Today we're going "exotic"-- especially for the '60s. I picked up Curries of India by Harvey Day, assisted by Sarojini Mudnani (ninth printing, 1969), mostly because I was charmed by the line drawings. I like the way the woman (with a halo? I'm not quite sure what is going on there--) is posed similarly to the man in the turban. The parallels suggest similarities between divergent groups, something I don't often see in the older cookbooks. We're kind of lucky the guy in the turban isn't made to do something ridiculous like riding an elephant while he tries to cook.
I also love the lamb and chicken looking at the stew pot. The lamb seems a little too enthusiastic. Does she have a death wish? Is she pleased that a rival lamb has been turned into dinner? The chicken looks genuinely alarmed, but I don't know whether it's by the lamb's attitude or by the knowledge that he could be next! Knowing that things are out of scale doesn't help either, I'm sure. Is this a monster chicken? A tiny lamb? The chicken is alarmed either way.
Some of the recipes give the authentic names of dishes, so I want to imagine they're pretty close to authentic recipes:
I don't know-- a half teaspoon each of "ground chilli" and turmeric doesn't seem quite seasoned enough, but at least there are substantial amounts of actual spices! No pinches of seasoning or single drops of Tabasco sauce...
I love the potato lifting his hat to greet the other with "Aloo!" Is the other potato amused or annoyed by the pun? I'd like a second drawing with a reaction shot.
I frankly doubt the authenticity of some recipes, but this one sounds like a yummy way to use up leftovers:
Season leftover meat, seal it into mashed potato balls, roll them in egg and breadcrumbs, and deep fry. Yum! Potatoes are almost always awesome, and deep frying them, well... even better.
The lumberjack potato gives us another example of a food that seems a bit too excited. The big smile while holding up an enormous ax makes me wonder if this is a potato serial killer, taking the others out so they can go into the potato chops. Or maybe he's using the ax to fend off the cooks? This kind of makes me wish there were a short horror film about this crazy little guy: "Potato Chop: The Potatoes Bite Back!"
Here's one more recipe that is just as unlikely to be authentic (and likely to be yummy anyway):
Potato chip curry! Make your own potato chips, then cook in a highly seasoned tomato mixture. (This calls for whole ounces of fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, and ginger, alongside "chilli" powder and garlic!)
I don't know whether the chip in the picture is falling backwards into the pan or jumping out, but it's just as happy as the other potatoes we've seen. Apparently being made into a curry is pretty exciting. Maybe I should try it sometime.
Okay, maybe not.
This is part of Cookbook Wednesday, administered by Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations.