Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Indian Family Kitchen

A fresh and friendly introduction to South Asian cuisine, The Indian Family Kitchen reflects how we cook today with seasonal and vegetable-forward recipes. This striking cookbook shows how to coax flavor out of your favorite foods by adding Indian spices: rub butternut squash with garam masala before roasting with salty feta and sun-dried tomatoes; marinate chicken wings in a punchy tandoori sauce; and brighten up a quinoa salad with ginger and cumin. 

You'll also find classics refined over the years by the granddaughter of the family that brought Patak's sauces and chutneys to households around the world. Throughout, The Indian Family Kitchen demystifies traditional cooking methods with kitchen shortcuts and the spices you should always have on hand—for delicious family meals that'll be loved by generation upon generation.

My Review:

My experience with Indian cooking is primarily made up of Curry nights every Sunday with my dad, and the occasional outing to a local Indian restaurant. When I moved out and made a home with my husband, I started branching out--making Chicken Korma, coming to terms with the fact that Tikka Masala wasn't even made by Indians, and a great number of experiments with spices and ramen.
What I love about this book in particular is the way Pathak introduces Indian Cooking as a process, not a formula. She leaves helpful stamps on each recipe that advise whether you should substitute or leave out an ingredient you don't have.
She starts the book with the important points: cooking is about intuition and improvising. The secret to good cooking is a good pantry (which was proved by my ramen-noodle experiments)
For anyone wanting to explore Indian cooking but not sure about the complexity, this is a great book to have. It's a great addition, even, for people who want to cook Indian but live in an area where 'Asian' means 'Japanese' and have to scour every corner of their city for ingredients sometimes. *ahem* But, anyway....
Buy this book and try something out. If you're cooking according to what you have, there's a helpful index in the back that you can use to locate pages of recipes for lamb, pork, chicken, etc. My advice: if you have someone sharing dinner with you, don't cook alone. Indian cooking is best done as a family affair.

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