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As the title might suggest this is a must have for any serious fan of Curry who really doesn´t know much more than where their favourite restaurant is.
I purchased my copy at ebay for just under 5 pounds and feel like it has more than paid for itself as it offers a wide range of tasty and good value options for dinner and to impress friends. The book is available on Amazon for 16.15 pounds but is much cheaper on Marketplace but beware of delivery costs as this is a beefy tome and weighs quite a bit.
The book has eight seperate sections so you can really decide which best suits your personal tastes.
Lamb, Pork, Beef, and most awesomely of all Goat which as we all know makes the best curries of all. There is a wide selection from Madras and Tikka´s to much more exotic varieties that one would never see in a Restaurant.
Poultry and Eggs - Another good option as the use of chicken is well known in curry but eggs less so and the curried eggs recipe in here is a real winner.
Fish and Seafood - With a nod to Kerala and Goa this offers some thoughtful suggestions on dishes based around seafood which are milder and more appealing than I perhaps anticipated.
Vegetables - Not a part i´ve used too much as i´m more of a pulse man, but good ideas for cheap curries or accompaniments.
Dals, Beans and Split Peas - Love this section, absolutely love it, with some great tasty and filling ideas for curries and stews, I find these recipes last days, fill me up and give me tons of energy, so this is possibly my favourite section of the book.
Kebabs and Soups - I´m not brave enough to have tried these but the pictures are mouth wateringly nice and i´ll try one eventually.
Rice, Noodles and Breads - I use this section more as an accompaniment to advise me what to buy as i´m not technically competent enough to follow these sections, my partner has made some of the naan breads which are really handy as we have a coeliac in the family and there is no neccessity for wheat in a lot of the noodles and breads.
Relishes and Accompaniments - I love when my partner makes chutneys and relishes from this section, they are restaurant quality and utterly exotic.
I find this book great to look at and the pictures are awesome, they make me soo hungry sometimes, the content is concise and the idea of spliting the dishes by meat, fish etc is a great idea.
I find some of the recipes a bit too ingredient heavy, but Jaffrey does say you can do your own thing based around the ideals of the recipe and I find this works well for me.
There is a huge selection of recipes within 288 pages, it is a big heavy book with some appealing pictures and I like the fact it is written with the chef´s own experiences rather than simply copying and pasting a recipe onto a page.
The introduction to the book gives a flavour of whats to come and at the end there is a good glossary explaining cooking terms and how to do certain things.
When I saw the words ´Curry bible´I was excited and this does live up to its name, it looks great, the recipes we´ve tried are awesome and I like the fact that this isn´t simply Curry its Indian Cuisine and offers a cultured look at ways to finnesse an Indian meal in a classy and inexpensive way.
From Indian cookery author Madhur Jaffrey comes the Ultimate Curry Bible. A book packed with a comprehensive range of Curry and related recipes from around the world, as well as background information and facts.
The Curry Bible is extremely comprehensive in creation covering anything and everything you could ever want to know from a cook book of this nature. It is very easy to use with separate and self explanatory chapters such as "Poultry and Eggs" and "Lamb, Pork, Beef, Veal and Goat," as well as a well structured index.
It contains a great deal of history and background facts regarding the dishes and their ingredients which was fascinating to read. There is a useful section on techniques which will prove invaluable for making several of the dishes.
The recipes are mouth watering to say the least, providing of course you like the food to begin with. While many require a large amount of different ingredients some of which may be difficult to find (requiring specialist stores or even health food shops as opposed to supermarkets), the end product and the taste sensation is well worth it.
The book does contain a number of large appetite stimulating pictures, but only a few of the recipes have a picture showing what the end product should look like, and personally I would have preferred more showing what you are aiming for.
There is a great deal of text throughout the book, far more than I expected from a cook book and it provides a massive volume of reading. This could be an advantage as it gives you detailed background and history of the dishes and the ingredients, or it could be a disadvantage as it can be daunting with such a sheer volume of text especially when you are trying to follow a recipe. It doesn't follow the standard step by step method like the majority of cook books, it therefore maybe an idea to read the recipe a few times before starting to pick out the key points, or use a highlighter.
Some of the recipes are quite difficult requiring a lot of attention, so therefore it can prove difficult for the inexperienced cook.
The price tends to vary hugely from different retailers so it is worth while shopping around, but if you a curry fan then this is the only book you'll ever need.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
I ordered this book as I enjoy curries and thought it would be enjoyable to make my own. Madhur Jaffrey is one of the most succesful Indian cooks and is a best selling cookery author so I thought this book would be the place to start.
First of all this book is very visually appealing - the cover is quite pleasing and not over the top. The real pleasure begins when you open the book however, as it has beautiful pictures and illustrations in the introductory chapter and at the beginning of each section.
Madhur Jaffrey begins her book with an introduction which explains the origins and history of curry and how it has evolved over time. The book has recipes not only from India but from Singapore; Malaysia; Indonesia; Thailand; South Africa; Kenya; the UK; Trinidad; Guyana; Japan and the USA. She explains how immigrants have adapted curry and produced new versions or recipes altogether.
The book is split into eight sections;
1) Lamb, Pork, Beef, Veal and Goat.
2) Poultry and Eggs.
3) Fish and Seafood.
5) Dals, Beans and Split Peas.
6) Kebabs and Soups.
7) Rice, Noodles and Breads.
8) Relishes and Accompaniments.
There is also an additional section on Special Ingredients and Techniques, as well as an Index.
Each section is prefaced with an introduction of the ingredients i.e. Fish and Seafood and how they are commonly used in curries in different countries. There are also further historical explanations and these sections are quite interesting.
Each recipe is also prefaced, usually with a small anecdote from Madhur on how she has used the recipe or where she has gotten it from. Sometimes she also has tips on how to serve the curry or different ingredients to try.
The recipes themselves can be quite difficult to follow as there is so much writing and you have to refer back to the book a lot. Many of the dishes have huge ingredient lists which can also be a bit off-putting at times.
There is an immense variety and I have only attempted a few myself, as some of the recipes can look a bit scary!
I have mostly tried the different breads as I wanted to start out simply. The Chapati recipe is good and also the Guyanese Flaky Bread, although I did need to refer back to the book a lot and got a bit confused with all the folding and rolling.
The Aloo Paratha (Layered Wholemeal Flatbread stuffed with Spicy Potatoes) is very nice and not all that difficult to make. Again the instructions can get a bit confusing i.e. Flipping the paratha every ten seconds, then oiling it, then flipping every three seconds etc.
Perhaps it was the way the recipes were written as they were not set out step by step but were written in continous paragraphs. This just didn't suit me personally and may be fine for someone else.
The book as a whole is very comprehensive and I especially liked the small section on Special Ingredients and Techniques at the back. This section explained the different ingredients in case you had not heard of them, where they come from and what dishes they are used in.
I like this book and think it is useful to have as it explains the ingredients used in curries well. There is also such a wealth of recipes and information that I'm glad I bought it.
However it can be a bit overwhelming, especially to a relatively new cook and I haven't tried as many dishes as I had hoped to. It does take time to build up a store cupboard of the ingredients used most frequently in the recipes and it can be off-putting.
Personally I didn't like the way the recipes were written but the recipes themselves all sound great. The few I have attempted myself have turned out fairly well and I was pleased with them. There are no photographs of any of the finished recipes though which I was a bit disappointed about.
I would recommend this book if you have an interest in curries but would warn you that there is a lot of reading and it will take time to get used to the way the book is written.
R.R.P is £25 but it is available on Amazon for £16.25.
This review is also on Ciao.co.uk under the username mogdred1.