India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

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Notes about this book

  • robm on January 05, 2011

    Brilliant! Another fantastic, handsomely designed cookbook from Phaidon. This encyclopedic book has recipes from all parts of India. It's also well-written and well-explained, with concise but informative summaries of the different regional cuisines, a useful glossary, the works! Just skimming through the book makes me want to run out and have an Indian meal! It's endlessly fascinating, and the recipes are doable!

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Pigeon pea dal (Arhar ki dal)

    • mziech on June 13, 2012

      Very basic, simple dal, not very sweet. Nice as a side dish with another more scpiy/hot dish.

  • Spicy cabbage & peanut raita (Karam kalle ka raita)

    • mziech on June 13, 2012

      Nice recipe, added more peanuts as they give a nice crunch to the raita.

  • Stir-fried cabbage with red [bell] peppers & peas (Gobi-matar-mithee lal mirch)

    • Rella on January 01, 2013

      I could not find this recipe in this book.

    • Rella on April 20, 2018

      I found this recipe and have made it two times. I will make it again. I used more peas than called for. Instead of a fresh red pepper, I used jarred roasted red peppers (Mezzeta brand) cut into pieces. I used for oil organic coconut oil, which didn't make an overwhelming or noticeable coconut taste. I used one arbol chili for the recipe when I halved it.

    • Delys77 on April 15, 2013

      Pg. 760 I was a little dubious about this recipe because cabbage isn't always our favourite vegetable, that said we were making quite a few saucy dishes so I wanted something on the drier side. The dish comes together very quickly, and yields a lovely stir fry with a brilliant yellow undertone. Flavours are good and very well balanced and the slightly browned cabbage was a revelation. Really good accompaniment to a meal with many sauced curries. Total amount of cabbage I used was about 2.5 lbs and I upped the peas by about 50%.

  • Pan-roasted barramundi (Lasooni tali machli)

    • Rella on September 23, 2012

      I have looked in this book in the index for this recipe, but have yet to find it in the book.

    • JLDuck on December 31, 2018

      Page 747 under the section called Guest Chefs. Not in index.

    • Jimbocook on March 04, 2016

      I have also searched without luck

  • Chicken tikka masala (Murg tikka masala)

    • Delys77 on September 19, 2012

      This one definitely scores 5 stars. We were having a vegetarian over for dinner so I also used some of the marinade and sauce for paneer, and both versions were excellent. My only variation was that I cubed both the chicken and paneer before marinating so that it would cook faster. The result is what you would expect, a thick luscious and mildly spiced sauce which perfectly compliments the marinated and grilled chicken/paneer. Delicious!

    • Nadebaum on September 15, 2019

      Not in the index of my 2010 version of the India Cookbook but thanks to Eat Your Books they told me the recipe is there on Page 752. The recipe before is Chickpea curry (Channa masala) P751 not in the index and the recipe after it is Goan fish curry (Goawali machchali) P753 also not in the index. The recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala is not in the index under Chicken, Tikka, Masala, or Murg.

  • Minced [ground] lamb with peas (Keema matar)

    • Delys77 on April 13, 2012

      Great rice bowl sort of stuff. Simple and flavourful, especially with the tomato and the heavy cumin. Went a bit lighter on the chilies and it was just right

    • JLDuck on September 10, 2020

      It is very tasty. However if you are familiar with Thai minced dishes you may find it a little bland in comparison

  • Dal with spinach (Moog aur palak ki dal)

    • Delys77 on January 07, 2017

      This was a nice simple dal with the addition of lovely spinach. We were feeding a little one so cut back on the chilies and it was still very flavourful.

    • JLDuck on March 30, 2018

      Delicious recipe. Used chana Dahl as this was all I had. Worked a treat.

  • Chicken with aromatic whole spices (Khare masale ka murg)

    • Delys77 on August 27, 2012

      Pg 496 This yields something very close to what many westerners would consider a generic curry. Not in a bad way of course as the brilliant yellow colour is very attractive, and the flavour balance of the spices was excellent, with the creamy richness of the yogurt. My only points of criticism is that the amount of water suggested is far too much. I would go with 1-2 cups of water and give it a slightly longer simmer (uncovered later on) to reduce it before adding the yogurt and chilies. Also, the recipe doesn't call for removal of the whole spices but I took out the cardamom pods, cloves, and bay leaves. Very lovely dish.

  • Butter chicken

    • Delys77 on December 10, 2013

      Pg. 501 Overall this was a pretty good recipe but it required a bit of tweaking. Firstly, make sure you use full fat yogurt as mine was non fat and it separated in the pan. The end result was a bit gritty due to the milk solids coming off the yogurt but the flavour was still nice. I would got with a touch less chilli powder and a bit less tomato because the end result was a little too spicy and a bit too soupy. Also, I used boneless pieces, which wasn't clear from the recipe but is always my preference with butter chicken.

  • Potatoes & peas in sauce (Aloo matar rasedar)

    • Delys77 on February 13, 2013

      Pg. 232 This is similar to aloo matar dishes you have had in Indian restaurants, if a little better. I cut the oil back to about 3 tb and this was plenty. I also loved that the potatoes browned so nicely in the pre cooking, this gave them a good texture in the final dish. It did take me longer than 20 to brown the potatoes, closer to 30. I used the suggested Kashmiri Garam Masala and it was very good. The only change I would make is to go with a bit more tomato next time to make the dish a touch looser.

    • minerva on May 24, 2013

      Browning potatoes was a nice touch. In the future, I might use more of all powdered spices and some extra tomato.

  • Tomato curry with coconut & spinach (Tamatar bhatkalikura)

    • Delys77 on October 01, 2012

      Pg 316 This is a very different preparation from what I am used to. The tomatoes, onions, chilies go into a pot with water, they are not pre-sauteed in any way. It was difficult for me to do as I expected this would impact the flavour significantly. The recipe calls for a pretty brief simmer of the tomatoes, but looking at the picture it seemed to me that they had broken down quite a bit so I simmered the tomatoes and onions for closer to 30 minutes. I followed the rest of the recipe closely, finishing off with the sautéed onion garnish and tempered oil. Overall I would say that the dish is essentially a loose curry with nice but relatively minimalist flavours. I personally think that a quick sauté of the onions, tomatoes, spices, and chilies would have added greater dimensions of flavour, and you could have still gone with the flourish of the garnish at the end. That being said, the dish was good as is and perhaps I am being to western in my approach.

    • JLDuck on May 10, 2018

      I stir-fried rather than cook the spinach to a sludge. It worked a treat.

  • Peas & carrots (Gajar matar)

    • Delys77 on July 28, 2014

      Carrots take way longer than 5 to 8 minutes. Put them in without the peas and then add a touch of water. After about 15 to 20 minutes add the peas so they can get about 5 minutes in before the carrots are done. Otherwise quite tasty and a good accompaniment to a wetter curry.

  • Mixed vegetables with whole spices (Subz khara masala)

    • Delys77 on March 21, 2014

      Pg. 349 Overall a nice little curry as an accompaniment, but not substantial enough as a main. The flavours are very nice but I only went with 1 seeded serrano and 1/2 tsp of Indian Chili Powder, the result was just right if a little tame, could maybe up to the full tsp of Chili Powder. Also, it took closer to 35-40 minutes to cook the carrots and potatoes. Overall a good side. The name is a misnomer however as there are no whole spices.

  • Prawns [shrimp] cooked in yoghurt (Doi jhingri)

    • Delys77 on August 07, 2012

      Pg 382 This dish definitely reminds me of Bengali cuisine with the lovely combination of sour yogurt, succulent shrimp, and aromatic spices. I went a bit lighter on the chili powder and it was just right for us. I also cooked the potatoes closer to 20 minutes and they were nicely done. I suggest taking out the whole spices before you serve, plus maybe a sprinkling of cilantro. Really enjoyable weeknight meal.

    • JLDuck on August 31, 2020

      I did not include the potatoes. It is a very easy dish to make and the results are divine. Highly recommended.

  • Prawns [shrimp] with stewed vegetables (Bhaji ani kolambicha stew)

    • Delys77 on March 22, 2015

      This one is not a winner. There is too much water and the dish simply tastes washed out. Also the vegetables should go in in stages, by the time the potato cooks the cabbage is too mushy.

  • Beetroot [beet] curry (Chukandar ki subzi)

    • meggan on October 25, 2016

      We enjoyed this easy weeknight meal and felt healthy and smug afterwards. Next time I will add the beet greens and perhaps a little chile powder.

  • Curry leaf & tomato quinoa (Quinoa upma)

    • meggan on October 01, 2013

      As far as I can see, this recipe is not in this cookbook.

    • Ganga108 on September 11, 2021

      P765. This is such a large book, it would be really helpful to have page numbers.

  • Stuffed tomatoes (Bhare baghare tomate)

    • minerva on March 30, 2014

      The filling to tomato ratio seemed off, maybe my tomatoes were too small.

  • Rice with cashew nuts & spices (Chitrannam)

    • minerva on March 30, 2014

      This worked well in the rice cooker, sauteeing everything but rice and adding it all together before cooking.

  • Spicy chicken in thick sauce (Chicken xacuti)

    • Kellyco on April 18, 2013

      Has to simmer longer.

  • Aubergine [eggplant] in mild yoghurt sauce (Dahi ke baigan)

    • JLDuck on June 17, 2016

      Be very careful of the yogurt. Tends to curdle very easily when re heated with the eggplants.

  • Sweet & sour minty aubergines [eggplant] (Khatte meethe baigan)

    • JLDuck on March 26, 2015

      Prefer to omit the dried mint and increase the amount of fresh mint chutney.

  • Cauliflower in pickling spices (Achari gobi)

    • JLDuck on July 25, 2020

      Very easy and tasty. I cut my cauliflower pieces too large. Small would have improved the cooking time.

  • Dry cabbage in masala (Karamkalla)

    • JLDuck on October 20, 2018

      Organisation is essential. It is then a simple and delicious dish

  • Mushrooms with cashew nuts (Kaji khumb makhane)

    • JLDuck on March 30, 2018

      Easy recipe and tastes excellent. I did not have any lotus puffs so am unable to say what difference if any they would make.

  • Braised lamb in aromatic sauce (Qorma dum pukht)

    • JLDuck on May 10, 2018

      I cooked the shanks for 2 hours in order to get the proper texture. It is delicious. Suggest that for a shared meal you take the meat off the bones and serve with the sauce.

  • Lamb with rich sauce (Taar qorma)

    • JLDuck on June 06, 2019

      Absolutely delicious. I used chicken stock rather than lamb, so am unsure what the difference that would make to the dish. It takes a while to prepare and then cook but it is absolutely worth the effort.

  • Corn with mixed greens (Bhutta mehtu palak)

    • JLDuck on October 15, 2018

      Sort of cooked it. Used Asian greens and no corn - basically what I had on hand. It worked a treat. An excellent indian style green vegie stir fry.

  • Curried fish from Hyderabad (Machhali ke salan)

    • JLDuck on October 20, 2018

      Absolutely delicious. The sauce can be cooked in advance.

  • Fish in tomato sauce (Machhali tamatarwali)

    • JLDuck on March 16, 2018

      Very tasty and very easy to make. Could use canned tomatoes if fresh not available.

  • Pepper chicken from Chettinad (Koli milagu masala)

    • JLDuck on June 01, 2018

      Absolutely delicious. Like many recipes in this book it is time consuming but well worth it. I omitted the urad dal because I had run out. It is fine without it. The

  • Chicken in a rich scarlet sauce (Murg roganjosh)

    • JLDuck on July 25, 2020

      A mild but tasty chicken dish. It takes time given a 3 hour marinating period. Care needs to taken to not burn the sauce, especially in the early stages. The effort is worth it

  • Prince-like chicken curry (Shahi qorma)

    • JLDuck on March 30, 2018

      Recommend that you prepare all the ingredients in advance as they need to be added in quick succession. I used a larger pieces of chicken than used in the recipe. This did not affect the cooking time. It was delicious. I did not use silver leaf. This struck be as somewhat ostentatious. Also cooked on March 2018

  • Goan chicken curry (Caril de galinha)

    • JLDuck on November 08, 2019

      Do not be tempted to reduce the chillies (unless you really like curry mild) as the recipe can easily take the heat without destroying one's taste buds. Very tasty dish.

  • Sweet & tangy yellow dal (Aamati)

    • JLDuck on May 24, 2016

      The good dal took about 2 hours to cook! Suggest soak dal overnight. Found it very chilli hot so may need to modify amount of chilli in final dish.

    • JLDuck on June 01, 2017

      You may need to cook the lentils longer than recommended. I soaked them over night but they still required an additional half hour and could easily been on longer. Still it is an good dal.

  • Dry black lentils (Sukhi urad ki dal)

    • JLDuck on May 15, 2021

      As usual my lentils took a lot longer to soften - probably a little old - but the final result is an interesting dal but not overpowering. Very easy.

  • Split red dal (Masoor dal)

    • JLDuck on July 26, 2021

      Need to moderate the water as I found even reducing it initially meant that the dal was a tad soupy. Still tasted ok.

  • Stewed lamb with spinach & dill (Suvey aur palak ka gosht)

    • Nadebaum on August 01, 2019

      This recipe does not exist in my India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant. It must be in a different version of the same publication. Suggest using ingredients listed and slow cook 1.2 Kg lamb leg in slow cooker for 4 hours cooking spinach separately. This worked for me although finding the real recipe would be good.

  • Quick semolina [farina] & gram [chickpea] pancakes (Avasara adai)

    • Ganga108 on July 31, 2021

      P 148. An Emergency Adai, very quick to make - it is an easy and delish adai. Deserves to be a regular at the table. Particularly snack-worthy. Semolina is toasted and mixed with chickpea flour, aromatics and spices. Coconut too. Divine. I added kimchi to the left over batter and cooked like thick pancakes. Sprinkled with salt. Delicious.

  • Moong dal with vegetables (Molagootal)

    • Ganga108 on March 06, 2021

      Nice recipe (I used veggie garden veg). Misses the subtle steps of other recipes, but that is the nature of this book - quick and simple Indian. NEED TO COOK THE MUNG DAL until very soft and mushy (the author does not say this), BEFORE adding the veg and spice paste. Roast the dal, then add water (careful it will bubble up) and cook. Traditionally, there would be veg that are commonly used in this dish, but do use what you have. P579, in my book.

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Reviews about this book

  • Fine Cooking

    Like the vast subcontinent itself, this cookbook could take a lifetime to fully explore. Such abundance may seem dizzying at first, but dive right in: Pant’s recipes are straightforward and clear...

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0714859028
  • ISBN 13 9780714859026
  • Published Sep 28 2010
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 960
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Phaidon Press Ltd
  • Imprint Phaidon Press Ltd

Publishers Text

"India: The Cookbook" is the first comprehensive guide to Indian cooking, with over 1,000 recipes covering every aspect of India's rich and colourful culinary heritage. Unlike many other Indian cookbooks, it is written by an Indian culinary academic and cookbook author who lives and works in Delhi, and the recipes are a true reflection of how traditional dishes are really cooked all over India. They have been carefully edited to ensure that they are simple to follow and achievable in western kitchens, with detailed information about authentic cooking utensils and ingredients. Indian food has been hugely popular in the UK for many years, and the appetite for Indian food shows no sign of diminishing. Now, for the first time, a definitive, wide-ranging and authoritative book on authentic Indian food is available, making it simple to prepare your favourite Indian dishes at home, alongside less well-known dishes such as bataer masalydaar (marinated quails cooked with almonds, chillies and green cardamom), or sambharachi kodi (Goan prawn curry with coconut and tamarind). The comprehensive chapters on breads, pickles, spice pastes and chutneys contain a wide variety of recipes rarely seen in Indian cookbooks, such as bagarkhani roti (a rich sweet bread with raisins, cardamom and poppy seeds) and tamatar ka achar (tomato and mustard-seed pickle). "India: The Cookbook" is the only book on Indian food you'll ever need.

View the video of the photo shoot for India Cookbook on the Phaidon website.

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