There’s Indian food that you get at a restaurant, and then there are the regional cuisines of India–as distinct as the many different languages spoken in this diverse land. Prem Souri Kishore does a great job of breaking down the latter in her new cookbook, India, A Culinary Journey (Hippocrene Books). Through insightful personal anecdotes interwoven with the complex history of the region, Ms. Kishore takes us on an inspiring and educational adventure from Kashmir to Karnataka, Bombay to Bengal, destroying the myth of “Indian food” along the way. What we in the West have reduced to simply “curry,” is actually a collection of regional cuisines–each with its own influences, ingredients, and unique history, and the book provides stunning examples of each. This classic Sindhi lamb dish, for example, popular in Maharashtra, may taste like something you’ve eaten on East 6th Street in Manhattan, but there are plenty of other recipes in here that you’ve never had.
From India, A Culinary Journey (Hippocrene Books)
By Prem Souri Kishore
1 lb. lamb, cut into cubes
¾ cup plain yogurt
4 tablespoons oil
3 onions, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green chilies, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon red chili powder
4 tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1.) Soak lamb in yogurt mixed with some salt for 30 minutes
2.) Heat oil in heavy pan and fry onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies until onions are golden brown
3.) Add meat and yogurt. Cook until it is a rich brown color. Add ground coriander, ground cumin, and chili powder, and cook for a few minutes.
4.) Add tomatoes, 4 cups water, and salt to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes until lamb is tender. Garnish with chopped cilantro.