Cookbook Profile

Betty Crocker's
Indian Home Cooking

Recipes by Raghavan Iyer

Betty Crocker's Indian Home 
Indian cooking is rapidly finding its place on the American table. The combination of increased global travel and the proliferation of good Indian restaurants has increased our fascination with the bright, bold colors, fragrant spices and savory dishes of one of the world's largest democracies.

Creating exotic Indian meals may seem intimidating but leave it to Betty Crocker to make it easy. Working in collaboration with Raghavan Iyer, renowned Indian culinary expert and caterer/chef, Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking takes the mystery out of Indian cooking while keeping every dish authentic and truly satisfying.

Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking immerses the reader in the culture of India. Chef Iyer explains India's four distinct regional cooking styles, each filled with savory aromas, rich textures, flamboyant colors and distinctly Indian flavors. Each of the 180 recipes has been thoroughly tested by The Betty Crocker Kitchens for simplicity, ease-of-use and success. In a culinary/fine arts collaboration with one of American's most accomplished potters, Richard Bresnahan, Chef Iyer's food is artfully displayed against lush visual backgrounds.

Great Indian food depends on the masterful blending of spices and seasonings woven into every dish. It is not unusual for hot/cool, sweet/spicy, tart and nutty flavors to be combined in one single bite. Matching this cooking style, the recipes in: Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking use familiar ingredients in unusual ways in dishes such as Seafood Pilaf with Saffron, Yogurt Rice Pilaf and Grilled Tandoori-Style Lamb Kabobs, which combines garlic, cumin and cilantro. Red Bananas with Cardamom is a Bombayite's version of an American favorite dessert.

An expert in the subtleties of Indian seasoning, Chef Iyer prefaces Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking with a thorough primer on the essential contents of the Indian pantry—herbs, spices and legumes—and then shows how to use them simply yet in creative ways. Special spice blends, like Garam Masaala, are now widely available in specialty food stores and Indian grocery stores, but for those who cannot find the spices, or who are interested in blending their own, recipes are included.

Each recipe in Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking is accompanied by Raghavan Ki Baaten (Raghavan's Small Talk)—cooking advice peppered with cultural insights. For example, Lime-Flavored Potato Croquettes includes this advice: "Pay extra attention when popping mustard seed in hot oil because its flavor will be determined by its doneness. This seed is often called the 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' of spices." Sample menus are also supplied, ranging from a simple "getting started" menu to authentic regional menus to Indian brunches and even a vegetarian picnic.

A treat for all the senses, Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking easily encourages the home cook to savor the sights, sounds and flavors of exotic India any day of the week.


About the Author

Raghavan Iyer, CCP, was born in Bombay, India, and has resided in the United States since the early 1980s. He is the owner of Essence of Thyme, a catering and food consulting business with numerous national and international corporate clients. Iyer is cofounder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd., dedicated to the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of the varied cuisines of Asia. He lives and teaches in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Buy the Book!


Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking
Recipes by Raghavan Iyer
Hungry Minds, Inc., May 2001
Hardcover, $23.95
Full-color photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-7645-6315-7
Information provided by the publisher.


Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking



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This page created September 2001