Modern Indian Cooking
by Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna
Both as a professional chef, and as a avid home cook, I must admit, when I first flipped through the pages of this new book, I was a bit skeptical: I'm not a huge fan of classical Indian cuisine; never had much luck recreating many classical dishes due to the inavailability of, or excessively high priced ingredients (ever try to find Cardamom seeds or Kaffir Lime leaves in your local grocery store without having to spend an arm to get them, or having to track down an Asian Market?!); and most of all, much of the classical Indian dishes I've eaten in my career have often been over-poweringly spiced, or just not to my tastes.
However, having said all that, this book and it's recipes have begun to change my mind. As a previous review had stated, yes, this book does not contain puritanic classical Indian recipes. But that's not what this book is about! As the title states, it's focus is on *MODERN* Indian cooking. Yes, this does mean that there is a lot of fusion cooking in this book. It also means that the recipes themselves are simpler, easier to produce, utilizing less exoctic ingridients, less prep time and less cooking time! Some would say that this could be a terrible thing, as it takes away from the millenia of refinement that Indian Cuisine has gone through. but in my earnest opinion, it's for the betterment of the cuisine, as it makes it far more accessible to the average *MODERN* American home cook!
The recipes run the gamut here, from simple and quick to the flavorfully complex and not so quick. Each recipe is accompanied with BEAUTIFUL photographs; clear and implicit instructions; recipes that do not require you to run to an Asian Grocery store to find some obscure ingreident; and best of all, they're EASY to make! It took me 20 minutes of prep time, an hour to marinate the shrimp, and 10 minutes at the most to cook the Crispy Pan Fried Shrimp and Tamarind Glaze. And best of all, my fiance adored them!
Hari and Vikas, I tip my toque to the two of you! Congratulations on your first book, and best of luck!
by Scott Raisch, Toms River, NJ (Amazon.com)
I just got this book!
Simply, it's a beautiful book. Pictures are simply stunning! Finally i have found a cook book where the same old masala recipes are gone and there is something fresh & new recipe ideas. I like the way the author has given Indian food a new global Perspective. I own a lot of Indian cook books from Julie Sahni, Madhur Jaffrey and others and quite frankly I was getting a little tired of the traditional recipes.
Also I like a recipe book with a lot of pictures & this book did not disappoint me. My personal favorite recipe is the chipotle pork tikka!! I highly recommend this book to all!
By Padma Laxmi, New York City (Amazon.com)