Gr 4-8-The spicy cuisines of India and Thailand are served up by a professional chef, with beautifully presented, full-color photos of mouth-watering dishes. Each volume includes detailed information on the regional influences within the country, noting the specialties of individual cities and agricultural areas. Basic cooking and safety information is outlined, and young chefs are encouraged to enlist an adult as assistant. The recipes emphasize fresh ingredients, with stocks and spice mixes made from scratch. Conversions for vegetarians are suggested where appropriate. The author recommends personally grinding spices for optimum flavor, and includes recipes for making fresh Indian cheese and red curry paste. A descriptive list of specialized ingredients for each cuisine is included. The detailed directions are the strength of these books. While the recipes are not simple, and call for ingredients that may be unfamiliar to most readers, preparation is broken down into small, doable steps. Before the actual cooking begins, chopping and peeling are completed so that everything is ready to go. Safety and caution are continually stressed, especially in the use of knives and handling of chile peppers. Vijay Madavan's Cooking the Indian Way (Lerner, 1985) and Judy Monroe and Supenn Harrison's Cooking the Thai Way (Lerner, 1986) offer similar coverage and presentation, but their directions are not as explicitly detailed.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.