Last year I picked up one cookbook which has become one of my regular “go to’s” when I’m not sure what to make: 500 Indian Recipes by Shehzad Husain, Rafi Fernandez, Mridula Baljekar and Manisha Kanani. I can’t swear by how authentic the recipes are as I’m not the biggest expert on Indian cuisine by a long shot. I can say, however, that the recipes in the book are in general incredibly delicious and not all that difficult to make. Once I stocked up my pantry with some basic Indian spices and ingredients (most of which were easy to locate via Amazon if I couldn’t buy them locally), they were no more difficult to prepare than many of the Italian, Asian, or Mexican dishes I prepare on a regular basis at home.
The book is especially useful to me for coming up with new and interesting ways to prepare chicken dishes. I get bored of plain broiled, fried, or roast chicken all of the time, and Indian cuisine presents lots of great and flavorful ways to cook up poultry, like the Chicken Dopiaza I tried making for the first time Friday night. Dopiaza apparently means “two onions” as this recipe uses: small onions halved and fried, then chopped medium onions sauteed with tomatoes, spices, and dried chiles.
While the recipe called for a mix of 8 skinned chicken pieces, I used 4 large thighs since it was just for the two of us. I prepared the full amount of sauce/vegetable ingredients, however, as I like a good rich and plentiful sauce when serving a dish over rice. I also used jarred pearl onions as I had some on hand to use up, and it was a totally find substitute for fresh ones (and a bit of a time saver as I didn’t have to fuss with peeling the small little onions.) This was really pleasant and a nice change of pace from, say, an Italian Chicken Cacciatore, with its use of spices including ground cumin, whole green cardamon pods, cloves and chili powder.
I served this with a side green salad in a mustardy salad dressing, and both the sweetie and I really liked it. So this is another recipe from this cookbook I have to put a “gold star” next to, so I know it’s worth making again!
Want to know more about this cookbook? Read my full review at HubPages via the link below:
“500 Indian Recipes” is a Wonderful Introduction to Indian Food for the Home Cook
Intimidated by the idea of trying to cook Indian food at home? Don’t be! This cookbook provides an excellent introduction to techniques and traditional Indian recipes.