Tuesday 7 January 2014

Recipes From An Indian Kitchen recipe book review

Parragon books have sent me a real treat of a book to review. Recipes From An Indian Kitchen is a collection of authentic recipes from across India and a nice return to less rich foods after all of the Christmas excesses. Garlic and Chilli and some of the common Indian spices are all excellent for helping boost the immune system and kill off some of the Winter colds that everyone suffers from at this time of year.

I've decided to treat my family to a nice big meal for tea tonight, so I'll  be making 4 dishes from the book - 2 main meal curries, a potato dish and a rice.

Although the ingredient lists can be big and the recipes sometimes require a lot of different spices, if you're new to Indian cooking don't be put off, because there are plenty of recipes in the book that have far fewer ingredients. If you cook Indian food regularly you can build up your number of spices over a while, rather than buying handfuls at once.

Red Kidney Bean Curry (page 172)

2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh green chillis, chopped finely
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
800g canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1tsp palm sugar
500ml warm water
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp fresh chopped coriander to garnish
natural yogurt to serve

1. Heat the oil and add cumin seeds. Then they stop crackling add the onions and fry until they are soft.
2. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Add chillis, tomatoes, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala and stir fry for 12-15 minutes.
3. Add the kidney beans, palm sugar, salt, water and cook for 10-12 minutes until the beans are soft.
4. Remove from heat and transfer to serving dish, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with yogurt.

Garlic and Chilli Flavoured Potatoes with Cauliflower (Aloo Ghobi ~ page 100)


350g new potatoes - boiled in their skins for 30 minutes and then cooled in cold water.
1 small cauliflower cut into small florets, blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water, rinsed and then cooled in cold water.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 large cloves of garlic - lightly crushed and chopped
1-2 fresh chillis, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
fresh coriander garnish

1. Peel the potatoes if you wish, then halve or quarter to be a similar size to the cauliflower florets.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Remove from heat and add Garlic and Chillis. Return to a low heat and cook while stirring until the garlic has a light brown tinge.
3. Stir in the turmeric, followed by cauliflower and potatoes. Add salt, increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring gently regularly, until the vegetables are well blended with the spices and heated through.
4. Stir in chopped coriander, remove from heat and serve.

I'm also serving Tandoori Mushroom Curry (page 108) and Spiced Basmati Rice (page 181)

And I can confirm it was all very nice. The rice was very fragrant and everyone enjoyed it. The Garlic and Chilli Flavoured Potatoes with Cauliflower  were really tasty, not too dry and stayed together well. The Tandoori Mushroom Curry was very nicely flavoured, although I think less peas, but bigger peas would have worked better. The Red Kidney Bean Curry was the pleasant surprise of the meal. Kidney beans can sometimes be a bit much, but they were lovely and it worked really well.

Containing 100 really easy to follow recipes I think this book is an excellent recipe book for anyone wanting to begin or expand their range of curries. There is plenty for the vegetarian or the meat-eater, and the meals, side dishes and accompaniments in this book are really varied and interesting. The dishes we tried were gorgeous and my whole family enjoyed them.

Recipes From An Indian Kitchen is published by Parragon with an rrp of £16 and currently available from Amazon for around £5.50 plus postage. I think it offers excellent value and really does have plenty to suit any lover of Indian food.


  1. sounds like a great book, always good to get new recipes for vegetarian curries :D

  2. Some great vegetarian recipes there - looks like a very tasty meal!

    1. It was lovely. I've some left over to have with oven chips tonight while the meatatarians have some gammon :)

  3. That looks delicious. I would love to get better at cooking Indian

    1. It's all just about following the instructions - and tasting it often! :)

  4. This looks like an awesome book, I am loving the sound of the Red Kidney Bean Curry too - lovely to find a new delicious sounding curry for vegetarians!!

    1. It is! I was a bit reserved, but it's delicious. There are loads more I want to try - thankfully we eat curry about once a week and the kids are all keen!

  5. Replies
    1. Eileen, you're a div! You're an excellent cook - I wan to try some of your Chinese and Singaporean dishes :)

  6. some great looking dishes we love curry in this house and would love to learn to cook it from scratch so maybe this is the book to try. Thanks

    1. Absolutely - go for it! Curries are great to cook from scratch because you can keep adding to it until it's how you want it - you can even add extra veg if you make it too strong :)

  7. They sound wonderful, think I might need to put this on my birthday list now

  8. Yum! I LOVE Indian food - especially when it's cold outside ;) can't beat some spicy loveliness :))) x

    1. Oh yeees. It's a great meal when it's freezing outside - especially because everyone can eat when they come in, they don't have to all wait or be sat at the table at an exact time :)

  9. i really like the way you explain each and everything. really loved it


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