What more is there to say? This got four stars instead of five only because as a novice, I like to see more photos of the dish I am preparing. Overall this is an excellent guide for the beginner who is trying Indian cuisine. I have prepared a new dish each week, and my family (even the fussy teenager) gobbles it up!
Though there are a lot of good recipes, and Mr. Merchant does know Indian cuisine, too many of the recipes have been "personalized", usually with Dijon mustard. A novice would certainly get the wrong impression, and my Indian friends didn't appreciate the added flavor.
A long time lover of Indian cuisine, and a recent beginner in personal preparation, skimming through this book in the store got me excited about some new dishes (and old favorites). The instructions are sparse (which I appreciated, I don't need to be told how to hold a whisk), and the anecdotal addendums were entertaining. The only bone I have to pick is that a few techniques which are not obvious are left to the reader to figure out how to do correctly. But since experimentation is the driving force behind cooking in my mind, maybe that's for the best. If you are already familiar with Indian food and its preparation, this is an enjoyable sit down read - I wouldn't copy down any of the recipes word for word, but it certainly gave me some ideas on new spice combinations to try in my other creations.