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Did anyone actually copy proof this?,
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This review is from: India: The Cookbook (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully presented book, as all the Phaidon ones tend to be and the recipes are really enticing. Unfortunately I have tried three recipes so far and each and none can be followed as described as key ingredients are missing (yeast, I would assume, in the naan breads where it asks you to leave the dough for two hours to rise in a warm place) or it asks you to prepare ingredients for pastes which it then never refers to again (Imperial Chicken) or where it imagines you can make 12 portions of lentil filled puffed bread with only 1 tablespoon of self raising flour (which is going to form a dough to encircle 120g of lentils).
Beautiful but utterly worthless. I will be writing to Phaidon to complain and ask them to send me a corrected edition.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Oct 2010 08:05:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Oct 2010 09:45:17 BDT
E. L. Wisty says:
The naan bread recipe includes, er, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda. What do you think they are for? Although I would use yeast myself.
The imperial chicken recipe only fails to mention what to do with the garlic and ginger paste (singular), not pastes (plural). It's not beyond the wit of man to realise with what is after after a very simple recipe in terms of number of steps, that there are only 2 possible things which could possibly be done with it: a) include it as part of the marinade for the chicken along with the spices paste and yoghurt, or b) include it with the onion paste when the chicken is being cooked. But in case b) you would have expected the garlic and ginger to be blended along with the onion rather than waste time doing it separately, so a) seems the most likely, and what I would choose.
Try as I might, I can't find a puffed lentil bread recipe you are referring to with the ingredients and quantities you describe. The nearest I can find fitting this description is the bervin poori, which uses *250g* of *wholemeal* flour for 125g of urad dal to make 10-12 portions.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2010 13:13:30 BDT
Captain Incognito says:
Yes, the recipe contains baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Both of which act immediately and do not require two hours rest time in a warm place. I also actually cooked this and the quantities of both were insufficient to act as a leavening agent and I ended up with dried, thick dough. As an experienced bread baker, I knew this recipe looked wrong but I was willing to give it a shot. It failed.
Yes, I guessed that. I should not have had to guess that. I am happily quite a confident cook and felt comfortable improvising. Many people are not so comfortable improvising and indeed, having paid £20 for a cookbook to tell them how to cook these dishes, shouldn't have to.
Try Dal ki Kachori (Lentil-filled puffed bread) on page 157.
Kindly do not insult my intelligence.
Posted on 1 Nov 2010 12:46:29 GMT
Unfortunately, this is something that Phaidon, despite being really pricey, never gets right.
I have lots of their cooking books and all of them fail in this regard. In the Spanish one, for example, you serve Chorizo with mashed potato. You cook the potatoes, but you never are asked to mash them.
I understand your disappointment.
Posted on 16 Nov 2010 17:28:10 GMT
A. Fernandes says:
I got my copy of this book last week and yes, I've noticed some flaws already. I cooked the Stuffed Spicy Aubergines on page 249. At the end of the recipe it says to stir fry the aubergines for about 2 minutes on high heat. This is certainly not enough time to cook whole aubergines through so I turned down the heat and cooked them covered for an additional 20 minutes!
I looked up the recipe for Lentil-filled puffed bread on page 157 that you are referring too and indeed it does say 1 tablespoon of flour!! Seems to me that's a HUGE error.
I am an experienced cook and most of the time I will probably be able to make the needed adjustments to the recipes. But after paying good money for this book I don't feel I should have to. When you buy a cookbook, I don't think its too much to as that the recipes be reliable and accurate. Besides, I'm a little apprehensive to try more recipes from this book.
Did you hear back from Phaidon? I am thinking of writing to them myself.
Posted on 2 Jan 2011 23:39:14 GMT
D. P. Felton says:
Think I'll skip this book, as well. Sure, we can all take an inspired (or even an uninspired) guess at ingredients and the quantities thereof, but, experienced cook or not, that does rather defeat the object of reading books on the subject!
Posted on 19 Jul 2012 01:49:16 BDT
Thank you for being specific. It's hard to know what to believe when you read reviews sometimes.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 21:30:58 GMT
I noticed in Anjum Anands "Indian Food Made Easy", it also doesn't mention yeast in the naan bread recipe....which I also thought was odd! I thought it might have been a typo, because naan does come under leavened bread, generally. But I looked it up, and you can do it either way (leavened or unleavened)- personally I'd use yeast for better results. Maybe if you used some sort of live yoghurt instead of yeast, it would react with the baking powder as a substitute for the yeast? Most of my Indian books use the yeast method though, and I had better results with that :o) Otherwise you just end up with a really flat scone! Ooops, I just noticed your post was 2 years ago! The books probably long gone by now! :o)
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Oct 2013 13:35:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Oct 2013 09:25:05 BDT
i have the 2001 reprint and its all been corrected; i been looking at the imperial chicken recipe and i cant see the problem you keep adding to the paste starting with the cooked onions and build the flavors (not unlike some Jamie Oliver recipes where building of the flavors is needed) with the next step of garlic and ginger followed by the cooked spices and seeds then use it all as a marinade- YUM!
as to the other recipes mentioned as problem i cant see them either, its actually 1 cup /4oz of flour for p157 lentil-filled puffed bread. although i have the 2011 reprint maybe they changed it???
naan is yeast in my version.
to me a nice straight forward book I love it and highly recommend it!!!!! and just hope anybody reading this are not put off it. if so, try as i did, getting from the library first and having a go then if you like it then buy it. i will be!
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