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ChocoKitty

Indian cookbook recommendations

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I received a bookstore gift card and decided to buy an Indian cookbook (to fill in a noticeable gap in my cookbook collection). If you could own only one Indian cookbook, what would it be?

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I would be interested in this as well. I have the same gap in my book collection as well as knowledge between my ears. One of the things I want to do in 2004 is to learn more about Indian cooking. A good recommendation for a beginner would be nice. In the best of world's that book would also address the regional differences.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking gets my vote


Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

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Anything by Madhur Jaffrey or Manju Singh.

Ms Singh's books are less well-known, but excellent.

I especially like "A Taste of Palace Life: Royal Indian Cookery"

BB


Food is all about history and geography.

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Jaffrey's "An Invitation to Indian Cooking" was a great starting point for me.

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I second that, Gabe. A very good place to start.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Julie Sahni, "Classic Indian Cooking". -Dick

I also prefer Sahni's book to Jaffrey's, but I don't think either one will steer you wrong.

I think there's also a 1,000 Indian recipes (or something like that) which might be a good idea if all you want is recipes, and lots of 'em.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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And if you like Vedic vegetarian cuisine, I heartily recommend "The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking" by Yamuna Devi.

Soba

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I think I will go for Madhur Jaffrey. I have seen her many times on TV and she always makes some sense to me and is not at all intimidating. Thanks, guys.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have not made anything from this cookbook yet, and I am interested in your opinion of it--Curries and Bugles by Jennifer Brennan. Would you consider this authentic Indian? Or is it Indian by way of British? It was very interesting reading, in any case.

I'll have to look into Madhur Jaffrey.

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I am another Madhur Jaffrey fan, I have about 6 of her books, here Asian stuff is pretty good too!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Ditto Madhur as well. :)


". . . if waters are still, then they can't run at all, deep or shallow."

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I like Sahni's book because it appears to be both comprehensive, like you might get in the 1000 recipes book (which appears to actually be good unlike many such huge compilations) and informative. Jaffrey has the advantage of having several books that specialize if you're interested in one thing more than another, such as vegetarian Indian.

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I was so lucky a few years back to get to share a workstation with Madhur Jaffrey at Greystone while I was taking a class and she was prepping for a confrence on Indian and Southeast Asian food. She is one of the most charming and delightful people I've been around. She was given a group of high school students to use for prep and she was very kind and patient with them.

I like her book "A Taste of India" because it takes you through the different regions of India and explains the difference in ingredients and styles of foods. The recipes are very workable and the text is informative and held my interest.

Also take a look at "Curried Favors" by Maya Kaimal MaeMillan. The recipes are from the south of India. They are also real workable and tasty.

Have fun!

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I was so lucky a few years back to get to share a workstation with Madhur Jaffrey at Greystone while I was taking a class and she was prepping for a confrence on Indian and Southeast Asian food. She is one of the most charming and delightful people I've been around. She was given a group of high school students to use for prep and she was very kind and patient with them.

I like her book "A Taste of India" because it takes you through the different regions of India and explains the difference in ingredients and styles of foods. The recipes are very workable and the text is informative and held my interest.

You are confirming my impression of her from television. She is the kind of person that I would just like to hug. :biggrin:

Thanks for the tip. "A Taste of India" sounds exactly like what I am looking for.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The eGullet India Forum is full of helpful info. In particular, you may want to take a look at this great thread in which Suvir Saran collects links to threads on a variety of basic Indian food topics, including Indian cookbooks.

:smile:

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For the omnivore, Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking and for the herbivore, Jamuna Devi's Lord Krishna's Cuisine.

They are both solid, well researched, and well rounded. Readable and highly cookable, the results are 'authentic.'

I consider them to be the Julia Child or Diana Kennedy of Indian Cooking ... work your way through either and then you are ready to tackle the more regional, formal, traditional, or arcane.

Theabroma


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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I would be interested in this as well. I have the same gap in my book collection as well as knowledge between my ears. One of the things I want to do in 2004 is to learn more about Indian cooking. A good recommendation for a beginner would be nice. In the best of world's that book would also address the regional differences.

I would recommend Julie Sahni and there is a particular one by Madhur Jaffrey called, I think -- Regional Flavors of India that is really excellent -- it really lays out the differences in the cuisines of the different states

I like Julie's style of writing.


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Sahni's resipes are simpler -- if you don't live in a metropolis or diligently assemble ingredients by mail order, Sahni's recipes will be easier to accomplish.

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I'd go for Madhur Jaffrey. Her recipes work, she gives the basics, she writes well on more general aspects of Indian food and she's used to writing for audiences not in India.

'A Taste of India' is her book on Indian regional food and I'd got for that since Indian regional cooking often gets overlooked - most people assume Indian cooking starts and ends with the really very narrow (and not particularly authentic) slice of it that they get in Indian restaurants abroad.

Jaffrey's 'Introduction to Indian Cooking' might be the better book for beginners though its more narrowly focussed on the type of cooking done by her family which is based in Delhi. Her latest book in the cooking of the Indian diaspora, called 'The Ultimate Curry Book' or 'Kebabs and Curries' in some markets, is very interesting, but perhaps not one for beginners.

There are some Indian cooks based in the UK who are producing attactive, easy to use books - Sunil Vijaykar's '30 minute Indian' is a bit of a misnomer, yes its 30 minutes, if you've got someone else to do your prep work for you, but its still a good and attractive book.

The one I'd really recommend, if you can get your hands on it, is Monisha Bharadwaj's 'The Indian Kitchen' or 'The Indian Pantry' (name differs with markets) which is a really excellent introduction to Indian cooking through the ingredients it uses. Its not perfect, some of the recipes could have done with some checking and proof reading, but its really interesting and attractive,

Vikram

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Penguin Books India publishes a range of regional cookbooks. Is anyone familiar with these, and have comments about their quality?


-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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I received two from my daughter. "The Indian Grocery Store Demystified" by Linda Bladholm. This was a godsend for me. It details every conceivable ingredient used in Indian cooking. It's also small enough to pack with you when you visit an Indian market.

The other is Madhur Jaffrey's "Quick and Easy Indian Cooking". A perusal shows that it's accessible even to neophytes to Indian cuisine like me.

You're sure to get many, many recommendations but these appear to be a good starting point for one who isn't yet experienced with the cuisines of India.


--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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