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660 Curries

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  609 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Curry is Salmon with Garlic and Turmeric. Curry is Grilled Chicken with Cashew-Tomato Sauce. Curry is Asparagus with Tomato and Crumbled Paneer. Curry is Lamb with Yellow Split Peas, Chunky Potatoes with Spinach, Tamarind Shrimp with Coconut Milk, Baby Back Ribs with a Sweet-Sour Glaze and Vinegar Sauce, Basmati Rice with Fragrant Curry Leaves. Curry is vivid flavors, seas ...more
Paperback, 809 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Workman Publishing Company (first published March 27th 2008)
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With this book Iyer proves once and for all that "curry" is as inspecific a term as gravy, or even sauce.

It is a little depressing, though, knowing that I will never try all of them, so it's better to think of it as a general example-heavy treatise on the possibilities within the alchemy of subcontinental cuisine. One of the most valuable things about this book are the tips on substitutions and streamlining. However, he would have done well to emphasize more that you might want to do some prepa
I love Indian food - but cooking it, not so much. After several failed attempts to make a dal as good as Snehal's I decided to try this cookbook. I heard the author on NPR either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day talking about black-eyed peas. As a Texan, that got my attention so I put in a request at the library.

I tried 3 recipes. I took a few short-cuts but all 3 turned out pretty good.

1) Bolly Cauli, p. 482: Delish! As a fan of the movie Bend it Like Beckham this one was a must!

2) Double the
Matthew Gatheringwater
They don't stock curry leaves at Safeway. In fact, I couldn't even get green beans today. So, until I make a trip to Seattle's International District for some of the many exotic ingredients required for these recipes, my review is only of the book, not how well any dishes turned out.

I think it is the "660" that bothers me. I belong to the Fanny Farmer, Delia, and America's Test Kitchen side of home cooking. I like the idea that a recipe has been thoroughly vetted. Short of outsourcing, how could
Jul 28, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes flavorful food with an appetite for trying out new dishes and flavor experiences.
Shelves: cookbooks
I've read through this book and tried quite a few of the recipes contained within. I LOVE the book. It doesn't dumb-down the flavor for anyone with a wimpy palette and dishes span the spectrum of regional Indian cookery. What sold me where the number of legume recipes. I'm a HUGE fan of lentils and legumes and this book is no slouch.

Sep 24, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
This could be a very extended "currently reading" with 660 recipes to choose from. Got it from the library, good breakdowns to make some recipes that might have a daunting number of ingredients very simple by making some spice blends/pastes in advance to use in multiple recipes. Just starting to dig in.
There are more dal recipes in this book than in any other Indian cookbook I've ever seen, so if you're a legume fan, definitely check this out. While I think it's possible to make a fair number of these recipes without seeking out an Indian grocery store, all the really interesting ones probably necessitate a visit. I already had some core items in my pantry from past forays into South Asian cooking, but still had to stock up on curry leaves and jaggery (and still lack dried pomegranate seeds, k ...more
I've been cooking the same few Indian dishes for years and I wanted to expand my repertoire. I looked at several worthy books, but after thinking about it a while, I decided on this one because the focus is on entrees. What I wanted after all was a good curry!

Iyer does a fantastic job of explaining the layering of flavour necessary to a great curry. There is quite a bit of prep work necessary to start with these recipes but he explains how to do a lot of work in advance, such as preparing ginger
The recipes I made were very tasty, but ... the book's just not a "keeper" for me.
First, because of the unusual ingredients: curry leaves, asafetida, mustard oil, bottle gourd squash, special kinds of chiles, every kind and color of split pea. I spent too much time scanning 660 recipes looking for those with obtainable ingredients.
Second, because of the pre-recipe prep: make this spice blend, this ginger paste -- use a teaspoon now and have 1/2 cup to spare. Really, do we need "ginger paste,"
I make Indian food all of the time and I could not find a dish worth repeating out of the three that I tried. I was so so excited about this book after spying it in someone's returns at the library. I literally opened the book to a page stuck my finger on a section and committed to cook whatever vegetarian recipe was on the page. Hence, I started with two black-eyed pea dishes and then after finding no success there, skipped to a stewed spinach recipe. Unfortunately, I returned this book back to ...more
RH Walters
Great book! Personal and informative.
Feb 28, 2009 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who have stood drooling in their friends' parents' indian kitchens
This book is fantastic. Everything I've made out of it has been delicious and really not intimidating if you're someone who cooks on a regular basis. But you have to invest some time into seeking out unusual ingredients the first time you try a new recipe. As another reviewer noted, they're not at Safeway, so you have to go to an indian store to stock up on curry leaves, asafetida, and various kinds of lentils. However as far as the veggies and other more conventional ingredients, I'm finding th ...more
So, I'll admit that I haven't tried that many recipes from this book yet. However, of the recipes I've made, all but one turned out quite well (and I fully blame myself for the failure of the other as I had to take a shortcut when I suddenly realized I didn't have one of the ingredients). I've already made the "One Pot Potatoes in a Red Lentil Sauce with Lime Juice" a few times because it's so delicious and easy (although why it's called "one pot" I do not know - you have to cook the lentils and ...more
Catherine Woodman
I have been searching for THE Indian cookbook for a very long time, and have returned each and every time to the first Madhur Jaffrey cookbook that I got 2 decades ago, which is very good but very limited, and nothing of hers that I have cooked from since, or any other cookbook has had the kind of overall appeal that I am looking for. This cookbook might be the end of my search--it is lushly written, with a paragraph or two for each of the 660 recipes, so that you can have a sense of what you ar ...more
If I had to live off of one cookbook forever, this might very well be it.
Two small gripes:
I'm never a fan of recipes which have you make a big batch of some spice blend or paste, and then each recipe only calls for a teaspoon or two of said blend. And this cookbook has like twenty different blends (or more). There's no way someone is going to have all those sitting in the fridge at any given time, especially since some only show up in one or two of the 660 recipes. A lot of them you can fudge,
I picked up this book to satisfy a New Year's resolution that I make authentic, restaurant-quality Indian food at home. I've only made about a half-dozen of the recipies from this book, but all of them have been delicious. The recipes do require some prep work with the spices and you absolutely need a local Indian or Asian grocer to find ingredients. However, the extra effort is absolutely worth it, and once you have all of the ingredients prepared, Iyer's directions are clear and uncomplicated. ...more
Rinku Bhattacharya
This book offers a beautiful and comprehensive selection of Indian recipes presented in a clear and well organized manner.
Yvonne Steinwold
curry bible - has everything you could ever want in the curry department - nice clear instructions - not many pics though
660 Curries, by Raghavan Iyer, is not merely a cookbook. For such a large compendium, one hesitates to use the term "cookbook," as it inadequately covers the wealth of information provided.

Iyer discusses the “building blocks of Indian flavor: bitter, sour, salty, sweet, pungent, umami, astringent, and aromatic.” He also provides a thorough look at the wide variety of spice blends and pastes, providing guidance to the reader on the differences between “warming” and “cooling” masalas, which is the
I love this book! I am reading all the recipes cover to cover.
Catherine Woodman
I cooked a Purim meal out of this last night and it was spectacular. Each time I use this book I am amazed by the wonderful, flavorful, complex taste the food I produce has. One thing we do alot of is using leftover meat and making it into a curry to get a second use out of it, and this book can be equally good "out of the gate" or "around the second bend". Tari Waali Murghi, or Vibrant Chicken was on the menu last night, and it was delicious, warm without being overpowering so kids could enjoy, ...more
Robert Wright
This is a tome almost overwhelming in its choices and variations.

Like most cookbooks on Indian cuisine, these recipes are not always quick fixes, though there are ways to further simplify them if you just want an echo of the taste and aren't worried about "authenticity."

Ingredients may be problematic for some, but again this isn't the go-to for a rushed weeknight recipes thrown together from the typical supermarket or pantry ingredients.

But, if you are looking to begin exploring the flavors of I
This book is good, but you better be ready to seek out lots of authentic and not readily available ingredients(like curry leaves) to truly follow the recipes . That being said, the two recipes I have made so far have been simple, good, and easy to modify if you don't have a particular spice (just leave it out). My aloo gobi restaurant style did not taste like restaurant aloo gobi, but was still pretty good. I like the way he writes -- very enthusiastically -- and it definitely makes you want to ...more
660 Curries is the first Indian cookbook that I've found to be truly accessible. Iyer writes for the American home cook, but does not hold back on ingredients that might be unfamiliar to many Americans (that's half the fun of learning a new cuisine, right?). I love Indian food and this book gets me excited every time I open it. So far I've only made one of the recipes, but it was great. I'm excited to try the other 659. Highly recommended if you like good Indian food.
Ian Bost
Since last spring I've made many of these 660 curries, and I must say the result has been that I am much more satisfied with my attempts at making Indian food at home than I previously had been. As much as I crave Indian food, that's kind of a big deal. The recipes are varied (660!) and accessible, though not dumbed-down and Americanized. And the icing on the samosa is Mr. Iyer's impish wit, which makes thumbing through this encyclopedic tome approachable and engaging.
This is easily the most accessible Indian cookbook I've come across. The directions are very clear and simple, and it manages to present a stunning variety of dishes while at the same time giving the reader/cook the feeling that he or she can make any one of them with ease. I've made maybe 10 dishes from this book so far and they've all turned out well. Well, except the paneer. That didn't work. But you can just buy it in the store anyway. Overall a fine book.
This recipie book had some great ideas- but there were so many times when my mom knew so much more than Iyer about how to make a dish right, that i felt defeated- if a man with 660 curry recipies could not be as good as my mom, what hope have I?

I did make a salmon curry, and it turned out well, but all the other dishes I tried paled in comparison to the skills of Naseema :)
This is the most incredible Indian cookbook my family and I have come across. There is a huge variety of curries included and they all (so far) are full of superb flavour. Some of the ingredients will require a trip to an Indian grocery store, but even our tiny store here had the spices required (curry leaves mostly).

If you enjoy curries then this is the book for you!
Jenifer Perry
This is an amazing Indian cookbook. You need a good pantry of spices and a good source of Indian ingredients (tamarind, curry leaves, etc). Although it has all kinds of meat, vegetable and legume dishes, it is an excellent source even if you are vegetarian. I have only cooked the vegetable and legume dishes and I think it was worth every penny.
Larry Brennan
Whoa! If you want to learn the ins and outs of Indian cooking, this is the book for you. His approach is end-to-end, starting with making your own masalas, and running all the way to fusion curries.

This is an amazing book and if you work with it, you'll feel free to mix and match, and to find your own way.

One of the best cookbooks I've ever used.
The essential guide for any curry fan--full of recipes for any main ingredients, spice level, mood, etc. I have cooked the Cashew Lamb in Coconut Milk so far and it was delicious. (Blog post here: have many more recipes tagged to make.
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Bombay-native Raghavan Iyer, a Certified Culinary Professional, and a member of The International Association of Culinary Professionals, has acquired degrees in Chemistry (Bombay University), Hotel, and Restaurant Management (Michigan State University). Raghavan and his Mother He is a cookbook author, culinary educator, spokesperson, and consultant to numerous national and international clients in ...more
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