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rajsuman

Indian Cookbooks

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Inspired by a similar thread under 'General Food Topics', I wanted to know how many Indian cookbooks we collectively own on this forum. I have 43 right now, but I'm sure more will turn up from under the bed etc. I'm particularly curious about your collection Vikram, because you seem to own every Indian cookbook under the sun. Here's a picture of my very modest collection (a few on the left haven't come in the shot)

i10012.jpg

This is in the kitchen, although there are not that many Indian books here ('Indian Everyday' is from the library) except the small booklets at the end.

i10017.jpg

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I love the adorable little kiddie hands reaching for the shelf of important books.

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I have 60 Indian cookbooks. A few of them are on Ayurveda and only contain about 75% Indian recipes, but I counted them too.

I noticed on the photos of your sheves you have you that book "Indian Everyday". I had bought that book, but in the headnote for her sandesh recipe she claims that sandesh comes from Gujarat!! I could not help but to return it the next day.

Monica, 300 really! Just Indian...


Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking

edhamann@hotmail.com

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405 already!

Those little hands belong to my 17-month old daughter, who justs insists on being in front of the camera/mirror all the time. Such vanity! Heaven knows she doesn't get it from her parents!

Monica, how can you resist opening the boxes? I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I had a few untouched cookbooks lying around like that. I even spent a whole day at the hotel browsing through my newly acquired cookbooks when I was supposed to be sightseeing in LA! I know, I'm quite insane....at least here on eGullet people understand my need to do such crazy things. :wub:

Edward, like I said, 'Indian everyday' is from the library. I tried a few recipes, but none of them were very nice, and not just from the absence of fat. I also got annoyed with the wrong hindi names of the dishes (there were many, but I can't remember a single one). If 'Paneer ka Mithai' (I'm not sure this dish exists in the book - I'm just giving an example) is correct then I must re-sit my hindi exams.

Suman

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They are all read and opened! I just put them in boxes since i dont have much shelf space here and my husband has threatened divorce if more books show up!


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Ah! Now the world makes sense again! And my DH can't handle my mere 43+!

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:unsure: 78 indian cooking/reference in this household .i've spread the cache between homes to avoid raising suspicion...

we've never met.

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I have 3 (out of close to 200). But I hope to increase that number.


"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I have around 20 Indian cook books and if I include other cooking then around 70 books.

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Only two Indian cookbooks...Both Monica's

So many recipes online, that buying a cookbook is a bit of a luxury.

Has to save our book budget for computer books...Hopeless computer junkies, here...How fast they go obsolete :sad:

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19 currently. Still lacking Monica's books as well as Suvir's.

i10033.jpg

My first one was From Bengal to Punjab by Smita Chandra. Also note copious number of sticky notes hanging off the side of Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. :biggrin:

Pat


"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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Only two Indian cookbooks...Both Monica's

So many recipes online, that buying a cookbook is a bit of a luxury.

Has to save our book budget for computer books...Hopeless computer junkies, here...How fast they go obsolete :sad:

I am honored :wub:


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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527! Sleepy dragon, it was great taking a peek at your collection . What is the one third from the top? What are Smita Chandra's books like?

Suman

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Sleepy Dragon:

How do you like the Wazwaan book? I just ordered it a few days ago but I couldn't find any book reviews.

Thanks

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527! Sleepy dragon, it was great taking a peek at your collection . What is the one third from the top? What are Smita Chandra's books like?

The third one is The Essential Kodava Cookbook, by C. B. Muthamma and P. Gangamma Bopanna. It's part of the Penguin Books India regional series, recommended by mongo_jones here awhile back. Looks excellent, but I haven't tried to cook out of it yet.

As for Smita Chandra's books, I've only leafed through "Cuisines of India" so far. Seems good, even has a section with a few Indo-Chinese recipes too. The only thing that annoys me about it is she seems to go out of her way to try and tell some kind of story to preface every single recipe, and some of them are a real stretch in terms of relevancy.

"From Bengal to Punjab" I've cooked about 1/4 of the recipes. It was hit or miss, but mostly I attribute that to my lack of skill back then. I've been thinking about picking it up again just to see how age and experience has improved things. I hope!

I learned to make paneer from her book, and the kheer recipe was one I got lots of requests for. Mind, this was 11 or so years ago when people knew even less about Indian food, and so the combination of rice pudding with cardamom and rose water was wildly exciting. Straightforward stuff of the broad overview variety. I don't think this book is in print anymore, but by today's standards, it doesn't strike me as a must-have given the number of broad overview types of books out there nowadays. It will always have a special place in my library though.

There are notes I scrawled in the margins ages ago that are rather amusing to read now, stuff like "Use 1/2 amount of chili called for", or in one case, a line calling for "1/4 tsp cayenne pepper" scratched out and replaced with "Just a pinch!". Christ, I used to be such a wimp...

Pat


"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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How do you like the Wazwaan book? I just ordered it a few days ago but I couldn't find any book reviews.

The word that keeps coming to mind is "sumptuous". It's a little book, but is jam-packed with carefully prepared recipes and nice photographs. It's also very heavy on the meat, which I guess is a given for Muslim feasting.

I haven't tried to make anything out of this yet because I've been putting off making my own ver.

I did try to make a Kashmiri kahdi recipe from the other Kashmiri cookbook in that stack, and didn't care for it, the combination of mint, yogurt and mustard oil just didn't interest me, and the fritters were bland. But, the peanut gallery would probably say that served me right given that publisher also came out with that Balti cookbook!

Pat


"I... like... FOOD!" -Red Valkyrie, Gauntlet Legends-

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How do you like the Wazwaan book?  I just ordered it a few days ago but I couldn't find any book reviews.

The word that keeps coming to mind is "sumptuous". It's a little book, but is jam-packed with carefully prepared recipes and nice photographs. It's also very heavy on the meat, which I guess is a given for Muslim feasting.

I haven't tried to make anything out of this yet because I've been putting off making my own ver.

I did try to make a Kashmiri kahdi recipe from the other Kashmiri cookbook in that stack, and didn't care for it, the combination of mint, yogurt and mustard oil just didn't interest me, and the fritters were bland. But, the peanut gallery would probably say that served me right given that publisher also came out with that Balti cookbook!

Pat

Ver! I am not sure how many people make this anymore. Even the Kashmiris. :smile:

I have the book and you are right.. the pics are good.


Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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hey: no-one else has "samaithu paar"?

(eng translation: cook and see)

as my dad says, why only cook and see?

why not cook and eat?

i have a wimpy 7-8 cookbooks total, but

lots of handwritten recipes from my mom.

do those count?

:)

milagai

(ps: how do you attach pictures?)

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i have vols 1&2-third given away and not replaced yet.also the new'best of'-jlt.i've always loved the title-conjures up images of an older lady'giving open challenge ' to a younger inexperienced one! :laugh:

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hey Rajsuman, sorry to log onto this topic so late. Been only skimming over the forum in the last ten days. Anyway, hate to disappoint you, but I really don't have that many Indian cookbooks - nothing like Monica! I did a count and came up with 47 give a take a couple that are lost or might be lurking in corners of the kitchen. Add about a dozen more for books on Indian food that aren't cookbooks.

I actually avoid buying most of the Indian cookbooks coming out now because they are so annoying. There's a huge flood of books coming into the market - Indian publishers seem to have convinced themselves that cookbooks and self helf books are the only ones that sell so they are overinvesting in them. And just like every second person you meet at cocktail parties seems to have a novel in them, every second housewife who can cook halfway decently is being told to produce a cookbook. And they do.

The result is a flood of copycat (literally sometimes), badly produced (though standards are rising) and profoundly uninteresting cookbooks. I don't doubt the cooking skills of the people producing them (though reading about the things they do to exotic vegetables makes me wonder about their morals), but there's some skill involved in doing a cookbook and since none of them seem to have looked at other cookbooks - other than Tarla-ben's of course, since she's the one who got them hooked on the idea you could make money from it - the results are floods of identical books.

Luckily its dawning on publishers that the market is not infinitely elastic for these books, so now more effort is being made to differentiate and come up with something new. More community cookbooks are coming out and these are the ones I really collect. Anything that gives some sign of having real authenticity behind it, anything that talks about ingredients or about how the food was cooked and consumed - competition is finally pushing publishers to realise the importance of all this. Even Tarla-ben, who I had long written off as too deep into mistreating babycorn in microwaves, has come up with a book idea like her "Achar aur Parathe" book, an idea that just instinctively feels good.

I'm going to put a list of my books, but in the next email since that will be loooong,

Vikram

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Don't have a digicam, and contemplated twisting the bf's arm to photograph my book stash, but (a) I don't know if he has one either and (b) I get enough lectures anyway about the amount of money I spend on cookbooks (this is the common theme on this thread, right?), so I gave that a miss.

Instead I though it would hopefully not be too tedious if I listed them out, along with comments. I'd like to hear other people's remarks on what they felt about the books in their collection (helps me decide what to buy) and hopefully they might be interested in what I feel about mine. Here goes:

1) 30 Minute Indian - Sunil Vijaykar Nice book, lovely pictures (correction, probably the best Indian food photography I've seen recently), but the title should be '30 Minute Indian - If There's Someone To Do The Peeling And Chopping For You Or You Can Pick Up Most Of The Ingredient Ready To Cook'

2) 50 Great Curries of India - Camellia Punjabi Have been planning on stealing my mother's copy for ages, but finally did the decent thing and bought it. I really admire this book. It doesn't set out to be a comprehensive or even particularly representative cookbook - Eastern India, for example, is under-represented. But it gives the most thorough analysis of what goes into a curry. It dissects the steps. It investigates the ingredients, usefully dividing them into what they do for the curry - thicken, add spice, etc. It does what next to no other cookbook does - it acknowledges that chillies can vary widely and talks about the different varieties. It is also beautifully produced with good photgraphy. This one is a winner

3) Anglo-Indian Food and Customs - Patricia Brown In the Penguin series, quite nice book, though not much flair

4) Calcutta Cookbook, The - Meenakshie Das Gupta, Bunny Gupta, Jaya Chaliha The classic, though I really should buy Das Gupta's (the legendary Kewpie) Bangla Ranna

5) Chicken Cook Book - Rashmi Uday Singh I resisted this for a bit, since it’s a bit too obviously sponsored by a company, Venky's Chicken. But it has a good discussion on what chicken is like in India and the recipes are decent. Not only Indian though

6) Cooking of India (Time-Life Foods of the World series) - Santha Rama Rau Another classic, and this really is more a food book than a cookbook (especially since I don't have the accompanying recipe booklet). Its dated of course, but overall is really quite impressive.

7) Cooking with One Teaspoon of Oil - Tarla Dalal Tarlaben, with all her virtues and faults. This is decent

8) Curries & Bugles - Jennifer Brennan Another classic and probably better for reading than cooking from. But this is real culinary and family history

9) East Indian Cookery Book - East Indian Association, Ladies Committee Ladies Committees, don't you love them. I know one of the ladies involved and she is a fabulous cookbook, so I would trust this implicitly if… her daughter hadn't told me her mother always keeps some secrets to herself.

10) Epicure Cookbook, The - Ummi Abdullah Ummi Abdullah is the authority on Moplah cooking. This is a more general book.

11) Essential Andhra Cookbook, The - Bilkees Latif Part of the Penguin series, pretty good, though one better now even think of cooking from it unless you have a source for those pungent Andhra chillies

12) Essential Goa Cookbook, The - Maria Teresa Menezes I don't know why, I didn't like this much. Goan cuisine is really delicious and historically very interesting because of the fusion between so many cultures - Portueguese, Hindu, Muslim. There is a long and lively Goan tradition of appreciating and writing about food. Menezes somehow doesn't do this justice

13) Essential North-East Cookbook, The - Hoihnu Hauzel Very interesting, though it does induce that usual sense of guilt, "oh god, we Indians really know nothing about those Northeastern states, can you even name them all?" This is a nice book, but I have to say that while we do need to know about the Northeastern states, I'm not convinced we need actual exposure to their food that much.

14) Flavours of Delhi - Charmaine O'Brien Good book, wish there were more of this kind. Guide to Delhi, to buying ingredients there, eating there, cooking there

15) Flavours of the Spice Coast - Mrs.K.M.Mathew A classic, and this edition is well produced too. This is the standard book on Malayali (I REFUSE to say Keralan) food, perhaps with more of a Syrian Christian emphasis. Its known for its peculiar insistence on a dessertspoon as a significant measure. The recipes are good, but do take quite a bit of work

16) Fresh Flavours of India - Das Sreedharan A really beautifully produced book, this was a revelation to me about how Indian food could be photographed. I know the food he's talking about, I grew up eating this sort of Malayali food and I know its strictly OK, nout outstanding, but he had me salivating. Yet I feel the recipes don't entirely work. Restaurant owners writing books for home cooking doesn't always come off, and this doesn't.

17) Himalayan Recipes - Inner Wheel Club of Darjeeling Another ladies committee. I bought this book for its frank use of 'buff' for beef, acknowledging that most Indian beef comes from water buffaloes. Also got a recipe for momos that sounds worth trying

18) Home Encyclopaedia - J.B.Lobo This one is a trip! Its one of those Inquire Within About Everything volumes. So in addition to giving a whole bunch of Mangalorean recipes, you can also learn the best way to polish brass, raise chickens, deal with menstrual pains and fight depression.

19) Indian Cooking Mrs.Balbir Singh - One of the first Indian cookbooks published abroad and still sound, though of course it seems dated now. But that's part of the interest with it

20) Indian Delights Zuleika Mayat - The classic South African Indian cookbook. Interesting variations on Indian recipes, with some SA ones. Also meant for large community bashes, so if you want instruction on how to make biriani for 150 people, this is the one to buy!

21) Indian Food Sense - Ruth N.Davidar The best book on Indian food from a nutritionist's angle. Its not a fancy book - no pix - but its laid out in a calm and reasonable style. You don't get that faintly manic eat-20-figs-a-day-and-your-life-will-be-perfect feeling that some nutritionists give you. The recipes are simple but good

22) Indian Kitchen, The - Monisha Bharadwaj The essential book on Indian ingredients. It’s a good looking book, covers nearly all ingredients competently and gives a couple of recipes for each. A little more scientific information would have been welcome, but this is still a must buy.

23) Invitation to Indian Cooking, An - Madhur Jaffrey I think many of us started with this one and it is excellent. The recipes are north Indian-Delhi style and feel really authentic (something that can't be said of Ms.Jaffrey's more extravagant excursions to the Far East). She also demonstrates that she can write well about food and her family - I like the story of her grandmother's lime pickle

24) Jamva Chaloji - 1 - Katy Dalal A good compilation of Parsi recipes from someone who's a famous cook in Bombay

25) Jamva Chaloji - 2 - Katy Dalal More interesting. In this book Ms.Dalal set out to resurrect the recipes of the Parsis in the villages on the Gujarat coast, a way of life that largely disappeared as most of them moved to Bombay. So this has a historical value the first book didn’t have.

26) Joy of Vegetarian Cooking - Jasleen Dhamija Just picked it up, decent book

27) Landour Cookbook, The - Ruskin Bond, Ganesh Saili This is interesting for a rare example of American recipes cropping up in India. Landour was a base for several American missionary families and this book has been put together from their recipes and those of others who lived in this North Indian hill station.

28) Lean Cuisine - Karen Anand Karen's recipes are reliable and she is one person who has bases both in nutrition and in gastronomy. Her second book is about international recipes, but this is solidly Indian. She has a useful discussion on ingredients. I also very much agree with her extolling the benefits of Maharahtrian cooking, both of the Konkan coast and the interiors near Kolhapur. Its great and healthy food and too often overlooked.

29) Life & Food in Bengal - Chitrita Banerji This is an absolute must have. Chitrita Banerji is one of the few real food writers in India and this book combines her excellent writing on food in Bengali culture, and across the seasons in Bengal, with serviceable recipes. It is currently out of print but happily a friend at Penguin tells me they will probably be taking it up

30) Low Calorie Recipes - Nita Mehta Nita Mehta is a Tarlaben without the hype and occasional excesses that surrounds that lady now (like you're less likely to find Ms.Mehta doing cruel and unusual things to broccoli and babycorn). She done a whole series of small and useful books and I'm sure there are several others at home, lost somewhere in the kitchen

31) Malabar Muslim Cooking - Ummi Abdullah This igives all the classic Moplah (Muslim Malayali) recipes including some rather over the top ones like muttamala - sort of a garland of fried sweetened eggs, or at least that's what I've understood from the recipe!

32) Monsoon Diary - Shobha Narayan Indian girl grows up in Chennai, goes to study in the US, wants to discover her roots, has arranged marriage, etc etc all accompanied by recipes. The recipes work, the writing is sound, this is all good food writing. So why did I end up feeling the writer was just that little bit too smug for her own good?

33) Parsi Food & Culture, The - Bhicoo J.Manekshaw Another compilation of Parsi recipes, even more voluminous that Katy Dalal's. I really quite like this book, though it couldn't be plainer. There a brisk no nonsense air about the recipes that inspires confidence. With Katy Dalal the recipes sound great, but rather daunting, here they don't

34) Prasadam: Food of the Gods - Nalini Rajan Good explanation of religious rituals and the role food plays in them. This seems to have been commissioned as a fairly quick and cheap book, so the author, who I think is a sociologist, doesn't have that much space or resources so there's always this sense of a more interesting book inside this one

35) Prashad Jiggs Kalra - A classic, though of a particular kind. Jiggs' strategy to preserving Indian food traditions is to get five star hotels to develop ethnic restaurants or food festivals where the food can be cooked and experienced. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand the recipes are being preserved and hopefully appreciated. The system also rewards the cooks, generally overlooked otherwise in India. This is seen at its best with the revival of the whole Dum Pukht tradition with Chef Imtiaz Qureishi. Nonetheless I still feel that something goes wrong with doing this in the five star hotel framework. Its artificially preserving a tradition, and at a costthat takes it away from its roots. There is also an element of hype here that I don't like. Anyway, those general quibbles aside, this is a very valuable volume and covers a pretty huge territory. But it really is directed at professionals more than home chefs - just the way the recipes are written indicates that.

36) Raj at Table, The - David Burton A very good book. Raj history and food is done professionally, but with a light touch. Not personal like the Brennan book, but in some ways better for that.

37) Rasachandrika - Sarawat Mahila Samaj A community classic - this is the cooking of the Saraswats of Mahrashtra, maintained and updated by a ladies committee. This is a very functional book - the recipes could not be stated more tersely. But it has immense authority.

38) Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils - Mesa Eliezer An interesting book, both for highlighting the cooking of a diasporic community that is so close to India, yet in many ways so far. But its also interesting for another reason. Tamil cooking is dominated by the vegetarian food of the Tamil Brahmins. Recently the rich and hot non-vegetarian cooking of the Chettiars is also making an impact. But in between is the ordinary non-vegetarian cooking of the bulk of Tamilians and that isn't highlighted much in India. But the Tamilians who went to Sri Lanka were neither Brahmins nor Chettiar traders and this is what their food reflects.

39) Rotis & Naans of India - Purobi Babbar Quite interesting, covers all the usual Indian breads and quite a few unusual ones. As always I have my usual dilemmas with bread - should one go to trouble of making them so one can have the delight of having them fresh? Or should one just acknowledge that breads are too tricky to master easily and who has the time when there are people making perfectly good versions round the corner?

40) Samaithu Paar - 1 - S.Meenakshi Ammal The TamBrahm classics. Of course one must have all three, though the versions I have are the modernised ones, so none of those old measures like ollocks, visses and seers. More practical, I guess, but something is lost

41) Samaithu Paar - 2 - S.Meenakshi Ammal

42) Samaithu Paar - 3 - S.Meenakshi Ammal

43) Taste of India, A - Madhur Jaffrey A must have, the counterpoint to her earlier book, where she does a good job of covering most Indian regions and as always her writing is good and the recipes entirely reliable.

44) Taste of the Raj - Pat Chapman From the founder of the Curry Club in the UK. He has a long family history with India and snippets about that provide the main interest in this book.

45) Udipi Cuisine - U.B.Rajalakshmi Another community cookbook, the Mangalorean Hindus this time. This has slightly more than community interest because Mangaloreans have come to dominate a segment of the restaurants business - all those excellent Udipi places serving South Indian food at cheap prices and hygienic surroundings. We tend to think of this food as vaguely "Southie", presumed Tamilian, but in fact Mangalorean/Mysore Tamil is more like it.

46) Ultimate Curry Bible - Madhur Jaffrey A really interesting book, I'd say Ms.Jaffrey's masterwork, if her Invitation and Taste of India books weren't more likely to be used. The main interest in this is cultural because its her investigation of the food of the Indian diaspora. So you get interesting and moving stories, along with their recipes and discussions about how they adapted Indian recipes to their new homelands.

And I'll add the food books. Just remembered I have a photocopy of the Khare book "The Hindu Hearth and Home" which I am still struggling through - its formidably academic! :

1) Anthropology of Sweatmeats A.K.Sinha Rather dry and occasionally a bit weird as in his attempt to do a classification of sweets. Also its mostly focused on the sweets of Bengal and Bihar (which the writer states upfront). But it is a valuable effort in doing fieldwork about Indian food and we need many more such projects like this.

2) Brahma's Hair Maneka Gandhi Its really a book about Indian plants and their mythological significance, but many of the plants covered are edible that's why I'm including it.

3) Curry in the Crown Shrabani Basu OK attempt to cover how curry achieved its status in the UK. I think this is a very good magazine article that didn't quite work in the conversion into a book, but its very readable

4) Historical Dictionary of Indian Food K.T.Achaya This is the more concise version of Achaya's masterwork and in fact probably the more useful book. Organising his work in a systematic way doesn't seem to have been Achaya's strong point so the Companion can be a rather baffling book to read. This book gives the same information in a tighter format.

5) Hour of the Goddess Chitrita Banerji Excellent. Essays on Bengali food, the book's only fault is that it is too short!

6) Indian Food: A Historical Companion K.T.Achaya As I said, Achaya's masterwork, and I crib about his lack of organisation and the writing is not of the best, but really where would we be without this book. No one put in the sort of effort Achaya did in researching the origins of Indian food, and since no one seems to be doing it today either, his work is all that more important.

7) Myth of the Holy Cow, The D.N.Jha The controversial book that had the Hindu right up in arms for stating that ancient Indians used to eat beef. The evidence is pretty conclusive and the book is an important one.

8) Spices & Condiments J.S.Pruthi Government of India publication, TERRIBLE printing quality, but useful facts

9) Story of Our Food, The K.T.Achaya Achaya's short and sweet version, meant for children I think. Its OK, covers all the main points rapidly

10) Three Fs of Life, The Gul Anand Gul Anand was a well known film producer and food entrepreneur who died a couple of years back. This is anecdotal stuff about his encounters with food. To use a Bombay term, its quite time-pass.

11) Travels With the Fish C.Y.Gopinath Slightly better version of the above, since Gopi is a better writer. His life and times and travels accompanied by recipes

12) Vegetables Bishwajit Choudhury Another Government of India type publication, good facts on Indian vegetables.

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      Post your questions here -->> Q&A
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      In a bowl whisk together the milk, sugar, water, yogurt and egg.
      Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a large shallow bowl. Mix well.
      Pour the liquid onto the flour and begin to knead. Continue kneading until you have a soft dough. If you need more liquid, add a few tablespoons of warm water. Knead for at least 10 minutes, or until you have a soft dough that is not sticky.
      Oil the dough.
      Cover the dough with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for 1½ - 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
      Directions for plain naan:
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly dust the rolling surface and rolling pin with flour.
      Knead the dough again on the floured surface for about 5 minutes. Divide it into 8 equal pieces and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
      Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into an oval shape (about 8 inches). Using your hands, pull at both ends of the oval to stretch it a little. Continue until you have made 8 naans.
      Brush each oval with clarified butter.

      Place the naans on the baking sheet bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.
      Peshawari Naan
      In this delightfully sinful recipe, the naan dough is stuffed with dried nuts and raisins and baked. Serve this warm right out of the oven for the best taste.
      1 recipe prepared plain naan dough
      For the stuffing:
      • 1 tablespoon cashews (crushed)
      • 1 tablespoon almonds (crushed)
      • 1+1 tablespoons pistachios (crushed)
      • 1 tablespoon raisins
      • 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, minced
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • 1 tablespoon Milk Mawa Powder (Dried whole milk powder)

      • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
      • 3 tablespoons melted butter or clarified butter
      Prepare the Naan dough.

      While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
      Set aside 1 tablespoon of pistachios and the raisins. In a mixing bowl combine all the other filling ingredients. Add a few tablespoons of water to bind them together to form a lumpy consistency.
      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly oil or flour your hands.
      Take one portion of the dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Add a tablespoon of the filling to the center. Bring the sides together and pinch them to seal and form a ball. Flatten lightly. Dust very lightly with flour.

      Roll the flattened ball again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Garnish with the reserved pistachios and raisins.

      Continue until you have made 8 naans.
      Brush each naan with clarified butter. Place the naans on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.
      Serve hot.

      Onion Kulcha
      We present this recipe by popular demand. Here the naan is stuffed with a spiced onion mix and baked to perfection.
      1 recipe prepared plain naan dough
      For the stuffing:
      • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
      • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
      • 1 tablespoon Chaat Masala (www.namaste.com)
      • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
      • Salt to taste
      • 3 tablespoons melted butter or clarified butter
      • 2 teaspoons cilantro, minced for garnish
      • small boiled potato, grated (optional)
      Prepare the naan dough.

      While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

      First, using the palms of your hands, squeeze out all the water from the chopped onions. If the onions still appear to be watery, add a small boiled grated potato to your filling. This will prevent the filling from spilling out of the kulcha.
      In a mixing bowl combine all the filling to form a lumpy consistency.

      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly oil or flour your hands.
      Take one portion of the dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.

      Add a tablespoon of the filling to the center. Bring the sides together and pinch them to seal and form a ball. Flatten lightly. Dust very lightly with flour.

      Roll the flattened ball again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.

      Dip your fingers in water and moisten the surface of the kulcha very lightly. Sprinkle with a few minced cilantro leaves. Continue until you have made 8 kulchas.

      Place the kulchas on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes or until golden brown.
      Serve hot.


      Ande Ka Paratha
      This is a unique addition to your recipe collection. A mild and flaky bread, it is a small kid’s favorite at our home.
      Makes 8 parathas
      • 2 cups Indian atta flour (whole-wheat flour)
      • 1½ teaspoons table salt
      • 2+2 tablespoons melted butter or clarified butter
      • Water as needed
      • 8 eggs
      In a bowl combine the flour, salt and two tablespoons of clarified butter. Slowly begin to add the water, kneading the flour as you go. Make a dough, kneading for at least 10 minutes. The final dough should be soft and pliable. It should not be sticky or else it will not roll out well.


      Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.

      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Lightly oil or flour your hands. Take one portion and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the prepared floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Now fold the dough over itself.

      Take the folded dough and roll it around itself into a spiral.

      Tuck the end under.

      Do this for all eight dough balls. (This folding and rolling will make the paratha very flaky.)

      Now flatten the spiral and roll again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.


      Heat a griddle on medium heat. Brush it lightly with butter and add the paratha. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the paratha begins to blister. Brush the top lightly with butter and remove from heat. Put the paratha aside on a warm plate.

      Grease the same griddle a bit and break an egg on it. Cook the egg sunny side up. Place the cooked side of the paratha on the egg. Press down gently to break the yolk. Let it cook for a minute. Brush the top of the paratha with butter, flip carefully and cook for another minute or two until the paratha is no longer raw.


      Remove the paratha from the griddle and place on a serving platter. Cover with a paper towel. Continue until all the parathas are cooked.
      Serve hot.

      Indian Bread Stuffed With Spicy Potatoes (Aloo Ka Paratha)
      This filled paratha is a very popular North Indian bread, served traditionally with homemade white butter and Indian pickles of your choice.
      • 2 cups Indian atta flour (whole-wheat flour)
      • 4 tablespoons semolina
      • 1½ teaspoons table salt
      • 2 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • Water as needed
      • 3 medium potatoes, peeled
      • 2 Serrano green chilies, seeded and finely minced
      • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
      • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated
      • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala
      • 4 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • A few tablespoons flour for dusting
      In a bowl combine the wheat flour, semolina flour, salt and two tablespoons of clarified butter. Slowly begin to add the water, kneading the flour as you go. Make a dough, kneading for at least 10 minutes. The final dough should be soft and pliable. It should not be sticky, or else it will not roll out well.
      Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
      While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.
      Boil the potatoes in enough water to cover for about 15 minutes. Drain.



      Put the potatoes in a bowl and mash them well with a fork. Add the green chilies, cilantro, ginger root, and chaat masala and mix well. Set this filling aside to cool.
      Roll the dough into a log. Cut into 8 equal portions. Lightly dust the rolling surface with flour.
      Lightly oil or flour your hands. Take one portion and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten the ball. Place it on the prepared floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a circle about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
      Lightly brush the surface with the clarified butter. Add a tablespoon of the potato filling to the center. Bring the sides together and pinch them to seal and form a ball. Flatten lightly. Dust very lightly with flour.



      Roll the flattened ball again on a lightly floured surface until about 5 - 6 inches in diameter.


      Heat a griddle on medium heat. Brush it lightly with butter and add the paratha. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottom of the paratha begins to blister. Brush the top lightly with butter and flip over. Cook for 2 minutes.

      Remove the paratha from the griddle and place on a serving platter. Cover with a paper towel. Continue until all the parathas are cooked.

      Sheermal
      A sweet bread, it is one of the few Indian breads that uses yeast. Keep the dough in a warm place to ensure that it rises. You can increase the amount of sugar if you like a sweeter taste.

      • 1 packet dry yeast
      • 1 teaspoon sugar
      • ¼ cup water
      • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      • 2 tablespoons sugar
      • 2 eggs (separate 1 egg and set the yolk aside) beat the whole egg and the white together
      • 2 tablespoons melted clarified butter or butter
      • Extra flour for dusting
      • Pitted cherries/raisins for garnish
      Mix yeast with the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Set aside until frothy, about 5 - 10 minutes.
      Combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the clarified butter, egg and yeast mixture. Knead until a smooth dough is formed. (You may need more warm water.) Set aside to rise until the dough doubles in size.
      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, heavy baking tray and set aside. Lightly dust the rolling surface and rolling pin with flour.
      Knead the dough again on the floured surface for about 5 minutes. Divide it into 6 equal pieces and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
      Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a disc. Continue until you have made 6 discs.
      Beat the reserved egg yolk and brush a little on each sheermal. Place a few cherries on the sheermal for garnish. Place the discs on the baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

      Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

      Tandoori Roti
      We wanted to show how the tandoor is used to prepare breads. These pictures are of a special roti or bread, called Tandoori Roti, being prepared in the hot tandoor or clay oven.
      The basic recipe entails preparing a dough of whole-wheat flour. (See the paratha dough prepared earlier.) The flattened rolled out discs are then cooked in the tandoor until the dark spots begin appearing on the surface of the bread.




      Post your questions here -->> Q&A
    • By Suvir Saran
      What role do they play in your Indian kitchen?
      Do you use it in other dishes you prepare? Maybe even outside of the Indian food realm.
      Do you find it easy to find Cilantro?
      What parts of cilantro do you use?
      How do you keep it fresh?
    • By bague25
      Which are the pickles you have in your pantry right now?
      Which are the ones you dream of?
      Any recipes? Any secrets? Any reading material?
      Please share - as Monica says Inquiring minds want to know...
    • By Bhukhhad
      Breakfast in India vs Breakfast in our homes outside India
      My breakfasts have varied from the time I started to cook for myself instead of just enjoying my Mother’s cooking. At first they were a mix-match of meal fixings, or just dinner leftovers. Or the good old breakfast cereal and milk. But as the years passed and I was more organized, the meals I enjoyed in my Mother’s home began to swim in my memories. And I began to prepare those for my family. However, I am no amazonian chef, so depending on  the hectic nature of the days plans, I switched back and forth from convenience with taste, to elaborate and of course tasty breakfasts. We do have both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods but Indian breakfasts will mostly be vegetarian. 
      So here are some of the things I might make: 
       
      1. Poha as in mostly ‘kande pohe’.
      2. Cheela/ Pudla
      3. Masala toast
      4. Indian Omelette
      5. Handwo piece
      6. Thepla
      7. Vaghareli rotli
      8. Dhokla chutney
      9. Idli sambhar
      10. Leftover sabji
      11. Muthiya
      12. Khakhra
      13. Upma
      14. Paratha
       
      1. Kande Pohe: 
      The dish derives its name from Maharashtra where the Kande Pohe are celebrated as breakfast. They can of course like any breakfast, be eaten at any time. 
      Pohe/ Poha are steamed rice grains that have been beaten flat and then again redried. So they are like Rice flakes. Except they are hand pounded, so have a knobbly texture. 
      You get several varieties in the market. I prefer the thick white variety. 
       
      1 cup dry poha per person
      1 medium onion sliced
      1/2 jalapeno deseeded
      1 sprig curry leaves
      2 small garlic cloves
      1/4 t cumin seeds
      1/2 lemon 
      1/8 t asafoetida
      1/4 t turmeric
      small handful of cilantro leaves
      1T fresh grated coconut
      2 T Peanut oil 
      salt to taste
      sugar to taste
       
      In a pan heat some oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds sputter, add sliced onions and stir. Saute on medium heat till they turn slightly browned here and there. Do not burn the onions. 
      Meanwhile wash the Poha in a colander and drain. Do this two or three times to get rid of any dirt and also to allow them to rehydrate. They do not need soaking. Fluff the poha with a fork. Add salt sugar turmeric asafoetida and chopped cilantro. Mix and set aside. 
      Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. 
      Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. 
      Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
      Finger licking good!! 
      Now when I make this next I will post a picture. 
      Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. 
      *************
       
      2. Cheela/ Pudla
       
      These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 
      1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. 
      Water to form a thin batter
      1T plain yogurt 
      1/2 t ginger garlic paste 
      1/4 or less green chili crushed
      2 t heated oil *
      pinch asafoetida
      pinch turmeric 
      salt to taste
      chopped cilantro (two sprigs)
      some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle
       
       
      Method:
       
      mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. 
      Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. 
      On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. 
       
      In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! 
      ****************
      3. Masala Toast : 
       
      1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted
      1/2 small red onion minced
      1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have)
      cilantro (few leaves)
      1/8 t cumin (optional)
      1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores)
      1 inch cube paneer
      1 T peanut oil
      pinch turmeric (optional)
       
      Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer.
      I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. 
      **************************
       
      I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 
      Bhukkhad
       

    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
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