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Prashad? Poor Deities!
on 12 July 2014
I originally gave this book 3 stars but having tried a lot more of the recipes, I feel I need to warn the reader -do not buy this book. I am a competent cook who has followed/modified many a recipe successfully (not just meat dishes - I was vegetarian for 10 years), but many of the recipes in this book are inaccurate and beyond salvaging, making the end result inedible. For example, aubergine satay - I've followed it step by step twice and had to throw it in the bin. Yet the author apparently won an award for it. Indeed, the book appears to be more a showcase for her own achievements than for the recipes within. I cannot believe she serves this food in her restaurant and feel she must have omitted certain things from these recipes so as not to give away trade secrets (although obviously, this is just my opinion). I'm also pretty sure she has not tried these recipes out for herself in the form in which they appear in the book, as otherwise she would realise they are overladen with oil and jaggery/sugar. I could go through all the recipe disasters I've had herein, but I've wasted enough time in that respect already. Some of the recipes do actually work with a bit of tweaking, but is that really good enough for £19.99? Shouldn't more or less all of them work without messing about for hours? I don't feel it is fair to market a book like this, as aside from the considerable cost, it could make a novice cook feel like a failure when the recipes turn out so badly, and put them off buying other books/cooking again. The solution I've found is to take a leaf out of the author's book - in fact take them all out and do the following: heat 5 litres of oil, 200g jaggery, 10g of raw peanuts and two tons of chilli, until it resembles one of the curries in the book. Next, add some door stops, sorry dahi vada, then slowly add the pages from the book and stir until the aroma of subterfuge and blowing one's own trumpet evaporates. Place it in the bin and go and buy Meera Sodha's 'Made in India'.
I realise this review might sound harsh, but I feel if someone is charging good money for a cookery book they have a responsibility to fulfil certain obligations, like actually testing the recipes.