Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 2, 2008 09:58 AM

Indian Cookbook suggestion

Hello! Indian Cuisine is something I love to eat but have very little experience cooking and would love a good recommendation for a cookbook to get me started. I have heard great things about the Madhur Jaffrey books, is there one that is better than the others? I have made few recipes I have found online recently and have a a lot of the spices I would need, so I am ready to go- I just need a good book!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Julie Sahni, Classic Indian Cooking. Best introduction. Not intimidating.

    5 Replies
      1. re: cassoulady

        I just want to say that "cassoulady" is the best moniker I've yet seen on Chowhound! Great.

      2. re: penthouse pup

        I too love Sahni's book. The techniques are well-explained and everything I have made is great. The only complaint I have is that many of the recipes have trurned out somewhat restrained in terms of heat and spice. That could be explained by its target audience and older vintage.

        Can anyone reccomend a newer book to complement Sahni that is authentic and robust? Either multiregional or regional recipes would be great, especially those from S. India, especially Tamil Nadu, Kerala, or Goa. Could be one of the hundreds of Jaffrey books or a lesser known author.

        Thank you.

        1. re: equinoise

          Savoring the Spice Coast of India by Maya Kaimal (published in 2000). It features the cusine of South India (Kerala, specifically). She has a nice approach, including some history, descriptions of foods/ingredients, etc. She also mostly uses easy-to-find ingredients (except for fresh curry leaf, which I can't easily get in my corner of the world).

        2. re: penthouse pup

          I second, or I guess third the recommendation for Julie Sahni's book. It is excellent for beginners and explains all of the basic techniques and ingredients used generally in North Indian cooking.

        3. The Jaffrey books are classics: but the newly published "660 Curries" is incredible.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sinicle

            i'm a fan to 660's really a textbook of indian cooking, and covers all the regional bases with a little info with each recipe...

          2. I recently bought 1,000 Indian Recipes, by Neelam Batra, and so far I'm very pleased with it.


            1. Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine

              1 Reply
              1. Madhur Jaffrey has a regional Indian cookbook called A Taste of India, which has recipes from all over India, e.g., Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, etc. The photography is gorgeous and it's in paperback so you wouldn't need to spend big bucks.

                I also really like Julie Sahni, but Jaffrey introduced me to Indian cooking with her old BBC TV programs. She always seemed to go into local people's homes instead of turning to a chef in a fancy restaurant in Delhi or wherever. I guess I just find her extra sympathetic.

                Her recipes are also not intimidating.

                Your library probably has books by both authors so you could check them out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: oakjoan

                  I second Madhur Jaffrey Taste of India. It may be out of print but it's usually available used online.