Book Review: Indian Home Cooking by Ajoy Joshi and Jan Purser
You have seen the cover and I know what you’re thinking: this is not a vegetarian cookbook. And you’re absolutely right; it’s not. However, I actually own quite a few non-vegetarian cookbooks and I use them, too! How is that possible? Well, I use the recipes as a base to create vegetarian dishes. And most Indian cookbooks include many vegetarian recipes anyway.
Indian Home Cooking by Ajoy Joshi and Jan Purser is a very good example. First of all, there is so much in it for vegetarians and not just vegetable dishes section but also “vegetarian” section. Besides, snacks, starters, certain soups, desserts, some rice dishes, drinks, raitas, pickles and chutneys are all vegetarian. Yes, all the mains are grouped together around chicken, seafood and meat but it’s amazing what you can come up with if you want to create vegetarian versions of these dishes –see the recipe at the end of this post.
In this cookbook, Indian Home Cooking, you will find good instructions on ingredients, spices, equipment, techniques like garam masala and cooking onions and basic spice mixtures before you get to the recipes section. The recipes section is divided into:
- Appetizers and Snacks
- Rice and Breads
- Raitas, Pickles and Chutneys
- Desserts and Drinks
When Dad came to visit us here in Sydney he and I cooked a dish each from Indian Home Cooking. Dad cooked a mushroom and corn dish which is originally vegetarian and I converted Chili Chicken recipe. They were both delicious. Next time, I am planning on converting one of the prawn dishes.
Ajoy was trained in Madras (now Chennai), India and started his career at the prestigious Taj Group of Hotels where as Executive Chef he orchestrated the opening of the now famous Karavali Restaurant, renowned for its ethnic coastal South Indian Cuisine. Ajoy’s training was completed in the gruelling culinary education he received from six Indian master chefs who are experts in their own regional cuisine. Ajoy now lives in Sydney, and is the owner of Nilgiri’s and Tellicherry with his wife,Meera Joshi –personal friends of ours.
Jan Purser is contributing nutrition editor for leading magazine Australian Good Taste, and is also a nutrition consultant, remedial therapist, meditation teacher and freelance writer. For almost a decade, Jan has been writing on food, health and nutrition for several publications. Jan’s passion for Indian food and cooking began in earnest during a trip to India some years ago and it is with delight that she has written this book with Ajoy Joshi.