660 Curries Cookbook Review

Hi Everyone,

So my husband isn’t good at figuring what I want gift wise.

I do drop subtle hints the problem is that he has that “selective male hearing” issue.
The Doctor says that he’s not a candidate for hearing aids.

So I’m turning to my HO family for help.

What does everyone think of this book?

Has anyone cooked from it and possibly have any recipe recommendations, tips and tricks?

I want to know if this book is shelf worthy.




Hi Olunia:

This book gets a lot of use in my house. I haven’t counted whether there are literally 660 recipes in it, but it has a dazzlingly wide array of recipes from all categories: vegetables, legumes/dals, meats, paneer, rice, breads, salads, raitas, chutneys, etc. etc. There are many well-known favourites, as well as lesser known but fantastic regional dishes. There are a lot of home cooking dishes instead of just focusing on the heavy restaurant favourites as many cookbooks do. In Indian cooking there tends to be a big difference between stereotyped restaurant food (often heavy, limited repertoire, and tailored to customers’ perceptions) and home cooking (none of the above).

My DH likes to cook from this because if you follow the recipes exactly, you get good results.
I have personally cooked from it quite a few times too. I loved that the paneer makhani recipe had the fewest ingredients compared to other sources and yielded spectacular results. (However, for dal makhani I prefer Julie Sahni’s recipe for similar reasons.)

There are a few problems in the book.
One is mis-spelled Indian language common food words, I get it that Hindi/Urdu is not Iyer’s mother tongue, but he grew up in polyglot Mumbai, and shouldn’t have made these mistakes. He even made mistakes in the English spelling of Tamil (his mother tongue) words! But the spelling mistakes don’t change the recipe results and if you don’t know the original word, you won’t notice (shrug).
Another issue is that in a couple of places the cooking times are off. For e.g. in the South Indian black chickpea ‘curry’ (kadala kari), he asks you to pressure cook soaked black chickpeas for one hour - that’s absolutely not necessary. 30 minutes was ample, and even 20 minutes might have been fine.
Another slight problem is that he has a really good list of spice mixes and pastes, but no index of which recipes these are used in. If you have made a large quantity of a mix for e.g. it would have been good to know which other dishes these can be used in. Instead, when you select a recipe, you will see that it may need a particular mix, and go and make it.

660 Curries had been COTM on CH many years ago and there had been a lot of cooking and reviewing. But unless someone archived that discussion, it’s gone.

Overall however, this book is well worth it. Does your family like Indian food? If yes, you will enjoy this book a great deal and never grow tired of it.


Yes, we enjoy Indian cooking very much and
any CH recipe notes would be welcomed here.
Thank you for your thoughtfully honest review.

Possibly Eat Your Books can help you out with knowing which other dishes, in the book, can be used with the mix. That is as long as that book has been indexed.

I would love this to be the case! So often I’ve made the mixes called for by various recipes and am left with lots of extra. Sometimes I try to reduce the amount of the blend by adjusting the relative ratios of each component but often I don’t want to fiddle around that much.

I appreciate your comments regarding spelling/nomenclature errors. I am not at all familiar with the intended words so never would recognize the misspellings.

All that does not take away from the fact that 660 Curries is my go-to book for Indian cooking. What I make usually tastes good . I have no idea if it would be considered “authentic” or not (I’m not going down the what is authentic path).



1 Like

Shelf worthy. I like cookbooks with huge numbers of recipes and don’t care much about whether a cookbook has photos, so this cookbook is my kind of cookbook. 660 Curries has been consistently good. I have more Indian cookbooks than any other cuisine, and this book is one of my favorites.


This was one of my main complaints when this book was COTM all those years ago. As I have cooked from it I have made myself a little handwritten index of which recipes use which spice blend, but it really should have been included. That said, I love the book and cook from it regularly - I even went and saved all of my posts from CH so I wouldn’t lose access to my notes and changes. Very deserving of shelf space!


@biondanonima, If you would like to share your notes here then please feel free to do so.
I’m pretty relaxed about the content of the thread.