Great cookbooks are reprinted many times. One that’s in its third printing and deserves as much consideration now as when new, if not more, is 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. This is the Bible of Indian curries and the perfect book to learn to cook Indian cuisine, and to master it. It truly lives up to the title, “The Gateway to Indian Cooking.”
Raghavan Iyer, an IACP award-winning author and teacher, sets the stage for all of us to learn this healthy, amazing national and regional style of cooking. Iyer teaches the basics, and graduates the reader to more complex recipes, techniques and skills. Because he covers the spectrum of dishes, not merely the common ones as many other books do, but delves into the regional, unusual, and utterly delicious dishes that comprise the cookery of the sub-continent.
In creating the recipes, Raghavan touches upon the vivid flavors and traditional cooking of his youth, and his mother’s touch at bringing simple ingredients to all their taste potential. His recipes pair ingredients Western cuisine would never consider, yet in Indian cooking, they seem perfectly logical, and yield incredible results. The outcome is spectacular food of immeasurable pleasure to the palate.
Once this book was opened, it drew me deeper, further and willingly into the delectable flavors and subtle methods. Within a day, many of the ingredients normally not in my pantry were located in my local markets. My cooking began and has never ended. Having made over a dozen recipes from the book, it was clear that new adventures were in store.
Despite having hundreds of cookbooks in my home, covering the gamut of world cooking, including several on Indian food, few have captivated me, or kept my attention as much as 660 Curries. If you like to cook, or just to try new dishes, this is a must-have cookbook.
You’ll find dishes for every season, taste, or desire but most of all, Raghavan will help you understand flavors, spices and herbs like no other cookbook author ever has or will. His bounteous recipes have not only instructed, but exposed my mind and my palate to entirely new views of India and the world. It is for these reasons we call him ‘The King of Curries’.