Which is the meatiest Indian cookbook?
May 30, 2008 10:19 PM   Subscribe

Lamb and chicken, pork and beef... which is the meatiest Indian cookbook?

I love to cook Indian food, but the Indian cookbooks I have feature lots of foods I can't eat (namely, starchy stuff like beans/legumes and rice). I know it's tough, because many Indians are vegetarian, but can you recommend an Indian cookbook with plenty of meat dishes? Individual recipes are fine, too, but I'm mainly looking for something I can flip through when I feel like cooking. The more meat recipes, the better, but I'd like something with lots of authenticity and flavor, too!

I have Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" and "Quick & Easy Indian Cooking", along with Shahnaz Mehta's "Good Cooking from India". Between them, I've got enough ideas for the next five years of veggies, but the meat dishes take up only a few pages in each. I'm sick of rogan josh, vindaloo, korma, and saag murgh, please help!
posted by vorfeed to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm well I am Indian so ill try to help :D. Here is a LINK i found from googling. Im not exactly sure on books since my mom learned how to cook as a kid but I can recommend some meat dishes. Chicken/Mutton biryani, chicken 65, tandoori chicken, and butter chicken are all great in my book. Its usually what we serve at parties too.
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 10:31 PM on May 30, 2008

Something like Moti Mahal's Tandoori Trail might be good, or any cookbook with an emphasis on tandoori or kebab dishes. You could also look for something that focuses not so much on 'Indian' but northern provincial (Kashmiri, Punjabi, Peshawari etc.) cooking, or even Afghan recipes, where you get a synthesis of south Asian, central Asian and middle Eastern influences.

(Here's a butter chicken recipe, from a site dedicated to Pakistani recipes. The index is b0rked, though.)
posted by holgate at 10:57 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

There are certain regions of India where people eat more meat based diets. Some regions of Indian cookbooks you should look out for are Kerala and Goa. Both have large populations of Christians and in general eat more meat than other areas. Hyderabadi and Anglo-Indian cookery might also be interesting. I found Mrs. K. M. Mathews' book on Keralite cooking wonderful. Don't remember exactly what it was called.
posted by peacheater at 11:05 PM on May 30, 2008

In the UK there is a lot of Indian restaurant food which is just sauce and meat. There are quite a lot of variants of flavour and heat, much more so than often found in US Indian restaurant food.

It's quite common to, essentially, pick your meat and pick your sauce from the menu, and receive the combination of the two.

I recommend The Curry House as a resource for cooking UK-style Indian restaurant food. It features a fair number of free recipes, but also has a "book" section where you can spend UKP 7 and get access to PDF files for more, and a forum for discussion. It's a really impressive project, thanks to the founder who has spent years working out how to reproduce the restaurants' food in the home. The site has been around since at least 1997 which may attest to its popularity.
posted by galaksit at 6:04 AM on May 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

you might also just develop a repertoire of sauces that you like, and substitute meat for the starches. you might have to experiment, but basically look at the spices and vegetables used, and then just use browned ground or cubed meat in place of the starch. i bet you could make some amazing samosas replacing the potatoes with ground lamb.

can you eat regular vegetables? you might be able to substitute the lentils and rice with chopped cauliflower, quinoa, turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc. and i bet it would be delicious.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:17 AM on May 31, 2008

Neelam Batra's 1,000 Indian Recipes has a good 100 pages of meat dishes. I can't recommend this book enough - it's great. It's a pretty no-nonsense book - all words, no pictures.
posted by gyusan at 9:04 AM on May 31, 2008

OP here: yes, I can eat most regular vegetables -- starchy things like potatoes are out, but I can eat cauliflower, carrots, and the like. Roasted cauliflower is a pretty good rice substitute, but I usually just serve the curry by itself. I either add in some veg during the cooking process (mushrooms and carrots go well with many curries) and/or serve it with a vegetable side dish.

At any rate, thanks for the advice, everyone! I'll get 1,000 Indian Recipes and the Tandoori Trail, and in the meantime I'll check out the Curry House and Indobase.

Has anyone tried 660 Curries? If so, how is it? Any other advice from latecomers is welcome!
posted by vorfeed at 11:06 AM on May 31, 2008

660 Curries is actually really great. There are way more meat recipes in it than most Indian cookbooks I've seen. The index kind of sucks, but it's great for just browsing through and has a good paragraph about the origin or traditional serving method of each recipe.
posted by evilbeck at 1:55 PM on May 31, 2008

Thanks, evilbeck. I will try to get 660 Curries as well. Maybe if I print out another six curries and stick them in there, I can unlock the Satay Seal or something!
posted by vorfeed at 9:31 PM on May 31, 2008

I think indian food should be perceived as being open to experimentation as all other cuisine types; once you learn the basic building blocks than there is an infinite number of possible combinations out there for you to discover.
posted by oxford blue at 11:36 PM on June 1, 2008

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