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660 Curries

I heard about this book in the nomination thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6085...

but I thought it might deserve it's own discussion. I got the book out of the library but am definately planning to buy it. I wasn't that excited thinking "I'm not that crazy about curry", but this is something completely different. I have a vegetarian daughter and try to have us all share the same meal at least half the time and this is so full of great ideas. There must be a dozen different vegetarian stews using eggplant alone-- all different and all intriguing. I made the roti flatbread last week and they were absolutely devoured by my family. This just has so many things that you say "I have to try that"--

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  1. I like curry, but the other folks in my household aren't big fans. When you say it's something completely different, do you mean there aren't a lot of curry recipes in it? Do all of the recipes have curry?

    ~TDQ

    3 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      almost none have "curry powder" or a mixture similar to that; I am not an expert but I gather curry really means more like a "mixture" or "stew". So most have a spice of one kind or another, but not that very distinctive flavor of curry powder, which I am also not much of a fan of. For example I'm making an eggplant dish tonight that calls for dried chilis, whole coriander, mustard seeds and tamarind paste. Others I've made call for coconut milk, etc.

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I have not picked up this book, but I can tell from the preview pages available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/660-Curries-Rag...) that this book probably has no recipes with 'curry powder' since it goes deeper into the cuisine to deconstruct curry powder and unlock the spices within. I'll bet they teach you about garam masala mixes, and spice pastes and other prepared spice mixes. When to buy them prepared and when to do it yourself. That looks like what they cover in the first chapter.

        So sure, it all has to do with curry. But not in the limited way you may have experienced it if you've only used generic curry powders. It looks like a book that will require that you identify a good source of curry-related spices.

        The book that unlocked all that for me (aside from the lessons I got from a good friend's Indian/Phiilipino/Hawain wife) was the apparently out of print "One Dish Meals of Asia" that not only goes beyond curries, it also spans a wide range of Asian cuisines.

      2. Here are some recipes from the book, but they don't begin to show you all that's included:

        http://www.660curries.com/?cat=12

        The author does stress mixing your own spices, and has a wonderful explanation on how to extract many different flavours from each spice. There are recipes for almost any ingredient you can think of, including the wide range of veg from Indian grocers.

        I had a question about something in the book, and emailed the author. He was very nice and answered quickly and thoroughly.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Channa

          I had no idea that the definition of curry is so broad. So, by the definition in that link, if you covered a piece of fish or chicken with a nice pesto, it could be a curry!

          ~TDQ

        2. Hamilton Books has this book for $ 9.95 currently. It's a little hard to go through but it's well worth $10.

          5 Replies
          1. re: OnkleWillie

            What do you mean by it's a little hard to go through? Meaning, there's so many recipes?

            P.S. I just realized the author lives in Minneapolis. Cool!

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              In general, I’m not a fan of mega cookbooks. Way too much chaff to go through to get to the gems. In this case, I’ve had The Turmeric Trail for a few years and thought I couldn’t miss at that price.

              Some of my favorite Indian cookbooks only have 50 or so recipes in them but they have each yielded 6 or 8 "keepers" that I make on a regular basis.

              I wouldn't consider fish with pesto a curry but Tandoori Machi, fish covered with an Indian spice paste and broiled, is a type of curry.

              1. re: OnkleWillie

                Ah, so, there's still plenty of chaff in the book, in your opinion, it's just that it was worth the price?

                Oh, I wouldn't call a piece of fish with pesto a curry either, except that the author defines a curry as "as any dish that consists of either meat, fish, poultry, legumes, vegetables, or fruits, simmered in or covered with a sauce, gravy, or other liquid that is redolent with spices and/or herbs", and gives the following as examples of curries: Grilled Chicken with Cashew-Tomato Sauce and Baby Back Ribs with a Sweet-Sour Glaze and Vinegar Sauce. His definition is quite broad.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: OnkleWillie

                  It *is* a really big book. But what I like about it is the variety and the choices you have with any particular ingredient. It's great for CSA produce when you have one of those "what do I do with" moments, and really nice when you're trying to find some new vegetarian dish to satisfy the family. And I made naan from it the other night which was really good except my dough was slightly too wet-- going to try to perfect it tonight (my family *loves* naan). Did it on a pizza stone in the grill. (BTW it is not a vegetarian cookbook, but much heavier on vegetarian than most wide-ranging cookbooks).

                  1. re: DGresh

                    The author, when interviewed on The Splendid Table, said that potato curries were his favorite.

            2. I bought this at Costco last year on a whim, and haven't ever done anything with it. I just pulled it out and, since I have a lot of spinach in the fridge, looked to see if he had anything interesting. Two plus columns in the index under spinach!! I'll probably be able to find something to made tonight.

              1. I know this is an old thread but my husband wants an Indian book that groups cuisine by region. This book seems nice but does anyone know if it indicates what dishes are from where?