So you want to learn to cook Indian food?
There is a little hardback book called ‘Indian: 100 Everyday Recipes’. It has no apparent author other than ‘Love Food’ (which on the inside cover is claimed to be an ‘imprint’ of the publisher) and is published by Parragon Books. Its ISBN number is 9781445430423.
Its a small book, a mere 15cm x 12cm and 208 pages of Chinese printed garbage enclosed in a hardback with a dust jacket for some reason.
My wife picked this book up for me recently. Tonight I tried a recipe in it (against common sense screaming otherwise). Oh my god!
Here is an example: Page 46. Lamb and spinach curry for 2-4 people.
300ml of vegetable oil it says. What for two people? A third of a litre? OK, lets carry on. A quarter bunch of fresh coriander. Hmm, how big is a “bunch” when its at home? How about a weight?
We get a weight with the spinach: One kilogramme! 2lb 4oz or spinach for two people? Well, not unless they are Popeye!
To this you add 700ml of water and just 1tsp of chilli powder and a few other fractions of teaspoons of other spices.
So we have a full litre of fluid going on here, but only one teaspoon of chilli powder. How is that a “curry”? That is mildly flavoured liquid with some meat floating in it – a third of which is oil mixed with a KILO of spinach. If your stomach is the constitution of Popeye’s crossed with a Ford Fiesta engine, this may work for you. You don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay to know that for anyone of a normal constitution, this is a recipe for a Gaviscon dessert.
Leafing through the book reveals similar recipes where the weights and measures were guessed by primary school kids rather than diligently noted by an experienced chef.
There is a reason this book is only a fiver; because it ain’t no good. Buy something else instead. Something written by a chef and not translated by dyslexic people on April Fools Day.
Save yourself a trip to the shops and just put the £5 note straight into your paper recycling bin. The end result will be the same.