04 November 2008

Mangoes and Curry Leaves

I’d avoided buying Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels through the Great Subcontinent for a long time because I’d never much liked Indian food. It may be awful to say, but I don’t like garam masala. Not that garam masala is in everything Indian, but it is in a lot of Indian food and called for in a lot of cookbooks available in the US. And I did use good garam masala- I made it myself. I have tried and liked some Indian dishes, but not enough, I thought, to make the purchase of an Indian cookbook worth it.

But because I like all things Alford and Duguid, and because I’d read more about Indian cooking and learned that garam masala is regional, I finally checked M&CL out of the library in hopes of trying a wider variety of Indian food. I looked through, made a couple of things, returned it to the library, and bought my own copy because I was convinced that this is finally the Indian cookbook for me.

I haven’t tried as many recipes from this one as other Alford and Duguid books, but everything we’ve had has been a winner and added to our standard menu, except the chicken and feta dishes, which are more expensive. So these are all excellent:

Grilled fish steaks with black pepper rub page 210
Stir-fried greens, Bangla style page 165 (the fish and the greens are excellent together)
Darjeeling market Tibetan breads page 136
Dal with coconut milk page 191 (the breads and the dal are really good together too)
Mango drink page 308
Zinet’s chicken with tomato and greens page 245
Chile-hot Bhutanese cheese curry page 173
Bangla-flavored fried zucchini
Buttermilk curry
Pakistani garbanzo pilau

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