A wonderful cookbook with a wide appeal -- for gourmets, for spice-lovers, for vegetarians and natural foods freaks, for limited budgets -- and just in time for the hot-weather doldrums (pungent foods promote perspiration, the body's natural cooling system). At first glance, the ingredients lists look formidable but their complexities are undone with a few shakes of a well-stocked spice cabinet. Even Gupta's recommendations for everyday menus sound like banquets -- with plain or stuffed flat breads (pooris, poppadums, chappati), dals of lentils or split peas, raytas with yogurt, elegantly composed rice dishes (pullaos, biryanis, kitchuris, tandoori barbecues or curries of chicken, lamb, fish or eggs, vegetable curries (eggplant, squash, okra, turnip, cauliflower, cabbage). Chutney before the final course is de rigueur and sweetmeats, often based on cheese or carrots, are a deliciously healthy alternative to candies, cakes, or custards. There are no short cuts or substitutions, but this broad personal collection is every bit worth the grinding, pounding, chopping, simmering, and frying demanded by the varied and delicate cuisine of India.