This volume from the "Super Chef" series begins with a discussion of the differences in the geography and climate between the Northern and Southern regions of India and how they have affected the spices and cuisine of these two areas. The recipes begin with a basic chicken stock and then move on to more elaborate dishes such as ginger and peanut soup and lamb curry. They are all grouped by type of cuisine from bread and accompaniments to main dishes and desserts and drinks. Most recipes include inviting, full-color photos of the finished dish, which is particularly helpful when young cooks are preparing unfamiliar foods. The recipes vary from simple to moderately difficult and all include extensive directions, which use the "on your mark," "get set," "cook" format. This ensures that all ingredients are available and prepared in the proper order. Young chefs will be expected to use knives extensively for peeling and chopping vegetables, to use a stove top for cooking and boiling and to use the oven for baking. The recipes are all healthy, stressing a variety of food groups and often including suggestions for making vegetarian adaptations. Also included are safety tips, a description of a variety of Indian spices such as coriander and saffron, additional web and text resources and an index. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
A note in the front "From the Author" introduces young people to traditional recipes from other countries, adapted to work in their kitchen. His goal is to introduce a world of exciting and satisfying recipes, along with the basic principles of kitchen safety, food handling, and common-sense nutrition. These are classic recipes from India that range from very basic to challenging. "Before You Begin" includes "A Word About Safety" and "Cooking Terms." Next is "The Regions of India and How They Taste"—this is a wonderful description of the areas with information about certain food products. Then comes in—careful detail—the soups and how to prepare them, treats like Ginger and Peanut Soup. "Bread," "Chutneys," "Cheese" and "Cooking Oil" follow. Then comes "Rice Dishes"—Royal Rice and Vegetables—and "Spice." "Vegetable Dishes" includes Garden Vegetable Stew with Coconut and Lamb Curry enlivens the "Main Dishes" chapter. Sesame Nut Cookies and Sweet Rice Pudding complete the "Dessert" chapter. All the selections are portrayed in the great colored photographs. Sections in the back include "Helpful Kitchen Equipment and Utensils," "Essential Ingredients in the Indian Kitchen," "Metric Conversion Chart," and the index. This title is part of the "Super Chef" series for the serious want-to-be or present cook. 2005, Benchmark Books/Michael Cavendish, Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-The spicy cuisines of India and Thailand are served up by a professional chef, with beautifully presented, full-color photos of mouth-watering dishes. Each volume includes detailed information on the regional influences within the country, noting the specialties of individual cities and agricultural areas. Basic cooking and safety information is outlined, and young chefs are encouraged to enlist an adult as assistant. The recipes emphasize fresh ingredients, with stocks and spice mixes made from scratch. Conversions for vegetarians are suggested where appropriate. The author recommends personally grinding spices for optimum flavor, and includes recipes for making fresh Indian cheese and red curry paste. A descriptive list of specialized ingredients for each cuisine is included. The detailed directions are the strength of these books. While the recipes are not simple, and call for ingredients that may be unfamiliar to most readers, preparation is broken down into small, doable steps. Before the actual cooking begins, chopping and peeling are completed so that everything is ready to go. Safety and caution are continually stressed, especially in the use of knives and handling of chile peppers. Vijay Madavan's Cooking the Indian Way (Lerner, 1985) and Judy Monroe and Supenn Harrison's Cooking the Thai Way (Lerner, 1986) offer similar coverage and presentation, but their directions are not as explicitly detailed.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.