Cookbook Reviews: Indian for Everyone by Hari Ghotra, The Princess Bride Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa, Seriously Good Chili Cookbook by Brian Baumgartner

Indian For Everyone by Hari Ghotra: Okay, this is seriously good. There are lots of cookbooks that’ll offer recipes with lovingly sensuous descriptions and fairly clear directions. There are plenty that will combine that with a mix of innovative and traditional recipes, and appetite provoking pictures. A few, the precious few, will combine those necessary things with clear descriptions of why the methods being used are being used and what difference they make. Ghotra has provided that. The opening chapter on curry techniques and spices is immensely helpful even to someone whose parents have been cooking curry since he can remember. The recipes themselves have a siren-esque quality. I’ve seen a lot of Indian cookbooks and this is well up there. I look forwards to using it a lot.

The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa: I shan’t lie. I got this in the belief this would be awful as how often are franchise tie-ins anything but? I was pleasantly surprised though. It captures something of the book’s wit, has lots of excellent photos, and has a diverse array of interesting recipes. Am I likely to use their paella recipe over the ones I have from Spanish cookbooks? No, but I wouldn’t go wrong using it. Besides, this one isn’t aimed at cookbook junkies. It’s aimed at The Princess Bride junkies. When I mentioned this book’s existence, I got one friend earmarking it as a present for their sister who is exactly that. For that audience, this will do exactly what is needed.

Seriously Good Chili Cookbook by Brian Baumgartner: Another cookbook got because I like awful ideas, another cookbook where I discovered the idea wasn’t awful. For one thing, reading about how playing Kevin in The Office took Baumgartner from just another guy on chili to getting really serious about it is actually cool. For another, good lord is there a lot of ways to cook chili out there. There’s a few things I learnt from this (putting in spices at different times isn’t much of a thing in the UK) and some ideas I’ll be taking away. Will I cook any of the actual recipes? I’m not sure. Maybe if I’m doing a chili verde, which is very new territory for me. Otherwise, it’s all about stealing ideas to make my own chili better. But this book is well named. It is seriously good and it’s about chilis.

All three of these were supplied by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to them and to the publishers for this opportunity.


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