Indian Cuisine By Omana Jacob


95 pages; Color Photography


Wei-Chuan Publishing Monterey Park, CA 1998


Reviewed by Eric Kabue for Good Cooking 8/02

India is perhaps one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world today. There are multiple races, religions and creeds represented in the Indian subcontinent and Indian cuisine is a reflection of this diversity where rice and wheat form a staple that is then combined with vegetables, chutneys, fish and meat as well as coconut, yogurt and a myriad of other accompaniments, to create the delightful and delectable mixture of taste and textures at the core of Indian food and cuisine.

Indian cooking by Omana Jacob is a clear and concise reflection of its title. The step by step instructions are easy to follow and the results of the recipes easy to create and serve. The recipes are also modern in nature and yet manage to retain the authentic Indian character that is at their very core, even where some may date a couple of decades or even centuries.

I cannot help but conjure thoughts of Indian curry with its unique taste and spice combinations every time I think of Indian food and cuisine, which explains why I felt drawn to trying one of the two curry variations in the book, one that called for use of yogurt in particular as opposed to coconut milk which is a normal application. The result was delightful turning out to be a near perfect copy of its pictorial representation in the book and simply delicious! There are also dozens of other good recipes in the book that are worth trying.

The book uncovers Indian food from its basic elements, ingredients and preparation techniques. It is a valuable tool and guide to a novice in Indian cooking as well as an excellent reference book for any expert. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in Indian cuisine.

Tangy Chicken Curry
Serves 4

1 lb. (450G) skinless and boneless chicken pieces
1 Tbsp. Coriander leaves
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili pepper powder
1/4 tsp. tumeric powder
2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

Procedure:

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a flat skillet and fry chicken pieces until both sides are slightly brown. Remove and set aside.

In remaining oil fry ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add coriander powder, cumin, chili, black pepper and mix well. Then add yogurt, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, chicken and 2 cups of water; cook covered for 20 minutes over low heat until the meat is tender. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve over a bed of rice.

 

Stuffed Green Peppers (Simia Mirch)
Serves 4

1 lb.(450g) well shaped green peppers
1 cup chopped onions 
2 Tbsp. chopped ginger
2 tsp. chopped red chilies 
1 1/2 Tbsp. coriander powder 
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 lb. (450g) boiled mashed potatoes
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp. salt
 

 

Procedure:

Wash and slit the green peppers on the side carefully, and remove the seeds.

Heat 2 T. oil and fry onions, ginger and red chilies until fragrant. Lower heat, add coriander powder, chili powder and turmeric and stir. Add mashed potatoes, chopped coriander, salt and combine all ingredients together. Divide the mixture into the same number of equal parts as the peppers. Carefully stuff each pepper with a portion.

Heat about 1/2 cup oil; add 3-4 peppers at a time and shallow-fry until all sides are browned. Repeat the process with the remaining stuffed peppers.
Potatoes can be substituted with cooked ground meat. The stuffed peppers can be baked in a preheated oven at 375'F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes on each side.