07/05/2009

Slow Cooking Curries and Spicy Dishes (by Carolyn Humphries)

In addition to regularly reading a lot of fiction, a fair number of Christian books, some popular psychology/self-help books, a few biographies and some writing books, I also enjoy recipes books. Last year we acquired a slow cooker (known as crockpot in some countries), so I did some research and then added a couple of slow cooking recipe books to my wishlist. I'd never heard of Carolyn Humphries, but it appears that she's a top chef who switched to journalism, and has written a significant number of cookery books.

'Slow cooking curries and spicy dishes' is a very nicely presented book which I was given last Christmas. It's paperback, normally bound, but the pages open fully making it reasonably easy to keep open at recipes. The chapters are divided into sections as would be expected: poultry, meat, veggies, etc, and each recipe has a photograph, making them all the more inviting.

There is a good introduction explaining how to use slow cookers in general, with tips for making recipes simpler or quicker, depending on settings and how much pre-cooking should be done.

I've read through the book a couple of times now, finding plenty of inspiration in just reading some of the recipes. I was pleased to find that most of the ingredients are widely available, with the possible exception of lemongrass. However I have missed it out entirely from a couple of the recipes, and the taste was still very good.

Some of the recipes do use curry powder, which seems like rather a cheat, but the majority use Indian spices, with the addition - sometimes - of red or green Thai curry paste, which I was pleased to find in a small local supermarket.

I've made three or four of the recipes as given, or in double quantities, and have found them all excellent. They were not as bitingly hot as I expected; instead they were aromatic and spicy, and very tasty. They all freeze well if there are leftovers (as is generally the case when using a large slow cooker for a small number of people).

I shall no doubt be returning to this book again and again, as we like to have a curry or some other spicy dish at least once a week. Highly recommended.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 7th May 2009

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