For the Rehabilitated Takeout Addict
Modern Indian Cooking, by Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna, hardcover, 191 pages, list price: $29.95
There has been a great flowering of Indian cookbooks in recent years. Most of them have been devoted to home cooking; many are woven with loving recollections of childhoods spent in Bombay or Delhi. But Modern Indian Cooking is a radical departure — traditional Indian ingredients like tamarind, garam masala or curry leaves applied in contexts we think of as Western (lamb chops, chili, salmon filets). The results are fiery and pristine, yet filled with thrilling surprises, treats such as Crispy Pan Fried Shrimp with Tamarind Glaze. I never would have guessed what happens to potatoes buried in a mountain of dill with a landscape of burst mustard seeds, but it was worth waiting all these years to find out.
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