Cooking Indian Food at Home
The other weekend Fred and I invited eleven friends to our house for a housewarming dinner. Although I had cooked Indian food for many of them before, they all love it so much I knew they wouldn't mind if I repeated myself.
The only recipe book I currently have for cooking Indian food is called Healthy Indian Cooking by Shehzad Husain and Manisha Kanani. It is a really great book. Not only does every recipe have a large colour photograph, there are also smaller pictures illustrating each step of the recipe too.
There are over 150 recipes, including a variety of meat, seafood and vegetable curries and other spiced dishes. The reason I am particular fan is that each dish tastes markedly different. A lot of care has been taken to make each recipe unique. Although the book sells itself on being healthy, you wouldn't necessarily notice. If you prefer something richer you can easily adapt the recipes by using butter and cream instead of the oil and low fat yoghurt suggested.
This book also shows you how to blend your own curry powders, garam masala, curry and tikka pastes. Making, instead of buying, these essentials will ensure your curries are wonderfully fragrant with optimum flavour.
There are recipes in this book I have made over and over again. Spicy Spring Lamb Roast, Tarka Dhal and Basmati Rice with Peas & Curry Leaves are my three absolute favourites. Others I really love and keep returning to include Chicken Tikka Masala, Prawn Curry and Stuffed Baby Vegetables.
You have to be organised when you cook Indian food. First make sure you have all the spices you'll need. This means carefully going through recipes in advance and writing down how much of each spice is necessary for all of the recipes you will be making. Tot up the totals and make sure you have enough of everything in stock. If not, visit your local Indian Market for cheap supplies of all the dry goods you'll need.
For our recent dinner I made at least nine different dishes from this recipe book. To ensure success and make my life easier I knew I had to plan ahead. The day before cooking I measured all of the spices for each of the dishes into bowls which I wrapped up and labeled with the matching recipe. This task took well over an hour, but it certainly made the cooking procedure less stressful the following day.
All this talk of curry made me hungry for another Indian recipe book. So, without any recommendations whatsoever, I brashly bounded over to Amazon and ordered one that took my fancy. Do you have an Indian recipe book you know and love? If you will, please share you particular favourite and the reason you cherish it so much. Thank you!
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