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on 7 June 2013
This is a beautiful book, with plenty of gorgeous photographs and clear recipes. Like in Rick Stein's Spain and Far Eastern Odyssey books, I particularly like the notes in the back of the book which include extras (such as recipes for garam masala, chat masala, naan etc) and information about ingredients, techniques and suppliers.

I've grown up on authentic Indian food but I've never managed to get my mum to write down proper recipes. The images and ingredients used in this book are close to my mum's food so this seems to bode well. The recipes don't use ready made pastes and Rick recommends grinding your own spices so if you prefer this authentic approach, this book is for you. It makes a huge difference to the flavour so personally I think it's worth doing.

So far I've made Tandoori fish and Vegetable Makhanawala, both of which turned out well. I did reduce the amount of fat in some recipes. but I think most people tweak curry recipes their own taste. I've made the garam masala, which is a bit time-consuming as you have to extract the cardamom seeds from the pods, but the aroma and richness of the result is worth it. You definitely need a spice grinder/cheap coffee mill to make it. I've also made the kedgeree with its more delicate Anglo-Indian flavouring, the Lucknow roast leg of lamb, the pea and potato curry, chickpea curry, spicy scrambled eggs and spicy lentil soup with squash, tomato and green beans. All have been very tasty, although sadly I overcooked the lamb so it wasn't as tender as it should have been.

As I've worked my way through the recipes I've found that they use a lot of chilli powder for my taste. I like heat but not so much that it overpowers all the other flavours. Perhaps the powder I use is particularly hot but in general I've found that cutting the amount in the recipes by about half works for me. The beef vindaloo recipe says 2 tablepoons of chilli powder plus fresh chillies; I used 1 teaspoon of powder and no fresh chillies that was still quite hot!

Here is a list of all the recipes as they appear in the book:-

DHABA (street food):-

Millet and fenugreek flatbreads
Tibetan steamed dumplings (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Tibetan steamed bread
White radish paratha
Green chilli and turmeric dhokla with prawns, curry leaves and mustard seeds
Spicy lentil soup with squash, tomato and green beans (Episode 3: Madurai & Kerala)
Vegetable pakoras (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
Mulligatawny soup (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai, Episode 6: Journey's end)
Spicy scrambled eggs
Sweet and tangy potato shreds
Prawn fritters with chutney and kachumber from the Allen kitchen, Kolkata (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)
Pau bhaji (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Kakori kebabs
Lamb samosas
Lamb koftas in yoghurt with cinnamon and chilli (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Kati rolls with pickled onion and green chilli salad (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)

SABZI (vegetable dishes):-

Tibetan noodle soup
Pepper and tomato sour soup
My breakfast bhaji
Smoky aubergine with tomato, ginger and fresh coriander
Seasonal vegetable curry
Dry-fried okra with garlic, cumin and garam masala (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai, Red Button)
Spinach curry with green chilli, yogurt and Indian cheese
Dry curry of cabbage, carrot and coconut (Episode 6: Journey's end)
Quick-fried beans, carrot and peas with freshly grated coconut
A creamy potato and asparagus curry with cinnamon, fennel and black cardamom
Vegetable makhanawala
Pea and potato curry with tomato and coriander (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Potato and cauliflower curry (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Vegetable and coconut stew
Butternut squash in sweet tamarind masala
Chickpea curry
Kidney bean curry (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Vegetarian curry with Indian cheese, tomatoes and peppers (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
Whole eggs in coconut masala (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)
Yellow dal with tomato, turmeric and fried Kashmiri chillies
Black dal
Sultan's pigeon pea dal
Tamarind rice
Egg roast en route to Thekkady
Morel pulao

MACCHI (fish):-

Dry prawn curry with kokum
Coconut prawn curry (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)
Prawns with freshly grated coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)
Sauteed prawns and courgettes with salted lemon, coriander and basil (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Prawn curry with green chillies from Calcutta
Prawn molee
Kavita's Madras prawn curry
Squid curry (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Keralan seafood biryani
Fish curry with black cardamom, cinnamon, green chilli and coconut milk
Chettinad crab curry (Episode 6: Journey's end)
Mussel masala with coconut, ginger and green chillies
Mangalore lobster masala
Fish in a parcel with green chilli, ginger and coriander
Madras fish curry of snapper, tomato and tamarind (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry, Episode 6: Journey's end)
Amritsari fish
Sea bass pollichathu in banana leaf (Episode 3: Madurai & Kerala)
Hot smoked salmon kedgeree
Bombay salmon masala curry
Cod curry
Yesterday's fish curry
Bengali mustard fish curry (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)
Tandoori fish with naans
Fish fry with garlic, cumin and kashmiri chilli (Episode 3: Madurai & Kerala)
Pondicherry mackerel fish fry

MURGH (chicken):-

Rocky's chicken korma (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
Chicken pasanda
Tandoori chicken
Chicken pickle
Chicken and apricot curry with potato straws (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Chicken pulao
Sour berry chicken pulao (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Chicken vindail (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry)
Roast chicken with cinnamon and nutmeg, with a pork, cardamom and cashew nut stuffing and spice-scented gravy
Butter chicken
Chicken and rosewater biryani (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Chettinad chicken V
Chicken skewers and cardamom
Duck roast

GOSHT (meat):-

Shami kebabs (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
Lamb cutlets spiced with fennel (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Red chilli lamb
Lamb and yoghurt curry with green chillies and sour plums
Lamb dopiaza
Lamb and sweet potato curry in onion masala
Lamb pulao (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
Lamb korma
Fried minced lamb with garlic, green chilli and coriander
Shepherd's pie as inspired by the Madras club
Mr Singh's slow-cooked lamb curry with cloves and cardamom
Cochin's first-class railway mutton curry (Episode 3: Madurai & Kerala)
Lamb rogan josh (Episode 6: Journey's end)
Leg of lamb with red chillies as cooked by hunters in Rajasthan (Episode 5: Rajasthan & Himachal Pradesh)
Roast spiced whole leg of lamb from Lucknow (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
White lamb curry
Beef vindaloo
British beef raj curry (Episode 1: Kolkata & Chennai)
Bife assado (Episode 2: Mumbai & Pondicherry, Red Button)
Amma's pork curry with green chillies and tamarind (Episode 3: Madurai & Kerala)

MEETHA (sweet):-

Bread and butter pudding Indian-style
Nimish (Episode 4: Lucknow & Punjab)
Sweet yellow rice with nuts and dried fruit from the Dham festival
Cardamom shortbread with chilled mango fool
Coconut, cardamom and pistachio ladoo
Cashew and jaggery kulfi scented with cardamom
Sweet milk pudding with vermicelli (Episode 3: Madurai & Kerala)
Masala chai
Lime and ginger cordial

INGREDIENTS mentioned in the glossary at the back:-

Ajwain seeds, Amchur, Asafoetida (hing), Beetroot powder, Bengal gram, Black salt, Cardamom, green and black, Cassia bark, Chana dal, Chicken, Chillies, fresh, Chillies, Kashmiri, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconut flesh, Coconut milk and cream, Coconut oil, Coriander seeds, Cumin, Curry leaves, Dargarful (Kalpasi or stone flower), Dal, Fennel seeds, Fenugreek (methi) - seeds and leaves, Flour-chapati, Flour- chickpea (gram or besan), Flour- millet (bajra), Ghee, Ginger, Goat, Indian bay leaves (tej patta), Jaggery, Kashmiri chillies, Kokum, Lamb, Lentils, Mace, Mooli, Mung dal, Mustard oil, Mustard seeds (black and white/yellow), Mutton, Nigella seeds, Nutmeg and mace, Okra, Onions, Paneer, Peppercorns, Poppy seeds - white, Rice- basmati, Rosewater, Saffron, Screwpine, Shallots, Star anise, Tamarind, Toddy vinegar, Tomatoes, Tur dal, Turmeric, Urid, Yoghurt
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on 31 August 2013
I am from India and have lived there most of my life but now living in the UK. I can vouch for the authentic recipes and experiences that Rick delivers. kathi rolls from Calcutta - the food for god. (I will one day open a restaurant in the UK which makes the authentic kathi roll to the Indian standard. I am delighted that there is finally a book published which evokes the smells and tastes of food at home, astonishing that its written by a non indian. Generally, I will never buy a book on Indian cooking written by anyone living outside India, however accomplished they maybe. To me they do not translate the authentic feel, texture and nuance of indian food without westernising it ever so slightly. So imagine my sheer delight at the series and the book by Mr. Stein. No offence to any existing or budding indian recipe writers. I cook well coming from a family of gourmets, and this book offered up most of the secrets to great authentic indian food that I have had passed down to me.
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on 21 September 2013
Fantastic recipes that are easy to follow. A real variety of recipes and not the usual selection.
I have made around 50% of the recipes so far and all delicious.
This book is really aimed at those who want to cook REAL Indian food that is a great balance of flavours and creative use of spices.
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I've been regularly cooking Indian food for over 15 years now and although I have several Indian cookbooks it felt like time for a bit of a change and looking out for some new recipes or variants. Rick Stein has here distilled the essence of Indian food into a very good cookbook which I will be making much use of over the coming years - just a couple of weeks after buying this I made two of the recipes here for 16 people, which went down very well with the recipients. Some minor criticisms can be made - some people may find the recipes a little hard to follow as all the steps can merge into a bit of a blur in the text sometimes. Most but not all recipes have a photograph (ideally I like to have a photo for everything in my cookbooks), and there is also a fair bit of 'location' photography which is irrelevant to me but at least it isn't on a scale nearly as large as seen in some other cookbooks. I would also like to have seen a different balance of recipes, namely more vegetarian and perhaps consequently fewer fish, chicken and meat dishes (the number of the latter here relative to vegetarian recipes a result of catering for Western tastes and budgets) and perhaps a few more dishes suitable for starters (not really an Indian dining concept admittedly - there is a 'street food' section here), plus more chutneys & other sundries (the latter being reduced to a few in the appendix).
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If you own and rate Rick Stein's Eastern Odyssey, you will absolutely love his India book. The format and lay out is kept the same, as well as stunning photographs of food and people and activities from India. Rick Stein manages to depict the essence of Indian cooking in his usual eloquent style and every recipe contains a short story about how the author has come across it, and interesting facts about it.

Like with Eastern Odyssey, the recipes in India are divided in several sections, namely:
- snacks/ starters
- vegetable dishes
- fish and shellfish dishes
- chicken and duck dishes
- dark meat curries, kormas, pulaos and biryanis
- indian desserts

The majority of the recipes are built around core number of ingredients, which once in your cupboard will enable you to cook most recipes with minimal effort. The core ingredients include: turmeric, cumin (ground and seeds), coriander (ground, seeds, fresh), cinnamon sticks, black mustard seeds (available from Asian shops), Kashmiri chillies (available from Asian shops), whole nutmeg, cardamom. It is increasingly evident that big supermarkets chains are catching up on their customers' interest in Asian cuisine. Generally I have found that most supermarkets stock up on more niche Indian ingredients, such as: caraway seeds, mace, ghee, chapatti and gram flour etc, usually located in their World sections. This makes cooking Asian food from scratch an enjoyable hobby that requires a lot less effort than it used to.

At the back of the book the author includes a few pages of basic sauces and marinades that are used in the majority of recipes. Those could be made in advance and stored in the fridge, often for up to 1 month.

As someone hugely interested in Asian food, what I find most remarkable about this book (as well as other Stein's cookery books), is his amazing ability to write a recipe in a way that makes it easy to replicate at home and most importantly, delivers the 'real' flavours of the region. I have often struggled to find authentic curry recipes in the past. Not anymore, the dishes I have tried from this book have been out of this world tasty.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 March 2016
I bought this largely on the strength of the TV show and I love the book. I have quite a number of books about the food of the sub-continent and this is a worthy addition to the collection. I have tried a number of recipes and have bookmarked more. The recipes come across as pretty authentic - and I would say that in some the spicing suggests authenticity with no account taken of the sensibilities and sensitivities of a Western palate! I have noted on some recipes to rein back the spicing next time. It is nice to see a range of vegetarian recipes (there is also a chapter on fish and seafood dishes).

Just to give you a flavour of what you might expects here are a few of the recipes: pau bhaji (I got the spice mix here on Amazon); smoky aubergine with tomato, ginger & coriander; creamy potato & asparagus curry (the authentic version would be ayurvedic so no onions or garlic but this version includes these forbidden elements); paneer jalfrezi; veg curry with paneer, tomatoes & peppers; prawns with freshly grated coconut & green chillies; prawn molee; red chilli lamb.

If you have an interest in India cooking then this is definitely worth a look.
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on 3 January 2016
I have been watching Rick Stein for a long time, most recently when he features on Saturday Kitchen. His Indian adventures have inspired me to experiment with Indian cooking and this book is perfect.

It's a big hard back book with great quality pages, the recipes vary from street foods to the different regional cooking styles across India. As someone who would have normally picked up a jar of sauce from a supermarket, I absolutely cannot wait to get cooking.

The recipes are well explained, with a multitude of gorgeous pictures. Whenever there is a specialist ingredient, there is always a common UK equivalent that can be used in it's place! Therefore although these recipes are for local specialties, they are written in such an accessible way.

Would highly recommend to beginners or the more experienced cooks out there!
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on 11 November 2014
OK, so I ordered this book for an indian food lover English friend for her 30th and it arrived yesterday! Being an Indian I was curious to see what the book is like and spent last evening ruffling through the pages. I have decided I will not buy a copy for myself and that is purely because the food and recipes are 100% Authentic! This is how we cook at home! Most of the recipes are very simple and easy to do (for the ones who are familiar with Indian ingredients and have been cooking the food). Best thing about the book is that recipes Rick has picked are traditional simple home fare, like Baingan ka Bharta, mooli parantha, anda bhujiya. There are some fancier dishes too but again, they are cooked in the simplest home style. A great book for people who like real Indian food - not the oily coloured slop you get in Southhall or Balti houses.
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on 9 July 2013
Hes done it! Cracked out a great book that one can absorb and relate to both his experiences coupled with the TV programme ensuring a great read!
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on 17 August 2013
I wasn't previously a fan of Rick's (not a great fish lover-his main area of expertise) but saw several episodes of this TV series and found his enthusiasm for Indian cuisine-in all its many forms-unbounded. He was unperturbed by the liberal use of chillis (unlike that wimp Gary Rhodes!!) and I found his style engaging. The book recaptures much of the atmosphere and in more than 300 pages many of the recipes from the show are recreated in glorious colour. My wife is a pretty expert Indian cook but we were pleased to see many interesting and unusual dishes and plan to try many of them out. I think the book will appeal to those connoisseurs of Indian cuisine who want a change from the standard offerings
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