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A Review Of Mother India At Home By Monir Mohammed & Martin Gray

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Mother India at Home

One great cookbook!

These days I don’t write many cookbook reviews. I simply don’t have the time as much as I might like to do so.

Every now and then, however a cookbook hits the market that I want you all to know about. This time it’s “Mother India At Home” by Monir Mohammed and Martin Gray.

Mother India At Home is more than just a cookbook. Monir is an excellent story teller who walks you through his humble beginnings, his family life and working for his brother in his restaurant as a young teen. We learn about his visits to Pakistan to stay with family where he worked the land and the kitchen and was inspired to bring authentic Pakistani/Indian cooking techniques and recipes back to the UK. What he experienced there is part of what makes Mother India and his other restaurants the popular places they are today.

When I read an Indian cookbook, I want recipes for dishes that are different. Versions of UK favourites such as chicken tikka masala, chicken korma and lamb madras can be found in almost every celebrity cookbook. This cookbook doesn’t go there!

Instead you get to make recipes for the curries and sides that have kept people returning to Mother India and Monir’s other establishments for years.

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Monir Mohammed. You will read about the lows of his first restaurants going out of business and how he didn’t give up. I am confident that if you are interested in Indian cookery, you will love “Mother India At Home” because you can feel the passion Monir has for cooking. He makes you want to try every dish.

If, on the other hand you are interested in how Monir hit rock bottom only to pick it all up again to make Mother India into one of Scotland’s top restaurants, then this book could be for you too.

I have cooked so many of the recipes from this book and I’d like to mention a few here. From the moment you open the cookbook, you want to make the dishes. Martin Gray’s photography is beautiful.

Chicken Chilli Garlic

Chicken Chilli Garlic

I started with Monir’s authentic version of one of my favourite curries. In fact, chicken chilli garlic is still one of the most popular of my recipes on this blog. Monir’s version is to die for.

Buffalo Paneer

Buffalo Paneer

I tried the next recipe because I had to. I’ve made homemade paneer many times but never with buffalo milk. Monir writes about how the paneer back in Pakistan was made with fresh buffalo milk. I love buffalo mozzarella so it sounded like one I had to try. Luckily, I have a buffalo farm right up the road so I purchased the buffalo milk and went to work. If you are a paneer fan, you are going to want to make Monir’s buffalo paneer again and again.

Halibut with cabbage

Next on the list was halibut with spiced cabbage. I love halibut. Spiced cabbage is something I’ve made on numerous occasions but never thought of serving it with the fish. Talk about gorgeous. I can’t wait to try it at Mother India when I finally get there. I used Monir’s recipe exactly as written and my whole family couldn’t get enough of it.

I’ve tested many more recipes from the book but really you just need to get this cookbook and try a few for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Cullen Skink

I’ll leave you with one last recipe mention. Monir’s spiced cullen skink.

My wife’s aunt lives in the Highlands of Scotland and is a big fan of cullen skink. She makes if for us every time we go up to visit with fresh smoked haddock that is caught locally. This time it was her turn to visit us and I used Monir’s recipe.

She thought she wasn’t a big fan of Indian food or spice but she changed her mind that evening. In fact she ordered the cookbook during her stay.

“Mother India At Home” offers an excellent selection of both authentic Indian and Pakistani recipes and Indian inspired versions of some of your favourite British dishes. That teamed with the great story and cookery techniques make this a cookbook all Indian food lovers should have in their library.

You can purchase “Mother India At Home” online here.

Mother India At Home
Authors: Monir Mohammed & Martin Gray
Published by: Preface 2014
ISBN 978-1 848 09420 8

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of “Mother India At Home” to review. All opinions are my own.

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