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Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite
The Imperfect Cookbook by Debashis Banerjee is not your ordinary cookbook. Included are many recipes for unique Indian dishes, but the cookbook goes a step further with a theme of imperfection in cooking. Basically, the cookbook not only instructs you how to cook Indian meals, it also tells you what to do if you make a mistake. The book even guides you on a different path in the event you burn the food or have a kitchen mishap. If this weren’t enough to make the cookbook unique, author Debashis Banerjee also provides the reader with cute and whimsical poems. Also included are goal-based cooking diagrams, kitchen layout flow charts, and an index that explains terms. With each recipe, there are author comments such as: Why is this good for you? Can you pack it in a lunchbox? Some of the recipes in The Imperfect Cookbook are Egg in the Hole, Stuffed Peppers, Dal Makahani, Chili Chicken, Palak (spinach), and many more. Each recipe includes a color photo.
The Imperfect Cookbook is not like any other cookbook I’ve read before. I have to admit I was a little confused at first with the lack of specific instruction (what kind of cut?), but then I realized that was the point of the book. You do not need to make a perfect dish. You do not need to get every dish right! Debashis Banerjee does a terrific job of keeping the cook motivated, but more importantly, he makes cooking easy and fun. His enthusiasm is infectious, and while some of the food items were unknown to me, I did learn a lot (Paneer is fried cottage cheese!). The book is a great resource and a fun learning tool for the kitchen. I recommend it to cooks of Indian cuisine or those curious to try new recipes.