Cuisines of India: The Art and Tradition of Regional Indian Cooking

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9780060935184: Cuisines of India: The Art and Tradition of Regional Indian Cooking
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An exotic culinary journey through the rich and flavorful regions of India is filled with a wealth of unusual as well as traditional recipes accompanied by descriptons of locales, legends, history, and stunning illustrations. 20,000 first printing.

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Review:

To many North Americans, Indian food consists primarily of curries, kebabs, and chutneys. But Indian food cannot be contained to such a small sampling. In The Cuisines of India: The Art and Traditions of Regional Indian Cooking, author Smita Chandra takes us on a flavorful journey across India. "En route," she says, "we will sample the dishes that are unique to each region and relive the history that shaped its cuisine."

The Cuisines of India is divided into six chapters, each of which explores a distinctive region and its cuisine. While the recipes are presented in a clear and enticing manner, it is the history that accompanies each dish that really grabs you. Once you know that Emperor Shah Jahan (builder of the Taj Mahal) enjoyed a leisurely lunch of Paneer Makhai Masala how can you not try cottage cheese, cashews, and mushrooms in a creamy, buttery tomato sauce? You, however, will probably not be surrounded by an adoring harem as you eat.

Try Murgh Kabab (chicken marinated in minced herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, eggs, and cream, grilled on skewers) with a side of Takari Thayir Sadam (yogurt rice with mixed vegetables). Vegetarianism is prevalent in many Indian regions, primarily for religious reasons, and has inspired the creation of many a simple but savory dish: Bhutte ki Biryani (rice layered and baked with a spicy corn curry), Gobhi Mussallam (spicy baked cauliflower topped with cottage cheese, bread crumbs, and nuts), and Vendakai Thengai Mudri Poriyal (okra cooked with cashews and coconut). The Cuisines of India reminds us that behind every dish is a long and fascinating history of how it came to the table. --Dana Van Nest

About the Author:

Smitta and Sanjeev Chandra were born and raised in India. Smita learned Indian cooking the traditional way -- by watching her mother, grandmother, and aunts in the kitchen. The author of two previous cookbooks, From Bengal to Punjab and The Indian Grill: The Art of Tandoori Cooking at Home, she is also well known as a teacher of Indian cooking. Sanjeev has a vast knowledge of Indian history and is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto. The Chandras live in Toronto with their two sons.

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