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Berlinsbreads

"Mangoes & Curry Leaves" Cookbook

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I am a HUGE fan of the cookbook travel writers, Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid. I love their photography and descriptions of the areas that they are covering. It's like going to all these exotic places without leaving my little town (although if I had the chance I jump at the chance!)!

I noticed that they have a new one out, Mangoes & Curry Leaves. Has anyone had a chance to look through it or even get it?? I don't live in an area where I would be able to browse through it so I figure I'll end up ordering it from Amazon. If you've seen it, what do you think?

I've been on an Indian (as well as Turkish, etc) food cooking craze lately so this book is pretty timely for me!! I have spent my cookbook buying allotment for this month, however, so I'll have to wait a bit... :wink:

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I love it. I got the book for Christmas and have made a number of the recipes. Every one has been delicious; although mild by my standards. They do say that they cut back on the heat from their own peference, but that is easy to adjust if you like more fire. The pictures are glorious again as are the essays throughout. One of the things I like are the serving suggestions which often fit a dish into a more Western context. I have found this somehow very liberating. For some reason I seem to get stuck in my thinking and believe I have to make a completely Indian meal which is fairly daunting for me. It is a large book like Hot Sour Salty Sweet. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for starting this topic. I've been waiting around on this thread hoping talk about it.

I did make the Spicy Banana Yogurt Pachadi as mentioned in that thread. I didn't really have high hopes when I tasted it while it was still warm. Thinking "waste not, want not", I put it in a jar and left it in my fridge for later.

We made the Cumin-Coriander Beef Patties and I served the pachadi straight from the fridge over the rice. Excellent spicy sweet flavor. Great meal.

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I made the Cumin Coriander patties too, but I made the pork variation. Great.

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My Pakistani husband and Bangladeshi friend have given the cookbook rave reviews.

I own and love all of the authors' books, so I am biased, but anything I have made from the recipes so far has been delicious.

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I own all of the author's books, too-----all except this new one!! Can't wait to get it!

When I needed something to add to dinner tonight to make it a little more "acceptable" to my kids, I made one of my standby's which comes from another one of their books, Home Baking. It's the Irish Soda Bread from that book. My kids absolutely love it----in fact, I am going to teach my son to make it himself. It's rather like a big, buttery biscuit and since it utilizes 50% whole wheat flour I figure it's healthy, too. Jefforey Alford says in the book that he made it often when he lived near Dingle, Ireland (I always get a chuckle out of that name :raz: ). It's pretty yummy and quick, too!

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I'm going to be giving the book a hearty workout this weekend for a dinner for guests. There's no regional theme, exactly; it's a bit more pan-South-Asian than I'd ideally like, but I think the menu works pretty well anyway.

I'll be making:

  • Nepali cucumber salad (61)
    pea tendrils with coconut (71)
    chapatis (110-1)
    cauliflower dum (148-9)
    chile shrimp stirfry (217)
    ginger lamb coconut milk curry (261)

Anyone tried these?

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Hi---I made the Cauliflower Dum a couple nights ago. I liked it a lot but my kids weren't too impressed. I didn't include the peppers, which for me would have been good. I have seen that same style of dish in another cookbook I've been using for Indian food: Indian Home Cooking. It's great, too!

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I've tried a few of the recipes. The Naan recipe worked really well. However, the Mini-crepes weren't very good. Also, the recipe for Gulab Jamun is not the greatest. Traditionally, Gulab Jamun are made with milk powder and maybe 1 - 2 tablespoons of flour added. These rose dumplings as the name literally means, are then fried at very low temperatures for 25 - 30 minutes. These milk dumplings should basically melt in the mouth. Gulab jamun recipes with a lot of flour do not have the same mouth feel.

Having said all that, I really enjoyed reading through the little stories. Love the photos too.

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Spent the better part of Sunday making the items I mentioned above. Some feedback on each:

The Nepali cucumber salad (61) was probably the best dish of the lot. It's a pretty basic warm dressing salad, with a sesame and cumin yogurt dressing and a hot mustard oil topping.

The pea tendrils with coconut (71) was bizarre: coconut, shallot, pea tendrils, and a few other things put in a pot, stir-fried just a bit, then covered to cook. I'm a huge fan of pea shoots but this just didn't work for me. Perhaps I should've cooked it longer.... I dunno.

The chapatis (110-1) were, well, chapatis. I stuck to their more trad recipe and didn't add any oil or ghee to the dough, so the chapatis turned out just fine for the first five minutes or so and then turned into frisbees shortly thereafter. I'm thinking that I want to try them again with either oil or (like a naan dough) with yogurt.

The cauliflower dum (148-9) was solid, though it needed more time in the oven than the 20 minutes recommended. I also would up the salt and chili in this dish (had to keep it mild for our pregnant guest). The step of browning the cauliflower in ghee really created a lot of spatter; be sure to dry the flowerets as much as possible before adding the little buggers to the hot fat.

The ginger lamb coconut milk curry (261) produced twice as much sauce as we needed, which was just fine with us. I would up the salt, ginger, chili, and garlic in this recipe. They recommend to add lime, and this dish really needs that acid; without that punch, the umami of the lamb and the creamy coconut milk are a bit too flat.

Oh, and their basmati rice method for rice cookers was good: rinse 2 c of rice until clear, soak in 2 1/4 c of water in the cooker for 30-60 minutes, then proceed as usual. Fluffy, distinct grains.

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