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Paperback 660 Curries Book

ISBN: 0761137874

ISBN13: 9780761137870

660 Curries

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Curry is Salmon with Garlic and Turmeric. Curry is Grilled Chicken with Cashew-Tomato Sauce. Curry is Asparagus with Tomato and Crumbled Paneer. Curry is Lamb with Yellow Split Peas, Chunky Potatoes with Spinach, Tamarind Shrimp with Coconut Milk, Baby Back Ribs with a Sweet-Sour Glaze and Vinegar Sauce, Basmati Rice with Fragrant Curry Leaves. Curry is vivid flavors, seasonal ingredients, a kaleidoscope of spices and unexpected combinations. And...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

My new favorite cookbook

I love Indian food, and when I began to crave nothing else earlier this year, I decided it was time to learn how to cook it myself. After all, eating out several times a week is expensive, and the nearest decent Indian restaurant is an hour's drive from where I live. My copy of Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian came to the rescue and served me well, but soon I wanted - needed! - more recipes. Then along comes this huge book of curries. Not only do the recipes sound mouthwatering, but the whole thing is written in a friendly, often downright impish manner, AND it includes a list of resources to help me find all the ingredients. Sold! That was about four months ago. Since then, I have cooked exclusively from this book with excellent results. Rice with Yogurt and Mustard Seeds has become a staple, along with Chowli Nu Dal, Garlicky Gourd and several others. A friend who knows from Indian food gave high marks to the Adrak Lasson Waale Chana Masala I made for her. I have found an Indian grocery store and learned my way around it. Some of the ingredient lists may be long and contain unfamiliar items, but don't let that scare you. The techniques are explained carefully and easy to learn. Sometimes I scale back a little on the amounts of oil and salt called for - that's just my personal preference. There is really no great trick to much of this stuff - heck, they cook it every day in India, right? Do follow Iyer's advice to have all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking, as some of the steps take only seconds to complete, and you won't have time for grinding and chopping while you cook. When you've got everything ready beforehand, the cooking is a happy experience. Because I don't cook meat, I can't vouch for any of the meat dishes, but I don't doubt that they are just as good as the vegetable/paneer/legume recipes I've tried. Which leads me to the economic bonus that comes with this book: dried legumes (and just about everything else at the Indian store I shop at) are inexpensive. If you can find spices in bulk, that saves a lot of cash, too, as long as you're not using saffron. Since I got this book, I have been eating better than I ever have - and for less money. The vegetarians are nodding their heads in agreement; you omnivores who are looking to expand your gastronomic horizons without breaking the bank may want to take note. Every week I choose another recipe or two to try, and each time I get excited about it. When you can have this kind of food whenever you want, it's like Christmas every day. Seriously, if you love Indian food you need this book. One last word: You MUST make the Pineapple Chutney and have it warm, over vanilla ice cream. It is heaven.

Another excellent book by Iyer

This is the third Iyer book that I have acquired. All of them are gems. This book is best suited to someone with previous experience cooking Indian food. This is an amazing compendium of recipes, a must for cooks who are dedicated to expanding their repertoire of Indian recipes. (Iyer's Betty Crocker Indian cook book is the best intro to Indian cooking that I have ever seen. His Turmeric Trail is also excellent.) It would have been best if this book had been offered in hard binding (perhaps in two volumes?) as I am confident that 666 Curries will see hard use in the kitchen of Indian foodies.

Simply Fantastic!

I just got this book about a week ago. I've already tried several recipes and spice blends. I couldn't wait to write a review and tell everyone who loves Indian food that this is a "must-have" Indian cookbook. If you're only going to get one Indian cookbook, get this one! The recipes are pretty easy and just plain wonderful. I lower the heat in most of the recipes by reducing the amount of chili peppers. I just made the Spicy Potatoes and Spinach with Blackened Chilis and Coconut Milk. Superb! My husband loved it! I served it along side crispy fried chicken(it's the 4th of July weekend so I needed something with lots of deep fried goodness.) Indian food goes very well with fried chicken or roasted chicken. Try it, you'll be hooked. This potato recipe called for a special spice blend called Panch Phoron. The dish(including the spice blend) was extremely easy to make. I get all my spices and dried chilies from Penzey Spices. I buy the tiny fresh Thai peppers from a local Asian market. They are sold in a small bag by the produce section(tiny red and green ones in the same bag.) When I don't have any fresh chili peppers on hand, I just use some cayenne pepper. What I love so much about this book is that no two curries taste the same. It's all about the use of spices and herbs. Once you get the hang of grinding and blending the whole spices, the curries come together in a flash. You will be so happy with the results! Penzey's makes it easy to make these flavorful spice blends. They even have hard-to-find spices like Nigella seeds and white poppy seeds. I must say that have blended and grinded my own spices for years, using recipes from other Indian cookbooks. But, Raghavan is "spot-on" with all his spice blends. He instructs you to use these specific blends for each curry. The results are complex and delicious. As a person who has spent about 5 years(in her own kitchen) learning how to cook Indian food, I consider this cookbook to be the best one so far. I have lots of Indian cookbooks ranging from classics like Madhur Jaffery's "Indian Cooking" to the gigantic "The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking." Already, I can tell that 660 Curries is the one book I will be reaching for again and again. I'm so excited to try many more recipes. Thank you, Raghavan, for your hard efforts in searching for and testing each one of your wonderful recipes. You've created a truly amazing cookbook! Oh..vegetarians will love this book too(tons of flavorful veggie and bean curries.) Raghaven also does wonderful things with the humble potato, which he is very fond of. He will have you re-thinking boring mashed potatoes. I can go on and on about this cookbook! I feel certain that if you buy it, you'll love it!

660 curries

Whether you're a novice or expert at Indian cooking, you're bound to love this thick cookbook that just bursts with flavour. Raghavan Iyer describes his first attempt at cooking with the generic American spice called "curry powder," and his subsequent disappointment at its failure to evoke the spicy heritage of his home. His book 660 Curries is both an homage to the great foods of India and a guide to making those foods for people who have perhaps always thought of curry as something blazing hot that's seasoned with a can of curry powder. But just what is curry? If you had asked me before I read this cookbook, I'd have responded that it's a dish consisting of vegetables, perhaps meat, cooked in a fiery sauce and served with rice. Very nondescriptive. Here's what Iyer says about curry: In England and the rest of the world, "curry" describes anything Indian that is mottled with hot spices, with or without a sauce, and "curry powder" is the blend that delivers it. In keeping with my culture, I define a curry as any dish that consists of meat, fish, poultry, legumes, vegetables, or fruits, simmered in or covered with a sauce, gravy, or other liquid that is redolent of spices and/or herbs (p. 3). I remember once making a curry for dinner, and later meeting up with a friend. "You had curry for dinner tonight, didn't you?" she asked me, and I stared blankly at her, wondering if my telltale breath had given it away. It turned out that she had already seen my husband, who told her the news. That curry, like every other curry I've ever prepared, was seasoned with a curry powder blend that I purchased at the grocery store. Now, however, thanks to Iyer, I'll be preparing my own blends. He gives you a variety to work with, tells you where to find ingredients that may not be readily available at your grocery store, tells you the best ways to prepare and store them, and a variety of useful tips. Many of the recipes in the book relate back to the section about "spice blends and pastes," as those are the essential ingredients in preparing the other dishes. Iyer recommends-and I wholeheartedly agree with him-that you carefully read the entire recipe before you begin preparation, and make sure you have everything in place and at hand. If your recipe includes a spice blend found on page 28 (Sesame-Flavored Blend with peanuts and coconut-Maharashtrian Garam Masala), prepare the blend, if you haven't already, and make sure it's ready for use. This book has curries and side dishes to tempt any appetite, including appetizer curries (did you ever think of having a curry dish as an appetizer?), meat curries, paneer curries, legume curries, vegetable curries, contemporary curries, and biryani curries. There is also a section on curry cohorts, in case you were wondering what to serve with the Cauliflower and Potatoes in a blackened red chile sauce (Alur Phulkopir Jhol) on page 481, for example. I like a good naan, and on page 729 there is a recipe for Salt-Crusted Gri

Curry and spice and 660 things nice!

I've had lots of fun with Raghavan Iyer's near-encyclopedic tome of Indian curries since receiving it as a gift two months ago. The recipes are relatively easy, and most of the ingredients are stocked in our local Whole Foods and Stop-and-Shop. Approximately 2/3 of the recipes are suitable for vegetarians. My biggest quibble is the lack of preparation and cooking time estimates -- something I've come to expect in recent cookbook publications. The final chapter "Curry Cohorts" (flatbread, pancake and rice accompaniments) is also rather thin. But these drawbacks are relatively insignificant in the face of so many wonderful recipes. While I'm not new to Indian cooking (I've worked through cookbooks like Padmanabhan's exquisite Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from Southern India), this book has certainly added to my repertoire. I'm especially pleased with the scope of the recipes. Not only are the cuisines of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka represented, but also included are recipes for several of the more "common" everyday dishes you might find at roadside food stands (e.g. a simple and delicious recipe for spiced mustard and fenugreek greens). NOTE: The first chapter, "The Curry Quest," is perhaps the most important and should not be skipped -- especially by someone new to Indian cooking. In it Iyer describes what he calls the different "elements" of a curry (bitter, sour, salty, sweet, umami, pungent, astringent and aromatic). He then uses his background as a chemist to describe the processes of "building" the recipes using those elements. Perhaps it is Iyer's ability to simplify the "how" of the chemistry of Indian cooking that make the recipes work so well at home!
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