Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals: The New Indian Cuisine for Fearless Cooks and Adventurous Eaters

Ismail Merchant, Author, Asmail Merchant, Author, Madhur Jaffrey, Adapted by Hyperion Books $27 (312p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6015-9
``Food and film are my passions and I approach them both with a sense of excitement and adventure,'' writes Merchant, renowned director ( The Remains of the Day ). Here he reinterprets Indian classics. When ``khas aloo'' is translated as ``va-va-voom potatoes,'' the reader gets a clue to the liberal panache that Merchant brings to homestyle fare. The author's talent for promotion is evident in the star-studded anecdotes that preface some recipes: ``While we were shooting Quartet in Paris, Maggie Smith succumbed to my Spicy Chicken Curry.'' But the robust flavors of Indian food, presented in recipes that are far more accessible than the labor-intensive traditional versions, are the true stars of the cookbook. Spice combinations that are fascinating--but not too far-out--are the key to Merchant's bent. Roast lamb, seasoned with green chilies, fresh ground ginger root and caraway seeds is pungent proof of the author's innovative approach. Traditionally fattening extras, such as tempering a dish with ghee, are avoided in favor of cooking with small amounts of plain vegetable oil and olive oil, and garnishing dishes with yogurt raitas or vegetable pickles. Merchant, who lives in upstate New York, turns even country farmstand fare, such as corn, into tidbits--e.g., pakoras seasoned with chilies, coriander and turmeric. Cooks interested in preparing Indian food for parties will also find inspiration in this book. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-0-452-28232-2
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7868-8129-1
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