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I bought the Kindle edition of this partly because of a review titled "Kolanji is not Black Cumin" which it is according to Wikipedia and various retailers on Amazon. After buying a large bag of it for an Asma Khan recipe and I needed some ideas for the remaining 295g. That and the fact that Devina Seth and her husband also hail from Kolkata and serve "home-style" recipes albeit Michelin star winning ones.
Whereas Asma's recipes tend to have a short list of ingredients the ones in "Gunpowder" can be daunting. Over 30 in the case of Tandoori Paneer and Saag (although many are duplicates).
The Big Plates section does have half a dozen game recipes In the event Waitrose is out of pheasant, quail or partridges (they don't sell bunny rabbits) chicken would have to do.
I am particularly looking forward to tackling some of the sweet plates and drinks starting with their Bread & Butter pudding and "Gunpowder Regiment" which both feature Old Monk rum
I've always been reluctant to buy cook books in Kindle format. I like to be able to flick through a cook book and look at the pictures, check out at a glance whether I have all the ingredients and then - more often than not - just cook an old familiar favourite instead. Recently I spotted three really great-looking cookbooks on Amazon for 99p each and I figured they must be worth a punt. 'Gunpowder' was the first I've actually read.
Confession time; I've not actually attempted to cook any of the recipes yet so I can't tell you how easy or followable they are.
Pros: I like the stories about why they picked the recipes, the links to the family histories of the owners and chefs at the Gunpowder restaurant. I like the breadth of regional coverage within India - there are recipes from all over - and on screen at least, the recipes seem to be quite straightforward.
Cons: not everything comes with photos - and it's always a good thing to have at least a rough idea what the finished dish is supposed to look like - and if, like me, you don't live in a major city with easy access to the rarer ingredients, not everything seems very viable.
The recipes cover a wide range of needs - vegetarian, pescatarian, omnivorous, starters, sides, mains, desserts and drinks are all included. There's no pressure to serve things in an authentic way - you can mix your dishes, your sub-regions, and eat what you like without feeling you have to meet any kind of rules.
Perhaps once I've had a go at some recipes I'll be back to upgrade or downgrade the rating.
Beautifully illustrated and clearly laid out collection of recipes from the excellent and eponymous small restaurants in London’s Spitalfields. So much to explore, so much to savour - and so much to enjoy.
apart from the insistence that kalonji was cumin when it is actually black mustard seed, even for somebody who has an extensive range of weird and wonderful spices in their cupboard some used in the book were just inaccessible. Some interesting recipes but too much fish and game for my taste, which made a small amount of recipes I was interested in