Christopher Richard Stein, more commonly known as Rick Stein, began his culinary career at the age of 24 when he tried to open a nightclub with a friend. However the nightclub lost its license and Rick Stein was left stranded and broke. It was then that he decided to convert the nightclub into a seafood restaurant, which has now become world famous along with Rick Stein. Having come a long way since opening his first restaurant, Rick Stein today owns several restaurants throughout England, a fish and chip shop, a bistro, a cafe, a gift shop, a cookery school and is a well known television presenter for  BBC Food.

Rick Stein has travelled all over the world in search of new and exciting cuisines and this week we explore India, which is one of Rick Stein’s best sellling cook books. The bright, eye catching, cover sets the tone for the whole cook book which is full of inspiring recipes, colourful and stunning photographs as well as wonderful stories from Rick Stein on his travels in India.

India’s first stop is into the heart of street foods, which makes up a large portion of India’s culture.  Rick Stein has included only traditional street food recipes into India as a tribute to this cultural trend of purchasing food from stalls laid out in the dusty, over crowded streets of India. Although many of us may turn our noses away from street food, Rick Stein has this to say, ” I do think Westeners are absurdly scared of eating anything from a stall. I can understand why – there is a lot of dirt and lack of hygiene around – but the street chefs keep their preparation and cooking areas immaculate and you are possibly safer eating from them than in a restaurant with a hidden kitchen.” Luckily for us, we can prepare these delicious authentic India street foods in our own kitchens without any concerns.

As most of India is vegetarian, cows are considered sacred animals, Rick Stein has incorporated a large vegetarian section into India, which includes some amazing recipes such as a seasonal vegetable curry and  a creamy potato and asparagus curry with cinnamon and fennel, to name just a few.

Rick Stein’s first true love is seafood. For India he travelled to Mumbai, the Coromandel coast of Tamil Nadu to locate a few authentic Indian seafood dishes. What he had not expected was to strike gold. India has a large section purely dedicated to seafood and seafood curries with accomanying images which leave your mouth watering!

The final and also the smallest section of India is meat-based dishes. Although goat meat is most commonly used, Rick Stein has substituted the use of goat for lamb in many of the recipes in India as lamb is more commonly available than goat. Although he has changed the traditional recipes slightly, the recipes themselves are still delicious, flavourful and vibrant.

India is a wonderful cookbook for those who have a love of curries and spices. The stunning photography and humour-filled stories makes India a must-have cookbook for any shelf.

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books The South African online bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R502.90  for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R535.00)  Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%.