Monday, May 12, 2008

Book Review and Giveaway: 660 Curries

A few weeks ago, I received a copy of Raghavan Iyer’s book 660 Curries. As the title might imply, the book contains hundreds of recipes for Indian curries. What the title doesn’t imply, though, is that the book contains recipes from all regions of India, and not every recipe in this book is for what generally comes to mind when you hear the word “curry.”

The book opens with an introduction to and recipes for the foundation of curries: spice blends and pastes. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as generic “curry powder” (so go throw away that bottle of curry powder you bought in the spice aisle in the supermarket), and Iyer does a wonderful job of providing recipes for and explaining the uses of many regional spice blends. What follows are literally hundreds of recipes that are organized into neat categories: appetizer curries, meat curries (I obviously skipped over those 160 pages), vegetable, lentil, and paneer curries, fusion curries, and side dishes. Indian food is incredibly diverse – dishes from Tamil Nadu are completely different from those you would find in Goa – and this book not only includes recipes from all the regions of India, but also explains the differences between the cuisines of the regions.

While I don’t think that this book is the ultimate guide to Indian cooking, I do think that it is an excellent resource for people who love Indian food and want to learn about regional Indian cuisine as well how to cook dishes that go beyond the narrow purview of the local Indian restaurant.

So, to that end, I’m giving away three copies of 660 Curries.

Here's how it works: starting today and for the next two weeks, I will post the recipe for and my comments and thoughts on one dish from the book. I'll post each recipe on Monday (actually, the first one will be posted tomorrow), and I will be giving away one copy of the book each week.

To be entered into each weekly drawing, all you need to do is leave a relevant comment on the post for the weekly recipe – maybe what your favorite Indian dish is, or what your experiences with Indian cooking have been, or anything along those lines. I’ll randomly select a winner on the Sunday of the following week. Just make sure that you
  1. Leave your comment by 9 pm Eastern time on that Sunday, and
  2. Provide either a link to your own blog (where I presume I would be able to find your email address) or your email address in the format name at domain dot com – for example, I’d be raspberryeggplant at gmail dot com (Leaving your email address this way instead of in traditional format helps prevent spammers from finding your email address and adding it to their list. I don’t want you to get spammed. I care about my readers!)
This is my first giveaway of any kind, and I’m excited about it! Good luck!


John said...

Now that sounds like a wonderful book - recipes from all over the subcontinent! What sounds the best is the book's describing the differences among all the different regional cuisines. I have been looking for something like that for a good while.

marjorie said...

Sounds like a good book! I can't wait to see what recipes you post from it.

Deborah Dowd said...

This sounds like a great cookbook.A lot of Americans don't realize that the Indian food in American Indian restaurants represents only a small number of the types of food and curries actually offered in India!

Jini said...

This is great that you and this cookbook are highlighting the diversity of Indian cusine.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carolsh said...

I can't wait to see this book. I am new to Indian cooking; I had never even eaten any Indian food until this past year. Lately, my roomate and I have been trying out recipes from your site and others. She made the curried paneer from Bittman's new book last week. It was fantastic. Can't wait to try some of these recipes!

Carol Ann

carolsh1983 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I love the complexity of Indian food; it's such intriguing flavor combinations!

perotjunk at gmail dotcom

Foodie Pam said...

If you’d like to check out some recipes from the book take a look here.

Rajee, irving, tx said...

If you have any copy of this book 660 curries, can u pls send me one with ur signature?

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