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Fresh Flavours of India Paperback – 12 Apr 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Conran; Revised edition edition (12 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840914904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840914900
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.2 x 25.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,118,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'The bloke's a complete genius and such a nice guy. It looks great, reads well, the explanations are fantastic. I've taken people to his restaurant on about ten occasions now, just to show off.' Jamie Oliver 'I've eaten delicious meals at Das's restaurants many times, and I truly adore the food. Now that I have this book though, I'll be able to cook and eat my favourite dishes at home as well. The recipes are straightforward and they work.' Peter Gordon 'Shockingly good Keralan food. The culinary flair and attention to detail is thrillingly apparent. Indisputably outstanding in all respects.' Time Out

Book Description

The first book to present Indian food in a contemporary context. A large selection of vegetarian dishes. Simple cooking techniques, particularly stewing, stir-frying, steaming,barbecuing and grilling. Dishes suitable for people with busy lifestyles. Men are enthusiastic purchasers of indian cookery books.

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Format: Paperback
If, like me, you love the subtle flavours of southern Indian cuisine, this book is for you. It's called Fresh Flavours of India, but it's actually much more to do with Keralan cooking. Primarily vegetarian, lots of coconut, ginger and garlic - and the ubiquitous black mustard seeds and cumin. The recipes are really surprisingly simple - you don't have to be a very skilled cook to create astonishingly tasty food. Nor do you have to assemble a huge store cupboard of obscure ingredients. You can find almost everything you need in a decent Asda, with the exception of the aforementioned black mustard seeds! When you buy these at a specialist shop, make sure you get a couple of hundred grams or more. They are used in almost every dish and are MUCH cheaper in bulk.

The author owns/runs the excellent Rasa restaurants in London.
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Format: Hardcover
Das Sreedharan runs Rasa, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Stoke Newington (North London). We've eaten fairly regularly there since it opened (and before that, we ate in the restaurant he used to manage). The restaurant is the best Indian vegetarian restaurant in London by some way (its main competitors are the others in the chain, but they have fancy locations and prices to match).
We went to Kerala on holiday, largely on the strength of the food in this restaurant and Das's enthusiasm for his home. We had some great food there, too, but I think I prefer Rasa.
So I was delighted to discover I could try the recipes at home, but also apprehensive. It's often difficult to cope with restaurant cooking; much of it doesn't scale down properly, and although I do have the requisite army of sous-chefs, my four-year old isn't very good at the niceties of restaurant presentation. So I wasn't expecting to manage to recreate any of my favourites.
How wrong I was. Turns out they're easy. And delicious. Not quite as good, perhaps, as the meal you'd be served in the restaurant, but if you'd never eaten at Rasa then cooking from this book would be inspirational. The food is pretty healthy, and the curries at least are low in fat (though some of them, admittedly, have rather a lot of desiccated coconut in).
I haven't tried any of the meat dishes yet (Das is vegetarian, as is his entire village, and I am suspicious), but have cooked several of my favourite vegetarian dishes from the restaurant (moru katchiathu, beet pachadi, avial) successfully.
It helps if you have an Asian grocer handy, to get curry leaves (in nearly every dish) and urad dal. Everything else I've needed, so far, has been available in any supermarket.
Recommended to anyone who likes Southern Indian food and would like to try it at home, and anyone else who's eaten enough chicken tikka masalas and would like to try something more unusual.
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Format: Hardcover
We dined at Rasa near the British Museum and were so enchanted by the unparalled tastes and high standards of food preparation we requested the cookbook! Friends who formerly turned their noses away from the thought of eating Indian cuisine (here across the pond) are absolutely taken with the aromas and visual delight of recipes from this work that they readily dive in to sample. They can't resist taking yet another taste, and another...! Das Sreedharan's book propeled my cooking abilities by quantum leaps to a richer level. Acquaintances familiar with brown sludge passed off for Indian cuisine are very impressed with the colorful presentations that adds splendid visual appeal. His step by step instructions and dedication to obtaining fresh ingredients translate into your ability to serve uterly exquisite Indian "Keralan" cusine. Even my local Indian restaurant owners and chefs readily concede the dishes I have made for them through following the recipes Das shares in this book are to be emulated! Secret weapon: Prepare a typical recipe where tempering is a feature and then invite your friends over: The exotic aromas wafting in your home at that point tantalyze their palates unmercifully, creating instant, insatiable intrigue. If you ever want to experience truly elegant aromas, tastes and colorful presentations this is a must place to look!
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