India Cookbook – Pushpesh Pant
The only book on Indian food you'll ever need
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This book is appropriately subtitled, The Only Book on Indian food You’ll Ever Need, and at 816 pages long, it is not just a cookbook, but a definitive collection of recipes from across every region of India.
Included is a revelation of the differences between the regions and even an explanation of how to eat Indian meals. Illustrating the degree of authenticity is the fact that there is one recipe for butter chicken, but just shy of 100 entries under the heading Dal. You won’t find any use ofjar/ packed curry pastes in this book. You’re expected to make your own, and skilfully instructed how to do so.
The twenty years research taken to write the book is evident in its thoroughness. It is split into 9 sections with chapters on Spices, Mixtures and Pastes; Pickles, Chutneys and Raitas; Snacks and Appetizers; Main Dishes; Pulses; Breads; Rice; Desserts and Drinks. Also included is an extensive chapter of Guest Chef Recipes featuring recipes from some of the highest rated Indian Chefs around the World.
The photography included is inspiring, but minimal. The beautifully presented sections of colour plates are referenced back to the text, however the majority of recipes are disappointingly written without illustration, such that each page looks much the same.
The author is to be commended for completing such a wonderful anthology of Indian recipes, and this is a truly magnificent reference book. However, the lacking visual aesthetic fails to stimulate synesthesia, as is often the way with glossy cookbooks.
Reviewed by Jennifer Fearn of Bacchus Marsh in Victoria
This review was a runner up in a VisitVineyards.com competition
India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant with photographs by Andy Sewell is published by Phaidon Press Inc (NYC) (September 2010; RRP A$69.95). Subscribers of VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive can purchase India Cookbook at 12.5% discount via our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).
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