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Book Review: 30 Days of Daal by Pragati Bidkar

30 Days of Daal by Pragati Bidkar

 
Pragati Bidkar's 30 Days of Daal
Title: 30 Days of Daal
Author: Pragati Bidkar
Paperback: 153 pages
Publisher: Amazon Digital South Asia Services, Inc. (2 edition, 25 November 2015)
Genre: Cookbooks
Read: eBook
Stars: ★★★★☆
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

30 Days of Daal shatters the myth that cooking Indian food is complicated. The author has taken authentic daal recipes from the corners and heartland of India and made them simpler.

Whether you are a busy urban cook, or someone who is new to cooking Indian food, 30 Days of Daal will make it easy for you. The book contains attractive photos of the daal dishes and has precise step by step instructions with special notes when needed. There is also a section on how to stock an Indian pantry.

Daal is an essential component of an Indian meal, and is cherished as a source of vegetarian protein. Daal is the very soul of India. 30 Days of Daal allows you to cook and enjoy a different daal every day of the month so you never get bored.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Pragati Bidkar for offering me this book to read, use and review :)

Cover: Colourful

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes

Readability, language: Could be better

Why did I choose this book: Daal is my soul food, I could eat it everyday and not get bored of it. It’s what I make when I’m down in the dumps and even when I’m happiest. So, 30 Days of Daal is perfect for my first cookbook review. :)

30 Days of Daal is what the title says, 30 different types of daal from across India, in all it’s various styles and varieties. It covers daals from the simple Yellow Moong Daal to the Parsi Dhansak and Oriya Dalma.

This is a review of the first edition of 30 Days of Daal, however there is a new edition available now and things might be a bit different in it.

This book starts of with an introduction to what is Daal and explains why this simple lentil curry is so important to the Indian cuisine. This is followed by 30 recipes of a variety of daals and at the end there are details of all the lentils, rice, spices, oil, and cookware used and where you can get them. This section is specially helpful for Non-Indians or Indians who live in the US.

Daal Methya from Pragati Bidkar’s 30 Days of Daal. Daal Methya or Fenugreek Flavoured Daal with Chili Oil and ivy gourd palya as the vegetable dish

I tried out the book on my Kindle and on three ebook apps on my Android Nexus 6. I had hoped that it would be easier to use on the phone, as it would be handy in the kitchen and would be in colour, but I was disappointed by the books rendering on the phone. On all three apps the layout was bad and navigation difficult. Even on the Kindle the layout is a little off, but it worked well and was easy to use. Sadly, that meant I had to live with no colours.

Each recipe has an image of what the daal looks like, the set of ingredients needed and the method of preparation. The instructions are simple to follow and Pragati Bidkar has also added notes to make it easier for the first timer. For e.g. she reminds you that chillies splutter and that you must stand back to avoid getting splattered by oil.

One thing that was glaringly missing for me was the serving size. It meant that in some recipes I landed up making too large a quantity for the two of us and we had to eat the same daal for 4 meals to finish it. I’m not complaining too much about it, only because the daals turned out well. 😉

Smoky Black Masoor Daal with CoconutSmoky Black Masoor Daal with Coconut and banana poriyal as the vegetable dish

For some ingredients that are difficult to source outside India, special notes are added about substitutes. This helped me too (even though I live in India), as some of the ingredients aren’t easily available here too. Like Goda Masala, which is Maharashtrian and isn’t available at most stores.

I tried out the Daal Tadka, Daal Methya, Black Masoor Daal with Coconut and Tomato Daal and they all turned out well. As you can see for trying out, I choose the simplest recipes I could find but I flexed a bit and experimented a bit too with a couple. I’m looking forward to trying out the slightly complicated (to me) ones like – Daal Bukhara, Parsi Dhansak and Panchmel Daal from Rajasthan.

Over all this is a good book to have in the kitchen, as it can add much variety to a simple everyday dish like daal. I recommend it for all who love the Indian cuisine, especially if you like cooking it. 😉

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

About the Author:

 
Pragati Bidkar Pragati is the founder and creator of the vegetarian food blog KamalKitchen.com. She started experimenting in the kitchen at a young age and since then has traveled to many places and absorbed regional cuisines and influences. She focuses on using local produce and selective herbs and spices. Her next book ‘Rice Bowl: Vegetarian Rice Recipes from India and the World’ will hit the stands on March 1st, 2016.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

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  • Mmmm…I love experimenting with daals. Must get my hands on this. Thanks for the review, Freya.

  • There are some cool recipies here Corinne. I’d love to hear, see and even taste them if you try them 😉