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Book Review – CURRY – Classic and Contemporary By Vivek Singh

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Vivek Singh is one of the most exciting Indian chef’s of our time!

Curry - Classic and Contemporary

One excellent cook book!

When I started my blog almost two years ago, I decided to create my recipes from personal notes alone and not to use cookbooks. I wanted to ensure that my recipes were mine – though inspired by some of the all time greats.

Lately, however I have been getting back into reading my Indian cookbooks and gathering ideas for future recipes. One of my all time favourites is now ‘Curry – Classic and Contemporary’ by Vivek Singh.

Chef Vivek recently sent me a copy of the book and I have loved each and every recipe. I think I’ve now made them all at least once. Some I’ve cooked many times.

I have been criticized by some for not posting enough vegetarian recipes on my blog so it was with this section of his book that I started.

I chose Singh’s chickpea polenta in yoghurt sauce as my first dish and it was amazing. The ‘polenta’ is made with chickpea flour which really works well. I decided to change the recipe slightly by using oak smoked gram flour and cumin from Besmoke Foods which added a nice lightly smoked flavour.

The polenta was formed into small squares that were fried to make fritters that were then covered by a spicy yoghurt sauce. It was delicious!

I think I must have made Singh’s home style curry of potatoes and cauliflower at least ten times. My kids love it. His omlette curry not only looks fantastic, it is fantastic.

Some of the recipes such as the Pumjabi spiced chickpeas and paneer butter masala were familiar to me as I had seen and made other versions before but Chef Vivek’s version is spot on.

I love meat and fish so I spent a lot of time in these sections. I recommend starting with the roast cod fillet with Bengali style mustard sauce and red onions or the roast salmon with dill and mustard green pea relish.

I think you might be getting the picture now… these recipes are not what you will find in most Indian cookbooks and they are really fun to make and eat!

The pages with the most curry splats are the green seared scallops with coconut and ginger sauce, the king prawns with cooked in saffron and korma sauce and the Bhopal style goat curry.

I have really been getting into cooking goat meat lately and loved this curry. I had to fib to my kids that it was lamb but they gobbled up every last bit.

Chef Vivek’s Barbecued half chicken with tomato and fenugreek sauce is a lot like butter chicken. I served it at a neighbourhood barbecue and it was devoured by all. Be sure to try the quails in spicy curry – yet another hit.

Vivek Singh is currently working on his fourth cookbook which will be available in Autumn 2012.

The cookbook is divided into easy to navigate sections. You will find a lot of the dishes and sides you already know and love but you will also be introduced to new inspirational curries, main courses and side dishes.

Many of the recipes are accompanied with stunning photography that are sure to make you hungry.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of eating at Chef Vivek Singh’s restaurant ‘The Cinnamon Club’ in London. I enjoyed the meal so much I purchased ‘The Cinnamon Club Cookbook’. It is one of my most used cookbooks. I am sure that ‘Curry – Classic And Contemporary’ will be just as useful over the years.

So if you are a curry lover, take it from someone who cooks curry almost every day… You need to have ‘Curry – Classic and Contemporary’ in you cookbook library!

Disclaimer: I have wanted this cookbook for years! Thank you very much to Vivek Singh for sending me a signed copy. I love it!

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