*BOOK TOUR/REVIEW* – Curry Compendium, by Richard Sayce

ABOUT CURRY COMPENDIUM

Richard Sayce, the man behind Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen, does it again. Following his award winning two previous curry volumes, Curry Compendium is a hardback masterpiece for all those wanting to reproduce that British Indian restaurant style of cooking.

Beautifully compiled with mouth-watering photography and additional images credited to many of the author’s social media devotees, this compendium is a book that will be revisited time and time again, not least for its top tips on scaling up recipes and innovative use of QR codes.  Available for most recipes chefs in the making can simply scan the QR code with their smartphone and instantly watch the associated YouTube video.

For all those hesitant to cook a curry from scratch let Richard Sayce show you the way.  You won’t be disappointed.

Curry Compendium is based on the two top selling paperback prequels Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volumes 1 and 2 which have collectively sold over 50,000 copies in three years. Both books won Gourmand World Cookbook awards for the best UK self-published cookbooks.

Richard Sayce has combined all the content from both these books into a quality hardback format, added a splattering of new recipes, and updated many of the photographs and illustrations.

Inside the new book you’ll find an abundance of mouth-watering, delightfully easy to follow Indian restaurant recipes. These are all backed up with detailed and comprehensive informational chapters: everything you need to learn the art of curry cooking.

Curry Compendium contains all you need to create your own restaurant quality food at home in your kitchen. Start saving a fortune on takeaways!

ISBN: 978-1-9996608-3-3
Publication Date: 1st September 2021
Format: Hardback, 320 pages, colour throughout

My Review – 5 stars

Inspirational, no-nonsense and practical. A treasure trove of traditional and lesser known recipes

I adore Indian food, whether I am eating out or cooking it at home. However, when it comes to my own culinary efforts, I can count on the fingers of one hand the occasions when I have cooked an Indian dish from scratch. Instead, I rely on using the jars, with their limited supply of recipes, which adorn the supermarket shelves. The unfamiliarity of some of the ingredients and my lack of knowledge and expertise when it comes to preparing such dishes has been a barrier. I was therefore delighted when I was given the opportunity to review this book by Richard Sayce and was keen to learn, put aside my crises of confidence and finally get hands on with the Indian cuisine.

The book is both informative and inspirational. I enjoyed the author’s own recollections of his first encounters with Indian food (similar to my own and many others I am sure) and how he overcome his own reticence to cook such delicious dishes that comprise the British Indian Restaurant style which the book focuses on.

The book is beautifully illustrated and the style of writing is engaging, taking the reader from the basics to more involved recipes in a no-nonsense practical style. I particularly enjoyed the hints and tips which the author shares with the reader throughout, gained from his many years mastering the cuisine. It contains chapters on starters, classic curries, special dishes, extra hot curries, vegeatable curries, side dishes, rice and breads and sundries, not to mention  a selection of mouthwatering street food and specialities.

This book has not only demystified the cusine’s most iconic recipes, but it has also introduced me to many more. It is indeed a treasure trove to all who desire to gain confidence in cooking and delve further into the myriad of dishes  available. I have now stocked up on just a number of key Indian spices and am armed with the know-how to produce a host of dishes I would never dream of having a go at cooking in the past.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a copy of this book from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Sayce, the man behind Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen, Curry Compendium and the cookbooks Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volumes 1 & 2, has many years’ experience in the world of Indian food. A love of curry from an early age motivated him to master the art of BIR (British Indian Restaurant) cooking and to share his passion with others.

“I’ve been interested in cooking since an early age and have always loved Indian food. My passion led me to learn all about how curry is cooked in restaurants and takeaways here in the UK, which was my first experience of Indian food.

I endeavoured to finally master the art of creating excellent BIR style curry, and with time and a lot of experimentation, finally gained enough skill and knowledge to be happy with sharing my experiences.”

Richard lives in the North West of England and dedicates his ‘foodie’ time to cooking, recipes, social media, catering, and of course eating. A firm love of Indian food in both home and restaurant styles gives plenty of motivation to experiment and try out new recipes and ideas.

His two previous books, Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1 and 2, have each won the Gourmand World Cookbook award for best UK Self-Published Cookbook, 2019 and 2020 respectively, and have sold many thousands of copies in the UK and abroad. His long-standing YouTube channel has over 40,000 subscribers and over six million views.

Website: www.mistyricardo.com

Facebook: www.mistyricardo.com/mistyricardoscurrykitchen

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/mistyricardo

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mistyricardo

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mistyricardo

Email: sales@mistyricardo.com

LEMON RICE from Curry Compendium by Richard Sayce

You may have noticed lemon rice in the ‘rice & sundries’ section of Indian restaurant and takeaway menus. It’s yet another hidden gem which is sadly disregarded.

My version uses both lemon juice and the essential lemon rind, along with some unconventional spices which I think complement the zesty flavour of this fried rice accompaniment.

This recipe will make enough for one or two people when served alongside a main dish. If you wish to make extra it’s best to repeat the recipe each time instead of scaling up. It’s quick to cook and the results are well worth it!

This recipe is based on that from my new book, Curry Compendium, published on 10th Sept 2021.

All spoon measurements are level. Dig in!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g Cooked Basmati Rice (left to dry/cool so not moist)
  • 2 TBSP (30ml) Vegetable Oil or Butter Ghee
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ tsp Black or Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 60g Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely sliced
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped fresh Green Chilli (optional)
  • ¼-½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Spice Mix – see separate recipe
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Tandoori Masala powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp Kalonji Seeds (also known as Nigella or Onion seeds)
  • 1-2 tsp Lemon Rind (finely grated or chopped)
  • 2 TBSP fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1-2 tsp Butter Ghee to finish (optional)

METHOD

  1. Cook the basmati rice according to the instructions on the packet or your preferred method. Make sure any excess water is drained, then run a fork through it gently a few times and leave to dry off a bit and cool. Don’t leave rice at room temperature for more than an hour or so. If in doubt place the rice container in ice cold water or refrigerate after cooking.
  2. Heat the oil or ghee in a wok or frying pan on high heat.
  3. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves.
  4. Stir fry for 30-45 seconds or until the onion browns at the edges. The sweetness of the partly caramelised onion will complement the sharpness of the lemon.
  5. Now add the salt, mix powder, turmeric, tandoori masala, kalonji seeds, and the optional green chilli.
  6. Continue frying for 20-30 seconds stirring diligently to prevent the spices from sticking and burning.
  7. Then add the lemon rind, the cooked basmati rice, and the finely chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Mix well and continue stir frying for a minimum of 90 seconds until the rice is piping hot.
  9. Add the fresh lemon juice shortly before the end of cooking, and if you wish, top with some butter ghee for extra richness.
  10. Serve, sprinkling a little bit more fresh coriander on top.

RECIPE FOR SPICE MIX USED IN ABOVE LEMON RICE

Also known commonly as ‘Mix Powder’, this is a mixture of basic spices, and is used in most British Indian restaurants to form the basis of the spicing. This is the recipe I most commonly use, which I find gives a good foundation of flavour to all curries.

This recipe will make enough for at least 12 curries but you can scale the ingredients down if you wish. For the best result, ground the cumin and coriander seeds.

Once prepared, store airtight and away from light – it will then last for months.

Simply mix the following together:

  • 1 TBSP Cumin Powder
  • 1 TBSP Coriander Powder
  • 1½ TBSP Turmeric Powder
  • ½ TBSP Paprika (NOT smoked)
  • 1½ TBSP Mild Madras Curry Powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala

Recipes credited to Curry Compendium by Richard Sayce, available online and in all good bookshops, £24.99.

 

About Tina Williams

Book reviewer and blogger and co-organiser of Tamworth (UK) Literary Festival

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