The Indian Family KitchenI am always on the lookout for a good Indian cookbook. Indian food is one of my faves, I whip up a curry at least once a week. My kids LOVE Indian food, it’s such a great comfort meal and while you can tackle some ambitious recipes, many curries come together easily, making it a snap for midweek meals (bonus- many freeze ridiculously well too).
So, of course I was tickled to receive a copy of Anjali Pathak’s new book, The Indian Family Kitchen, from appetite, by Random House. Anjali is not only an accomplished chef in her own right, the author of two cookbooks is also the face of the insanely popular Patak’s food line- a fleet of sauces and ready to go curries that sells worldwide, bringing her family recipes to the mainstream masses.
I much prefer making my curries the old fashioned way, and her new cookbook is a tome of not only curries, but heftier options like slow cooked tamarind-glazed pork (pg 54) or Smokin’ Ribs (pg 132). I love how this book is broken up into categories, Light Bites, Big Bites, Feel-Good Factor, Veggies Galore, BBQ Indian Summer, Those Little Extras, Sugar & Spice and Cocktail Time. Yes, a whole chapter dedicated to cocktails! This area is overlooked so often, and with a fiery cuisine like Indian, it’s great to have some pairing ideas. Anjali herself was a student of WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) as well as Leiths School of Food and Wine, making her recipes not only great pairing choices, but solid sipping contenders all on their own.
After poring over each section, I settled on trying two recipes. The Chicken Biryani (pg 62) and the Spiced Vegetable Soup with Lentils and Chile (pg 100). Both were easy to follow and assemble. The Chicken Biryani had a pretty lengthy list of ingredients, a blend of many spices is used to create the dish, garam masala, turmeric, chile powder, cumin, coriander seeds…and that’s just for the chicken. The rice was aromatic and featured saffron, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves- I loved how easily it all came together- yes, there was a lot of chopping and prep, but once it was done, it’s a dish you can toss in the oven, ditch the apron and amaze guests when they arrive. It’s quintessential comfort food, Indian style!
The soup was super healthy and really filling, after blending the lentils it becomes quite thick. A perfect Meatless Monday meal. It is the year of the pulse, remember? I really dug how you can layer the spices, add more in after for those seeking some heat, or leave it as is for those who can’t take it. Topped with crispy onions, the soup has layers of flavours, and colourful pops from the broccoli and spinach.
Grab Anjali’s new cookbook here!