15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2007
I have owned this book for a few months now and it has quickly become one of my favourites. It has an interesting mix of meat, fish and vegetable dishes to suit all palates (and heat thresholds!) Combine this with great sections covering breads and chutneys, and you have all you need to produce an impressive sub-continental banquet!
The recipes are easy to follow and the authors have included a helpful section with suggestions for meal combinations for different occasions e.g. vegetarian feasts, quick fix dinners and meals for children.
The book itself is a beautiful travel journal with amazing photographs (and the occasional splash of Nepalese tomato sauce on my copy!).
A good buy for the adventurous cook.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a stunning book, beautifully laid out & presented, and with wonderful photography. The North American author has been visiting the Indian sub-continent since the 1970's and his love of the region, its people and its cuisine shines through. The bibliography is extensive, albeit many of the books are unobtainable in the UK as they are mainly published by Indian publishers.
The recipes are drawn from all over the sub-continent: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka and although I have a number of 'Indian' cookbooks there was much that was new to me. For example, there is a fabulous Nepali polenta with a grilled tomato sauce, fried courgettes from Bangladesh, shallot sambhar, green tomato curry and the truly wonderful, yet quick & simple, eggs with curry leaves. At the end of most recipes there are suggestions for accompaniments so you can easily create an enticing feast with just this one book.
The book is far too thick to sit comfortably in my cookbook holder but opens flat on a work surface and stays that way. The only problem with this is that it is all too easy to splatter it with ingredients! The only other (very mild) criticism I have is that measurements are not metric which is hardly surprising bearing in mind the authors are American where llbs & ounces & cup measures reign.
It is an expensive book and so is the sort of thing that people might not buy for themselves but I think it would make an unusual gift for the keen or adventurous cook.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The seven countries that make up the modern-day subcontinent - Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and The Maldives - are brought together for a sensitive, collaborative culinary journey between what can be relatively similar yet dissimilar styles and dishes at the same time.
This is a book that coffee tables were designed for. A heavyweight tome full of wonderful full-page images, inspirational and aspirational text and a lot of very interesting recipes to boot. The only problem is you might break your kitchen's book-holder should you try and prop this book up whilst "in action".
First off, it was interesting to note that the author took the initiative to suggest some typical dishes that could be suitable for various meal situations, from snacks to the more formal. Sometimes, when presented with a mass of different recipes that all look interesting yet unfamiliar, it can be difficult to know what to try first. At least with this help there is a bit of an avenue to gingerly tread along...
Recipes are split by type (rather than country) so you are able to browse by at least something possibly familiar. At the end of the book there is a great glossary, bibliography and index. There is even a little bit, a tiffin one may say, about photographing in the subcontinent. Each recipe is surrounded by lots of scene-setting and background information. At many times the recipes almost appear as an afterthought - with no criticism intended - such is the quality and breadth of the supporting information.
This is a book that the reader can find themselves falling into and at the next moment you realise just how much time has elapsed and note that no food has even been prepared. In many ways this would be an excellent book for the beginner due to its range of recipes but on the other hand the sheer awe-dropping scale of this book means that it might be a little too off-putting at the start. This is no negative thing. In many ways it would be a good solution for the beginner to use this book, at first, as a sort of educational resource and pick up a cheap regional cookery book for its step-by-step beginner-friendly recipes. Combine the two and you will have something that you can refer to in the lounge and take the "ABC"-style book to the kitchen and cover with sweat, ingredients and see it bent beyond recognition with stress. Once you are a calmer, more experienced cook then you can take this special tome closer to your kitchen's heart.
A few years have elapsed since this book was first published. It is still available as a new book from outlets such as Amazon and it holds its second-hand value as well. That, if nothing else, should say something in this ultra-competitive world of cookery and recipe books. If you have anything more than a passing interest in food from this region, this book should be given strong consideration. You might need stronger bookshelves though first.
on 11 February 2013
This is a big, beautifully illustrated book of food from across the Indian sub-continent. I hesitate to call it a cookbook, since it's actually more of a food history and ethnography, although it does have recipes. The photography is beautiful, and the recipes (which it does have) sound delicious. The main problem is the book's size and heft - it's the size of a large coffee table book, which makes it not terribly easy to actually take into the kitchen to cook from. It's a strange sort of in-between book.