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on 19 January 2013
I bought this book after eating a meal at a friend's house who made the most amazing Indian feast. Now, he is Indian and some of the recipes were old family favourites but he said that he used Atul's recipes too and had that night. He maintains that, if you follow them to the letter, they will turn out great. He was right. I love this book and use it all the time. I have struggled with Indian food in the past and just not been happy with the results but with these recipes I get a hit every time. Every dish I have made has been delicious and guests have been suitably impressed. Some of the recipes take a good deal of time and patience but that is a general problem with this type of food. Pretty well all of it freezes very well though so just make loads and freeze it. The joy of pulling a curry out of the freezer without having slaved away for ages is immense, not that much ever gets as far as the freezer in the first place!

I was interested to see what the 1 star reviews complained about. Yes, there is another book, which I nearly bought, which is exactly the same but under a different name. Some recipes don't come out true to the photo - well, who cares as long as they taste great? I have to say that, on the whole, most of my attempts have come out true to the photo anyway although the example used - an aubergine curry - did not. The reason for this in my case was that I had had to use normal aubergine and I overcooked it! it still tasted great though.

I like the fact that Atul tries to make the recipes lighter by not using ghee. I have found that you can cut down the amount of oil too as long as you watch that things don't stick by sometimes adding a little water.

My favourite recipe is Channa Masala (chick pea curry) which I make all the time. Butternut Squash makes a great alternative to the chicken in Chettinad Chicken Curry and I actually prefer it.

The only problem with this book is deciding which recipes to make as you will just want to make them all! It is the only cookbook I have that I want to work through every single recipe and not just pick out the few that I like.

If you like Indian food, buy this book. You will not be disappointed.
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on 14 October 2015
Nice easy recipes
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on 2 December 2008
These recipes are sensational. No need to think: just do EXACTLY as he says and you'll be guaranteed delicious food every time. This very quickly became my most frequently used and favourite recipe book.
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on 30 April 2017
Some of the recipes in this book are absolutely magnificent, but many are, frankly, inedible. I have come to the conclusion that nobody has been charged with testing the recipes precisely as described. There are a number of errors and numerous instructions which simply don't work. For example, adding 800ml (that's about 1.5 pints) of water to a dish contain two partridges and some questionable spices that is then sealed and casseroled for 35 minutes led to a foul watery concoction that I had to throw away. The 800ml has to be a misprint. The lamb in mango was quite nice, but the recipe tells you to "remove and set aside" the fried onions but never tells you to put them back. The almond lamb curry suggests using 200g of almonds for 500g of lamb. This has to be a misprint - grinding the almonds to a paste took on the order of half a pint of water and the dish ended up as a sea of stodgy almond paste. I've tried some of the vegetarian dishes - the chickpeas from Punjab worked well, but every other dish I've tried has been pretty awful. Home-style lentils claims that you can cook chana dal for 15-20 minutes. Chana dal takes between 1 and 2 hours to cook, so this recipe again is untested. I didn't bother to try the pigeon dish which claims that a pigeon will become 'tender' after 45 minutes of cooking on the hob. Everyone knows that you either cook pigeons for a minute or two (breast fillet) or 3+ hours in a casserole/stew. I have a catalogue of other problems that I could list, but it would take too long. On the positive side, the chicken achari and white chicken curries are absolutely magnificent and the Kochi chicken is also lovely (but you need to cut down the water). The lamb stew with coconut milk is also very good indeed, although you have to watch the lamb as it just sits in simmering liquid which will turn any meat dry and tough if you're not careful. Every recipe seems to have potential but I think the book needs to be rewritten after the recipes have been properly tested and re-worked.
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on 8 August 2006
I really liked the look of Atul's food on that programme about cooking for the Queen, and I would give one of my lady's fingers to eat at Benares, his Berkeley Square restaurant, so I thought I'd buy his book.

It is lovely to pick it up when you're hungry as it truly inspires. There are hundreds of recipes from all over India, and the instructions are clear enough even for a simple lad like me.

My curry adventures will now be carried out in my kitchen, and I will be lost as a customer to Sharwoods and Pataks for ever more.

Nice one Atul
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on 13 December 2007
I love this book. I've tried almost all of the recipes and, they've all been really easy to follow, and delicious, and some have even tasted like the food my mum makes.

Every time I cook these recipes for friends/family, everyone always says how tastey they are...and thats pretty good going as most of them are also Indian! Highly recommended.
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on 11 August 2012
We consider ourselves well established home cooks. I cook proper meals every day of the week but our most favourite day is Saturday...Curry Day! Atul Kochhar's Simple Indian book makes Saturdays very special indeed. We have a whole kitchen cupboard full of cookery books and a whole shelf upstairs too! We own a number of Indian cook books including Gordon Ramsey's, Anjum Anand's, Camellia Panjabi's... but we've found now that we go straight for Simple Indian each week. Our favourite curries are chicken curries. We have cooked EVERY chicken curry in this book, and they are absolutely fantastic.

Our favourites are:
Goan chicken curry
Chettinad chicken curry
Chicken cooked in fenugreek leaves
Rajasthani pickled chicken curry
Kochi chicken curry
Chicken in spicy tomato and onion sauce

These are our absolute top curries, but others are also great! These curries are very special. The only adjustments we make are the chilli quantities. We reduce to taste usually.

If you're looking at this book and wondering if you should buy it, BUY IT, and cook those curries in my list. You will not be disappointed.

I came here today in search of a book of similar calibre, but felt I needed to just say a few words about this book we adore. I hope I can find another book to try out which will be as good as this, but I doubt it. Please leave me a comment if you have a great book for me to try!! :)
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on 29 June 2008
After years of struggling for hours, stirring and stewing leaden dishes with heavy spices, it has been the most enormous relief to find this wonderful book. We ate at Benares and I bought the book as soon as I knew it existed. Since then I have cooked most of the recipes in it. They are short, clear and uncomplicated. I usually have most of the ingredients in the house or in the immediate vicinity of where I live, which makes the recipes ideal. I have fed happy vegetarians and vegans as well as the usual carnivores. I particularly like the ease with which you can produce five or six different dishes so that people can help themselves to an array of flavours, and all without it being hard labour. This is among my top three recipe books now and I recommend it with enthusiasm. I do halve the quantity of chilli in the recipes when I am cooking for people I know less well, but generally, if you are unfamiliar with Indian cooking, this is a fabulous place to start.
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on 9 May 2009
I have had the opportunity to eat at Benares many times in the past and then decided to buy the book by Atul Kochar. The fish recipes are sublime and what I love is that they are easy to follow, simple and delicious. Culinary magic created at home!
Sorry Atul, I am eating in.
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on 17 February 2010
My husband is Indian, I am English and I was 'taught to cook' by Delia Smith and Madhur Jaffrey! Because cooking became my passion, over the years for birthdays and Christmases and so on I have emassed a huge collection of cookery books. Most are English and Indian (a lot of the Indian ones, actually sent from India). I have to say that over the last 2 or 3 years (since I got it), this one is the Indian cook book that I use the most.
His recipes are easy to follow and absolutely authentic. In my opinion, this is by far the best book of it's kind out there.
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