« on: September 11, 2015, 11:20:41 PM »
Saying you want to cook Indian food is pretty much like saying you want to learn how to make European beer. Most of the Indian cuisine you find stateside is a mishmash of various parts of India. There's many different styles and techniques across the country. It's hard to find restaurants or cookbooks that are specific to regional specialization and when you do it's often Punjabi (which is delicious) or the British-safe versions served in touristy areas that are tempered and semi-bland. The other side of that coin is that most cookbooks will cater to that paradigm and provide recipes from around India and generally recipes for things you find in restaurants stateside.
The threshold test for a decent Indian cookbook is whether the ingredients listed are all available in your local chain supermarket outposts. Even your whole foods or whatever premium chain supermarkets you have won't carry all the ingredients you need. You will need a good local Indian grocer or liberal use of internet purchasing to stock your pantry for Indian food.
I'll recommend two books that I use that you should be able to buy. One is Indian Fast Food which is not the most exciting book but the recipes are simple, fairly quick to cook and are reasonably legitimate recipes. You might find this book at your local used bookstore. I went in a local Half Priced Books and found like five copies for like $6. It's a small book so it won't last long but it's a great introductory book. I still use my copy. Another great book is 50 Great Curries of India. I picked this up maybe six months ago from the clearance rack at B&N for like $10. It is just a great book. It's actually more than curries but the bulk is curries of all sorts. The recipes are involved and take time but they are solidly authentic. The author does a really good job of exploring various Indian regions and provides recipes out of regional cuisines you have probably never tried unless you happen to know people from that particular region and culture.