Scintillating Dishes from Indian Cookery

Being a long time fancier of Indian food, I was happy to order, and receive so quickly, Indian Cookery by Sameen Rushdie, recommended by Beth Fish over at her site, Beth Fish Reads.   Her brother, Salman, who seems to have loved his task as official taste tester for his sister's book, certainly has a way with words, and as it turns out, Sameen is also an excellent writer. I enjoyed her comments and many interesting reminiscences on food, her past, the culture, and her mother's cooking.

In the book, regarding chicken:  "'My children only eat chicken,' my father would remark sarcastically to emphasize just how thoroughly spoilt he thought we were.  In the subcontinent chicken is the most expensive meat available, and has become synonymous with good living, hospitality and privilege."  She found things to be much different upon moving to England, and remarks: "Personally I was very pleased to find chickens put in their place in the West.  It is true that I have always been fond of chicken, but the pomp and snobbery surrounding it in the subcontinent did make it a little hard to swallow."

The book is not meant to be an all inclusive tome on Indian cooking, despite the title.  It is primarily Sameen Rushdie's personal North Indian and Pakistani culinary experience that is reflected here. So, for example, you will find most of her recipes, more dry style, rather than the gravy like curry we are used to, and then with yogurt, rather than the ubiquitous coconut milk of South India.  And thus, as I like a bit of "gravy," my recipe for this post is an exception - Chicken with Fresh Cream, Saffron and Green Cardamoms, which also includes yogurt.  Not at all hard to swallow. Quite tasty in fact.

Chicken with Fresh Cream, Saffron and Green Cardamoms

I served it with a salad (raitia) of cucumbers and grated carrots in kefir, Basmati rice and mango chutney.  Then with the left-over chicken another night, I made her recipe for Fried Spicy Cabbage as an accompaniment.  I used collard greens in that very yummy dish.

We'll send this post along to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event and to the June edition of Foodies Read Challenge..  Please do visit and enjoy all the good book suggestions and recipes.


Mae Travels said...

Very tempting! Your photos are beautiful.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Judee Algazi said...

I've only recently started to try my hand at Indian cooking ( Posted my spinach dal on Weekend cooking with Beth) - I love the interesting spices . Your dish looks wonderful

Deb in Hawaii said...

I definitely want to check out this cookbook after seeing the posts about it. Your entire dinner looks amazing. ;-)

Wendy Klik said...

If all the recipes sound as appealing as this, I definitely want to check this book out.

Beth F said...

I agree that the book was very readable. I liked that the recipes were mostly personal. I'll mark this recipe in my copy of the book.

Debra Eliotseats said...

I love cookbooks that are "readable." Claudia, that looks like an amazing feast!

eljaybee nuiguinea said...

All those Indian dishes sound good.