October 7, 2015
From India by Kumar Mahadevan
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
May I just say that this is a beautiful book! The cover is blue padded fabric with a gorgeous design that you just want to drink in. Moving to the inside, it just keeps getting better. A feast for your eyes as well as your palate, "From India" is filled with mesmerizingly beautiful photos both of food, as well as what looks to be family heirlooms. "Vannakkam" means "welcome" in Tamil, and this book welcomes you into the Mahadevan kitchen and their lives. You are drawn in and part of you wants to drink in the beauty of the book, while the rest of you wants to run for the kitchen and start cooking!
I do recommend you pick up a few essential ingredients before you begin cooking out of this book. Items such as green cardamom, ghee, cumin seeds, curry leaves, chili powder (NOT the American version!) and more are used liberally throughout. Very few, if any, recipes can be made with pantry items on hand unless you keep Indian and/or Asian items readily available. Even a simple Pistachio Ice Cream calls for ground cardamom.
I would have to say, this is probably my favorite Indian cookbook I've reviewed to date. It is a feast for the senses, inside and out. The recipes are delectable, and easy to follow. If a particular recipe takes a long time or in especially complicated, the author notes that, which is very nice. It would be nice if the recipes had the approximate time needed to execute the dish. While not necessary, it is a help for anyone not used to cooking Indian food to have an idea of how much time they can expect the execution of that dish to take.
This really is an amazing book. Give it a try, and take a trip to India with your family tonight from your own kitchen. Happy cooking!
I received a copy of this book from Thunder Bay Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.