The New Curry Secret: Mouthwatering Indian Restaurant Dishes to Cook at Home


A new revision of a classic Indian cookbook, completely updated for contemporary tastes.

For nearly 20 years, The Curry Secret has been the classic Indian cookbook. Superb word of mouth made it a best seller. With the recent surge of interest in Indian food, Kris Dhillon has revised her book to address the new and sophisticated dishes served in Indian restaurants worldwide.

The New Curry Secret — with 100 new recipes and full-color photographs ...

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A new revision of a classic Indian cookbook, completely updated for contemporary tastes.

For nearly 20 years, The Curry Secret has been the classic Indian cookbook. Superb word of mouth made it a best seller. With the recent surge of interest in Indian food, Kris Dhillon has revised her book to address the new and sophisticated dishes served in Indian restaurants worldwide.

The New Curry Secret — with 100 new recipes and full-color photographs throughout — includes a wider choice of dishes and brand-new recipes for even more mouthwatering curries. Dhillon reveals the secrets of creating authentic Indian flavors in the home, including the special spice blends and closely held tricks used by Indian chefs.

Everything a modern curry cook needs is here, including:

  • Dhillon's new curry sauce
  • Buying and incorporating fresh ingredients
  • Commonly used Indian ingredients with English translations
  • Lists of essential herbs and spices and other key ingredients
  • Useful utensils, shortcuts, tricks of the trade
  • Entrées and light lunches
  • Vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizers
  • Tandoori cooking
  • Chicken, lamb, pork, beef and seafood dishes
  • Balti dishes, Karahi and other traditional dishes
  • Rice dishes, biryanis and breads
  • Accompaniments such as chutneys, pickles and raitas
  • Desserts and candies.

The New Curry Secret will satisfy Dhillon's legion of fans.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554075614
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2009
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kris Dhillon writes with the authority of an accomplished Indian restaurateur with thousands of satisfied customers.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

  • That "no smell" curry sauce

2. What makes a good cook great?

  • Tips on buying and using fresh ingredients

3. What's in season?

4. Commonly used ingredients, with Indian and English translations

5. Getting started

  • Essential spices and herbs
  • Other key ingredients
  • Useful utensils
  • Handy tips, useful shortcuts and tricks of the trade
  • Get ready — in summary

6. Weights and measures

7. The new curry sauce

8. Appetizers and light lunches

  • Nonvegetarian appetizers
  • Vegetarian appetizers

9. Tandoori cooking

10. Chicken dishes

11. Lamb dishes

12. Balti dishes

13. Karahi and other traditional dishes

14. Pork and beef dishes

15. Seafood dishes

16. Vegetable and dhal dishes


18. Breads

19. Rice dishes

20. Accompaniments — Chutneys, pickles and raita

21. Desserts


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India is a land of stark contrasts and startling paradoxes, and a culture with the kind of complexity, mystique and intrigue that develops only with a long, eventful and, at times, colorful history.

Many historians believe that Indian history and its cuisine are as old as humankind itself, evolving over the ages under the influences of travelers and invaders from all corners of the world, and from the emergence of various religions, rulers and cultures internally.

Despite this, Indian cuisine has not lost its original identity. It has instead become richer and more diverse, while managing to retain the core principle that everything we eat should be pure and balanced. Onions, garlic, ginger and spices, integral to Indian cuisine, have proven health-giving properties. Cook your curries with healthy oils such as olive, sunflower and safflower, using ghee, butter and cream in moderation, and you will have a diet that is not only compatible with a healthy lifestyle but one that contributes to it.

Indian cuisine is wonderfully rich and varied. The regional variations reflect the historical influences, contrasting demographics, culture and ethnicity of this vast and exotic subcontinent. With a multitude of vibrant dishes flavored with aromatic spice blends (masalas) and fresh fragrant herbs, it is not hard to understand why Indian food has become a firm favorite all over the Western world.

Traditional Indian cuisine is split into four categories: North Indian, South Indian, East Indian and West Indian. However, ask for a chicken tikka masala anywhere in India, and it is likely that all you will get is a blank look. Going out for a curry is not an Indian pastime but in the West, and Britain in particular, it is a ritual that many people relish with gusto. Chicken tikka masala is reportedly the most frequently consumed dish in Britain and is even more popular than fish and chips.

The cuisine of Indian restaurants, loved by millions, does not fit into any of the traditional Indian cuisine categories, but it embraces some aspect of each, becoming in itself quite unique. It is this cuisine that holds the uncompromising, tantalizing allure for the vast majority of curry lovers in the West. The traditional recipes, as wonderful as they are, simply don't "have it" when your tastebuds are crying out for the distinct, deep "curryish" flavor and aroma of restaurant curries.

Indian restaurant cuisine has its origins in the period of the British Raj. Indian cooks, pressed by their British masters to prepare meals that were more acceptable to the British palate, modified traditional dishes for which the British rapidly acquired a taste. So much so, that the first Indian restaurants were opened in the affluent parts of London so that British officers returning home from their duties in India were not deprived of their favorite foods. This was the beginning of a new cuisine.

The second phase in the evolution of this new cuisine took place in the mid-1900s as families from Bangladesh, migrating to England to make their fortune, opened Indian restaurants in the East End of London, an area still famous for this cuisine.

A number of Anglicized Indian dishes were created during that early period, including the well known and loved chicken tikka masala. Later in the century there was a rapid proliferation of balti houses serving delicately spiced curries, freshly cooked in a woklike pan. Beginning in Birmingham this new phenomenon rapidly spread to other parts of the country. The Balti dishes served in Indian restaurants are descendants of this cooking style and remain popular to this day.

In fact, Indian restaurant food has continued to grow in popularity all over the world. The United States' Immigration Act of 1965 saw an influx of Asian immigration to the U.S. and with it an insurgence of Indian restaurants, especially in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and New York. All-you-can-eat buffets with an array of standard dishes are common in many Indian restaurants in the United States, catering for a growing appetite for Indian food amongst the locals.

Indian restaurants are also common throughout Canada, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver where large numbers of Indian nationals have settled since 1970. The cuisine of South Africa also boasts several dishes of Indian origin; some have evolved over time to become unique to South Africa while many others are recognizably traditional Indian preparations modified with local spices.

In Australia the popularity of Indian food has increased considerably in the last 20 years, resulting in a rapid growth in the availability of Indian food and ingredients. Nearly all Australian towns and cities now enjoy the existence of several good Indian restaurants and eateries, and more are opening each month.

There has emerged an avid and enthusiastic demand for dishes that challenge the modern Western palate, rather than pander to the tastes of yesteryear when recipes were adapted to create milder dishes like chicken korma and chicken tikka masala that were gentler on the tastebuds. Indian food is now integral to the Western diet and restaurateurs have responded by creating more authentic dishes with a "no-holds barred" approach to the use of more pungent spices and herbs.

There has also been a period of culinary evolution around the globe with a growing homogenization or mixing of cooking styles and techniques. Worldwide, professional chefs have sought to develop and promote the intermingling of a variety of popular cuisines, resulting in what has become widely known as "fusion" food. Indian chefs too have embraced these developments and Indian spring rolls, dhal soup and murgh (chicken) Ceylon are now commonplace on the Indian restaurant menu. While the favorites of the past decades remain popular, these elements of change have seen many more inventive restaurateurs create new and vibrant dishes.

In this book I seek to provide to curry lovers the know-how for creating these new and exquisite restaurant dishes. The New Curry Secret will show you how you can create the delicious restaurant curries of today, simply and easily. I have included all the closely held secrets, the special spice blends and tricks of the trade employed by Indian chefs plus some labor-saving tips and ideas to make it even easier when cooking Indian restaurant food at home.

The New Curry Secret will help you take your cooking to the next level. Not only does it give you a plethora of delicious recipes and cooking ideas, it goes a step further. It shows you what makes a good cook great; how you can transform good dishes into mouthwatering delights that are a feast for the senses, just by using a few simple techniques.

In this book you will discover the closely guarded secrets of Indian chefs. You will be surprised, delighted and amazed to learn how you too can easily produce delicious restaurant curries at home; curries that are as good if not better than the ones you enjoy in your favorite Indian restaurant.

The "no smell" curry sauce
It is the curry sauce that, more than anything else, influences the flavor, appearance and texture of the typical restaurant curry and differentiates it from the traditional homemade one. It is also the curry sauce that enables you to cook one or more fabulous restaurant curries in next to no time. Have a quantity of this sauce on hand and you can put together an array of delicious, authentic restaurant curries in a matter of minutes.

However, there is no such thing as a free lunch — the smell of the boiling onions drives everyone out of the house for hours! Well, not any more! The new curry sauce will have them staying right where they are; it actually smells good while it's cooking.

By making a few changes to the way the curry sauce is made, the unpleasant smell that emanated from the saucepan during the boiling stage has been eliminated. If you don't like the smel

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