An Indian Kitchen by Farida Khan – review

An Indian Kitchen An Indian Kitchen is a cookbook that works for me on several levels. The author is relatively unknown; it’s spiral-bound so it’s a book you’ll be persuaded to use in your kitchen; and thirdly it’s sold in a good cause.

The author, Farida Khan, is an amazing lady. She didn’t start her working life with catering in mind. Farida was a gifted medical student at the Chittagong Medical College when she married a young surgeon, Majid Khan. Three days later they set off for a new life in Somalia which presented many challenges – including finding somewhere to eat!

Farida had to learn to cook out of sheer necessity but it’s evidently a talent that might have remained hidden had she not left her own country. That would have been a great loss to her friends as well as to the many charities that have benefited from her skill as a cook and baker.

The Khans moved to Edinburgh in 1966 and Farida began to build a reputation for fine hospitality. She was urged to give cooking lessons which eventually led to her setting up her own catering company. Her birthday and wedding cakes are legendary but she has always found time to support charities and in this case Cancer Research UK.

If you are the thoughtful sort you will buy this book to support this very worthwhile cause, but isn’t it good when you actually get something worthwhile in return. This is a rather good cookbook that has some great Indian recipes but also some European dishes such as Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup, and Pavlova.

The Indian recipes are a lovely collection of family favourites and some that might not be so well known to non-Indians. The Bread chapter has chapatis and puris as you might expect but there is also Aloo Paratha and Puran Puri. The Rice chapter offers Vegetable Pillau and Chicken Pillau but also includes Masoor Pillau which is a rich rice dish with lamb and lentils.

Find yourself converted to Subcontinental food

You’ll expect me to wax lyrical about a particular recipe and I won’t disappoint you. It’s Delhi Korma, a recipe given by Farida’s cousin. Korma has something of a bad rap. It’s a dish ordered by those who visit Indian restaurants under coercion. It’s an item for those who don’t actually like Indian food. Korma sauce is a supermarket staple which invariably ranges from over-sweet to bland. Try this recipe and you’ll find yourself converted to Subcontinental food in general and a real korma in particular. Simple to make, authentic and delicious. It’s mild and comforting and a world away from anything you’ll find in most restaurants.

An Indian Kitchen is a cookbook with the feel of a well-loved archive. You’ll enjoy the recipes, which aren’t over taxing even for the novice. Your family will thank you for buying this book… and so will Cancer Research UK.

An Indian Kitchen
Author: Farida Khan

The book retails for £10 from all Specsavers stores throughout Scotland and is being sold in aid of Cancer Research UK.

If people south of the border are interested in purchasing the book then please contact susanne.grant@beattiegroup.com. She will liaise with you with regard to payment, and postage and packaging.

 

Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018

 

Read reviews of more Indian cookbooks here