No complaints from this cookbook reviewer. This is just the kind of book that I seek out and enjoy. Practical, that’s the word. Colourful and informative and presenting easy-to-follow recipes. Southwater (an imprint of Anness Publishing) offers the style of books that will be used and enjoyed and that should surely be the very reason for buying the volume in the first place.
Mridula Baljekar has long been respected by the UK-based Asian food industry. She has penned numerous cookbooks, received awards and plaudits and continues as a successful author, and has added her own range of pickles to her span of achievements. Mridula is joined by three others: Rafi Fernandez is a prolific author of Indian cookbooks. Shehzad Husain is the Marks and Spencer consultant for Indian foods. She has several Indian cookbooks to her credit as well as contributions to food-related magazines. Manisha Kamani is a freelance home economist and has written regularly for Family Circle, and worked as a food demonstrator.
Complete Indian Cooking is a chunky stunner. It presents 325 recipes and over 1800 pictures, the majority of which are step-by-step guides. I am an experienced home cook but even I still find this format to be comforting. A novice to kitchen pursuits will find those photographs a great help. Yes, the recipes are for the most part simple, but a picture paints a thousand words.
Mughlai-style Chicken is a rich royal dish laced with cream, almonds and saffron, ingredients often found in Nizani Mogul cuisine. Another star chicken dish finds the bird in an orange and black pepper sauce which is thick and creamy. The pepper gives aromatic heat.
Okra is an under-rated vegetable. It’s used extensively in India but it’s a relative newcomer to the European greengrocers’ shelves. Okra in Yogurt is mild and can be used as a side dish or as a main meal for vegetarians. Serve with a dhal and either rice or Indian bread.
South Indian food is gaining popularity in London. Many of us have travelled to Goa for long-haul breaks and there are more restaurants specialising in the dishes of Kerala. This book includes Goan Fish Cakes, which can be made from haddock but also the cheaper coley or whiting. These make an attractive and flavourful starter served with lemon wedges and your favourite chilli sauce.
Complete Indian Cooking is a book for those who want to learn and to cook. It’s a lovely book to look at, but it would be a shame if it remained decorating your bookshelves. Buy it and use it. Amazing value for money.
Complete Indian Cooking
Authors: Mridula Baljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain, Manisha Kamani
Published by: Southwater
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018