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Hansa's Indian Vegetarian Cookbook: Popular Recipes from Hansa's Gujarati Restaurant Paperback – 24 Jan 2001
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Top customer reviews
Take Pilau Rice for example. I've tried lots of recipes for this simple staple but never found any that were as good as an Indian restaurant. Well until I got this book anyway!
Even the humble cabbage and potato is transformed in to a stunning dish in the form of Cobi Mattar.
True there are some annoying in language inconsistencies (are they Ajwain or Carom seeds or both?!) but the mental translation is well worth it for the quality of the food you'll produce.
It's beautifully designed, illustrated and produced with a lot of background information about Hansa and her family, Gujarati cuisine, storing and using spices and cooking techniques. Plus it includes information about how spices can enhance your health.
The recipes themselves cover many of the dishes on the restaurant menu plus some new ones. Some are simple enough for a beginner while others are a bit more complex, but the recipe instructions are clear and thorough with lots of useful tips for using leftovers or changing the ingredients. So if you want to try Gujarati food but you can't travel to Leeds, this is a great place to start.
I would have liked to see more space devoted to 'main course' type dishes - there are 8 'main course' vegetable dishes and 6 dals compared to 7 starters/snacks, 5 salads and 6 lassis and teas (most useful if this is your first Indian cookbook) plus rice dishes, desserts, pickles/chutneys and 'specialities'.
The book as a whole could do with some rigorous editing - there are quite a lot of irritating inconsistencies or errors, such as interchangeable Gujarati, Hindi and English terms, inconsistent spelling, incomplete glossary, etc. Recipes are for varying numbers of servings (2 - 8)and one or two include ingredients that are not mentioned in the actual recipe steps.
Overall, yummy food and worth buying as an addition to your veggie recipe book collection unless you're OCD like me, in which case you'll be itching to get out the red pen every time you use it!
I'm amazed that this book has had such good reviews both here and in the press. I certainly wonder whether the reviewers in the press actually tried cooking from it. I don't keep badly written recipe books with recipes that don't work, so my copy is now in the bin.
Having said all that, the Pilau rice has now become a favourite in our household.