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Indian Cookbook suggestion

cassoulady Jul 2, 2008 09:58 AM

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. penthouse pup Jul 2, 2008 10:04 AM

    Julie Sahni, Classic Indian Cooking. Best introduction. Not intimidating.

    5 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup
      cassoulady Jul 2, 2008 10:08 AM


      1. re: cassoulady
        oakjoan Sep 13, 2008 03:16 PM

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

      2. re: penthouse pup
        equinoise Sep 12, 2008 12:55 PM

        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
          nofunlatte Sep 13, 2008 07:38 AM

          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
          luckyfatima Sep 12, 2008 09:13 PM

          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. s
          Sinicle Jul 2, 2008 05:07 PM

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sinicle
            sixelagogo Sep 14, 2008 04:16 AM

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

          2. Chocolatechipkt Jul 7, 2008 09:01 AM

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


            1. c
              callmijane Jul 7, 2008 09:43 AM

              Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine

              1 Reply
              1. re: callmijane
                allisonw Sep 13, 2008 04:55 PM

                Second on that Vij's cookbook.

              2. oakjoan Sep 12, 2008 09:30 PM

                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
                  mlgb Sep 13, 2008 12:50 PM

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

                2. r
                  Rasam Sep 13, 2008 12:06 AM

                  Hi: does it have to be a book? There are some good (or so I've heard; I don't have good enough connectivity to see them) videos on youtube called Manjula's Indian Kitchen.

                  Also, many good web sites, blogs, etc. with recipes.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Rasam
                    oakjoan Sep 13, 2008 03:18 PM

                    Does anybody remember a web site, which I can no longer find online, that featured a map of India that was clickable? You could click on Keaela or Punjab or Gujarat and get recipes from that area. What a great resource it was.

                    I also rec those You Tube videos. I made some really good naan using her instructions. Manjula's that is.

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