Drawing together the traditional recipes from different Indian cuisines, Sameen Rushdie’s invitation to share in the pleasures of Indian cookery is irresistible.
In Hindustani a good cook is one that ‘has a special taste in their hands’, and the author demonstrates her skill, knowledge, and love of the food that is prepared and eaten in homes, bazaars and eating houses of the subcontinent. Bearing the needs of the modern cook firmly in mind, she explains her recipes in full, where the dishes originate, how to use spices, how to balance flavor, color, and texture and offers suggestions for menus.
Sameen offers a marvelous array of meat, poultry and fish dishes, together with vegetable creations which will give heart to cooks at the end of their vegetarian repertoire. She explains where to find fresh ingredients and how to store, prepare and use them, and makes it clear which recipes are most suitable for the end of a busy day. She takes up the cause of the potato with some sumptuous suggestions, describes the intrinsic part daals play in an Indian meal, gives tips for cooking chawal (rice) in pulao and biryani dishes and provides recipes for chapattis, parathas, and pooris.
There is an excellent introduction to spices; which explains their traditional groupings as well as their medicinal value, and a section on relishes, raitas, and chutneys. Mithai—or sweet things—hold a special place in Indian cuisine and recipes for these from the elaborate to the simple are included. There is also a discussion of hot and cold drinks.
Whatever your degree of experience in the kitchen, Sameen Rushdie offers not only clearly laid-out recipes, but a grasp of the actual thinking behind different cooking methods. Her menu plans and ideas about color, textures, and flavors are a delight, and a meal prepared under engaging instruction will be a revelation to all who enjoy Indian cookery.
Covering meat, poultry, and fish, as well as vegetables, chutneys, relishes and sweet dishes, Sameen Rushdie’s book will be a revelation to all those who enjoy Indian cookery.