Cuisines of India by Smita Chandra
The Art and Tradition of Regional Indian Cooking

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When you prepare Indian food, you become part of a culinary tradition that stretches back thousands of years. From vegetarian offerings unparalleled in their creative preparation and range of flavors to the elegant meat-centered feasts set before Moghul emperors, Indian cuisine is a luxurious Epicurean tapestry

Cuisines of India is a guided culinary tour across India's exotic regions -- from the lofty mountains of Kashmir to the sunbaked Malabar Coast, from the bustling streets of Calcutta to the majestic fortresses of Rajasthan. Steeped in history and filled with delightful tales and legends, it describes the impact of other cultures -- Middle Eastern, Asian, and European -- that have left their indelible imprint on India's famed cuisine. Embellished with maps and beautiful line drawings throughout, this indispensable guide provides breathtaking historical background in addition to dozens of recipes and preparation techniques specific to each particular region.

Each chapter explores the cuisine of a different region, describing its evolution and lore, and explains how history shaped local dishes and methods of cooking. The journey begins in ancient times with the fascinating saga of the Aryan tribesmen, and takes us to the fabulous temples of South India, where lavish feasts were prepared for the gods, We sample the sumptuous banquets of the Moghul court and dine with the European explorers who came to India in search of spices.

Recipes are drawn from the many regional cuisines of India. Food from the Hindu heartland of Uttar Pradesh is simple, lightly spiced, and vegetarian. South Indian cuisine is famous for its spicy rice, vegetable, and seafood preparations. North Indian Moghlai cuisine-heavily influenced by Persian and Turkish techniques such as cooking with yogurt and using apricots, raisins, and almonds in meat dishes-provides its own cornucopia of mouth-watering combinations. Traditional rustic Punjabi fare includes freshly harvested greens cooked with meat, while the royal kitchens of Hyderabad provide recipes for succulent kababs. Dishes from Goa, Bombay, and Calcutta show a fascinating blend of Indian cuisine with Portuguese, British, and Chinese culinary traditions.

Cuisine of India is more than a cookbook -- it is a gateway into an extraordinary culture. In these pages India's history is observed through the kitchen door, and the mysteries of an ever-changing cuisine are revealed.


About Smita Chandra

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Chandra was born and raised in India, where she learned generations' worth of culinary traditions. She teaches Indian cooking and works as a freelance writer.
Published August 1, 2001 by Ecco. 320 pages
Genres: Cooking. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Over the past several years, Indian cookery has made inroads into the American food scene.

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Publishers Weekly

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Chandra's care with history will convince those skeptical of her improvisations (as will an author tour, the book's selection as a fall alternate of the Good Cook Book Club and former Taste host David Rosengarten's blurb), while those new to Indian cuisine will find this a good beginner's guide.

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