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Indian cookbook recommendations

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  • 2 years later...

Prashad by Jiggs Kalra and others is a book I've always had great success with.

Here's an egullet amazon link


The recipes are rather involved and don't really work for a quick weeknight dinner but if one is always rewarded at the end ;). That perfect butter chicken recipe alone is worth the price of the book imo...it's fun realizing why a dish became so popular in the first place!


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  • 2 weeks later...

The best book I have found to date is "Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegitarian Cooking"; see http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Krishnas-Cuisin...g/dp/0525245642

"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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One I can totally recomend is Vij's; Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine from one of North America's best indian restaurants, Vij's in Vancouver.

It would highly recommend it. I will have to warn you though, there is no butter chicken, no tandoori, and NONE of the same old curries you see in every book. And this is why Vij's book is one of the most unique.

Check out his web site


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For a good, well-rounded understanding I would reccommend above all else Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" and "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking".

These two combined with Madhur Jaffrey's books cover quite a lot of ground.

For fun reading about regional cuisines with a lot of cultural information, the Penguin Essentials series(Essential Delhi Cookbook, Essential Goa, etc.) from India are a blast. Be warned though, the recipes require serious adaptation to come out well in American and European kitchens.

Sanjeev Kapoor is also good. So is Tarla Dalal. She is India's top selling author in any topic. Sort of like a Betty Crocker approach. Her recipes are simple and straightforward. My favorite of hers is "The Complete Gujarati Cookbook"

Best of all....go to bookshops in India in any large city and you will lose your mind trying to decide which titles to buy. Most likely, you would end up buying a separate suitcase just to bring books home!


Edited by Edward (log)

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking


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I consider Yamuna Devi's Lord Krishna's Cuisine to be a good bible for learning Indian cooking. It provides a excellent foundation and it contains vast amounts of information. The recipes are rock solid and the explanations are thorough. I spent at least a full year studying this book. Then, I branched out to Julie Sahni. Her recipes are simpler and possibly better suited for everyday cooking. Additionally, the recipes are not limited to vedic cuisine and therefore include onions and garlic, which I happen to enjoy eating very much. My favorite Julie Sahni book is her vegetarian and grains book. Then there's the book Feast of India by an author named Rani that I turn to again and again. That book is dog-eared! She has some fabulous recipes, including my most favorite chicken recipe in the universe, but I don't think I could execute these recipes as well if I didn't have the foundation and principles under my belt.

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Simple Indian by Atul Kochar

fantastic book since it teaches the subtleties of indian spices rather than the heavy handed approach found in a lot of indian cookbooks. the recipes span a lot of indian regions, whilst not being in any way watered down for western palates.

khazana of indian recipes by sanjeev kapoor

as mentioned, he is an indian tv chef. the dishes are all properly indian tasting, but definitely spiced to an indian palate. if u like indian style chinese food, his chinese cookbook is also fantastic!

happy cooking


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My favourite Indian cookbooks (other than those by Madhur Jaffrey) are:

- 50 Great Curries by Camellia Panjabi : Everything I've made out of this book so far has been wonderful. Her Mangalorean chicken curry tastes exactly like it does in homes in Mangalore.

- Some one who I think deserves a lot more recognition than she gets is Premila Lal. Her book 'Indian Recipes' has some lovely recipes (covering many regions in India), even though they could sometimes do with a bit more explanation.

- Yamuna Devi's 'The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking' never fails to excite and fascinate me even though I've had it for over 13 years. Her explanations at the beginning of each chapter re. ingredients and techniques are the best I've ever seen in any Indian cookbook, plus the recipes are well-explained and taste good too (without the use of garlic or onions!).

- Jiggs Kalra's Prashad is good if you're looking for rich, restaurant-style food, but it is not the most the friendly cookbook I've come across.

- As mentioned above, Sanjeev Kapoor and Tarla Dalal are the celebrity chefs of India and have some good cookbooks out. I'm sure Suvir's book is wonderful, but I'm not convinced his Manglorean Prawn recipe is really from Mangalore.

This very topic has been addressed before in the Indian forums if you want to have a look.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love the Suvir Saran book also. The recipes were really light and nice. I just bought Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni. I'm going to make the Dahi Machi later tonight with rice and Baigan Masaledar(baby eggplant).

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Camilia Panjabi has a book called "Great Curries of India," which I like very much. There seems to be some issue with the translations of the recipes in some cases, so I always cross reference with somethingg simmilar from Madhur Jaffrey's books. This problem asside, it's an excellent reference book with a lot of tempting ideas.

Notes from the underbelly

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Julie Shani's "Classic Indian Cooking" remains a favourite of mine even though I have books by Madhur Jaffrey (which are also good), Suvir Savan and Atul Kochar. It's the first one that I will reach for before I attempt others partly because all the dishes that I have cooked from it have worked (and tasted) beautifully.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I am trying to buy the "best" Indian cook book please help me choose one ...

If you know Indian cuisines, thNeelam Batra's 1,000 Indian Recipes is excellent, although it tends toward more South Indian preparations...

Although I was suspicious of the name, Lord Krishna's Cuisine turned out to be very useful and well done.

If you don't already know the tastes and ways of Indian cooking well, Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking is a good start.


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I am trying to buy the "best" Indian cook book please help me choose one ...

Indian cuisine is wildly diverse. Can you give some examples of what you are interested in? The following thread has several annotated lists of recommendations that you might find helpful: Indian cookbooks, how many do you own? (click).

I only have a few Indian cookbooks, but I can second the recommendation for Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking. We have also been delighted with Niloufer Ichaporia King’s book of Parsi recipes, My Bombay Kitchen.

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  • 7 months later...

My goto book is Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking.

Sleepy_Dragon said "Also note copious number of sticky notes hanging off the side of Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking". That's what mine looks like, tons of sticky notes hanging out to remind me of how much I loved this or that recipe.

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I like Sahni's book as well. Just looked at it about half an hour ago in fact to finish off a lamb vindaloo I had started (without a recipe).

Ended up putting a bit of tamarind in (as well as black onion seeds) in that I wouldn't have otherwise. My "recipe" today is not hers - but it's pretty delish.



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I cannot recommend '1000 recipes' Indian Cookery enough, I am not normally a lover of this type of book but I have cherished my copy for many years and, IMHO, the egg curry recipe cannot be beaten. I am lucky enough to have an Indian Godmother and she is a great fan of this book.

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