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27 of 27 found the following review helpful:
The Jewel in the CrownNov 12, 2001
Julie Sahni, the doyenne of Indian cooking, has written, to my mind, the best offering in the 'Savoring' series of cookbooks. 'Savoring India' is not only a beautifully photographed journey into every corner of the sub-continent--it is also an in-depth, well written exploration of India's history, landscape, culture, customs, religions and, of course, its food.
Ms. Sahni's vast knowledge of every aspect of her subject makes the narrative an enjoyable read. The informative sidebars are chock full of interesting factoids about spices, cooking methods, utensils, Indian holidays and rituals.
And the recipes are to die for!
Intrigued by the name, the first recipe I tried was 'Richeiado', a Goan spiced rubbed shrimp dish. The recipe was easy to follow and the results were beyond belief. The shrimp were perfectly grilled, spicy and delicious. It's an unusual dish that you won't find on the menu of your local Indian restaurant. Then I tried the 'Aloo Gohbi'. In the hands of Julie Sahni this traditional cauliflower and potato staple becomes a paean to the magical simplicity of Indian home cooking. The vegetables meld perfectly into the subtle flavors of the turmeric, cumin and garam masala.
It seems that there is a fabulous recipe for just about every region of India. I'm looking forward to cooking and eating my way through all of them. If you love Indian food, (if you love food!)even if you are new to cooking it, 'Savoring India' is the book to own. It is a real feast for the body, mind and senses.
17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
A great one for vegetarians!!Feb 20, 2003
Not only is this book beautifully photographed, but it has the most luscious recipies! If you are a lover of indian cuisine, this book is a MUST for your collection. Most of the indian cookbooks I have seen I would only consider making 1/2 to 3/4 of the recipies offered. In this book, I would make most of them.
If you're a vegetarian like me, this books offers mostly all vegetarian recipies. Even the meat recipies, which are few can be altered to accomodate tofu or tempeh, which is what I have done. It's really all about those incredible spice mixtures!
As a bonus, Savoring India gives insight into the origins of indian spices and folklore. This is one of my favorite cookbooks by far!
16 of 16 found the following review helpful:
ExquisiteAug 05, 2003
This book is almost too beautiful for words and as one other reviewer mentioned it is a great introduction to the culture of Indian food. Try hot, freshly made chapatis with a generous helping of lemon pickle, simple and delicious. Of course, there is more to these culinary traditions than can be fit in one book. That is why you should buy Julie Sahni's other books as well! As for the reviewer with the maple syrup complaint. First off, Vindaloo is not a traditional North Indian dish, it's pure Southwestern Indian. A dish from the Portuguese Catholics of Goa. Second, maple syrup makes an excellent substitute for the raw Indian sugar traditionally used. So it creates authentic flavor with a not so authentic ingredient.
14 of 15 found the following review helpful:
A fascinating culinary tourOct 03, 2002
This book takes those who have never been to India on a fascinating culinary tour and is bound to make the rest of the readers (who have been there) nostalgic. It starts with a brief history of India. Rest of the book is divided by meal courses. As the author explores each course, she gives simple but delectable recipes, each classified by state. Unlike Julie Sahni's other bestsellers ("Classic Indian Cooking" and "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking"), this book has large vivid color photos that are sure to impress. Another feature that distinguishes this book from most others are the recipes of snacks and fast food sold by street vendors in India. The interesting tidbits on Indian history, culture, customs, traditions, festivals and ingredients are sprinkled across the book to make the reading even more enjoyable. Recipedelights.com highly recommends this book to foodies, cooks, and armchair travelers.
14 of 15 found the following review helpful:
Serious cookbook for seriously authentic recipiesSep 18, 2002
By Glen B. West
I've loved indian food for years, and spent some time in Bombay and Delhi. I can vouch that the recipies produce authentic, good food - equivalent to what I had in restaurants over there.
The photography is INCREDIBLE, giving you the flavor of the place and the people, why they do spice blends, and how they dress up the table, what meals mean to them, all sorts of background. The book is worth the price for the photography alone, and would make a great travelogue.
The recipies are clear, though not easy. I prepared two full menus (4 courses each). It took HOURS, because they have you doing everything from the ground up - and finding all those spices here in the states was quite difficult. One example is: Makhani Murgh. You start with day old chicken tandoori. So you have to make that first.
However, with some help from the rest of the family (cooking Indian food has become a family affair, everyone gets involved, does their part, and has fun), having never prepared any Indian food before, we were able to create very authentic and tasty dishes.
I highly recomend this book.
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