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Cookbook Watch

January 28, 1998

The idea of taking the complex and wonderful cuisine of India and making it healthy (read: more palatable to the fear-of-fat crowd) by removing the ghee (clarified butter) is repellent to many of us who are purists about these things. Would you remove the olive oil from Italian cuisine? (Yes, there are regions of India that don't use ghee--and parts of Italy that don't use olive oil--but we're making generalizations here.)

Shehzad Husain's "Healthy Indian Cooking" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95), however, is a collection that even the purists among us must admit contains some of the most exciting food we've seen in a long time. Credit the photos by James Murphy and the intriguing dishes from Husain for making you want to eat the food on just about every page. The book is also notable for Husain's inclusion of a number of Pakistani recipes, some from Husain's childhood, but there's not enough explanation of the origins of these and other dishes.

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