Camellia Panjabi has explored all the regions of India to collect the best traditional recipes, learning dishes and cooking secrets from culinary experts as well as fine home cooks. In this book she presents fifty of the most delicious, exotic, and inspiring of these curries. Each individual recipe is accompanied by a color photograph, and important ingredients are illustrated. Indian cuisine is unusual in its flexibility. There are no rigid recipes. Methods for preparing traditional dishes, such as curries, are not written down but are passed on through generations, the cooks adding and altering each time. With this in mind, Camellia Panjabi has included a comprehensive introductory section which explains the basics of curry making - the thickening agents, such as coconut milk and lentils; the souring agents, such as tomatoes, yogurt, and lime; and, of course, the spices - and gives readers the confidence to improvise and adapt a dish to suit their own particular taste. All important spices are described and categorized by taste, color, or aroma, and there are guidelines on how they should be used to greatest effect. There is also a section devoted to the chili, and there are useful tips on how to present and serve an Indian meal. But the curry is only one part of the whole meal, and in the final section Camellia Panjabi offers a variety of recipes to accompany it - the side vegetables, rice dishes, lentil dals, papadams, and chutneys, and the mouthwatering, simple-to-make desserts.