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Indian Cookbook

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  • Carlywood Mar 22, 2006 10:41 AM
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I would love recommendations for an EASY Indian cookbook that covers most of the basics.

Any suggestions?

TIA!

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  1. s
    Simon Majumdar

    I don't buy cook books very often but did recently pick up 50 GREAT CURRIES OF INDIA

    it is an excellent book. A beautifully illustrated new edition of a classic.

    easy to follow and the end results are delicious

    Here's a link to buy online

    S

    Link: http://store.spreadtheword.com/produc...

    7 Replies
    1. re: Simon Majumdar

      i have this book too, and it's true that the recipes are easy and tasty.

      for a more all-around book, though, i'd suggest madhur jaffrey's basic indian cooking. it's got no pictures, but the recipes are great. i'm also tempted to try her Ultimate Curry Bible, which i've pored over in the bookstore, but i haven't yet taken the plunge. if anyone else has tried it, please post!

      1. re: Simon Majumdar

        This fellow Indian seconds (thirds?) that recommendation. She not only gives recipes but discusses the components of good curries, ingrediants that heat and cool, ingredients to thicken sauces, provide sweetness or tang, color, etc.

        1. re: Simon Majumdar

          A friend just passed that one along to me, Simon. I agree with you. Beautifully produced with recipes that look intriguing. By the way, I made your Pork Vindaloo last night. Terrific recipe. Thanks for posting it.

          1. re: micki
            s
            Simon Majumdar

            So pleased you enjoyed

            S

          2. re: Simon Majumdar

            i'd be very suspicious of

            a) the books title - no indian walks around thinking 'aah, i think i'll have a curry tonight'. the word 'curry' means 'gravy' to indians, fyi.

            b) the recipes - if you are going to try and offer recipes from all over india, you're bound to get things wrong. unless of course you are julie sahni.

            would you buy a cookbook titled '50 great european stews?'. how reliably do you think an englishman will describe basque recipes, hungarian, sicilian, venetian, croatian etc?

            1. re: howler

              the author Camellia Panjabi is a woman from a major hotel chain, Oberoi, I think, the recipes seem pretty serious but it is a totally lame name for the book. Reflects her target market (English curry-eaters) but that doesnt make the book bad. It would not be my first choice, I would go with the first Madhur Jaffrey book which works up from simple to complex recipes and offers a wider spectrum of dishes.

              1. re: jen kalb

                yep, she used to be at the taj if memory serves well.

                the best source of recipes i find these days is on the web: goan recipes by goans etc.

          3. Lord Krishna's Cuisine -- The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Susu

              me again. i have this one too. i love it. especially the recipe for the gingered eggplant-chickpea-spinach dish. i would recommend the book highly, but do note that it's strict vedic (is that the right word?) cuisine, so no onions, garlic, or certain other ingredients. it's all explained in the intro...i got this book used through amazon for a very good price!

            2. Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni is a really good intro to Indian Cooking. I also like Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking by the same author. Here's a link to the first book -- you can also get to the second title using this link:

              Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688...

              1. For about month I have been singing the praises of the new Alford and Duguid book Mangoes and Curry Leaves. The recipes are well presented, well explained and easy to understand and execute. The book is not just about India and explores the entire sub-continent regionally. It is also an excellent read and will have you paying more attention to those India tourism commercials that are showing up on television more and more.

                My only complaint is that the book is too big, coffee table size, and unweildy to sit and read comfortably unless opened flat on a table. With this book I have explored more food from that part of the world cooking at home than I have in the past. I had books by Jaffery, and Sahani and others. I would look at the recipes and decide I wanted to go to Bombay House for dinner and let someone else cook. Mangoes and Curry Leaves has changed all of that. Get it from your library and read it. I went through it twice before starting to cook and then went to Amazon and ordered it. It will have a permanent place in my cookbook library and will be well used.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Candy

                  LOL...that's why it still hasn't left my coffee table.

                2. I love Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness. It's a great "first" Indian cookbook. They include a few recipes from a broad spectrum of categories. And the recipes have adaptations that are appropriate for those that don't have access to specialty spice stores (though they do describe what you should use if you can get it).

                  Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0609...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    I bought that last year after some people talking it up on this board. Outside of the lamb keema (which is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination) I've been fairly disappointed with it.

                  2. Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking is a fantastic book with updated easy to follow, extremely tasty recipes.

                    Link: http://www.muckraked.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: josh L

                      I believe I have her Essentials of Indian cooking, is that the same thing?

                      I love it so far. The hardest part was assembling all the spices, but once you have them, the recipes involve a lot of chopping and spice measuring, but are not hard in the least to put together.

                    2. Madhur Jaffrey The Art of Indian Cooking is excellent.

                      Ditto Julie Sahni.

                      They are both wonderful cooks, but more importantly, great teachers.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Fleur

                        I agree - both Jaffrey and Sahni have excellent writing styles, clear directions. I like Sahni's little introduction to spices (at least in her veg book).
                        If I have to choose one I'd choose Jaffrey for accessibility or Sahni for more detailed information.

                      2. Have I got a great cookbook for you! Madhur Jaffrey's "Easy Indian Cooking" - I think she's a great cookbook writer, and this book is aimed at exactly what you want - simple techniques, accesssible ingredients, and not a million of them to have to go out and buy either. You should be able to find it used for a low price on amazon.com.