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The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: February 2018

The Great British Chefs Cookbook Club: February 2019

Welcome to the Great British Chefs Cookbook Club! Find out how it works, how to get involved and what prizes you can win.

Even with the vast number of recipes available on the internet these days, there’s nothing quite like leafing through a beautiful book full of recipes. It’s a medium that’s stronger than ever before, with cookbooks topping bestseller charts throughout the year. If you’re anything like us then you’ll have shelves upon shelves of them in your home – some kept in pristine condition, others earmarked, stained and scrawled over after years of use.

It’s this national love for cookbooks that has prompted us to start our very own cookbook club. Each month we’ll select a cookbook that we think stands out from the rest and ask you, the Great British Chefs community, to cook a recipe from it. We’ll publish a small selection of recipes on our site so, even if you don’t already have the book, you can still get involved and see how your cooking compares to everyone else’s. Apply to join the Facebook group here and take a look at this month's book (and recipes) below. We've also included the winning post from last month's book, as well as some of our other favourite entries.

Apply to join the Cookbook Club today!

Click here to apply to join our cookbook club, meet likeminded home cooks and share your creations for the chance to win prizes. Please make sure to answer the two simple introductory questions to speed up your application.

This month's book: Asma's Indian Kitchen by Asma Khan

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The UK has been in love with Indian cooking for decades now, but it's only recently that we've started to discover just how varied and exciting this incredible country's food can be. India is huge, after all, and every region, city and area will have its own unique dishes. There's still so much to learn about Indian food (which is nothing like the Anglicised dishes popular in our high street takeaways), which is why we're thrilled to have Asma's Indian Kitchen by Asma Khan as our cookbook of the month for February.

Charting the simple, home-cooked dishes found in regions such as Bengal, Calcutta and Hyderabad, this book is proof of why Asma Khan is at the forefront of Indian cooking within the UK's food scene. The dishes are easy to make but taste truly incredible, and there are plenty of tips along the way (reading Asma's tips on how to cook onions properly will change the way you cook them forever). Asma isn't just an incredible chef; she's also a strong ambassador for social change, be that in the kitchens of restaurants or for women anywhere. You'll also be able to see her fascinating story told in full, when she's featured in Netflix's Chef's Table series on 22 February.

If you want a taste of what's inside, then the three recipes below are featured in the book (although the images differ, just so you're aware). But if your interest is piqued and you want to get a real handle on just how incredible Indian cuisine can be, head over to Amazon to bag yourself a copy.

Chicken chaap

This korma-style curry hails from Bengal, and is a masterclass in proper Indian cooking. With a total of five onions used to create the sauce, it's imperative to cook them slowly and carefully to achieve the right flavour. These are then mixed with aromatics, a homemade garam masala blend and plenty of thick yoghurt, which coats the chicken to create a wonderfully warming and comforting dish.

Macher jhol

Meaty pieces of white fish are simmered in a vibrant red tomato sauce spiced with the likes of coriander, cumin, chilli and turmeric in this easy recipe. Another famous Bengali dish, it only takes half an hour to cook (plus thirty minutes marinating time), making it great for a quick midweek meal that's a cut above the norm.

Peela pulao

Inspired by Asma's childhood in Chennai, this rice dish is full of lemony goodness and southern Indian spices such as mustard seeds and curry leaves. The result is a bright, colourful and fresh pulao that makes a perfect side to any of Asma's other delicious recipes.

Last month's winners

Last month we investigated the world of Peruvian cooking with Martin Morales' fascinating book Andina. Cookbook club members scoured the web to stock up on the incredible chillies and other ingredients native to this diverse country, before getting their teeth stuck into ceviches, stews, soups and even quinoa brownies. Congratulations to Jang Kwon who took the top spot this month - he will win a signed copy of the cookbook! Take a look at his dish and all the other honourable mentions below.

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Marilyn Braendeholm's mushroom and broad bean soup was the perfect antidote to chilly weather
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Sergio Villavicencio absolutely nailed the huallpa chupe
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Jez Mc created a stunning plate of Arrollado de Palta
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Julie Singer's chancaca syrup, plantain and butterscotch tart looked very delicious indeed
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How could anyone say no to Russell Barrett's quinoa burger?!
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David Walker achieved a zen-like balance between crispy aubergine fries and creamy muna yoghurt dip
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The Cordero Chukulari recipe was one of the most popular choices in the group, and Audrey Wensveen's looked delicious
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As did Caroline Morrison's – perfect winter fodder

Make sure you post photos along with commentary of the dishes you cook from Asma's Indian Kitchen in our Facebook group to be in with the chance of winning.