It’s hard to imagine a better introduction to a rich national cuisine than this book by Sahni, a long-time NYC cooking teacher who was born and raised in India. Her thorough explanations of ingredients, cooking methods, equipment, and the Indian approach to planning a meal provide unrivaled groundwork for understanding Indian cooking. Headnotes throughout the book are full of additional tips for pairing foods and alternate preparation methods. The recipes themselves are wonderfully explicit, cluing the cook about changes in smell or texture and suggesting additional adaptations to make the dishes even more versatile. Cooks who fear the complexity of Indian food will find Sahni a superb guide, and many recipes are immediately within reach of someone with no more than basic kitchen skills. Nach points out that the butter-smothered cabbage on page 298, using in fact only two tablespoons for 6 servings, is a knockout.