Last autumn some friends from Findlay came down to Columbus for the day. We went to North Market, and while the guys had Polish we girls chose Indian food for our lunches. Afterward, we went to the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library system for a used book sale. We each had a coupon for something like $1 off. After combing through books lined up on & under folding tables set up in the conference room, I found two books: one was of photos of Baltimore, and the other was ***surprise*** a cookbook. Even though it is often easier to find a recipe online these days, I decided to purchase this Curry Cuisine book in honor of our North Market lunch.
Six months (at least) later, I finally got around to trying a couple of recipes from the book. Each recipe begins with a short description about the dish: where it came from, how it tastes, how it should be prepared. The first one I chose is supposedly from Lucknow, a city in north central India. Mutter pulao, the introduction claims, “is one of the simplest pilau rice preparations that you will ever come across”. Don’t let this claim fool you, though, making a pilau (yes I realize I spelled it differently in this sentence) is a little more involved than boiling rice with spices.
The second recipe I chose was for an “Old Delhi-style chicken curry”. Murgh makhani was my choice because most of the ingredients were in my kitchen. Although I had an idea that I wanted to prepare curry for dinner, I hadn’t taken a list for a specific recipe to the grocery store. The substitutes I made didn’t ruin the final product.
If you decide you’re interested in experiencing the different curries worldwide, you might start with DK’s Curry Cuisine. You can read the descriptions to get an idea of what to expect as far as flavors & textures go, before you decide whether you want to take the time to prepare the dishes. This is not the place for you if you’re looking for 30-mintutes-to-the-table casseroles. Flavor takes time.
If nothing else, you can have a better idea of what you want to order at an Indian, African, Pakistani, etc. restaurant or which pan to spoon from at the buffet.