I was very excited to receive my delivery today of The Hairy Bikers’ Great Curries. I don’t often pre-order books but this one has been eagerly awaited so it is great to be one of the first to get my hands on this book on publication day. It is quite a substantial book at 384 pages but is a great new resource for curry addicts.
There are two particularly good things about this new book:
- It draws on curry recipes from around the world so it is a little different from the normal curry book which often only has Indian recipes. The variety is amazing, drawn from the Bikers’ many travels around the world. So whether you fancy Indian, Malaysian, Thai or perhaps Vietnamese recipes they are all here.
- As well as curry recipes it also includes sections on starters, breads, rice dishes and even desserts so you really can cook a complete dinner party with accompaniments from this book.
It caters for all tastes. Whether you are a die hard meat curry eater or your preference is for vegetable curries, everyone will find a recipe to suit them. I am not a vegetarian but I must admit many of the vegetable curry recipes look so delicious that I feel inspired to cook some of them. They would be a great complement to meat curries if you are cooking for a group of people anyway. The Channa Masala recipe looked fantastic it combines chick peas and tomatoes with a delicious selection of spices including ginger, cumin, paprika, garam masala and lemon juice.
There is an All-in-one Lamb Dhansak recipe. It sounds like a quite delectable combination of lamb, lentils, spices and lime juice to combine heat with an edge of sourness. This is a recipe that takes a little time as the lentils have to absorb liquid and spices and soften and the lamb has to cook slowly to tenderise. I am a great advocate of slow food. When you wait for food that has cooked slowly, eating it becomes an event as you have time to anticipate it and build an appetite. The good thing about this recipe is you actually cook it in the oven for most of the cooking time so it doesn’t require a lot of attention.
It is a good mixture of lesser known curries like Chicken Makhani, a North Indian curry with an aromatic buttery sauce (apparently makhan is the Hindi word for butter) and some great British favourites such as Chicken Tikka Masala. I did have to laugh when I came across the Chip Shop Curry Sauce though. Now you can indulge yourself in the guilty pleasure of dipping chips into curry sauce at home without ever entering a takeaway!
Some like it hot, well they are catered for too with the Beef Phall or the Lamb Vindaloo. If it all gets too hot you can cool down with one of the ice cream recipes such as the Pistachio and Rose Kulfi or perhaps a Mango and Lime Lassi. If you like the spices but not the heat then you could opt for the Light Chicken Korma. I was intrigued by the Vietnamese Pork Curry with lemon grass recipe as I have never tried Vietnamese food and the South African Bunny Chow has such a crazy name, I have to try it simply because no-one will ever believe I am cooking something with that name! I will also definitely have to try the Japanese Katsu Curry, having visited Tokyo last year.
I love the Good Basic Curry Sauce and I think the section entitled The Basics is a great resource if you are new to cooking curries it has really good descriptions of all the spices and what you need to make a great curry.
The Curry for a Crowd section is genius. Recipes to cook for big groups of people . You can imagine this being perfect food for a hungry rugby team or great to feed to fireman in a fire station or for any club or group of people getting together to share some food. It takes the hassle out of cooking for big numbers as you don’t have to scale up a smaller recipe.
I really am going to have to have a bash at making a Keema Naan, one of the bread recipes included and a particular favourite of mine. The Fresh Onion and Tomato Relish and the Cucumber Raita are also definitely on my list to try.
I love the style of this book. Most recipes have really good photographs so you get a good idea of how the finished recipe should look.
I would hesitate to recommend buying this book, you won’t be disappointed.
Now which curry shall I cook first…