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**October 2009 COTM: Voting Thread - Vote by Wednesday Sept16th** [Follow up posts - please read!]

There has been a lot of wide-ranging discussion on the nomination thread this month, to say the least, so our ballot is a little larger in scope than usual. In order of least nominated to most nominated, we have the following cuisines to consider.

1. Korean
2. Japanese
3. Mexican
4. Thai
5. Indian

Thai and Indian have many books nominated, so if necessary, once we narrow it down to one cuisine we can do a tie-breaker between books. Please cast your vote for one of the following:

EATING KOREAN by Cecilia Haei-Jin Lee




THAI FOOD, David Thompson

THE TASTE OF THAILAND by Vatcharin Bhumichiter




INDIAN COOKING, Madhur Jaffrey

Please remember to vote in ALL CAPS, so your choice may be easily counted. The voting will run until Wednesday, September 16 (midnight EST).

Thank you for participating!

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  1. just a comment-- it might be better to ask for votes by country of origin rather than for specific books, since otherwise Thai or Indian might have the problem of vote-splitting. Just a thought; I know that typically voting is done for a specific book; but your comment sounded like you were kind of trying to narrow it down by cuisine, which might be hard with multiple books for some of those cuisines (unless you're planning of "aggregate" votes by cuisine in any case) Of course it's been proven that there is no perfect voting system, for cookbooks or democracies!

    1. the silence is deafening. I think you might want to consider a country vote followed by cookbook nominations. For example if Japan got it, not everybody might want Andoh's book - there are other possible candidates in that and some of theother cuisines.

      1. INDIAN COOKING, Madhur Jaffrey

        I would be game for any of the other Indian books as well. Perhaps, when you tally things up, you might tally up both books, and cuisines, and do a run-off if needed. Up to you, of course!

        2 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth

          INDIAN COOKING, Madhur Jaffrey.

          I'm also open to other books by Jaffrey. Many of her books are available in libraries. I have done a random search of a bunch of cities and found them in every one.

          1. re: oakjoan

            I actually meant to vote for another book (although I'll be satisfied with whichever Jaffrey wins...if Jaffrey wins). A TASTE OF INDIA is a wonderful book and there are numerous copies available on Amazon (used mostly) from $8.

            This book would be a perfect intro because it contains recipes from the different regions of India, e.g., Gujarat, Kerala, etc. The Boatman's Curry alone is worth the price.

            I have had this book for ages and continue to use it regularly, but then I'm a Jaffrey idolater...or is it idolatress?

        2. Though I did get excited about Thai and all the others - in fact, just ordered "Washoku" - due to husband's request (and my Mexican in-laws visiting us in October!), I'm going to vote:


          1. It does seem like you're looking for an initial vote by cuisine. If so, my vote is: INDIAN

            for the book, I vote for CLASSIC INDIAN COOKING, Julie Sahni

            1. CLASSIC INDIAN COOKING, Julie Sahni

              1. Voting by cuisine, I'm going to go with the INDIAN books, esp. Jaffrey, but totally open to the others.

                1. I vote INDIAN and specifically 660 CURRIES, which I have but have not yet used. It gets fabulous reviews and an amazing number of recipes look good, I just need some chow-friends to cook with. I feel a little guilty voting because I rarely post on COTM threads but I do follow them obssessively and often cook along silently.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: GretchenS

                    GretchenS, thought you'd be interested in this: http://tcfoodies.ning.com/profiles/bl...

                    A quick opening night review of Iyers new restaurant in downtown Mpls, which mentions specific items served that are also in the 660 Curries book.

                    1. re: clepro

                      Wow, thanks for that link, fascinating!

                  2. I wasnt gonna vote but I will play for at least the beginning of the month if its JAFFREY - I have the old INDIAN COOKING, but it would be best to broaden out to at least a couple of her other books if she wins. INVITATION, A TASTE OF INDIA and WORLD OF THE EAST VEG

                    1. THAI FOOD by Thompson - I need inspiration for how to use my new bottle of fish sauce!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Emmmily

                        Since it looks like I'm the only one who wants Thai... switch me to INDIAN COOKING instead.

                        1. re: Emmmily

                          I found an all-inclusive Thai web site you might like... recipes & on-line store:

                          1. re: Gio

                            That looks fantastic. Thanks!

                      2. JAFFREY for me to please. I have A TASTE OF INDIA as well as INDIAN COOKING.

                        1. INDIAN cuisine. 660 CURRIES: THE GATEWAY TO INDIAN COOKING, Raghavan Iyer.

                            1. THE ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO

                              1. THE ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO

                                1. Oops, it may be to late for me to vote... if so, no problem, but otherwise,

                                  THE ESSENTIAL CUISINES OF MEXICO

                                  1. Hi all -

                                    I just got an email from yamalam that she's travelling and her hotel's internet is down. So, I'll tabulate the results and post them later today.

                                    20 Replies
                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      OK - it looks like it is going to be INDIAN month for sure. I guess I'm a bit unsure about how to approach which book or books we do. I think by a strict vote count, the Jaffrey book Indian Cooking wins. But, any thoughts on this would certainly be appreciated - I always worry with doing too many books, and particularly books by different authors, that things become cumbersome and that there is a little less of a sense of unity in the COTM.


                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        Well, if I can vote on the vote.....I vote for just the one cookbook, Indian Cooking, instead of several which makes the whole enterprise slightly unwieldly.
                                        Thanks MM.

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          I have an older version of Indian Cooking which is a little bit different.
                                          Probably best just to do Jaffrey to take account of the varying books people have and can find but if it has to be limited I would suggest Invitation to Indian Cooking, Indian Cooking, and A Taste of India, which I think are widely held. to enable max participation (leaving out my fave veg book) I think it will be simple enuf using type of dish threads , such as. meat fish and poultry, vegetables and dal, rice, raita and chutney, desserts and drinks, breads and snacks, apps and soups to accomplish this as long as people indicate which book,

                                        2. re: MMRuth

                                          I haven’t been able to participate in COTM for the past two months and doubt I’ll be able to much, if at all, this month either, so perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut. But I agree with you that in general the most successful COTMs have been those in which we’re all, literally, on the same page. If, by strict count, “Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking” won, I think we should go with it. It’s a classic and I don’t think we could go wrong by selecting it. The only problems would be that some people might be using the previous edition and some the newer, and it may well be that the pagination of the US editions varies from those of the UK editions. But those are minor issues compared to trying to manage either a number of different books by one author or, even more difficult, multiple books by multiple authors.

                                          On the plus side, Jaffrey, unlike Sahni, is known and readily available to our UK participants and the book can be picked up comparatively inexpensively (used, paperback) from Amazon.


                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            my issue is that I suspect most people (and their libraries) do not have a whole shelf of Indian books . I think only 5 or 6 people voted for this particular book and all do not have the same edition (I have the old Barrons edtion which when all is said and done does not have a lot of recipes.. So adding other books would maximize participation.

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              Jen - the Barrons edition to which you refer - is that an edition of Indian Cooking? I found the index of the most recent edition here:


                                              Edit - Unfortunately I don't have any of her books, so I can't peruse them myself.

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                The Barrons one (Indian Cookery not Cooking iirc) from 1982 is the one I have too. I looked at the Amazon page and the forewords to the recipes appear the same, but page refs may well differ.

                                            2. re: JoanN

                                              I agree with JoanN on keeping a narrow focus. The most successful COTMs have been the ones where there is a limited scope on what we're cooking. The Julia Child month where it could be any of her books, was probably one of the least successful months because it was too broad.

                                              Quick question on the Jaffrey book. Is the below a newer edition to JoanN's book link? Jaffrey is a bit confusing because there is cooking v. cookery and it may be just a question of semantics.


                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                Hmm ... that is a bit confusing. I may have to drag myself to Kitchen Arts & Letters to take a look at the books. I would say that Dunlop (two books by the same author) was a great success, though that is an exception, I think. I've heard that the Invitation to Indian Cooking is an excellent book as well.

                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                  Dunlop and the Vietnamese month were both great successes. But, they both had narrow focuses with only two books. I think any more than two books leads to less participation because everyone is all over the place. For me, I'm not as motivated when I don't focus in on one book.

                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                    Yes, I'm just wondering if maybe we should do Indian Cooking and Invitation .... I'll head out shortly and report back after I've taken a look at them.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      I do not particularly care for Invitation. The recipes are a bit too involved (it was one of the first Indian books published in the US and it rather shows). The other Jaffrey books Jen Kalb refers to (as well as the World of the East veg book, which is wonderful but a bit too wide in scope since it covers other Asian cuisines) are better by far.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        I'm waiting for delivery of MJ's "Indian Cooking: Revised and Enlarged edition.... 7 Aug. 2003. I had planned to buy it regardless of whether it won or not. Good price at Jessica's Biscuit.


                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          I've cooked my 1982 edition to death. The most useful Indian book I've seen for the standards.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Buttertart... It's good to know you liked the book. I don't know why I didn't buy the book early on. I loved to watch her when she was a guest on Sara Moulton's old show. I think I've cooked a few of her recipes from various web sites. But, I now wonder how different the new-ish edition will differ from the '82 one.

                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                          wow, I really like invitation and the fact it takes you through different levels of complexity in cooking chicken, keema or such starting with very simple recipes which are very good. Ive never attempted some of the more complex dishes.. It also contains some really excellent rice, veg and raita recipes. I do remember hours of cooking for some of the fantastic lamb/goat curries however, which helpfully include weights and timings for both boned and unboned meat cuts (so does my now-husband waiting til 10 pm for his dinner as my roghan josh, say, finishes its long cooking process!) there is a cabbage recipe in there with fennel that is wonderful

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            I agree with you about "Invitation," buttertart. I have a copy of the original UK edition published by Michael Joseph and have never used it much. It's unsurpassable for its history of the foods of the various regions of India, but as a book to cook from--not so much.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              I have a paperback copy, and while I always *mean* to cook things from it, I think I've really only made 2 things (one of which was raita, which hardly counts). But I see this as a chance to change that.

                                                    2. re: beetlebug

                                                      look on the pic link under the picture of the book cover.
                                                      But it would be hard to know without actually physically reviewing the books.
                                                      The 1995 edition says enlarged and expanded or some such, which suggest recipes not included in my rather small 1982 book. I think that book , the original version might have related to a BBC series she did.

                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                        Apparently it did. Would be great to see it, wouldn't it? I just used the Amazon look inside the book feature to scan the index - seems the recipes are the same. BTW my brother-in-law's (my sis-in-law is from Kolkata and they do a lot of Indian cooking at home) favorite dish from this is the Kashmiri meatballs, he's made it about fifty times.

                                              2. OK, having now seen the various Jaffrey books and the Sahni book, I think we should have a run off between INDIAN COOKING (Jaffrey) and CLASSIC INDIAN COOKING (Sahni), and will post a new thread for that. My rationale is that (a) there are differing opinions about which one to do and (b) this way those who voted for 660 Curries or for another cuisine will be able to have a say.

                                                I note that this investigation cost me about $56:

                                                1 slice of pizza, as I forgot Kitchen Arts & Letters doesn't open until 1pm on Mondays.
                                                1 Gourmet Magazine to read while eating said slice (don't bother to pick one up, btw)
                                                1 Iced Coffee and 1 Red Velvet Cupcake, as KAL was still not open after the slice
                                                1 Few Eggs and No Orange: The Diaries of Vera Hodgson 1940 - 45.

                                                18 Replies
                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                    MMRuth, you are a true Chow.... enjoying food, while waiting to view books about food. Now that is dedication!

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      Can someone please refund MMRuth her $56. ; )

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        Now playing the spoiler here, I must say that I don't know why Sahni is in a run-off, since there was at most one vote for her book. I like her a lot and have one of her books, but this seemed to be a Jaffrey problem, i.e., which of her books rather than which author.

                                                        Since it's already started, I guess I'll just go vote. Say "Goodnight" Oakjoan. "Goodnight Oakjoan."

                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                          I count two votes for Sahni, and, unfortunately, now that I look again, two for 660 Curries, which I have to confess I didn't notice before. That said, I think whichever book we end up doing, it should be a great month.

                                                          Edit: My apologies to all for miscounting.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                            I see 5 for jaffrey (if Lulus mom is included) and two each for Sahni and 660 curries.

                                                            there are more vores for Essentials of Mexican than either of the latter two.

                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                              Right - I added up votes for INDIAN, which had more votes than any other cuisine. I screwed up on 660 Curries having two votes.

                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                It's always so complicated in months when there's not an overwhelming victory. If it gets any more complicated, we'll have to hire the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse!

                                                                Thanks for stepping in here, MMRuth. As you say, it should be a great month. Many people have been looking forward to Indian for a long time. Whichever book wins, I'm cooking from that book and Sahni's Microwave Moghul, as I decided long ago that I would (at least try) to take a serious attempt at microwave cooking. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/din...


                                                              2. re: jen kalb

                                                                If someone wants to step in and tell me why I should vote for 660 curries instead, I'm all ears (or eyes). I'm very open to either book.

                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  Well, 660 Curries is not up for the run-off, so that should take care of it for you!

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    It most certainly does! Thanks for clarifying, and I apologize for my mental lapse there.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                      No apology needed - clearly I had my own mental lapse!

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        Taking one for the team was truly a selfless act, MM. May your rewards be many.

                                                                        My Jaffery book arrived today but I only had time to quickly read through a handful of recipes it. Even though, may I just say......I LOVE IT!
                                                                        We already have all the ingredients and it looks like another month of fabulous eating.

                                                                          1. re: cpw

                                                                            What...? Reading the recipes? I love to read and I Am a fast reader. I can imagine what a recipe will probably taste like just by reading through, so I know that next month will be fun. I've been cooking a long time, don't forget. But it looks like the Sahni book is going to give Jaffery some big competition. I think I see another Indian cookbook in my future. We shall see. Two books on one subject can be a good thing.

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              I meant you are quick in ordering the Jaffery book, but you might have just wanted the book regardless of the COTM. Now it looks like Sahni is taking the lead. Which ever wins, I am sure it will be an exciting month.

                                                                              1. re: cpw

                                                                                I have wanted that Jaffrey book for ages and planned to get it whether or not it wins. It was just a matter of time. I'll probably take the Sahni book from the library and see if I want that one too.

                                                                                MMRuth and JoanN have been discussing if an alternative thread for the non-winning book would be workable (It's in the voting thread). I like that idea!

                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                          I know I am not replying in the right place, but I can't find the right post. Anyways, I do think that you should vote too.

                                                          2. I'm ready for Indian month! I reserved both Sahni and Jaffrey from the library, and just received my Penzey's order which includes Sanaam Indian chile peppers and black sesame seeds (hope they're needed!)

                                                            Anyone who has the book in hand suggest other spices/hard-to-find ingredients to stock up on?

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                                              dont know about the black sesame seeds. usually ive seen white in Indian recipes but you could use black. The following are heavily used: black onion seeds (kalonji), black or brown whole mustard seeds, ground and whole cumin, ground coriander, ground fenugreek and turmeric,whole fennel, whole green cardamon, whole cloves, black peppercorns, bay leaves (cassia if you can get them but I went years using bay leaves instead), whole cassia cinnamon sticks, asafoetida is the group that comes to mind. Saffron or ajwain for certain dishes. You will need to find a source of fresh dal and some basmati rice.

                                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                                Black onion seeds are also known as nigella, btw. Lots of different types of lentils are used, but red split lentils are probably the most common. Meat is usually cooked on the bone. The best kind of tomatoes are the cheap ones, not fancy on the vine or heirloom varieties, as they should have some acidity.

                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                  I really love the flavour of fresh curry leaves as well.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    I am confused as to which Indian book we settled on. Can someone enlighten me.

                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                      Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking. There was another voting run-off, but both books ended up being chosen:


                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                        Thank you. I only have one Jaffrey cookbook left in my collection, I gave the others away a long time ago. The one I have left is the Flavors of India. My go to Indian cookbooks are The Bombay Cafe cookbook and Street Food (both of which I would recommend highly). Therefore, I will probably not participate this month, but I will enjoy reading what everyone else is cooking.

                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                          There are some online recipes posted in another thread, if you want to give it a go.

                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                            I will be sure to peruse the online recipes, but, I will most likely sand by the sidelines and watch this month.