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on 29 January 2009
At last, after years of trying to perfect the ultimate curry, I have found a book that creates beautiful, full flavoured dishes consistently every time. I've now tried the Old Delhi, Jungle Curry & Roghan Josh recipes a number of times. The flavours and depth are out of this world. If I was served these dishes in a restaurant, I would certainly be going back time and again. The dishes are not too difficult and I was really surprised at the few spices used per recipe (and also the scarce use of what I thought was a staple, cumin!). At first, the use of only a few spices for some recipes concerned me. However, I reluctantly followed the first recipe to the word. To my surprise, the blend of flavours were not only beautiful but addictive. I guess less can be more and I am getting a good understanding into how different spices work together to get quite different flavours. I own 10 Indian/Pakistani recipe books. My advice? Buy this one and forget the rest!!!
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on 1 September 2009
I am a huge fan of curry, as most of the population are, however I am fan of real curry; not the English chicken tikka massala, or shop bought jars. A curry for me, has to be made fresh, full of flavour and have a character of its own. Vivek Singh manages to deliver all of this in this brilliant book. It has recipes for basic Tadka Dahl, Naan and Rogan Josh, right through to the adventurous Rajastani Lamb Curry, Squid with spiced kedgeree and quinoa with tomatoes and spices. This book is easy to pick up, easy to follow and makes an amazing curry seem easy to make. Each and every curry has its own distinct and unique flavours and the way Vivek Singh manages to combine old and new recipes is fantastic. This book is a must for anyone who wants to produce fabulous curries that will wow. 10/10

The only problem now Vivek, I want some more of your recipes!
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on 11 January 2010
I own many cookbooks but there are only a few that I return to month after month, year after year and this is one of them. Like previous reviewers I bought this book on the strength of the recipes that were previewed in the Observer and I have not been disappointed with my purchase. I adore curries of all types and over the past three years have made most of the recipes in this book. A couple have not been to my taste but the overwhelming majority have been excellent. I particularly love the fact that it takes a broad definition of 'curry' and includes recipes from all round the world.

While there is often a long list of ingredients (as you'd expect with curry recipes) the method is invariably simple and easy to follow and the photos are really inspiring. Few of the recipes take up more than one page making this book excellent value for money. My only suggestions would be a. it would be nice to have photos of every recipe - (most of the recipes do have photos but not all) b. for most of the recipes from the Indian sub-continent I'd recommend making them the day before you intend to eat them as the flavours seem to improve overnight c. Don't bother with the Chicken Tikka from the British section, it looks good but is (as others have already said) bland in comparison to other chicken dishes in the book.

I've recommended this book to all my friends who enjoy cooking curry and have bought copies as gifts too.
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on 31 October 2006
I first bought this book after the Observer newspaper featured several receipes from it. I tried two of the recipes, was very impressed and decided to get the whole book. I have since bought four (or perhaps more) copies of this book to give to friends and family because it is so very good (at least the recipes I have so far tried). And I always buy it from Amazon because Amazon is the best in terms of price. I do have just one gripe with the book which is that the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe isn't very good. I followed it to a tee - it came out bland and unflavourful. I just hope people aren't turned off of the book due to this particular recipe. The Chilli Paneer recipe though, is just something else. Turns out wonderful every single time.
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on 18 November 2008
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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on 4 March 2007
I always found curry such a tedious cooking experience, but after i read this book i ran to the kithchen to try out the easy-to-follow recipes and great tips. It's one of those books i would never remove from my kitchen and have recommended to all my relatives and friends. Pakistani food has always been one of my favorite cuisines, but very difficult to cook. However, Mr. Mahmood Akbar makes cooking a complete breeze, along w/ his great sense of humor and undersanding of the amater chef. Especially his comfort foods that can be eaten breakfast, lunch, & dinner and his incredibly helpful side notes. Now i want to visit Pakistan and try out all the beautiful flavorful and aromatic "salans". A must buy for any cook, aspiring cook, or starving single individual. Enjoy!!
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on 14 January 2013
An absolute delight to follow and cook from! A great unique blend of traditional dishes for a modern palate made even better by the extremely readable and step-by-step approach. The curry notes section was incredibly helpful to avoid any mishaps while also suggesting ingredients substitutions. Having tried out several curries featured, I can safely say they tasted exceptional! A great buy!
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on 17 June 2009
There are only a few things that are necessary for a successful cookbook. Good presentation, accuracy, concise instructions and ultimately a good recipe. I have made 3 recipes out of this book so far and only 1 has met these conditions. God help anyone who uses 125ml of fish sauce in the Massaman Curry and in the Beef Rednang there is a whole step in the instructions missing. Having applied common sense to complete these dishes I can't say they were amazing by any means. The instructions need to be clearer in some cases. Such a shame as otherwise this is a great book presentation wise and it gives you instructions of the little things that are synonymous with asian cuisine such as roasting spices and preparing tamarind etc. I am hoping the other recipes may be more accurate but the trend so far doesn't look good. All it takes is a bit of proof reading before publishing!

Edit: Get the new Rick Stein Far Eastern Odyssey..much better authentic and accurate recipes than this one.
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on 19 July 2009
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is simple and informative. A great book for any curry enthusiast. There isn't anything in this book that I wouldn't want to recreate. It is also a great introduction for people who may be unfamiliar with the foods of some of the countries featured. Great stuff.
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on 8 November 2012
bought this book because I was staying with a friend who did a delicious vegetarian curry and as it was so good I bought the book although I am told by my other half that we have enough cookery books ! A very good buy.
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