I haven’t bought a cook book in a long time, because I find a wealth of recipes offered for free on the internet. I also like to experiment and make my own creations. However, my husband, José, who quite loves cooking himself, has a theory that if you get one or two good recipes in a book then it’s worth thinking about buying it.
So the question is does Thinner Dinner pass José’s theory? Yes, it certainly has a few recipes that are worth trying out. In fact, I tried out the Healing and Wholesome Moong Ki Dal and Dhania Dhamaka Mushroom. I’m looking forward to trying out the butter chicken too (a surprisingly healthy version!).
For me the test of a recipe is that it should be simple, healthy and easy to follow. The recipes in Thinner Dinner are certainly simple and healthy. Easy to follow? I’ll come to that later.
Thinner Dinner contains a lot of healthy recipes that Shubhra put together (her own and those of her friends) in an attempt to stick to a great tip of eating light at night.
‘But like everything else in the quest for weight loss, it’s hard to figure out how to eat the dinner of your dreams, without letting the kilos climb. That’s why this book.’ – Shubhra Krishan
She writes in a chatty style that makes quite pleasant reading. The book contains a lot of good tips from how to cut down on portions one eats, to ideas for serving food and drinks elegantly. There are some good images of food too, which stimulate you to try out the recipes (on the downside, these pictures don’t have a caption so you have to guess which dish a picture refers to!)
Thinner Dinner has recipes from different cuisines: Indian, Italian and English (or at least an Indian version of the last two!). There are recipes for soups, salads, vegetables, breads, fish and meat and desserts. Also she offers various options from rice and dal, to rotis, pizzas and sizzlers.
The ingredients for most of the recipes are very well laid out. However, now comes the part about ‘easy to follow.’ Unfortunately, there’s a lot left to be desired here. The layout of the method is rather poor and sometimes there are some steps missing altogether. For example, the recipe Small Potatoes with Two Zesty dips, tells you take twelve small potatoes and choose from a bowl of pesto, chilli garlic sauce and mint chutney or a bowl of roasted garlic and herb yogurt dip and then goes on to tell you how to serve the potatoes. It would appear that you need to eat them raw! Also, there are no recipes for the dips.
I get the feeling that her target audience is essentially North-Indians. Anyone who doesn’t know Hindi will be stumped with quite a few words: tori, tinda….put it on ‘dum’. A glossary would have certainly helped.
My biggest crib about the book is that there is no index. There is a table of contents giving the broad headings, but individual recipes are not indexed. So one has to conduct a search almost every time for the recipe you want. Rather tedious!
I’m sure a good editor would have helped, Shubhra Krishan to make sure that they layout and the details I mentioned above were sorted out. Sadly, this didn’t happen.
Would I buy the book: No. However, going by his logic, José would buy the book if it was priced at Rs.150/-
May you be inspired – everyday!