You picked up this cookbook, and I’m so glad that you did! I know that you’re probably wondering if it’s the right Indian cookbook for you. Rest assured—it is. I wrote it with you and your family in mind. The title says it all—this is an Indian cookbook for everyone.
It’s for Indian-food lovers who live for the diversity of this amazing cuisine. Although many of the recipes are native to the region I am from—Punjab—I have included some from other states and areas as well.
It’s for skeptics who claim they hate the taste of curry. Fantastic! Read on—you’ll learn that Indians typically don’t use curry powder as a spice.
It’s for cooks who are new to Indian cooking and eating. You’ll find step-by-step instructions and photographs on spices, legumes, and your favorite Indian recipes.
It’s for seasoned Indian cooks to serve as a reference point for their favorite Indian dishes. In this book, you’ll find the instructions and cooking times our mothers and grandmothers followed in a forthright and easy-to-understand style.
It’s for the meat eaters (like my husband) who can’t resist tandoori chicken, minced lamb, and fish.
It’s for vegans and vegetarians (my mother, my mother-in-law, and I fall into this group) who want real, road-tested meatless alternatives to traditional Indian meat recipes. This book celebrates our plant-based choices and preferences, rather than making them just a sidebar.
It’s for healthy eaters who want to know whether you can bake a samosa instead of frying it, whether you can substitute quinoa for rice when grinding dosa batter, and whether there are gluten-free Indian bread options. The short answer is “yes” to all of the above.
It’s for the Indian-food lovers who occasionally like to indulge, who crave a touch of cream in their dal makhani when they make it at home.
It’s for folks with allergies and/or dietary preferences. If you maintain a gluten-free (GF) diet, know that virtually all of these recipes will work for you (save the wheat-based recipes in the bread section, of course, but that section has many GF options as well).
It’s for the little girls (like me) who left India at a very young age but want to preserve their food heritage for sons and daughters who are growing up in America. Despite our hectic and sometimes overwhelming schedules, we busy moms share the crazy notion that every child deserves good, wholesome food.
And, most of all, it’s for those who love Indian restaurants—the folks who experience a delicious meal out and want to replicate it at home. Opening this book is akin to opening a menu at your favorite Indian eatery. Along with the recipes to your beloved dishes, you’ll find tips on how to make them healthier and even how to “veganize” them.
What I think you’ll also find intriguing about this book—and indicative of the times we live in—is that you’ll likely recognize the Hindi names for many of the recipes and ingredients. To me, this means that Indian food has really hit the mainstream in the United States. Today, few people (even in the Midwest, where I reside) need an explanation of what Tandoori Chicken, Dal Makhani, Aloo Gobi, or Chicken Tikka Masala are. But they do need an explanation of how to make them—and that’s what Indian for Everyone provides.
Indian food becoming ubiquitous in the United States is a trend I don’t take lightly. As someone who came to this country at the age of three and was largely raised in King of Prussia, which at the time was a fairly culturally limited town located just outside Philadelphia, I am excited that Indian food is quickly becoming so widely accepted. When my parents and I moved into our neighborhood back in the 1970s, I used to get a lot of harsh comments about the “funny” smell of curry. And those were just some of our neighbors.
But times are changing. Our world is becoming more global and more willing to celebrate differences rather than letting them divide us. That’s a trend that I’ll never take for granted, having grown up navigating the challenges of “otherness.” Even King of Prussia has come a long way since then.
If any of the previous descriptions apply to you, this book is for you. Thank you for joining me on my delicious and fulfilling journey to demystify all of the Indian recipes I grew up eating and now make successfully at home, from a decidedly Indian–American point of view.
This book is not an anthology of every single Indian recipe ever concocted—instead, it’s a reference full of your favorites. As with my two previous books, The Indian Slow Cooker and Vegan Indian Cooking, my goal is to never overwhelm or intimidate you, but to get your creative juices flowing and to get your confidence up.
The recipes within this book include both conventional and metric measurements for ingredients. We even took extra care to measure every spice blend ourselves for better accuracy. Please note that the recipes were tested with conventional measurements; if you note differences in the metric yields as you put my recipes to use in your own kitchen, keep me posted at my website, indianasapplepie.com.
I know that there will invariably be a few favorites I have missed. Don’t worry: They’ll come in the next book, most likely. I test my recipes at least a dozen times each, and if I can’t perfect the recipe and fine-tune the process, it doesn’t make it into my books. So I’m probably still trying.
Once you start making a few of these recipes you’ll immediately want to rush off and make more. Use this book as your guide and launching point to more delicious things to come.
Anupy Singla CHICAGO, IL