Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far from the Madhur crowd or Singh for your supper, 18 Nov 2008
This review is from: Curry: Classic and Contemporary (Hardcover)
A superb little book. I have a couple of other curry books but this is by far and away my favourite. The recipies are, as the sub-title says, a combination of the traditional curry house favourites:rogan josh, vindaloo, bhuna, and new, contemporary takes on 'curry'.

It is here that critics of the book will no doubt take umbrage. They will complain that these contemporary versions are just a little too eager to impress Michelin judges. A little to far from the Madhur crowd. Cynics will find ample ammunition for their arguments in the seemingly incongruous use of expensive ingredients-Morel mushrooms and green pea curry anyone? As well as and in frequent concessions to Gaelic gastronomy:French trimmed racks of lamp, copious amounts of cream and sauces thickened with whisked in butter all make regular appearances. This, however, is to do the food a great disservice. Tradition is, after all nothing but inovation ossifed. And the proof of the pudding must come in the eating.

These recipies are amongst the tastiest curries I've ever had. Deccan Lamb cooked with lentils was a revalation. Finished with coconut and lime it betrayed a distinct, delicious, Asian influence. The Pork Vindaloo had a complexitiy of flavour I've never encountered in this standard chilli overload. Meanwhile the Poussins in Tomato and Fenugreek and Rack of Lamb with Saffron Sauce give the humble curry a level of subtlty and sophistication undoubtedly unfamillar to many a patron of the British curry house. I've also enjoyed a classic fiery Rajasthani curry (though I bottled out of using all 25 chillies!)an excellent Lamb and Beetroot curry, the delectable Lamb Shanks with Saffron and Rose Water, as well as a Black Lentil and a Tadka Dal. All have been delicious.

I've now had this book for nearly a year now and it still makes a frequent contribution to my meals. I've also cooked many dishes for friends and have all been ecstatically recieved. My only regret is that, when I initially wrote this review, I only gave it four stars. It deserves the full hand. Unfortunately I don't appear to be able to go back and alter this.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2008 21:54:23 GMT
M. Inwood says:
Hi Declan,

So glad to read your appreciation of Vivek's book here. I just wanted to reassure you that the Bengali-style Fish Cooked with Yoghurt (page 71) you refer to is not incorrect. Vivek explains that a myth prevails in some communities that the combination of milk and fish causes bad digestion. He chooses this particular Bengali recipe as an example to dispel the myth -- it does indeed combine the two; the milk element being present in the yoghurt of the title. I hope that rounds your enjoyment of the book and restores your faith a little in the efforts that went into ensuring the book was well checked before it was printed. Best wishes, Matt Inwood, Absolute Press

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2008 15:03:27 GMT
Not sure if anyone is doing any checking here, since the exactly the same comment is listed under a different book:
Curry: Classic and Contemporary
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