Being a part of the book review program at Blog adda I was quite excited to see a recipe book up for review. The Chakle India Cookbook by the famous Aditya Bal based on the most popular food show on NDTV Good Times. The show now in its 4th season showcases him traversing different parts of India and cooking the favourite cuisines of the region.
"Chakle India" literally translates "Taste India". True to its name the recipes in the book span the delicacies of the Northern tips (Rogan Gosh) to the Southern Kerala Chicken Stew. There are 76 recipes coming under the categories of Basic, Meat, Chicken, Fish and Seafood, Vegetarian, Snack and Sweet recipes. The table of contents however lists only categories and not the recipes. To see the recipe content list you have to go to each category page. A bit cumbersome for the reader.
The book would be a preference for a non-vegetarian with the choices of meat and fish preparations and even the famous coorgi pandi curry . The chef does seem to have a wee fondness for prawns since there are 5 different preparations of prawns listed in the book!!
Each recipe has an introduction by the chef, which includes a description of the dish, the ideal setting for serving and options for flexibility.
I chose to prepare the Dhabe Ka Keema. Keema is a dish that is a regular in our home and I was curious to see how Aditya Bal's recipe would taste differently from what I prepare. It did take me some time to get used to the chef's terminology like "bhuno" and "baghar" which were explained in the Cooking Techniques section. Though baghar is a commonly used and understood term, I was surprised to read as the chef says the spices are discarded after the medium is flavoured!!!! Hmm... no discarding for me.
I usually add chopped tomatoes in the keema, while this recipe had purreed tomatoes. I also add potatoes and peas, while this version didnt have any of that. I stayed true to the recipe and was very happy with the outcome. The keema was spot on. The perfect blend of spices and as moist as it should be. The dish was enjoyed by the family.
The food photography of the recipes are way below expectations!! Here's a picture of the keema from the book. With my old point and shoot my keema picture seems much better than that.
I do have many other recipes bookmarked... beetroot pachadi, carrot gojju, the prawn preparations and the pandi curry.
The sweet and snack categories are disappointing. The sweets and desserts include the very passe dishes like seviyan kheer, shahi tukda and phirni which is not much of a challenge to a seasoned cook. There is not a single baked dish recipe either. Wondering why?? No Indian baked dishes?
The book is priced at 395/-.