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Posted April 27, 2010
The recipes I've tried so far from this book have been good. The pictures are nice and there is good info on the ingredients. The dishes are simpler to prepare than those in some other Indian food cookbooks I have, and my husband who eats Indian food with Indians, says they taste like what he's eaten.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Complete Indian Cooking is a good intermediate guide for making many popular and tasty dishes. To put my review in context I have no problem saying that I am an avid cooker and focus on Chinese and Indian cuisines. In my opinion Chinese cooking is far easier and less time consuming then a proper preparation of an Indian meal. That said let's get back to the book.
I have cooked six or eight dishes from Complete and in all but one case got very good results.
Let's start with the disaster. Ground Meat Samosas. Here is the classic case of diminishing returns. The preparation time suggested here is one hour, It was about an hour and a half for me (I'm not a novice) and most of that was making and rolling the dough for the Samosas. You need to roll them very thin. This is never mentioned. The results of an hour and a half's work where an appetizer that although not pretty in appearance was very tasty. It was not worth the effort and could turn you off to Indian cooking.
Now a real hit! Shrimp Curry with onion and garlic, Yum, yum!! I followed the recipe ingredients to the letter and applied a little experience to the cooking time, (I used very large (12 count) shrimp so the time need to be lengthened a couple of minutes) the dish was perfect!! There preparation time does not take into account cleaning the shrimp and staging the ingredients so add another ten minutes to your schedule.
Another major hit is the Spinach with Tomatoes. Here they really give you a complex made from scratch curry that is provides a really delicious and different treat!
Let's compare some of the recipes and results to a comparable book, The Food of India, a journey for food lovers also purchased from B and N. Both are large format and lavishly illustrated and have very similar organizations. Both books contain many recipes for the same dish and a comparison of them is relevant to put Complete Indian Cooking in context.
Lets start with Kashmiri Chicken (yum, yum) . The recipes where similar but also different. The Complete recipe was much simpler with far less ingredients. The illustration of the completed dish was, in my opinion deceiving when compared to the recipe. The Food of India version had far more preparation I the curry which is made from scratch with many additional steps for dry roasting and grinding spices. It also added shelled pistachios (another ten minutes work) and blanched almonds both then ground and added to the final yogurt add in. It also added a final cooking and reduction step which provided a much more tender and flavorful result. Complete Indian was slightly unclear on the choice of the chicken parts for the recipe. I don't believe that the cooking time specified is sufficient for and implied chicken part sizes used in the cooking.
Now let's look at the Vindaloo recipes which I have not yet cooked. Complete calls for a Vindaloo Massala, Ok where does one find this or how does one make it. I could not find it in any of the local and comprehensive Indian groceries but did find the recipe on Google which is a job in itself. Shame on them here. Food of India has recipes for all the massalas referenced. Some of them are as complex as the recipes themselves but it is more complete.
In summary Complete is a good intermediate Indian cook book that will produce some delicious results. There is more work and time required in general for each recipe and this could discourage a beginner from continuing with the
Posted May 4, 2007
I disagree with the negative posts. This book does a fantastic job of creating my favorites. I agree the Chicken Makhani is not like a restaurants but unlike the other reviewers, I think the book has a better recipe than what I can get at the restaurant. If you think a recipe is bland, add more spice!! You CAN change it. The naan bread recipe is the best that I have come across made by basic kitchen supplies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2004
The authors approach to many traditional recipies are extremely oversimplified and lack authentic ingredients and techniques that are crucial to the many subtle characters of nearly all Indian dishes. This book might be a nice 'eye-candy' gift for a friend who collects cookbooks, but I would not recommend this to anyone who wanted an authentic Chicken Makhani or Saag dish or who wants to replicate their favorite Indian Restaurant's cuisine. These recipies wont even come close. Although, this book has received many outstanding reviews, I believe that it is not worthy of such praise.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 25, 2004
I was so excited to use this book after reading all the great reviews. Well, I made three dishes, and what a disappointment. I followed the recipes and found that the result was often bland and not even close to a 'restaurant' meal. The meals looked and smelled good, but the taste was just bearable. And I so wanted to avoid resorting back to takeout!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 18, 2003
This is the BEST cookbook. If you are looking for a Indian cookbook, this is the one to buy! I am an american trying to learn to cook Indian food and this is the best book to learn from. All the spices were easy to find in the Indian store and the directions were precise and easy to follow. Thus far I have made over 20 dishes from the cookbook and all of them have turned out wonderfully!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 7, 2002
This cookbook is excellent. The pictures are full page and mouthwatering. The recipes are easy to follow. Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite and has become a regular meal at my home, especially when we are having guests. I'd say I can compete with some of the local restaurants.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2002
I started serious cooking less than a year ago. And believe me I have gone through quite a number of books. But this one is the best I have laid my hands on. Not only are the steps easy to follow but also the pics are exactly what it turns out to be. If you love Indian food and easy cooking, this is the one you should pick up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 28, 2002
I thought I was going to have to search the world over just to find an Indian cookbook that people like me could use. After all, most Indian cookbooks had recipes that were two miles long and called for ingredients that American cooks couldn't even pronounce and that could only be found at ethnic grocery stores on the other side of town. And then- along came Complete Indian Cooking by Hamlyn! Most of the recipes are simple and make use of readily found ingredients and the book is packed with gorgeous full page, full color photo plates. All of the great Indian favorites are there- korma, tandoori, vindaloo, tikka, meat- stuffed samosas, chappati breads and naan, prinjal relishes and chutneys, to name just a few of the many delights which would be worthy of a Moghul emperor. There is also a very large selection of vegetarian goodies as well as lots of unique and unforgettable desserts. Owners of Indian restaurants beware- this book might easily put you guys out of business!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2002
Instructions are so easy to understand. It's great! Only pitfall is that the illustrations look so mouth wateringly delicious that I usually pick up and go to the restaurant rather than cook my own indian cuisine.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.