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An appealing collection of recipes, but a book requiring some knowledge of Indian cuisine. One needs to be familiar with such dishes as Paneer Mutter Pullao, Gado Gado and Moong Dal Handvo, because Dalal provides no explanations or descriptions. Photographs are numerous but more information is warranted for such a complex, and for many, unapproachable cuisine. Much of the food is spicy but the author gives no hints to help judge just how hot each dish will be, or, indeed, if it is fiery at all. Ingredients are not specific enough; a recipe for Vegetable Soup with crisp Vermicelli, for instance, calls for two red or green chiles with no indication how mild or hot. Among the needed equipment listed in the preface, the author neglects to include a scale, which is necessary for these recipes. Recipes range from various vegetable curries, Spicy Sweet Corn, Aubergines in Chili-garlic Sauce, to rice dishes like Saffron Pullao and Baked Rice with Green Curry. There are traditional breads, Parathas and Chapatis, and a few sweet offerings. The author does not cut corners on authenticity and recipes make use of a wide variety of spices. Curiously, however, she includes monosodium glutamate, an unnecessary and unhealthy additive. Overall, a good idea, but one that misses. Too bad that so little effort was put forth to make these recipes more accessible.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's