Cooking Indian food, as Megan shared earlier this week, can be overwhelming. Trying to replicate restaurant-style dishes often involves complex processes and lists of ingredients. On the flip side, an Indian mother or grandmother's homestyle cooking is usually intuitive, with no written recipes or measurements. What many of us need is a simple way to get started and a good foundation for deeper exploration. Vicky Bhogal's Cooking Like Mummyji is our guide.
• Who wrote it: Vicky Bhogal
• Who published it: New Generation Publishing
• Number of recipes: 130
• Recipes for right now: Crispy Black Pepper and Ginger Paneer, Dried Mango and Lime Chicken Kebabs, Masala Dosa (South Indian Pancakes with a Mustard Potato Filling), Coconut Fish Dream, Lemon and Red Chilli Achaar, Warm Clementines with Spiced Tea Syrup
• Other highlights: When it was first published 10 years ago, Vicky Bhogal's Cooking Like Mummyji received high acclaim and quickly went out of print. Supporters and would-be fans of Mummyji have been clamoring for a reprint and now, finally, Bhogal has been able to release a new, digital edition.
Filled with family recipes and stories, Bhogal's cookbook was originally aimed at teaching British Asians, like herself, how to cook Indian (particularly Punjabi) food at home. Bhogal also demystifies the cuisine for non-Indians and introduces readers to a range of dishes they might not have tasted in anglicized Indian restaurants. This is food that's "simpler, lighter, fresher and healthier than that which you would find in a typical Indian restaurant" — along with fun advice for getting creative with Indian-British fusion foods (masala scrambled eggs, anyone?).
Rather than directing readers to buy hundreds of different spices, Bhogal focuses on the core tools and ingredients necessary to make informal, rustic dishes. After you get acquainted with the basics, you can move onto more specialized recipes. Although the ebook is sadly lacking in recipe photos, Bhogal's style is wonderfully approachable and most of the recipes are uncomplicated, so you should find yourself making and sharing Indian meals in no time at all.
• Who would enjoy this book? anyone who wants to learn how to cook Indian food at home
Find the book at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble NOOK, iTunes, or Kobo
• Visit the author's website: Vicky Bhogal
(Images: Emily Han)