks out to understand and cook the Indian food of her childhood as a busy London career girl. It is a very entertaining and informative read. In this respect if follows the cookery book tradition of the Elizabeth Grigson explaining the culture and provenance of her cooking. As a cookery book the recipes and instructions are every bit as good as Delia Smith's How to Cook or Complete Cookery Course. With recipes that are well written, sensible ingredient and equipment lists. There are many useful tips for example if you are wanting a less fattening version of a dish leave out the fried onions as they hold on to the fat that they have been cooked in. My only complaint that as it is written as a novel/lifestyle cookery book it makes it hard to find a recipe for cooking chicken or other particular ingredient. Other than that a cook book. It also has a very sensible binding for a cook book that is meant to be used.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Korma Chameleon, 23 July 2010
By 
Michael Mooney "mrbadexample" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
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I loved this cookbook - it spills the daal on some secrets of Indian homecooking, but mostly it just shines with affection for the dishes of childhood. Is there a lesson I'll take from it? Yes - treat your food with respect, and it will repay you a hundredfold.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice simple guide to indian food, 15 July 2010
By 
Richard Kelly (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
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Firstly is it a cook book, or is it a load of blog posts put into a book? Well it's a bit of both! To be honest I'm all that bothered about the bits in between the food, but a did read a few whilst trying to knock up some of the food. The food itself is fairly basic as far as indian cooking goes. I own several indian cook books ranging from the fairly basic (this is certainly one of these) to the type where you can only find a fraction of the spices mentioned and every dish requires a labour of love just to get to the point where you turn the heat on.

The food is simple, easy enough to do if you are in a hurry and the written bits are okay to read whilst you are either searching for the next thing to cook or whilst cooking. You can do pretty much everything you would expect to find in a decent indian take away and the book has themes rather than courses for its layout - a theme on easy/fast food, fast but impressive food etc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different type of cook book, 15 July 2010
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Amazon Customer (Beds UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
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This is a lovely book. A5 size it is smaller than most cookbooks and it is also a book that requires a read from cover to cover as there is a narative about the author's cooking experiences. The book is presented in a way like a diary of a food lover.
The recipes seem to be good so far as I have tested them so far. The instructions given are clear and the types of ingredients used are easily obtainable.
Recommended for summer reading and summer cooking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and quirky but no photos of the finished dish, 17 Jun 2010
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Mimi Moor - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
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Miss Masala is a cute well written book about Indian cookery, with explanations about some of the more unusual ingredients required for cooking, detailed recipes and chat in between. However it has one rather serious flaw in my opinion in that there are no photos of the finished dishes which is something I find essential, as I generally choose what I'm cooking based on the images of what I'm going to end up eating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and lively presentation of some great recipes and cooking tips, 17 Jun 2010
By 
G. Wake "gregwake" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Masala (Hardcover)
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This is not a recipe book, or rather not just a recipe book. The space between the various recipes is filled by snippets of the authors lifestyle: this comes across as a successful yuppie of the kind Del Boy aspired to, with a touch of Ab Fab thrown in by the "PR" work. Something about the life presented seems false, as if the author is ticking the boxes to show she is living the correct way, watching the right programmes and drinking the fashionable things: I'm not entirely sure what libefraumilch has to do with Indian cooking but Miss Masala lets you know she doesn't like it. There is a parade of TV cliches and cynical comments about alcohol, PR, blondes, boyfriends and, it seems, everything else. Even the aunties appear to be lifted straight from Goodness Gracious Me. At first I found this patronising, slightly arrogant and conversational conversational style of writing annoying, but after a few pages (and more importantly after reading a few recipes) I found myself warming to the book.

The book itself is a rather pretty and compact hardback in a variety of bright colours, with rough, hand drawn illustrations and a notebook-esq design give it a similar feel to Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie at Home.' The whingeing about men and the colour scheme suggest this book is aimed at women; as a man I still found it a readable book, if somewhat sexist in places. While it looks the part this Chinese printed book isn't that well put together; a drop of water fell on one page and immediately the text underneath began to disintegrate so, if you're planning on following the recipes keep this book well away from the actual cooking. The style also makes this book interesting to navigate: the chapters and sections are not divided up in the way I expected them to be (i.e. fish, poultry, rice dishes each with their own area) but instead by what the author believes each one to be good for. This can be tricky when you're looking for inspiration but it does work, once you get used to it.

This book is not suitable for children as there are a few of the more serious swearwords sprinkled around inside, along with some mention of dabbling in 'illegal substances' and other adult behavior. If you have anything against conspicuous consumption of alcohol then this is a book to avoid as over indulgence in vodka, cocktails and various kinds of wine are regularly name dropped.

The food here is not what I was expecting, there is a wider, most interesting range here than in any of my other `Indian' or curry cook books so even if you have a shelf full of cook books, you're likely to find something new to try. I cannot fault any of the recipes here, they are all well described so while there aren't many photographs you can still get a good idea of what you want to end up with. I enjoyed reading the stories behind the recipes like the Indian street vendors, father's favorites, disastrous first attempts and failed dinner parties all make imagining the food so much easier and, once you can imagine it, then you can cook it successfully. I love cooking things from this book, I've only tried a few thus far but they have all been wonderful and the outcome is very much down to the quality of the writing in this book as, the way the recipes are written and broken down into stages, very little in the way of skill is required for most things in here.

If you buy this book, you're going to have fun with it either when reading it and laughing at the snippets of life shown here or trying out the recipes.
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Miss Masala
Miss Masala by Mallika Basu (Hardcover - 29 April 2010)
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