Welcome to our cookbook. It has dishes that range from simple family meals to exotic and complex festive dishes. There are vegetarian dishes, meat, poultry, fish and seafood dishes. There are breakfasts and desserts, drinks and snacks. These recipes cover a period going back to the middle of the 19th century and reflect both the cuisine of the Raj – which is not as bad as you may think – and the family food eaten by Indian households.
There is something here for everyone, even if you think you do not like Indian food. The recipes come from the home-cooked tradition of Indian cuisine and many have likely never been seen in a restaurant. They range from simple family meals to exotic and complex festive dishes.
There are few truly exotic ingredients used in this book. You should be able to get everything you need from a good supermarket or respectable specialist Indian grocer. Each entry discusses preparation techniques, offers substitutes, if possible, and will suggest where the item may be obtained.
Putting together a meal requires some balance, and you need to consider the palates of your guests or family. Not everything goes with everything, unfortunately. The menu combinations here are typical of what we prepare at home for simple meals through to celebrations.
A discussion of each recipe, a little about its history or background, and some cooking tips. Some views of Indian cuisine, its heritage, and some observations about modern approaches to this cuisine.
Articles that describe some of the facets of Indian cuisine that we find fascinating. There are articles on regional cuisine, the history and effects of invaders and traders and a look at some of the cultural and religious heritages and their influence upon the cuisines of India.
These are the curated recipes from my grandmother's notebooks, which she inherited from her own grandmother. She also annotated several cookbooks that were popular at that time. The history of this remarkable collection is discussed in this section.