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ChocoKitty

Indian cookbook recommendations

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+1 on this book. The curried egglplant rice is a staple in our house.

Dan


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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While browsing this afternoon at a local bookstore, I picked up a discounted copy of Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking." I don't own any of her other cookbooks, but I'm already a fan after a quick read. Not only do the recipes look good, but the first 100+ pages are devoted to detailed descriptions of some of the fruits, vegetables, legumes, spices, herbs, and kitchen equipment that are important to Indian cooking but are not well known in the West. I'm still new to Indian cooking, so I'm especially appreciative of good reference information like this.



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I am a big fan of Raghavan Iyer's Betty Crocker's Indian Cooking, The Turmeric Trail, and 660 Curries. His recipes are delicious, approachable, and full of additional information and insights into the culture of Indian foods. I also have found Maya Kaimal's Curried Favors and Savoring the Spice Coast of India. Both authors give a strong representation of the foods of southern India which often is lacking in Indian restaurants and cookbooks.

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Another vote for Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking. I own half a dozen Indian cookbooks, and this is the only one I really go to any more. Never had a dissapointment with it. That it's been in print since 1980 says a lot.


Edited by Hombre (log)

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I like Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking" much better than her "Classic Indian Cooking." Everything I've ever made from it has been so vibrant, complex, and balanced. It's by far my favorite Indian cookbook.

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Does anyone have a recommendation for an Indian cookbook that deals specifically with, or is largely about chat and other Indian snacks and street foods?

Thanks,

Dan


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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I have many but the go to favourite is 'The Classic 1000 Indian Recipes' edited by Wendy Hobson. To my mind it covers everything you would ever want a recipe for from Peanut powder to the best Egg Curry recipe in the world IMHO

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Jaffrey and Sahni are good jumping off starters. For the nuts and bolts of different curry styles and the different methods of preparing your garam masala I recommend Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries. Covers curry regionally and by method or spice prep from dry toasting to wet prep, Very informative.

Bill

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Does anyone have a recommendation for an Indian cookbook that deals specifically with, or is largely about chat and other Indian snacks and street foods?

Thanks,

Dan

Hi Dan, your message is old but no-one seems to have quite replied with what you wanted, so I thought I would answer anyway.

'The Turmeric Trail' by Raghavan Iyer has a chapter on Mumbai street snacks. It includes recipes for snacks such as pani puri, various bhel dishes, ragda patties, pav bhaji, vada pav and others. There is also another chapter on general snacks, with recipes for various pakoras amongst other things.

What I would say though is that I have yet to find a recipe book with chaat and snack recipes that really capture the taste of the actual street versions of the dish. Recipes are good to start from, but I highly reccomend spending some time (selflessly) trying the dishes you want to recreate on the street. You should be able to watch the vendor making them, and this will help you, as will tasting the dish repeatedly. Then you can go home and use the basics you have learnt from the written recipe and tweak it to match what you saw and tasted on the street. Does that make sense?


Edited by Jenni (log)

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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

I recently found a used copy of her book "The Indian Spice Kitchen," which sounds like the book you've described. It is organized by ingredient (spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits, nuts, dals and pulses, cereals and flours, misc.) and each entry includes photos/drawings and information such as how to buy and store, culinary and medicinal uses, etc. along with recipes. I've yet to cook from it but as a reference book it is fantastic.



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I copied some recipes out of Madhur Jaffrey's "Curries from the Spice Trail" book this past summer, when I borrowed it from the library. Every recipe I've made has been a winner, a real keeper. When I checked her Amazon.co.uk page, opinion seemed to be that this was not her best book. I know World Vegetarian has a lot of fans around here - if you could purchase only one MJ book, which would it be?

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