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Cookbook of the Month for October 2012 : 660 Curries

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Calling all curry cooks!

We will cook from “660 Curries” by Raghavan Iyer this coming month.

I have this book now and the more I see the more I like/learn. Plenty of curries, and extras too --

“…biryanis, breads, pickles, relishes, raitas, and more.” Back-of-the-book blurbs include Madhur Jaffrey saying the book is very authentic, and a treasure. Inside, rice and spice and everything nice!

On October 1st I’ll put up threads for recipe reports. *Everyone* is welcome to cook and comment.

This gives an overview of the Cookbook of the Month (COTM) as well as a list of all the past books: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

October 2009 was an Indian food month also.

And here, the voting thread that led to the this month’s choice:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869146

I'm excited, think of it, six hundred and sixty!

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  1. I'm happy. I own the book, and there are many vegan recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      I found a prior discussion thread on 660 Curries:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/802097

      My copy comes into the library tomorrow.

    2. Great! I picked the book up from the library tonight and I expect it will be in my Amazon cart before the end of October.

      1. Great job Blue Room!

        Happy to cook from 660 Curries and hope that the other two books will be selected soon. I am hosting my dinner club's Indian dinner towards the end of October and hope to pick a few dishes from this book. Love-love Indian food and though 660 Curries is a new book for me, a couple of dishes that I made from it (taken out of a library) were very good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: herby

          Good job Blue Room!

          I am waiting for my copy of the book to arrive

          1. re: jpr54_1

            My copy of book arrived this morning-
            i appreciate the glossary of ingredient
            shopping cheat sheet
            and bibliography

            I would like if possible suggestions for tea?
            first flush /second flush flush darjeeling
            assam

            1. re: jpr54_1

              depends on what you are doing with it - the first flush is always the best if you simply brewing it in water. if you are making chai then an assam tea (black) for brewing in milk is just fine.

          2. re: herby

            Would love to hear which recipes you decide on and how each work out for you.

          3. Well Done, Blue Room... I've had the book quite a long time and have cooked several recipes which we liked very much so I'm looking forward to an in depth cooking session in October. Here's a list of the recipes and ingredients from the Eat Your Books web site:

            http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

            1. Thanks for the great job blue room.

              1. I can't wait to get my hands on the book and get started!

                1. Thanks so much blue room. 660 curries, 31 days = 21 curries/day!!! We have our work cut out for us this month!!

                  Thanks Gio for the link to EYB. I notice there are a lot of recipe notes entered by EYB members too!

                  1. I'm a little intimidated by all the new foods I must first locate. Beginning on page 758, there are about 14 pages in the glossary of ingredients! And haha none of them are curry powder..

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: blue room

                      That's because curry powder is a British invention! :)

                      I've had this book for some time, and have tried several recipes. Liked them all. Good pick -- I may have to participate this month!

                    2. I'm a newbie here joining because of 660 Curries. I love this book and have been cooking from it for several years (but still short of 200 recipes tried). I hope you all love it as much as I do!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: SplendidMonkey

                        Heartening to see this enthusiasm from cooks already familiar with the book! I'd like to find some solid dishes (and skills) from this coming month of curries.

                        1. re: SplendidMonkey

                          SM, could you share recipes that stand out for you? I took the book out of the library a few months ago and made a couple of dishes that I liked very much. Since then I bought the book but have not cooked out of it yet. It would be great to have a starting point. Thanks!

                          1. re: herby

                            I'd love to hear your favourites too SM.

                            herby, fyi...here's a CH post I bookmarked herby....sushiegirlie loved this book and recommended some dishes so I saved her post:

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7736...

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              I was the OP for this thread and completely forgot about it - thank you for bringing it up, BC! Lots of good info there - I'll have to have a close look tomorrow.

                            2. re: herby

                              A couple of my favorites: p242 Simmered Catfish. This is very easy to make (and I make it often), the key is unripe mango ("rock hard"!), and curry leaves. Curry leaves are awesome.

                              A second favorite is the legume dish is Shundal on p328. Here you make a custom masala combined in a wonderful tamarind sauce.

                              Once you've made a couple masalas - you're hooked!

                              1. re: SplendidMonkey

                                Thanks for the terrific recommendations. I'm glad you're joining us this month. May this be the first of many!

                                ~TDQ

                            3. re: SplendidMonkey

                              Wow, Splendid Monkey, that is a very impressive number. I don't think I have any cookbook in my collection from which I have cooked any where near that many recipes. Thank you for sharing your stand out favorites.

                              1. re: SplendidMonkey

                                I think you should get a bronze medal in the Home Cooking Olympics when you hit 220 curries, a silver when you get to 440, and a gold when you've done all 660!

                                Are you keep a diary or album or anything?

                                ~TDQ

                              2. I have this book. I am excited to participate. :D Yay, bring on the fun!

                                I actually gave a very brief review of the book some time ago in this thread:

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773608

                                "I've recently been exploring 660 Curries more. I put it down at the book store a couple of years ago because I noticed that the recipes seemed to be heavily adapted for the North American kitchen, and that excluding the South Indian recipes (like yummy yoghurt rice), a great many of the basic recipes are very 'Bombay style,' which is not at all a negative criticism of the book, it's just that I usually find myself cooking for people who prefer more Northern/North West flavors of the subcontinent, so the recipes aren't necessarily the most useful for my regular cooking needs. However, I am giving the book a second look these days because it is such a South Asia food-bible. Iyer covers everything you need to know in the universe about sub-continental cooking, basically. I am impressed by so many things about the book. I do find many of the Punjabi/U.P. recipes to be restaurant style (containing ground nuts and cream) rather than homestyle. But I am loving the wide range of Tamilian and Maharashtrian recipes, among others. There are even a handful of Sindhi recipes in the book, and many pan-Indian cookbooks completely overlook delicious hot, spicy and sour Sindhi cuisine altogether. Plus, Iyer articulates so many truths about subcontinental food-culture. He writes in a sharp and eloquent voice, and he's funny. I love some other minute yet profound details about Iyer's views, like the fact that he makes a point to recommend Indian AND Pakistani brands of basmati rice as the best choice for readers. It is really a treasure of a book. I am reading through it now as if it were a gripping novel. Have we had 660 Curries as COTM yet here on CH? We should do it in the near future if it hasn't been covered yet."

                                1. How awesome that the author of the October COTM is on chow hound and came by our thread! I have been wanting to buy the book for years, so I am so glad it was selected. My husband and I love Indian food and we've cooked a fair bit of it over the last few years, but we are excited to try some new recipes. I'm especially looking forward to making paneer.

                                  I do have a question...my husband isn't a big fan of garam masala, although we have admittedly only used store blends. The cinnamon bugs him. Any suggestions or feedback? Perhaps the blends in the book won't be as cinnamony, but I admit being tempted to sub in ras el hanout as I've done in the past.

                                  Or should I just tell him to get over it??? ;-)

                                  Thanks again for commenting - thrilled!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bkieras

                                    LOL I like the get over it suggestion - there are many garam masalas in the book and they are all different - you hopefully find a nice balance in the flavors.

                                  2. Welcome Iyer! I'm sure we will have questions for you. I have been meaning to buy this book for ever and this was the impetus I needed. So it's now winging its way towards me from Amazon. My only issue is that my fussy daughter doesn't like spicy food so I can see I'm going to be doing a lot of duplicate dinners during October - or maybe I can convince her to cook her own dinner? I'm really looking forward to this month and there seems a lot of enthusiasm so it should be a lively month.

                                    26 Replies
                                    1. re: JaneEYB

                                      Jane i always make the distinction between spicy (as in well-seasoned, full of spice) and hot - if hot foods are not her cup of tea, you can always add less than what the recipe calls for in terms of chiles, for instance. Hope this helps. Hope you have fun with it.

                                      1. re: 660 curries

                                        Iyer,

                                        Excited to have you as a resource as we explore your book. Because of my lack of familiarity with Indian curries, this book is a little overwhelming and not sure where to start. Would you suggest some must-try recipes from each section (appetizers, poultry, lamb, fish, paneer, legume, vegetable, contemporary, biryani and cohorts)?

                                        1. re: BigSal

                                          I, too, would love to know where to start with this book.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            3rd the request for Iyer to make some recommendations on the not-to-miss recipes, (even though I am sure they are wonderful), we all have our own favorites, so I am sure she does too.

                                            1. re: 660 curries

                                              Aha -- the "Chunky Potatoes with Garlic and Peanuts" was the very first one I marked to try! (page 550)

                                          2. re: BigSal

                                            I usually get that qs a lot - just think of how you normally plan a meal at home - a protein, starch, vegetable, etc. go to those chapters and pick one hat appeals to you - eventually you will build that pantry a little at a time - it really is that simple - oftentimes i will just plan a meal of appetizers and focus on that.

                                            1. re: 660 curries

                                              I love appetizer meals!!!!!

                                          3. re: 660 curries

                                            Thanks, I usually do that but she still complains (teenagers!). I do like spice, though not a lot of heat, so maybe I'll test her out with some of the milder recipes.

                                            1. re: 660 curries

                                              My earlier post seems to have disappeared.

                                              Welcome Iyer, I'm excited to cook from your book. Do you have any suggestions for quick, easy weeknight appropriate dishes?

                                              Also, what's the one dish you'd recommend to convert the self-proclaimed hater of all curries in my house? What dish will have them begging for second helpings?

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                are there any particular meats, fish, or legumes that appeal to you? I can better answer that based on your choice.

                                                1. re: 660 curries

                                                  Not picky at all in that department. Chicken, lamb, all types of fish and seafood, lentils, chickpeas....I live in Toronto and am very fortunate to have access to a full range of wonderful Indian pantry ingredients and produce. Thanks so much for your help.

                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    the chicken jalfrezie on page 152 is a good simple stir-fry sure to appeal to their senses, roghan josh on page 214, salmon with garlic is painlessly simple - page 246, i love the slow-roasted bell pepper with red lentils on page 401, and the chickpea curry that splendid monkey above mentioned....hope these are a good start for you!

                                                    1. re: 660 curries

                                                      Thank-you very much Iyer, I've read each of the recipes you suggested and all of them sound terrific. I especially expect everyone to love the salmon and the lentil dish...I may just start with them.

                                                      I do have another question now I've read the recipes though. Would you be able to provide an approx weight for the 50 medium to large sized garlic cloves called for in your Garlic Paste on p. 15? I've found the weight of garlic to vary considerably depending on how fresh it is so I'd prefer to get a clearer sense of what I'm aiming for here. I did see you called for 8oz of ginger for 1/4c of water but I wasn't sure I could translate that ratio to the garlic paste recipe as 1 lb of garlic seemed excessive...even for a garlic-lover like me. (I do recognize you use a small amt at a time).

                                                      Thanks so much.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        you can just make your own a little at a time - all it is is garlic cloves and water pureed together. Just make enough of what you need for the recipe - my guess is the 50 cloves weigh about a pound or close to it perhaps?

                                                        1. re: 660 curries

                                                          Thanks so much Raghavan, that's very helpful. FYI, I purchased some fresh garlic at the Farmer's Market yesterday and 4 heads = 1lb. Each head has 6 cloves! I've never had such juicy garlic before...pure heaven!

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            they seem like gigantic cloves - that should be more than enough for that recipe...

                                                            1. re: 660 curries

                                                              I think you're right Raghavan, they'd be fine. Relative to the typical home-grown garlic I get here the cloves really aren't gigantic. I'd call them large. What differentiated them was their weight. The farmer said it was the unusual summer weather we had this year that attributed to such a successful crop. He said it was the best he'd ever grown. I sliced some last night for a tomato sauce I was making and interestingly the flavour was far more concentrated as well....I actually only used one clove (which never happens in our garlic-infused home!!).

                                                              Again sincere thanks for your generous assistance. You've definitely heightened my excitement about the book. So much so that I've decided to make the Dhingri Gosht (p.171) this week to accompany a curried chickpea and eggplant dish I'd planned to make.

                                                  2. re: 660 curries

                                                    Chicken please! Also, salmon, catfish, tilapia, and/or shrimp if possible.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      the stunning salmon recipe on page 669 (wild salmon poached with chiles, scallions, and tomato) is a great one. chicken with a cashew tomato sauce on page 86 is a winner as well...

                                                      1. re: 660 curries

                                                        Those all sound fantastic, thank you!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                2. re: 660 curries

                                                  Iyer, I would love suggestions on how to put together Indian menus.

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    a main protein (either vegt or not), a vegetable, starch in the form of rice, bread, noodles, etc., a condiment, dessert - again this is an elaborate menu but depends on what you are doing for the evening and who you are entertaining.

                                                    1. re: 660 curries

                                                      Thank you for the reply. My dinner club is having Indian dinner in October and asked me to put together a menu. We are nine people and like to have a menu that represents the cuisine well. Everyone cooks and contributes a dish or more. Everyone eats non-veg but some do not like fish, lamb and pork. I am thinking to start with kebabs and ? to go with the pre-dinner drinks; main meal of 2 proteins, a dal, rice or chapati, 2-3 vegetables, pickles (?) and raita. Any suggestions as to specific dishes?

                                                      1. re: herby

                                                        i think that is a great plan - try some of the dishes i mention above as part of the mix - go with the spinach rice on page 713 (i wouldn't bother with breads for nine people - if it's a smaller group then it is less stressful for you if it is the first time you are making flatbreads) - have a variety of veggies (potatoes, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower), and a raita should suffice. the mango cardamom cheesecake is kick ass for a sweet ending.

                                                        1. re: 660 curries

                                                          Thank you R. Ilyer for offering up such helpful suggestions. I was really feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, but now that I have a plan I feel much more confident.

                                                          1. re: 660 curries

                                                            This is super helpful, Ilyer, many thanks! I was also thinking briyani but spinach rice sounds wonderful. For the vegetables I might make tomato chutney with fresh curry leaves (not from the book but is very good) and eggplant something. Very excited about your cheesecake suggestion!

                                                3. General question, either for Iyer (who is based here in Minnesota, by the way, woo hoo!) or anyone familiar with the book, but I see that there are recipes for numerous spice blends early in the book. Is there an easy way to know which recipes use that particular spice blend? I was thinking I could make just a couple of the blends and then try to find all the recipes that use it? Or is that the backwards way of doing this?

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Could you filter through an EYB recipe search?

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      I tried that but couldn't figure out how to do it... When you look at EYB "in book order" all of the blends recipes come up first, but they don't say which recipes call for that blend. And when I scrolled down the list of the other recipes, it didn't seem that any of them called for any of the spice blends as ingredients.

                                                      For instance right now, the "warming spice blend" is calling my name. Perhaps because I have a cold and it's cold here in MN today.

                                                      But, I see Iyer has responded with a couple of recipes to start with above (the one he describes as "painlessly simple" surely has my name on it), maybe I'll start with those and just see how it unfolds...

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      you are much better off pulling a recipe you are wanting to do and if it calls for a blend, go ahead and do that - that way you will eventually build on a pantry of blends.

                                                      1. re: 660 curries

                                                        OK, thank you! That's what I'll do then.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                    3. So, I am mighty tempted to buy this book now. Could someone who has the book see if there is a recipe for Dal Makhani?

                                                      41 Replies
                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                        There are several dals but not Makhani.

                                                        1. re: herby

                                                          Oh, yes, there is Makhani Dal but not in the index! Page 364.

                                                        2. re: smtucker

                                                          Slow cooked creamy black lentils - page 366

                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                            There are two variations, one Makhni dal on p. 364-365 and on Maa di dal on p. 366.

                                                            1. re: luckyfatima

                                                              And I am in! I am a sucker for black lentils.

                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                SMT... Where do you get black lentils in our area?

                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Haven't found them yet. I may just order from the "internets." Wonder if anyone has found a good supplier.

                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                    OK, thanks. I thought Formaggio may have them.... I'll go look now and report back.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Formaggio doesn't sell them but Purcell Mountain Farm is an on-line supplier...
                                                                      http://www.purcellmountainfarms.com/B...

                                                                      Then there's this Chowhound thread I found...
                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/747284

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        The ones for this recipe are not your black beluga lentils - these are called sabud urad at any Indian grocery store.

                                                                        1. re: 660 curries

                                                                          Oh ... I had no idea there were different black lentils. Many thanks for the clarification. I don't have the book at hand at the moment. Is there a place in the book for the description? I'm slowly working my way through the chapters.. and I Do mean slowly. Perhaps I'd better start at the very beginning instead.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            the legume curries chapter has a detailed glossary of all the legumes used in the book and the back of the book has an extended spice glossary as well.

                                                                            1. re: 660 curries

                                                                              Thank you! So the black lentils to use are these...
                                                                              http://shop.khanapakana.com/sabut-ura...

                                                                          2. re: 660 curries

                                                                            What is the difference between beluga lentils and sabud urad?

                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                              the beluga lentils resemble caviar in looks and they are a much different variety than the urad.....

                                                                          3. re: Gio

                                                                            I am sure u can buy them at Whole Foods

                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                              there is also www.kalustyans.com online

                                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                                              Gio there's a chart on p. 763 that gives the Indian name for the various legumes in the book. This was very helpful for me at the Indian grocer but if you don't have one close by, it will help if you order from the Indian grocer's online. (p.773)

                                                                              It's also worth noting whether the recipes you're interested in call for whole or split legumes as they have different names.

                                                                              Eg: black lentils whole = sabud urad
                                                                              black lentils split = urad dal

                                                                              1. re: 660 curries

                                                                                Iyer, I wouldn't suppose you'd feel comfortable recommending an Indian Market in the Twin Cities? I know there are several of them on Central Ave in Northeast Minneapolis and Columbia Heights. Is there one in particular you recommend? My first mission is to acquire some curry leaves for that salmon dish!

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  Dairy Queen- I like Pooja up in Columbia Heights, but also Patel on 18th & Central. Namaste at Texas & Minnetonka Blvd is smaller but also has good selection. Then there is also TBS Mart in Bloomington if you are in the south.

                                                                                  1. re: SplendidMonkey

                                                                                    Thank you, SplendidMonkey. Another Twin Citiean we have at least a couple others who are frequent participants in these COTM threads. A focus on curry seems completely welcome with fall bearing down on us, no?

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: SplendidMonkey

                                                                                      OK, I was just looking all of those addresses and they aren't that convenient to my working-mom-with-a-toddler-self. I called Whole Foods (St. Paul), Penzey's St. Paul, Seward, The Wedge, United Noodle, and Holy Land (Midtown Global Market location) and none of them carry curry leaves, not even dried. Normally I love shopping at neat little independent markets, but in the interest of time, I think I'm just going to get my spices online.

                                                                                      Am I going to regret that in terms of quality?

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        I don't think so if u order from a company online like www.kalustyans.com,
                                                                                        www.savoryspiceshop.com or www.penzys.com

                                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                          Some of those sites are listed as resources in my book -

                                                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                          DQ, I put an order in for these:
                                                                                          http://store.indianfoodsco.com/shop/c...
                                                                                          I ordered this weekend, they are supposed to be fresh, not dried. Read the 3 reviews from customers. I'll certainly let you know here if they seem full o' aroma !
                                                                                          The shipping is daunting, but I ordered a few other things to help rationalize.

                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                            I received the curry leaves today -- ordered on the 24th, arrived on 27th. Packed in a cellophane bag, the size of maybe 4 decks of cards, much lighter of course. I reached in for a random stem to photograph. The leaves are not dried or wilted, the condition is good, could be just-picked sprigs from any anonymous bush in my yard.
                                                                                            But the smell is very subtle, even when I sizzled a couple leaves in some oil it didn't get much stronger. I'm hoping they'll "do their thing" when I cook with them. I've read in a few 'net places that it's better to freeze than refrigerate them, so I put them in a ziploc in the freezer. We'll see.

                                                                                             
                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                              Good to know! Thanks for all of the info!

                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                Blue room,

                                                                                                Curry leaves do not really have a curry scent to them. It's the flavor you are looking for. Those look right. I get them from my local Farmer's Market and they look exactly like that.

                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                  dkennedy, I understand that they don't smell like curry, but am concerned that they don't have much smell at all -- is that how they should be? I've read descriptions of their contribution as "citrus", "subtle", "tangerine", "nutty" -- but everyone who uses them seems real glad about it! Bay and basil etc. are so fragrant -- even dried. When you buy it, is it fragrant?

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                    I don't remember them having any kind of aroma. They may, but I don't think so.

                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                      Curry leaves do have a distinct smell. I love the smell of fresh picked curry leaves! I have 2 plants at home (each about 4' tall) and am able to pick fresh curry leaves as needed. If yours don't have a scent, it's probably because they aren't fresh -- they were picked several days ago. I've noticed that the scent tends to dissipate if I pick too many and put the leftover leaves in the fridge.

                                                                                                      1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                        Can you describe the scent?

                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                          Not really! It's very unique. In fact, yesterday I went to our local middle eastern market for produce and was walking down the aisle and thought "hmm, it smells like curry leaves in here"... Entered the next aisle and saw they were selling fresh cury leaves for 2.99/bunch. It's a very distinct smell.

                                                                                                          The scent of curry leaves, mustard seeds and onion frying together is one of my favorite all time kitchen scents.

                                                                                                2. re: blue room

                                                                                                  Thank br for the recommendation - I've ordered some curry leaves as well as ajowan seeds and nigella seeds. I think my spice cupboard should cope with most recipes now. The book arrived a couple of days ago and I'm really looking forward this COTM - though I haven't broken the news to fussy daughter yet that October is curry month.

                                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                the only place you will find fresh curry leaves on a regular basis are in an indian store unfortunately. Fresh leaves will keep in an airtight ziptop bag for a few weeks in the refrigerator.

                                                                                                1. re: 660 curries

                                                                                                  I have a curry plant but I am not sure it is culinary. Small, needle like leaves on long stems that eventually develop a yellow flower. Is that the right kind?

                                                                                                  1. re: bkieras

                                                                                                    It doesn't sound like it. It sounds like you have an ornamental curry plant. When you brush the leaves, does it omit a faint curry scent? If so, it is the ornamental variety and does not have any culinary use.

                                                                                                    1. re: bkieras

                                                                                                      What you have is an herb known as a "curry plant", Helichrysum angustifolium. It is not at all related to the tree that produces curry leaves. The latter look kind of like bay leaves, but smaller. The "curry plant" is so named because it does have a smell much like curry powder (not curry leaves). While it is not going to be of use for cooking from this book, it IS edible, and can have culinary uses. Try some minced in egg salad, for example.

                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        Thanks to both of you for the tips - you've described what I have. It smells very good (assuming you like the smell of curry!) and I am glad to know that it is edible.

                                                                                                        1. re: bkieras

                                                                                                          bkieras,

                                                                                                          I have it in my garden and though I have been told you can eat it, it really is not very appealing when you use it as a herb. The scent is really its only redeeming feature, IMO.

                                                                                                      2. re: bkieras

                                                                                                        You can get a curry leaf plant (Murraya koenigii) online from logee's http://www.logees.com/Curry-Leaf-Murr...

                                                                                                        After a year my plant is still too small to harvest any leaves, but then I do live in Minnesota.

                                                                              2. this is wonderful-
                                                                                chatting with the author-
                                                                                I hope my copy arrives soon

                                                                                I live in South Florida-Broward cnty
                                                                                do u have a list of Indian grocers in Broward/Miami-Dade counties?

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                  I unfortunately don't know the area - there is a website in the book under resources where if you plug in your zipcode it should give you a list of indian stores...

                                                                                  1. re: 660 curries

                                                                                    What a fabulous resource!

                                                                                    1. re: 660 curries

                                                                                      It would be wonderful if you,could suggest a basic pantry to start with.

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        Roxlet there is a box on page 14 that recommends stocking up on some pastes and blends from the book - once you get those done, chances are you will have a pretty good pantry supple of spices and legumes. A lot hinges on fresh vegetables, meats, etc. so just buy whatever you need for the recipes.

                                                                                        1. re: 660 curries

                                                                                          Thanks, I'll check it out. I have had your book for a while, and I've only managed to cook one thing out of it, but it was fantastic. I hope this thread encourages me to do more exploration, but I do find that I am frequently stymied by missing ingredients. There is an Indian store in southern Westchester that I think would have many of the ingredients, but as far as I am concerned, it's located in a black hole in space. I found it once, but I have no idea how I did that. Maybe with Siri as my copilot, I'll be able to find it again!

                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            Roxlet is the store Bhavik Indo-Pak Grocery and Video store in on 119 Elmsford

                                                                                            http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/01/nyr...

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              Yes, that's the place. I had googled it, and thought I knew exactly where it was, but I drove and drove and couldn't find it, until suddenly, there it was. And I don't even know how to get back, but now I have Siri, so I think I'll be able to find it. The store was quite good, but the people weren't very friendly!

                                                                                  2. This book is a treasure! I have had it for a while and LOVE cooking from it. Needless to say, every recipe I try gets 2 thumbs up :) and every time I go thru the vast collection ( and I am a vegetarian) I find another exciting recipe I want to try!! Yaaay! So thrilled :))

                                                                                    1. This cookbook has become a favorite of mine since I was given it last year, even though I've only done a fraction of the recipes in it. And so much fun that the author will be here with us. Nice.

                                                                                      1. I have been going through the cookbook and am completely psyched. We love Indian food in this house. I am looking at some of these legume curries and wishing I owned a pressure cooker!

                                                                                        1. Picked up my copy of 660 from the library today. I have a feeling I won't be able to make it through the month without buying it. Arrrgh! So many of the suggestions listed below are calling my name. Can't wait to get started.I am especially excited about the potato patties photographed on the first page of the book. I have a similar recipe I make out of Street Food and I love it so I am anxious to see how this compares. This will probably be my first post.

                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                            Street Food by Claire Ferguson? I have that book and have never cooked from it. Was thinking about pitching it to free up space. Is it a keeper? Or a different book?

                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              No it is The World of Street Food by Troth Wells. I've pitched it a few times as a COTM title but thus far, no takers. It's a great book. The recipe I am referring to is the Indian Ragda Patties on page 50. The book covers Street food from all over Africa (Sudan, Kenya, Chana, Gambia, etc.) Asia (India, Fiji, China, etc.) Latin America, Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. Lots and lots of dishes I've never stumbled upon before. And great pictures.

                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                That sounds fantastic! You'll have to keep suggesting it as a cotm....hopefully, it'll catch on.

                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                  that sounds like a good COTM-
                                                                                                  there's Thai, Vietnamese Street Food Books also

                                                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                    I would LOVE to see a street food COTM. I am a street food junkie. If ever I win the lottery, I will be opening a very cool bookshop restaurant that only serves one dish a day, and guess what, street food will usually be on the menu!

                                                                                              2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                Do you mean the ones with Mung beans stuffing?
                                                                                                SLURP! Those are awesome:)

                                                                                                1. re: pallavykulkarni

                                                                                                  The recipe is called Sindhi Style Stuffed Potato Shells on p. 45. I think it asks for sprouted green lentils.

                                                                                              3. My copy arrived today and I'm already excited!

                                                                                                One question - we don't have canned tomato sauce in the UK that I'm aware of. What does it have in it? Can I use passata instead?

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                  Canned tomato sauce in the US is basically passata (cooked, pureed tomatoes) with addition of salt and a bit of onion and garlic powder. So, yes, I'd just sub passata and not worry about the rest, as the dishes are obviously well seasoned.

                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                    Thanks Caitlin, that's very helpful.

                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                      If I had read an ingredient list with the word "passata" in it I would have been completely stumped. (And I've already figured out what courgettes and aubergines are.) The things I learn in these threads!

                                                                                                2. Another of my favorite recipes in 660 Curries is Goan-Style Spicy Pork Sausage (feijoada) on p232. I've always liked chili, and this recipe is reminiscent of chili. This is an easy recipe also. You can substitute one can each of kidney and black eyed peas for the uncooked beans to save time.

                                                                                                  1. I already cooked two recipes from this book last week and put meat to marinade for a third recipe. I can't wait for October :)

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                      Which meat recipe are you using? I have some stewing beef that needs using up.

                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                        I have some bone-in goat and I am using it for Aromatic Lamb with Pounded Spices/Lucknowi Gosht Qorma on p. 205. The recipe calls for boneless lamb cubes, but I really never cook with that and I wanted to do one of the meat recipes, so bone-in goat it is. The recipe itself is a type of qorma and in ingredients and method is much like a dopyaaza stew. I'll see how it works out and report back.

                                                                                                        1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                                          That sounds yummy - look forward to your report! I decided to make beef vindaloo on p. 174 and mathura palak paneer on page 297 for which I will make Punjabi massala later tonight.Not sure about "seeds from black cardamom pods" - my black pods do not open like the white ones do, so, do not know what he means. Will check "Indian Grocery Store" book before making it.

                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                            That is a good question about the "1/2 tsp cardamom seeds from black pods," in the Punjabi garam masala recipe on p.25. I have never used them in any way but whole pod or pod ground in a garam masala. I didn't even realize they had seeds inside like smaller cardamom. But I found this pic here which shows the seeds:

                                                                                                            http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/A...

                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                              Well, learn something new everyday! I decided to open black cardamom pod that was left over from Friday dinner. It was soft and opened up to reveal black seeds - I always thought that the black pods were dense, like a nut or nutmeg, and never attempted to open one. Smacked the fresh one with the blade of a knife as you would smack a clove of garlic and there came the seeds - embarassing!

                                                                                                      2. Just got my copy and WOW - this book is massive! I've spent the morning flagging things that sound interesting, and even just skimming and ignoring things I know my husband won't eat (i.e. anything with spinach!), I've only gotten through a third of the recipes. Pineapple curry with coffee and coconut milk??? Lamb smothered in coconut? Turnips with garlic and black cumin? YES PLEASE! I'm so excited to start cooking - something from the lamb chapter is on the menu tonight!

                                                                                                        1. I was making Indian food for Friday supper and was pressed for time. Every recipe that I consider making from 660 Curries required making a masala for which there was no time. So, I ended up cooking from Madhur Jaffrey's book and some other recipes. Lesson learnt for me: plan ahead and make masalas in advance. I am thinking about doing it tonight.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                            I was hugely excited to find frozen cubes of garlic paste and ginger paste in my local Asian grocery store. I used them today - brilliant timesaver.

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                              I always have fresh garlic and ginger on hand and find it a breeze to grate some using a microplane; not too fond of jared..

                                                                                                              Off the Topic: made garlic confit the other night - OMG:)

                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                OK, continuing off topic, just looked up garlic confit. Must try! What have you used it in? Or have you just made it and not used it yet? Really, it looks like I NEED this! Thanks herby!

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  I just made it and used it yesterday on toast with some cooked eggplant for a snack. It tastes sweet and pungent, not unlike roasted garlic. I would use it instead of roasted garlic in everything - dips, dressing for roasted veggies, in sandwiches. Great to have on hand as it keeps in the fridge forever. The oil should be great in salad dressings and anywhere where garlic flavour is desireable..

                                                                                                                2. re: herby

                                                                                                                  It's not jarred though - just plain garlic and ginger frozen in handy tablespoon sized portions.

                                                                                                            2. I made a really delicious meal from this book tonight which was also pretty simple. Mr GG pronounced it better than our local Indian restaurant Khan's which he loves. Massive win and can't wait to make more recipes.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                I made chicken jalfrezi, btw, and a cauliflower dish.

                                                                                                              2. I just want to thank everyone who went through the trouble of listing their favorites. When I picked up my copy from the library I feared I would never be able to pick, there are so, so many choices...so knowing which ones to start with really helped.

                                                                                                                I have decided on my first menu and I am going grocery shopping for it today so if all goes well I will be able to post on the very first day the thread goes up. Yeah me! Very excited about this month but dismayed at the prospect of having to find a permanent home for this thick book on my shelves. It sounds like a keeper!

                                                                                                                1. I also got started early as we are great lovers of Indian food, so I was really psyched about this book So far I've made Spicy Lamb w/Yogurt, Cream, and Fenugreek (p. 207), Peppercorn Shrimp w/Coconut Milk (p. 268), both easy curries not requiring pre-mixed spice blends, BTW, and Creamy Black Lentils (P.367). Now to decide what's next . . . .

                                                                                                                  1. The green bean curry is amazing. Just sayin'

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: jo_jo_ba

                                                                                                                      Thanks for sharing. Do you recall which one? There are 4 versions in the vegetable curry section.

                                                                                                                    2. Another new user here, thanks to 660 curries. It really has enriched our daily lives, and made us comfortable with Indian cooking. Also helps that once you have a drawer of whole spices, the recipes are generally cheap enough for students! We cook from this book maybe 1 or 2 times per week, so have tried a lot of recipes, but looking forward to seeing what others enjoy (easy to keep repeating the most delicious recipes).

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: bacio

                                                                                                                        Welcome! I'd love to know what some of your favorite recipes from the book are! Also, any especially easy/fast weeknight dinner ones... I'm a mom of a toddler so I need simple where possible!

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                        1. re: bacio

                                                                                                                          Yes, I too would love to hear some of your favorite recipes: between my tags and the experience of others, i should be able to narrow my choices.

                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                            Flicking through my copy to find the stickiest pages... bit lacking in red meat and fish recommendations due to financial constraint (so many of the lamb dishes, in particular, look incredible).

                                                                                                                            These are all quick. Though not authentic, for chicken dishes I generally use cut up thighs or breasts to save time. You can also usually half oil quantities without trouble, if you are so inclined.

                                                                                                                            Saag murghi, p.136 (simple once the marinade is put together, nutritious and very very tasty, especially with homemade parathas or rotis. The sprinkle of salt at the end is essential).
                                                                                                                            Chicken with red chillies and coconut milk, p.139 (lots of delicious, sour/sweet/creamy sauce).
                                                                                                                            Cubed chicken with wok-seared vegetables, p.145 (very quick when you have the garam masala made, and excellent).
                                                                                                                            Chicken Thighs with Peanut Sauce, p. 159 (possibly my favourite - very tasty, very savoury sauce. No marinade and easy to make, though you'll need a vegetable side).
                                                                                                                            Priyanka's Shrimp, p.265 (After I read the introduction, I couldn't help but try this. It's very quick, and has wonderful flavour especially given the comparatively short ingredient list.)
                                                                                                                            Fresh Greens with Black-Eyed Peas, p. 320.
                                                                                                                            Sorshe Chana, p.335.
                                                                                                                            Palak Urad Dal, p. 370.
                                                                                                                            Red Lentils with Chiles, p. 397.
                                                                                                                            Moong Masoor Dal, p. 405.

                                                                                                                            Other favourites:
                                                                                                                            Fall apart beef cubes, p. 177 (simple, delicious with rotis on the side, but needs a fair bit of cooking time).
                                                                                                                            Murghi Vindaloo, p. 134. Also the Pork Vindaloos, especially the third version, p. 229.
                                                                                                                            Kheema Mutter, p. 182 (I use lamb mince - this is another quickish dish, and very good).
                                                                                                                            Badam Murghi, p. 142 (almond, yoghurt, spinach - amazing, another possible favourite).
                                                                                                                            Aloo Gosht, p. 191 (excellent!)
                                                                                                                            Roghan Josh, p. 214.
                                                                                                                            Goshtaba, p. 215 (fantastic meatballs, lovely thin, creamy sauce - hadn't really had anything like them before).
                                                                                                                            Mangalorean Pork Curry, p. 225.
                                                                                                                            Saag Pork, p.231
                                                                                                                            Shallots with Pigeon Peas and Coconut Milk, p. 430 (yum, if you like coconut!).

                                                                                                                            Have left out many good recipes, and I won't even go into the veggie section or I'll be here all night. I'm really looking forward to finding some new dal recipes, as I have found that section very hit-and-miss, and there really are too many versions for one person to try out!

                                                                                                                            1. re: bacio

                                                                                                                              Thanks so much, bacio! This helps a lot. I'd tagged several of these (in fact, I bought chicken today for Chicken with Red Chilies and Coconut Milk), so they'll move up the list--and now I'm going to go back and take a second look at some of these others on your list.

                                                                                                                        2. Anyone willing to answer this question?:

                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8716...

                                                                                                                          1. Everyone: I just wanted to let you all know that I will definitely be reading along this month, but I may not be able to cook along. Currently some random fall cold is sweeping through our home, wreaking havoc, but even more disruptive is some unexpected travel that will affect the division of labor in our household for a week or so. Then some unexpected houseguests with very restricted diets...

                                                                                                                            I'm going to have to push curry month out a ways, I'm afraid. But, to all of you I say:

                                                                                                                            Curry on!

                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                              Sorry to hear that TDQ! Hope you and yours feel better soon. Sounds like a busy month ahead! Hang in there.

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                Ugh. Hope it isn't all too very much. And that everyone returns to full health quickly.

                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                  Nooo!
                                                                                                                                  Take care TDQ, hover over the little one 'til he's safely robust.
                                                                                                                                  As for the limited-eats guests, maybe just what they need is some white & steamy basmati in a bowl, with some gentle lentils?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                    The limited eats guests has to do with both health issues and pickyness. I"m not sure I have the energy to fight on both of those fronts...

                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      Don't fight, you have enough to deal with, just give them what they want:) Do take care of you and the family and hope all will be back to normal before you know it.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                    hope everyone feels better-
                                                                                                                                    try not to get too stressed out