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Mar 20, 2009 09:57 PM

Indian Cusine - Would like to make at home!

I should start off by saying I apologize, I am rather naive about what comes from where so I hope I don't offend anyone. We enjoy dishes like samosas, chicken tikka masala, lamb dishes, etc. and are open to pretty much anything except goat (I don't like goat for some reason). I am not sure if we have a preference for foods from a certain region...but I am wondering if anyone can recommend some good Indian recipes/websites/or cookbooks for simple, authentic and delicious recipes. We have an Indian market right here so it would not be difficult to obtain whatever ingredients or spices...

Thank you!

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  1. Check out Manjula's kitchen.

    She does a variety of Indian dishes. Her videos are very clear and it's very helpful to see her technique.

    5 Replies
      1. re: BamiaWruz

        Thank you for that link. He also does a very fine job of making an unfamiliar process clear.

        I like that he also lists the ingredients and instructions on sidebars.

        One prob remains tho -- they use ingredients that are familiar to them but not necessarily to American cooks. And some are only going to be available in Indian grocery stores...

        A couple probably will be available to Americans by other names. Coriander leaves are, of course, cilantro. Red pepper powder is cayenne. The black seeds (I think he calls them jeera) are whole cumin seeds. Hing can be available as asafoedita in health food stores. They also use black niger seeds (also used as goldfinch food) but I can't remember the Indian ingredient name.

        1. re: rainey

          More likely that the "Black seed"s are Black Mustard seeds or perhaps Black Cumin.

          1. re: rainey

            Jeera = cumin. Kala jeera = black (royal) cumin. But sometimes kala jeera = nigella seed a/k/a onion seed a/k/a kalonji. Of course, nigella shouldn't be confused with niger seed a/k/a kala til. Confused yet?

      2. Any of Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks or Julie Sahni's. My favorite Indian vegetarian cookbook is Lord Krishna's Cuisine: the Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi.

        6 Replies
        1. re: PAO

          I have to second Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks... they will get you way past the standard Indian restaurant fare in most American places. One book I have, "From Curries to Kebabs" explores very regional dishes with really interesting histories and stories behind each one. Plus, it will give you some insight on how to use some of the more obscure ingredients at that Indian Market.

          1. re: PAO

            Last October the Cookbook(s) of the Month were Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" and Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking." Both of those books are worthy of consideration, and there are numerous threads on this board discussing different types of dishes (meat, fish, veggies) from them. Unfortunately I can't find the post that links to all the different threads.

            As to "Lord Krishna's Cuisine," I beg to differ. In addition to being vegetarian, Krsna devotees have a variety of other dietary restrictions (for example, they don't eat garlic and onions) that render that cuisine, um, unique. Before you buy the book, consider sharing Prasadam at your local Krsna temple. You may enjoy the meal, but you'll likely find it very different from what most people think of when they're talking about "Indian food."

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Here's the master thread with links to all the threads with reports from Sahni and Jaffrey's books (plus good general discussion in the master thread):

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Thanks, Caitlin. I knew it was on here somewhere but couldn't seem to find it...

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  The Chow guys made this cool COTM archive page w/links to all the master threads:

                  There's no pointer on the board for it (and I have no idea why not), so I have it bookmarked.

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    The link to the cool COTM archive page is always included in the current COTM thread that is stickied to the top of the home cooking board. That's how I find it, anyway, since I haven't managed to bookmark the archive on all of my various home/work computers.


          2. I have to third Madhur Jaffrey, I love her cookbooks and her style. She was my intro to Indian cooking maaannnyy years ago and I still use her cookbooks.

            1. I like Madhur Jaffrey's books too - there are some really delicious recipes - but my secret is that when I want Indian food at home, I use Cook's Illustrated's Chicken Tikka Masala or Vegetable Curry recipes. They are really easy and don't require any difficult to obtain ingredients, grinding of spices, etc that can make Indian cooking more of a weekend than weeknight endeavor. I lived in India for a little over 2 years, so I learned some techniques and recipes that are still my ultimate favorites, and occasionally I'll pull out a Jaffrey recipe for a special meal or party or something, but otherwise, I head right for my CI and still manage to satisfy that craving with stuff from my pantry in less than an hour. Oh - and I always make homemade paneer and naan - they are super easy and really add to the quality of the meal.

              4 Replies
              1. re: RosemaryHoney

                How do you manage to get that lovely char on naan?

                  1. re: rainey

                    A goo way is to get a cast pan screaming hot, put your stretched dough on it, and finish in the oven under the broiler- you get some really nice char and spring to the finished product. I mentioned it here and there is a link to Madhur Jaffrey's naan recipe as well:

                  2. re: RosemaryHoney

                    Just heard on a CBC program about food changes in India, that Chicken Tikka Pizza is popular item in India. Apparently they are adventuresome when it comes to form and appearance of food, but prefer the familiar tastes.

                  3. Just One Indian Cookbook - Home Cooking - Chowhound
                    23 posts - 21 authors - Last post: Feb 6
                    Some of the Indian cookbooks that I do own are either better for ..... An excellent beginner's Indian cookbook is 5 Spices, 50 Dishes, ...

                    Need Indian cookbook and.or recipe tips - Home Cooking - Chowhound
                    14 posts - 12 authors - Last post: Jan 10, 2007
                    I am hosting a buffet dinner party with India cooking. ... can't remember the exact address of either, but i'm sure you can google them. .... which was my first, and is my favorite Indian cookbook. ...

                    useful indian culinary terms translator:

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: alkapal

                      I will Second Ruta Kahate's 5 spices, 50 dishes. It is a great way to learn basic Indian techniques and base flavors. It also provides some lesser know (to most non Indians) dishes that are delicious.