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Feb 12, 2008 11:20 AM

Best Indian Cookbook?

I know, I know. There are probably a million different regional variations of Indian food but I'm just looking for a solid, basic book that will cover the bases. Any suggestions?

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  1. Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" is an excellent introduction from a knowledgeable chef. It covers everything from biryanis to kormas to vindaloos. There's even a recipe for sautéing Italian sausages the way Indian immigrants would at home.

    1. Jaffrey and Julie Sahni are probably the two best authors of basic Indian cookbooks. Take a look at Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking." Good info on ingredients and techniques and lots of terrific recipes.

      1 Reply
      1. I do not know Indian cookbooks well enough to opine in terms of 'best' cookbook -- but I have really enjoyed working my way through 'Mangoes and Curry Leaves' -- a big, beautiful coffee table book that covers a breadth of regions and is as much arm-chair tourism as recipe book. Favorite recipes -- Bangla Dal with Hint of Lime, Date and Sweet onion chutney, Cumin flecked skillet breads, an Indian take on refried rice and a really yummy saffron yogurt dessert that I can't remember the name of off the to of my head.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bite bite

          The saffron yogurt dessert was very likely 'shreekhad' or 'shrikhand'. Drained yogurt with lots of sugar, right?

          1. re: sweetTooth

            Drained yogurt with jaggery (Indian sugar) - correct! The saffron kind has less sugar than the berry version and drained for a bit less time. V tasty.

          2. re: bite bite

            Me too - the only one I have is Mangoes and Curry Leaves. That Bangla Dal is wonderful - I served it once with the Classic Bengali Fish in Broth. The yogurt marinated chicken pieces is a favorite as well, which I like to serve with Tamarind Pulao with Curry Leaves.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Love the Tamarind Pulao! That's the Indian refried rice dish I was trying to remember. Generally serve it with a bit of yogurt on the side because I make it super spicy. How'd yu like the Bengali fish in Broth? Haven't tried that one yet...

              1. re: bite bite

                It was wonderful. I can't remember cooking anything from that book that we haven't liked.

          3. my favourite cookbooks at present are 50 great curries by camellia punjabi, everything indian by monica bhide and books by shahzad husain. i collect cookbooks on different indian cuisines and these have been very very good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: foodwich

              Have you tried the Sylheti-style chicken curry from 50 Great Curries? I love that recipe...

              1. re: adrienne156

                not familiar with the it but will look it up. slowly working my way through the book and have made various repeats too. parsi red chicken curry is one of my favs. it was the reason for buying the book.

            2. The Curry Secret by Kris Dhillon gives you restaurant food at home. Check out the reviews on Amazon. No point in owning any other book!