The popular New Zealand restaurant chain, Little India, shares their recipes, appealing to both the enthusiastic home chefs and those bewildered by their spice rack.
The first impression when opening this cookbook is how refreshingly simple it is. We have enticing pictures of dishes and recipes for a variety of popular curries and sides. Divided into main ingredients and courses, few pages are spent trying to sell any sort of aspirational lifestyle or ambiance that many cookbooks seem wont to do. The enthusiasm to make these recipes accessible to a New Zealand audience is reflected in the easy to follow recipes and little need for complicated techniques.
Much to my relief, when trying out a few dishes (I now cook a rather mean Tarka Daal) is that the recipes are designed to make use of ingredients that are generally to hand and not alienate their audience with obscure ingredients. Aside from maybe needing to grab a jar of fenugreek, the most daunting demands these recipes make are for coriander and the odd green lentil. The recipes also avoid falling into a tired routine of Kormas and Madras. The Northern Indian speciality means there are plenty of rich tomato flavours and interesting dishes that elevate the cookbook from a bland introduction to Indian cooking.
The book would certainly make a lovely gift for fans of the restaurant and those who want to develop their curry making. There are also some lovely recipes for brunches, dips and desserts that expand the selection from mains. Little India At Home: Indian Dishes Made Easy is a lovely, straightforward recipe book that you can keep going back to for inspiration.