Indian cooking for American cooks, with a respectable variety of Indian dishes and spices but a pragmatic share of omissions, shortcuts, and substitutions. For example, except for ginger, Mehta calls for only prepared, powdered spices; chili powder shows up among the ingredients; ""any green herb"" is suggested as a substitute for coriander leaves in tomato chutney; and all the daals (legume dishes) are made from lentils--even one called ""masur daal"" though masur and lentil are two different varieties of legume. Other departures from Indian tradition are made to conform to Rodale's injunctions against sugar, salt, and refined grains and flour. (As expected, honey is consequently much in evidence; and this is probably the only Indian cookbook that calls for brown rice.) Within the project's limits Mehta succeeds in conveying a taste of Indian cooking. For cookbook readers, this is supplemented with reminiscences of her childhood in a land-owning, servant-rich Muslim family. Their moves to different parts of India acquainted her with the dishes of different regions, which she incorporates here among her range of meat, fish, vegetable, bread, rice, and other recipes. This won't compete with the more exacting and rewarding contributions of Julie Sahni or Madhur Jaffrey, but it should find an audience among Rodale's health-conscious, eclectic experimenters.