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211 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Delivers
Having read some of the other reviews I ordered this book. On the day of delivery I trotted off and bought (what my husband thought) was every spice imaginable. I then commenced with the basic curry sauce. Having got to the boiled onions, garlic and ginger stage it was a weird green colour. Hearing the comment of "Yeauhhhhh what's that"? and "I'm not eating...
Published on 9 April 2006 by A. Branco

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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same spices in each Recipe
After reading all the reviews I was excited when this book was delivered. I made base sauce as required, like some of the other reviews i had my doubts when it turned green, but when it was finally finished i was eager to make the curry. I did taste the base and thought it was bland, however as we are meant to add spices to this i thought it was fine.

When i...
Published on 11 Oct 2010 by Ian


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211 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Delivers, 9 April 2006
By 
A. Branco (Bolton, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
Having read some of the other reviews I ordered this book. On the day of delivery I trotted off and bought (what my husband thought) was every spice imaginable. I then commenced with the basic curry sauce. Having got to the boiled onions, garlic and ginger stage it was a weird green colour. Hearing the comment of "Yeauhhhhh what's that"? and "I'm not eating that" from everyone who walked through the kitchen I had my doubts but I carried on. By Friday night the sauce was complete and in the fridge awaiting our home cooked Indian on Saturday Night. I prepared the chicken as stated in the book and made a Chicken Korma for the kids and a Chicken Dhansak for me and hubby. WOW the kids wolfed theirs down and we really really enjoyed our Dhansak. Both currys were worthy of any restaurant or takeaway. Husband has already put in his order for next week. I can't belive how easy each curry was to put together once you have the basic sauce. This book is a must for anyone who has tried and failed in the past to make a good curry at home and if this is the first curry book you buy, you have bought the best and won't need another one.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The proverbial Jewel in the Crown, 2 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
This book is "The one"! Invest the time to make the base sauce (tip: carefully follow the instuctions about keeping the saucepan lid on! - alternatively leave the kitchen door open as the smell is aweful!) and then use it to make any of the curries you would find in a typical British curry house - with authentic taste, texture and appearance. I have bought many copies of this book for my friends and family and they in turn have bought copies for theirs. You will impress everyone with your curry cooking skills and become a legend in your own lifetime - seriously! This book is easy to follow and the results are awesome... it is the best bargain on the bookshelf - time for me to buy another copy as my current one is stained yellow and brown and has mangled pages from so much use.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Grail has been found ..... at last, 29 Jan 2007
This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
I received this book as a gift from my wife, probably in desperation after seeing my hopeless attempts at creating a "restaurant style" curry. The vast majority of reviews posted about this book give glowing praise (well earned too, in my opinion). Can't understand some of the negative viewpoints and I can only assume that they didn't follow the recipes closely enough.

I set about my first attempt at making the curry sauce and was pretty pessimistic halfway through - the onion, garlic and ginger base doesn't look very appetizing and does tend to stink out the kitchen. The 3rd stage of the sauce base, however, is where it all starts to come together and you can tell that you are on your way.........finally. I have made 3 or 4 different curries so far and they have all been very close to the Manchester Indian curry house sauces that I grew up with. The final step of turning your base into a Vindaloo, Madras, Korma etc is open to interpretation and imagination but I know (after 35 years of trying) that I have found the Holy Grail of curry cook books. Forget the Louvre it's right here at Amazon.

Col
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Really Works!, 15 May 2003
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This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
I was sceptical because I've seen so many 'Restaurant-style' curry cookbooks, and none yielded a curry anything like you'd get in a takeaway (though they were nice in their own way).
Well, I made the curry sauce and knocked up a batch of chicken as directed in this book.
I was still doubtful up until 5 minutes before the end of cooking my first curry. That's when the one and only definitely curry-like ingredient goes in. The house even smelled like a takeaway - at long last!
It was EXACTLY like the curries I get from takeaways. All these years I've been mucking about with 50 spices, roasting, grinding... and it all came down to one spice (and the technique, of course).
And the Pilau Rice recipe produced a 100% Restaurant copy, too.
Buy it! And award Mr Dhillon a medal.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic stuff!!!, 24 Jun 2006
By 
Greer Alwyn (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
I bought this book in an impulse buy whilst I was ordering Mahdur Jaffrey's Simple Indian Cookery and also her Indian Cooking book. It was offered up as a temptation just as I was placing my order (you sneaky Amazon people!) and I thought, "What the heck, why not it's only a couple of quid?". The book arrived a few days later and I digested how to make a curry Dhillon style and once I had finished I simply could not believe how good it was!!! It was easily as good as, if not better, than any curry I'd ever tasted and even my wife ate her portion which is something unusual when it has been me to prepare it. This little goldmine of a book is on sale for a lot less than it should be. I've been making double batches of the curry sauce these days as it is quite a long process but the results are worth every minute spent!! I haven't even moved away from the chicken curry recipe yet and haven't bothered with any of the recipies in Madhur's books so that's testament on it's own. The only thing I found being a chilli-head is that the measures suggested for madras and vindaloo fall short of the sort of heat I am used to so I supplement the ingredients with 5 or 6 bird chillies to give the recipes a real kick.
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122 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and cheerful, but does not give the secret, this review does !, 11 Jun 2008
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If you want to get that basic Indian restaurant flavour then this book helps, but only to an extent. There is slightly more to it. You will get the basic texture correct and to some extent the character of restaurant food from the base gravy recipe in this book. But good restaurants do a little more and great restaurants do rather a lot more. In fact it takes many years of training to become a top Indian food chef.

I don't agree that this book truly gives the "curry secret". And I certainly don't think you have to boil all the ingredients as this book suggests. I have had the pleasure of being invited "back stage" at a couple of Indian restaurants and have joined in the cooking. They laughed when I told them about this book !

The real secret is adding a lot of salt to the onions and garlic paste as they fry. Its not really got anything to do with the spices. You must use a lot of oil and garlic - otherwise it won't work. For a curry base for 4 people you would use 4 shredded onions, at least 8 fat cloves of squashed garlic, fresh ginger puree and at least half a tea cup of vegetable oil and then add a good level teaspoon of salt ! Yes - that is a lot of salt I know. What happens here is that the salt draws out the garlic and onion flavours and that "chemistry" is what gives you the restaurant falvour. This takes about 20 minutes on quite a high heat - stir every thirty seconds, then add blended canned tomatoes, some fresh tomatoes, turmeric, methi powder, chilli, cumin, coriander and cardamom.

Stir in half a cup of natural yoghurt and cook vigorously for another 20 minutes stirring almost all the time adding water so the sauce does not burn. 5 minutes before serving add a teaspoon of garam masala and fresh coriander if you have some. For a creamy finish, blend the whole lot and add an inch of coconut block or coconut cream. Add half a can of tomato soup for Tikka Masala sauce - yes that is what the restaurants do ! And add single cream at the end. Trust me this little addition will work.

In summary it's the way that garlic and to a lesser extent the onions, salt and oil cook that gives that Indian restaurant aroma - not so much the spices. Obviously you would not have a curry without the spices, but they are the easy part - in my humble opinion.

One tip, pour off the excess oil or ghee you use for frying the garlic and onions and save it. Do this each time you make a curry and refrigerate the oil. It will keep fine for a few weeks. Or make your curry sauce two to three days (max) in advance and refrigerate. The aging process improves the flavour and gives more of a restaurant aroma.

A word of warning though as others have pointed out - the basic curry gravy as per this book absolutely stinks your house out and takes several days to get rid of ! Do it outside if you must, but as I say it's a red herring - you don't need to boil the onions, garlic and ginger.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best home cooked curries you'll ever make!, 1 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
For anyone interested in cooking curry at home this book is a must. The curries you cook will be the tastiest, and quickest to prepare you have ever tried. The secret is in the preparation of a basic sauce, which is prepared in bulk and frozen and the same with your chosen meat. To cook the final curry it is simply a matter of assembling the dishes from the basic sauce , meat dishes and a few spices. Thus a curry is prepared in usually 15-20 minutes. What suprised me was the vastly superior "Curry House" taste, which is perhaps partly due to the speed with which dishes are prepared (rather than hours spent cooking dishes, at the end of which you can taste nothing!). There is a limited number of dishes in the book, but every one a winner, with the emphasis on dishes you will recognise from the restaurant menu (Bhuna, Korma, Madras etc), but at the price this book is a bargain, undoubtedly the best value for money cookery book I have ever bought or used.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the effort, 10 Sep 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
I cannot say that I exactly enjoyed the experience of preparing the basic curry sauce, which consisted of slicing through dozens of raw onions and stinking out the kitchen for days. However, the end product was well worth all the effort and eye watering pain! The curries were authentic and delicious, and all my friends have asked for a copy of the book. My one recommendation is that you prepare a titanic amount of the basic curry sauce and then freeze it in individual proportions! My second recommendation, which is totally bonkers but essential, is to make sure you wear some swimming goggles whilst chopping the onions! I'm hoping Kris Dhillon will bring out another book entitled The Chinese Secret!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY THE BEST!, 16 Oct 2004
By 
Y Kane (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
I bought this in a bookshop - then I bought 2 copies on Amazon - now I am about to buy more copies to send to friends in Spain and the USA - people have tried our curries and they all want a copy! I find that the curries are exactly the same as a takeaway curry except that I tend to use less oil and salt - this helps to reduce indigestion which sometimes results from eating a takeaway. We are big foodies and love food and cooking - I spent years trying to make curries - I have volumes of cooking books and I always ended up feeling cross and frustrated at my hard work - I could cook everything but a curry! I am now able to cook the most wonderful curries and its all thanks to this funny little book! It really is foolproof and we love it - as do all our friends! My humble advice - BUY IT NOW!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top book, 3 Jan 2007
By 
D. W. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home (Paperback)
Have amazed family with this book, they think the food is from a local curry house, although will have to improve the extractor fan for the onions, garlic and ginger mix.. only improvment would be laminated pages.
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The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home
The Curry Secret : Indian Restaurant Cookery at Home by Kris Dhillon (Paperback - 27 Dec 1995)
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