I’m going to start this review by saying that Reza Mahammad is a Really Nice Person. I’m not going to let this fact cloud my judgment at all – I just thought I’d let you know.
I’ve been a fan for years, since I used to watch him on UKTV Food when I lived in Ireland. He encouraged me to have a dabble with Indian cookery and brightened up the TV with his infectious laugh. Since then I’ve followed his television career and absolutely loved his recent series for the Food Network: Reza, Spice Prince of India.
I was delighted, then, to be offered a review copy of Reza’s Indian Spice – Reza is adorable on Twitter: friendly, fun and chatty – exactly how a good foodie celebrity should be. He even expressed delight at a photo of my recent attempt at pakoras (I’m ashamed to say I was delighted, and rushed, laptop in hand, downstairs to show the kids: ‘look, I’m tweeting with Reza!’).
Reza now lives in France, and this French influence is evident in some of the recipes, for example paupiettes of lemon sole enhanced with a creamy, saffron scented sauce. Delicious. Other influences are Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and, of course British. There are classic curries, show-off dinner party dishes and a’Quick and Chic’ section which on its own warrants buying this fabulous collection of recipes.
My boys liked the spiced meatballs in tomato sauce so much, I’ve cooked it three times already, and on my ‘to do’ list to try next are the scallops with coconut and ginger, lamb pasanda with green mangoes and the sumptuous white chocolate, cardamom and rose panacotta (I want the photo of this dish blown up and hung on my kitchen wall, its so beautiful).
All of this is written in Reza’s easy to read, chatty style (I abhor stuffy, bossy cookbooks). So often I pick up a cookery book and think ‘urgh – I cook all this stuff every day, in one form or another’, but this gorgeous-looking book has so many different ideas, so much inspiration, that I feel I’ll come back to it for dinner party recipes and midweek suppers for a long time to come.
Reza’s Indian Spice is published by Quadrille Books and is available now, priced £17.00 hardback.
And true to form, look what arrived on my Twitter feed this morning *happy sigh*: