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‘The Indian Slow Cooker’ for busy families

December 01
21:55 2010

NEW YORK: For the busy, harried family cook – Indian or not – here’s a new cook book which shows that preparing healthy meals can be simple, and that cooking Indian is just a matter of understanding a few key spices.

The Indian Slow Cooker (Agate Surrey; October 1, 2010), authored by Anupy Singla, introduces readers to the mainstay spices of an Indian kitchen, and how to store, prepare, and combine them in different preparations.

Among her 50 recipes are the classics of Indian cooking, mostly vegetarian specialties like dal (of every variety), palak paneer, and gobi aloo, but also meat dishes like butter chicken, keema, and many more.

These great dishes are all prepared in healthful versions that use far less oil and saturated fat than traditional recipes. Singla has discovered how to use the slow cooker’s means of keeping food moist through its long, slow cooking cycle as a way to prepare great-tasting Indian dishes that are both healthier and simpler to prepare. Once the ingredients are in the slow cooker, there’s no need to be tied to the kitchen while it’s preparing your meal.

Singla is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience covering business and general news as a TV and print reporter in Chicago.

Her food writing has appeared in several print and online publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She’s demonstrated her Indian cooking skills on WGN-TV and blogs about her recipes at www.indianASapplepie.com.

The Indian Slow Cooker is Singla’s first cookbook and here she gives a little insight into how the book happened.

How did your family influence your cooking?

My paternal grandfather was the first to teach me how to cook Indian food the way it’s cooked and eaten in his village in Punjab: hot, spicy, and flavorful. The first recipe I ever learned was curried eggplant with potatoes.

My grandfather taught me to use the green, woody stems of the eggplant as well – insisting they protected the juiciest morsels, which could eventually be sucked out as you ate the dish.

How were you introduced to the slow cooker?

Back in the 1970s, when my mother was an immigrant to this country struggling to balance cooking with her job and raising a young family, she first came across the slow cooker as a way to prepare stews and soups. Eventually, she started to make basic dals and then rajmah (kidney beans) in the slow cooker. She would experiment and then write these recipes down on little 3×5 notecards, which my brother and I eventually used as we went off to school and then our careers. In all honesty, I probably lost more of these cards than I held onto – but my persistent, patient mother kept writing those recipes down. Eventually, I created many of my own, too, and thus created this book. I think of it as a tribute to my mother and to other Indian mothers like her, who clung to tradition over so many years so their children could enjoy the legacy of traditional cooking without sacrificing their identities as successful, professional women.

How do you make healthy meals without sacrificing flavor?

The beauty of slow cooking is that spices have the time to break down and infuse your dish with tons of flavor, essentially eliminating the need for too much oil or even cream. It’s truly amazing that with a cuisine like Indian – where so much emphasis is placed on heating up oil, onions, garlic, ginger, and other spices just so – you can eliminate this step entirely and produce a dish that is as complex and layered with flavor as you would have made by traditional means. And this ability to virtually forego the cream and fat (without sacrificing flavor) means more people can benefit from these recipes.

India Post News Service

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It’s a lovely book. It feels energetically clear and light. It’s easy to read, dip in and out and most importantly it offers information without fluff! Blessings on this project.

Jac O’Keeffe
Spirituality teacher based in USA.

*Available on Amazon, Flipkart & other online stores*

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