mcith_7.jpgI have an issue with this book; it’s the subtitle.’Delicious Indian recipes in 7 ingredients or fewer’.It should be’or less’.

Yes, I know grammatically it’s correct, but I have had many arguments over the years with pesky subeditors being anal (it’s their job) and not being realistic.

The fact is using’or fewer’ sounds cumbersome. That’s why you see’10 items or less’ at the checkout.

Anyway, that apart I have no issues with this book at all. It’s brilliant, it’s one of the best books I’ve come across this year.

I have now managed to cook over twelve recipes, and they’ve all been great. Very tasty, very simple.

There are eighty recipes in what is a very modestly-sized book, nearly all of them suitable for any night cooking, if you don’t count pre-soaking for dals.


Monisha is a cookery teacher, not a chef or a blogger, so she actually has hands on experience with helping people cook better and faster. She runs a successful Indian cookery school in London – Cooking With Monisha – teaches once a month at Divertimenti and has recently given demos at Borough Market.

And she doesn’t cheat.Many other’x ingredient’ books do cheat a bit by introducing things made earlier and separately, I am looking at you Jamie by the way, but Monisha is not like that.

She states from the start that there are only three things you need aside from what’s in the recipe, and they are salt, sunflower oil and ginger and garlic paste – the latter you will be using a lot.

You can make a load of the paste in advance and freeze portions, but personally I like to make it fresh. If you have a Microplane grater (and you really should have) it takes only moments.

Otherwise you will have the ingredients needed – spices etc – already in the cupboard. Manisha does have a section about buying spices, with instructions for making your own garam masala, too.  Of course, you can buy it ready made, but it won’t be as good.


The recipes come in sections – Fresh, Comfort, Fast, Hearty, One Pot, Vegan and Sweet.

They are all very tempting, effortless, and many are new – at least to me.We’ve cooked the Sweet and Sour Salmon parcels with new potatoes a few times now; wonderfully simple, quick and tasty. 

Black eyed beans with mushrooms was a winner with the local vegan, while a Creamy Lamb Curry was a lovely slow cook that did its business unattended while we went to the shops.

And for the first time I made a really successful chicken pilau. No bother and everything just right.

A fab winter squash curry went down gangbusters as did Tangy Goan pork curry and Chilli paneer.

There isn’t a dish in the book that I am not drawn to, even the desserts sound interesting.

There have been a lot of Indian cookbooks these last twelve months, but this is the one you really want for Xmas.

Publisher: Kyle Books; 01 edition (17 Oct. 2019)

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