on 1 November 2010
With two TV series and now three Indian cookery books under her belt, Anjum Anand is surely doing for this generation what Madhur did for the home cooks and curry lovers of the 80's.
Where the first two books covered curry house favourites and many Indian dishes with a British twist, I Love Curry showcases traditional dishes from regions throughout the subcontinent as well as Anjum's own light and healthy creations.
Anjum explains what makes a curry's flavour unique to its region, shares the secrets of making great curries, helps us understand how to bring spices together and demonstrates how to create an authentic Indian menu no matter what your cooking ability.
The recipes are well written, the ingredients lists manageable and each dish is accompanied by a short introduction - highlighting Anjum's own favourites, describing the region from which the dish originates, offering hints and tips on making the dish your own or providing an overview of how the dish tastes, what to serve it with and how quick or easy it is to make.
The photography really brings the book to life and what is fantastic is that there is a photograph for almost every dish. Cookery book publishers take note - we like and need plenty of photographs!
I Love Curry is a very well-conceived book and one I will be turning to time and time again for quick work night dinners and weekend feasts with family and friends.
on 23 January 2011
I love curry, and have been making it since I was about 11, so its fair to say that I am quite an experienced curry cook. I was bought the book for Christmas, and made a couple of recipes, and it inspired me to buy it for someone else. The recipes are modern, and tasty, and so far, I have really liked what I have made, and she does explain some tips very well, which has improved the way I make curry.
So why only four stars then?
My only major complaint would be that the quantities are sometimes a little small especially if you don't make more than one curry. Anjum's definition of a curry is a stand alone main course dish, yet, say, the Keralan pork curry, whilst delicious, only has 100g of meat per person. My family likes to eat more, especially when it tastes so good! Some of the chicken ones seem a little small too, so when it says serves 4-5, I would say if you have 5 people, you will certainly need another curry, and even 4 hungry people would need more, certainly in my house!
Overall its a great book with good recipes, and I am glad I have it. I have done most of the meat curries and accompaniements in the book now, and have no complaints about the food, they all taste great, and it is a lot more modern than many of the curry books I have bought.
on 17 October 2010
A fantastic recipe book, I've got all off Anjum's books but if you're just going to buy one I would recommend this one. Once you've got the basic spices and ingredients you can cook lots of different curries, and I've yet to try one that isn't delicious. The recipes are short and simple and I promise they are better than the takeaway equivalent and much healthier. Buy this for a curry fan for Christmas they'll be chuffed!!
on 14 October 2010
This is a must have book for lovers of Indian food who are eager to keep all the flavours but eat more healthily and lightly. The book, by Anjum Anand, who has had her own television shows and concentrates on demystifying Indian food, presents the premise of a stand-alone main course eaten with rice or naan, in the style of many of our Indian restaurants. There is an excellent introductory section on the basics of making a good curry, a good spice list and a clear index that reads like the menu of an Indian take-away! There are good photographs of all the dishes.
The main section contains recipes for vegetable curries, fish and seafood, poultry and meat, plus starters and side dishes. Ones that caught my eye, with photographs making you hungry, were karahi mushrooms with pepper and peas, karari prawns, chilli chicken balti, parsi style duck with apricots, pork vindaloo and beef madras. There are some lovely light vegetable side dishes, which would also go well with non-Indian meals and a short but comprehensive guide to Indian breads.
Once you have bought your basic spices, which will serve you in good stead, you will be able to have your own Indian menu any night you choose, with much less fat or oil than found in restaurant curries and flavours that can be tweaked to exactly as you want them. A lovely book, both for beginners and experienced cooks and will save you a lot of money!
on 11 November 2010
When our son was still very little, we began feeding him curry. This was for two very good reasons, as the both of us like little better than a great curry and the thought of it being off-menu because our son didn't like it, was too great a sacrifice. As a consequence and one would hope, needless to say, we had to endure some fairly uninterestingly quiet and well-behaved curries but it was worth it, as today our son is as much a curryhound as the rest of us.
So, when the opportunity came up to take a look at Anjum Anand's new book "I Love Curry", of course I jumped at the chance. I already had confidence in Anjum Anand, having seen her cook on the t.v. and having already made dishes that carried her name beside the recipe.
It's a jolly book, with recipes that fit well with the brightly coloured cover. It carries a classic layout, being divided up into sections such as meat, fish and vegetable, so no difficulties there. The photography, by Jonathan Gregson, is particularly enjoyable with most dishes depicted (except maybe the Sweet & Sour Squash, page 144) seeming to urge you to sample their flavours and textures.
One thing I will say, is that I thank goodness I live close to an ethnic shop where I can seek out some of the less well-known herbs and spices. As I read through the book, I was muttering things like "well what the heck is Chaat Masala?" or "Panch Phoran? Whaaa?", however confidence was restored when I reached page 171 where Anjum has set out a "Spices 101", giving descriptions of the majority of spices and herbs mentioned in the book. *phew* That's a relief.
Another few pages of note begin at just page 8, where Anjum sets out some of the "secrets" to making a successful curry. To my way of thinking, the book is valuable simply for some of the learning that is set out in these two pages! As an example, the difference between Nigella and Mustard Seeds when placed in hot oil. These are things that you could pick up through trial and error, but why go through the error, when Anjum has explained it all for you? Sheer brilliance.
I've already marked out four dishes that I'll be including on our menu lists in the future - Tarka Dhal, Chickpea Curry, Prawn Patia and Mussels with Saffron. I've also got several of the "Bites" in mind for the Christmas buffet. You see, a "curry" covers a multitude of different recipes - and this book will help you to cook your way to an understanding of some of the major differences.
The book holds itself out as a recipe book for both the experienced cook and the beginner, but I'd say that it would be at it's most valuable in the hands of an "improving" cook. One who had enough confidence with the genre to be able to play with the recipes and tweak them to their own personal taste, because there's plenty of room to be able to do just that.
on 27 June 2012
For a number of years I had an ambition to make curries to a similar standard to my local restaurants - a couple of months ago I bought and borrowed about 10 recipe books - purchased every spice known to the Asian continent & began cooking - the first couple of attempts were so-so (6/10 efforts) but I learnt the basics quickly, i.e making a smooth paste of fresh Ginger/Garlic/Onion is a good base for many dishes & crushing the spices together with a mortar & pestle is advised! - I managed to make tasty curries on about the third or fourth attempt (though still not quite as nice as the better curry houses!).
After repeating my success a few times it was time to move on & that's where "I Love Curries" comes into it's own.
I had seen Anjum Anand on the Good Food channel & liked her ideas & her approach to explaining the cooking process - her book impresses immediately - it is well laid out & very attractive with enticing photos of completed meals.
She provides a good introduction to Indian cooking - explains the role of many spices & ingredients & also gives hints on how to "rescue" any curries that are not quite right when they are close to completion.
The book says "The best Indian curries you will ever make" - well to date the two I have made have been about the best so far for me - a Spicy Chicken Andhra & a Green Chilli Chicken Balti - both fairly straightforward & both delicious - I did slightly tweak her method - adding a few things & simmering at the end for about 25 minutes whilst the rice was coming along - this also gave more time for the chicken to cook & tenderise - I liked her tip of piercing Green Chillies and leaving them to cook whole in the curry - very tasty.
So far I'm very impressed I will soon go on to try her Lamb Rogan Josh & Beef Madras - again they look fairly straightforward to make & I anticipate a good result.
Originally I was going to start off with her Pork Vindaloo but my basic knowledge suggested to me that it might not be a successful method - I tried a similar version from another book with more sauce & a longer cooking time & the pork & potato were both still "tough" - so I have reservations about that particular recipe.
To sum up I feel that this book will advance a "modest" curry maker such as myself to a higher level - my first couple of meals using this book have been to a comparable standard to meals that I pay two or three times more for from local curry houses!
Note : When I started off buying spices a few months ago I bought them from the main supermarkets - I strongly advise that if you have a sizeable Asian community near to you then get down to one of their mini markets - items such as bay leaves, cinnamon, mustard seeds etc can be a little as 25% of the cost of a large supermarket & main spices such as turmeric, paprika etc are usually half the cost & they will have more choice of makes.
on 31 October 2010
I have Anjum's other cook books and have transformed my Indian cooking from using a well known paste, to using roasted and ground spices. If you follow the recipes to the letter, then you will produce the most wonderful multi layered spiced dishes. This book is the best one yet! I spent a morning marking the recipes I wanted to try with post-it notes. and have counted over 30!The recipe for the naan is a new one and will be tried tomorrow.
Anjum is a delight to watch on tv. She also replies promptly to any questions asked on her website. I can't wait to see her back on tv.
on 11 October 2010
The recipes in this gorgeous new book by Anjum Anand all look so delicious it's hard to know with which dish to start. There is a wonderful range of curry dishes, featuring different styles and ingredients. The recipes originate from all over the Indian subcontinent, all bursting with flavour and spice. The dishes from northern heritage tend to feature tomatoes and dairy products and those from the south use coconut and mustard seed. I was surprised by the extraordinary variety of styles.
Anjum's style is centred on balanced and healthy cooking but the dishes are still rich in flavour, just not swimming in oil. I tried a recipe for a dish that was new to me, a Keralan pork curry and it was wonderful. I also really enjoyed a stir-fried spiced green vegetable dish called thoran, really fresh, light and vibrant. Very quick and simple to prepare too.
The book is straightforward and approachable, with some basic principles of cooking curries to start with, and then neatly divided into starters, curries, and accompaniments.
It's a great book with inspiring photographs and if you love curry, you'll enjoy this book too.
on 18 September 2011
I have never left a review for a cookery book I have purchased before, and I own quite a few, but having cooked most of the recipes form this book - I felt compelled to write one.
The recipes are tasty and produce meals of a far better standard than anything I can get locally from the takeaway. The recipes in this book produce what I would call restaurant quality food. As stated above I have cooked most of the recipes in the book and each time the results have been excellent. I own other Indian cookery books, but they do not compare in anyway to this one, so much so, I no longer use the others.
Admittedly there are some ingredients listed that I can't source locally, such as black cardamom and mango power. As first I simply substituted these ingredients and the results were still excellent. I have since ordered these ingredients from one of the online suppliers that Anjum recommends. These ingredients cost a couple of pounds, were no hassle to obtain and they are worth buying.
If you are like me and spend ages looking for books on Amazon and reading other reviews before buying, take my word for it, you won't be disappointed!!!!!!
on 19 October 2010
I'm inclined to agree with those that say curry is addictive, whether the exotic spices have a narcotic property or not, they certainly tantalise the taste buds, making me want more.
Lately, curry has had a bad rap from health enthusiasts, stating that it is high in fat, sugar and salt, takeaways and ready meals especially so. That's not good news for devotees of Indian food who want enjoy a good fuss-free curry but also care about what they put into their bodies.
Anjum Anand has the perfect antidote to this problem, as her approach to Indian cooking is lighter and healthier, but no less authentic or full of evocative spices. It is very refreshing to know that curries do not have to be covered in a layer of oil to be bursting with flavour.
The recipes are not complicated either. I Love Curry delivers clear well described instructions which are undemanding to follow, perfect for the novice curry lover.
The book offers plenty of choice for those looking for tried and trusted favourites, restaurant classics or authentic regional dishes. In total there are 50 great curries and 25 accompanying dishes.
Anjum gives us plenty of information about ingredients and cooking methods, she also shares her tips to help achieve the perfect result,which made me aware of the fact that I'm still learning.
With such a variety of recipes for vegetable, poultry and game, meat and fish and seafood, I was torn between something I knew like the Chilli Chicken Balti (p.99) or something I was less familiar with. I went for the latter and chose the Prawn, Mango and Coconut Curry (p.80), which turned out very well.
According to Anjum, the curry came about after a chat with her publisher who wanted to include mangoes in the book, particularly in a savoury curry. I quite liked the idea myself and the coconut was also especially appealing.
Interestingly, the recipe doesn't use ay garlic or onions but that's not missed in the end result. The flavour is very aromatic, fragranced with curry leaves, brown mustard seeds, whole black peppercorns and of course chillies.
I decided to make the Cucumber and Mint Raita (p.171), not because I'd never had it before, but to prove that something so ridiculously simple does need a recipe. On previous non-recipe assisted attempts mine always turned out too thin in consistency. However, following Anjum's foolproof guide it worked out fine. It is essential to squeeze the grated cucumber through a cloth to remove the excess water.
With well thought out recipes and splendid photography there's nothing that won't inspire curry lovers, whether they are venturing out into the world of cooking Indian cuisine for the first time or they are experienced and confident in the kitchen.