Cooking with my Indian mother-in-law - Mastering the art of authentic home cooking Simon Daley with Roshan Hirani It sometimes takes the knowledge of another to view everyday food in a new way. For Simon Daley, that revelation came on his first visit to the parents of his then-girlfriend (now wife), when his future mother-in-law, Roshan Hirani, cooked a meal that included homemade chappatis, cluster beans with mustard and 'a simple chicken curry with a shimmering tomato broth infused with onions and cinnamon'. Daley, a Briton, 'knew and loved Indian food', but this homely version was something entirely different from the stuff he had eaten in restaurants. 'The flavours were cleaner, brighter, more distinct and yet, despite its depth and savour, the food was somehow lighter than I had experienced before.' Daley, an art director for cookbooks, learns from Hirani, who cooks by feel and intuition, rather than precise times and measurements. Her son-in-law watches, takes notes, weighs, measures and times everything and translates it into something we, as non-Indian cooks, can easily follow. Some of the recipes look daunting because of the spice mixture (obviously, Daley or Hirani never use generic curry powder) but the techniques are not that unusual or complex. He gives recipes for dishes such as tandoori chicken (although it's not cooked in the tandoor), chicken biryani, chickpea curry, mung dal with spinach and bitter gourd with onions. The chapter on bread is particularly interesting, with recipes including chappatis (pictured), poori, naan and paratha.