Book review: The Three Sisters Quick and Easy Indian Cookbook
Considering we’re a family of curry lovers it really is shocking how rarely I make a ‘proper’ curry. I’m more of a bit of this and a bit of that curry creator. The kind that are dependent on what’s in the cupboard, always taste good but have very questionable levels of authenticity.
So when Simon & Schuster UK asked if I’d like to have a look at The Three Sisters Quick and Easy Indian Cookbook I jumped at the chance. The 3 sisters in question are Sereena, Alexa and Priya Kaul and this is the sequel to their first book, The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook, which was born out of a desire to record their mother’s recipes.
The sequel, Quick and Easy Indian Cookbook, is much more focused on being able to produce tasty authentic meals with speed and there’s much more influence from Indian street food, both within the recipes and with a couple of pages devoted to describing their own experiences of street food whilst in India.
The recipes are varied and are divided into sections within the book covering snacks, starters, chicken, lamb, fish, vegetables, rice and lentils, chutneys, desserts and drinks. There are familiar favourites such as tandoori chicken, lamb patties that are defiantly on our list and I have my eye on a few things in the dessert section – in particular the Indian Peanut Toffee and Celebration Custard.
I’ve cooked a few dishes from the book now and have found the recipes easy to follow. Rajasthani Chicken Strips went down a storm with enough kick from the chilli and ginger for Rich and I but cool enough with almonds, yogurt and coconut for Izzy. My own complaint recipe wise is there isn’t any guidance to the heat level. Though you can judge from the recipe itself for those that are inexperienced or wary this may be a little off putting.
It’s an eye catching book with lovely photography and, joy of joys; it stays open at your page on the side whilst you cook. Throughout the book there’s a focus on the Masala Dabba (spice box) that accompanied the first book and is also used in the second. I looked online and it currently retails at around £40 for the spice tins, spoon and 13 spices (plus 3 new ones for Quick and Easy). I have to say that I think that it’s on the pricey side, especially given that the majority of the spices are ones that many people will already have in their cupboard or they can be picked up in most supermarkets. The only one that may prove difficult to find in rural Lincolnshire is mango powder but the internet is sure to throw it up with a quick search.
If we leave aside the issues I have with the phrase ‘cookbook’ (a personal one, I just don’t like it and find it jarring) overall I think this is a book that’s worth having in your collection if you’re not overly confident with cooking a curry or don’t already have a couple of books in your collection. If you do then this may not necessarily be the book for you but it’s one I’ll be dipping in to on a regular basis.
The Three Sisters Quick and Easy Indian Cookbook is available from Simon & Schuster UK for £16.99. You can also view a sample chapter to get a flavour of the book and help you decide whether it’s the one for you or not.
Disclosure: I received a copy for free for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts are my own.