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Reference material on Indian cuisine


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Has anyone here bought Monica's book?  I'm about one recommendation away from ordering it.

Rossy, I did not buy my copy, a little bird brought it to my home via US Mail.

I know many of our eGullet users have bought her book, and many have said very good things about it across many threads in the Indian forum as also in other related forums or threads.

I would certainly encourage you to buy her book.

And maybe, you can tell us about your own experience in cooking with it.

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Nice. I only found egullet a few weeks ago but have already realized that Monica is a great person! I'm sure her book is similarly good.

Actually, maybe I should be more specific about my cookbook needs. I'm basically a novice cook (not just Indian - everything), and I'm looking for a good basic Indian cookbook. I don't need the fringes of the cuisine, or the local variations, or the delicacies. Basically I want to get your standard Indian takeout fare down very well - Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer, etc - before I make any other adventures. Reading the website it seems Monica's book is close to what I'm looking for, but, who's to say I can't buy more than one book?

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RossyW, welcome to eGullet and also to this Indian forum.

Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have about Indian cookery.

Whilst cookbooks are certainly a great tool, this forum has a great number of chefs, restaurant owners, Indian cookery experts, cookbook writers, Indian food lovers and home chefs posting in it.

You can be rest assured that any querry you post here, will get several educated responses and the likelihood of getting timely help is also great.

We, the members of this site and of this forum, enjoy our new members and their posts with a great zeal. It is a learning experience for all of us. We learn as we share. And we learn as we read from others that have had similar but unique experiences about things we all know about.

If you do buy Monicas book tonight, I am sure you shall find it enjoyable to hold in your hand soon after you get it delivered. Better yet, you can post querries to her right in this forum, and as you cook with her book, you can also share that experience with the rest of us, and also get Monicas feedback. That could be quite something. Do you not think so? :smile:

Have you cooked Indian food before? Do you eat it often? What made you think of buying Monica Bhide's book? Thanks for visiting the Indian forum. I hope you find what you are looking for in Monicas book. And I wish you a long and joyous time at eGullet and will look forward to reading your posts. Welcome again.

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Nice.  I only found egullet a few weeks ago but have already realized that Monica is a great person!  I'm sure her book is similarly good.

Actually, maybe I should be more specific about my cookbook needs.  I'm basically a novice cook (not just Indian - everything), and I'm looking for a good basic Indian cookbook.  I don't need the fringes of the cuisine, or the local variations, or the delicacies.  Basically I want to get your standard Indian takeout fare down very well - Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer, etc - before I make any other adventures.  Reading the website it seems Monica's book is close to what I'm looking for, but, who's to say I can't buy more than one book?

I think you hit the nail in the head when you said:

"who's to say I can't buy more than one book?"

Absolutely! I think Monicas book will give you an easy introduction to Indian food.

And you can always add more cookbooks to your library.. and they could be from other authors who also have great books to their name.

You can find a recipe for Saag Paneer on this forum, also for Chicken Tikka Masala. And certainly you can post a request for a Rogan Josh recipe. I am sure you will be obliged by many recipes.. and variations and tips for each.

Monica is a wonderful fellow eGulleteer, a passionate Indian cookery writer and cook and her book has charmed many. I have had many on this forum tell me they have enjoyed cooking from her book.

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I see we posted simultaneously :smile:

As for my experience with Indian cuisine ... I only "discovered" it a couple years ago. I'm 21. I began to become a serious Indian eater last year when I was in Edinburgh... Scottish food is of course horrid, but there were great Indian places of all different price ranges everywhere, so I ended up eating it at least once a week. Since I've returned to NYC, I've been exploring some of the city's great places. One of the great Indian eating experiences of my life was this winter ... I attended the big peace rally on 1st avenue and because of police crowd control we were totally unable to leave the area, and extremely cold and hungry. Luckily, however, we were able to get to the row of restaurants on 58th and after a short wait were enjoying a lunch buffet at Bukhara Grill, which was absolutely the perfect meal at that time.

Now I'm in Vermont though so the opportunities to eat Indian have been severely curtailed. But, not if I cook it myself! I have attempted to cook before but never an entire meal or with a proper recipe ... basically my dishes have consisted of chicken + Patak's chili paste = quick tasty meal.

I look forward to asking more specific questions on this forum in the future, but for the past few days I've just been occupied with the wealth of links and older threads ... there is some excellent stuff on this board!

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I see we posted simultaneously  :smile:

As for my experience with Indian cuisine ... I only "discovered" it a couple years ago.  I'm 21.  I began to become a serious Indian eater last year when I was in Edinburgh... Scottish food is of course horrid, but there were great Indian places of all different price ranges everywhere, so I ended up eating it at least once a week.  Since I've returned to NYC, I've been exploring some of the city's great places.  One of the great Indian eating experiences of my life was this winter ... I attended the big peace rally on 1st avenue and because of police crowd control we were totally unable to leave the area, and extremely cold and hungry.  Luckily, however, we were able to get to the row of restaurants on 58th and after a short wait were enjoying a lunch buffet at Bukhara Grill, which was absolutely the perfect meal at that time.

Now I'm in Vermont though so the opportunities to eat Indian have been severely curtailed.  But, not if I cook it myself!  I have attempted to cook before but never an entire meal or with a proper recipe ... basically my dishes have consisted of chicken + Patak's chili paste = quick tasty meal.

I look forward to asking more specific questions on this forum in the future, but for the past few days I've just been occupied with the wealth of links and older threads ... there is some excellent stuff on this board!

Vermont is a beautiful state. Hopefully, in due time, you shall have more Indian restaurants there... I feel Indian food will soon become more popular around the country.

Your Pataks and chicken dish sounds wonderful. Believe me all us Indian kids that come here from India, have done the same. You are on the same path as the rest of us.

We did post at the same time. Thanks for sharing more about yourself. This forum and eGullet as a site, is only what members such as you make it. Our members are very generous about sharing what they know, they also are very confident about asking what they want to know.... We enjoy the give and take and never feel intimidated. This forum is not unique, but like all other forums, it too has a feel that is its own. Thanks for finding it worthy of your time. Maybe you will find threads and information here that can help you, alongside the book(s) you purchase to enrich your Indian cooking experiences.

I am sure no matter what book(s) you get, Monicas or that of hers and others, you shall find a happy place for each of them in your kitchen and your indulgence in the world of Indian cookery. My best wishes are with you for great success in that adventure.

As one who enjoys Indian meals at both restaurants and homes, I would give you my two cents worth, please do not expect the recipes you cook from cookbooks to taste exactly like what you are used to from eating at restaurants. Cookbooks could give you recipes for the same dish, but they are the rendering of a particular chef and not meant to mirror what is served in restaurants. They can be similar or close, but will never be the same. You seem like one who already must know this. Forgive me for saying this anyways.

All the best with your kitchen adventures with Indian cookery. Cannot wait to read more from you. :smile:

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who needs books when we have egullet? :wub:

You'd think, but I'm finding the opposite to be true. Every time someone mentions a book, there's a risk of my buying it. Plus all those lists of people with 500, 1000, etc volumes helps my rationalize expanding my own collection.

Indian food wise, I don't have anything original to add. I have the Time-Life Flavors of the World (the whole set as of last week, yay, that took two years), Julie Sahni, Madhur Jaffrey, and Curries & Bugles.

I bought Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking during Christmas shopping season so I really didn't have the money to spare but I'd recently become hooked on chicken makhani and the only Indian cookbook I had at the time -- Jaffrey's Flavors of India -- didn't have it. So I saw the Sahni, checked the index, and plunked down the plastic. It wasn't until I got home that I found out it's about a 48 hour process. That was about eight years ago and I still haven't tried it.

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It wasn't until I got home that I found out it's about a 48 hour process.  That was about eight years ago and I still haven't tried it.

It should really not be that long a process.

Check the thread we have on Chicken Tikka Masala (Chicken Makhani/Butter Chicken) and you will see how easy it really is.

You seem to have all the books needed. And certainly there is always place for more books in ones collection.

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Thanks for the kind words Suvir. I hope RossyW you enjoy the book if you end up getting it. If I can help feel free to PM me

The book is showcased in this months Health magazine.. FYI

I am waiting for Suvir's book -- promises to be a gem and I sure it is!

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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