I was totally inspired to try cooking Indian dishes after seeing the ease and flair which Floyd stir-fried, chopped, and bhunaed his way across India.I was totally inspired to try cooking Indian dishes after seeing the ease and flair which Floyd stir-fried, chopped, and bhunaed his way across India. There were so many colors and fresh ingredients! I was hooked when he prepared the simplest of green pea curries.
The cookbook is packed with color photos of the dishes, ingredients, and scenes from the TV show. Everything is explained in detail. The first section is a long, entertaining descriptions of the regions in India and his travels. The second section is a great primer to the flavors and basics behind Indian cooking. The rest of the books is the recipes, divided by main ingredient. US based readers will be happy to know that all measurements are given in metric and English units.
I particularly appreciate that commercial curry powders and pastes are not used... everything is freshly prepared. He gives lots of recipes for making your own fresh curry powders. This series was produced when Floyd was off the bottle, and in a bit of a health phase, so there is heavy emphasis on vegetarian dishes.
I have prepared all the dishes in the Thali section, and they were really excellent, and quite different from one another: Simmered Lentils (Chana Dal), Cottage cheese in spinach puree (Sag paneer), Baby onions stewed in yogurt masala (Kande ki sabzi), and Potatoes with cumin seeds (Jeera aloo).
I think one of the most important techniques I learned is to make a ginger and garlic puree as a flavor base. Also, you can never have too many good, fresh chutneys to serve with the dishes.
This is a very entertaining fresh cookbook I return to over and over.
My two favorite recipes from this cookbook: Korean Beef on Fiery Chinese Cabbage (p 84) and the Cauliflower & Carrot Curry (p 108). I keep comingMy two favorite recipes from this cookbook: Korean Beef on Fiery Chinese Cabbage (p 84) and the Cauliflower & Carrot Curry (p 108). I keep coming back to these recipes in the 10ish years I've owned this book. The ingredients and directions are kept simple, there are lots of pictures to get your creative cooking juices flowing, and most recipes can be prepared in under 30 minutes. Some of the recipes come across as being a little bland (the curry above is one), so I frequently double the spices.
I got this book between college & grad school, and it was a great companion for making tasty, quick and cheap food... much better than most other books claiming to be for poor students.