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October 2009 COTM: M. Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and J. Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking.

  • MMRuth Sep 23, 2009 04:45 AM
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The run-off was close (Sahni 'won'), but let's do both books! Hopefully yamalam won't want to shoot me when she has to come up with the threads - and hopefully it won't be as complicated as the Vietnamese month was to do so. Yamalam, I promise to help if you want it!

The month we did Vietnamese - with two excellent books by two authors was one of the most successful months, if I recall correctly, so October should be just as great.

I think it's wonderful that we're finally doing Indian cuisine after three years of COTM. Both books seem to be readily available used on-line.

MMR

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  1. Great - I have the Sahni book since it came out and have not used it very much so it's an incentive to crack it again (she has a quick and easy book that I have used more recently - also v. good).

    1. Many thanks for your help with the selection, MMR. We're looking forward to another great COTM month!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Yes, thank you so much MMRuth for stepping in! I am back in the US, after quite a harrowing trip to Manila. I apologize to all if my absence confused things, but it seems everything turned out well, and I can't wait for the cooking to begin!

        1. re: yamalam

          So glad you're home safe and sound, yamalam! Now, Let the cooking begin....

          1. re: Gio

            You bet! I'm jumping into things headfirst tonight with Sahni's Tandoori Chicken on the grill.
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            1. re: yamalam

              Yamalam: I hope you got out before the deluge! In any case, welcome back.

      2. Shocking: my normally well-stocked library has several books by both of these authors, but neither of these exact titles in particular (I was so certain they'd have at least one or both of these books, that I didn't even bother to check during the nomination and voting.) Hmmmm...will have to decide which one to get.

        Thanks again, MMRuth. I'm sure yamalam will be grateful for your efforts, as are the rest of us.

        ~TDQ

        30 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          My well stocked library system only had two to three copies of each book in the entire system. But, the system does seem to have almost all of the authors' books. Quick request in for me, but I suspect us minuteman library users may be duking it out.... ;-)

          1. re: beetlebug

            In the same state my NOBLE system (North of Boston Library Exchange):
            No Jaffery
            5 Sahni, Classic Indian Cooking.
            I'm astonished.....

            1. re: Gio

              Try Jaffrey as spelling?

              1. re: buttertart

                Hmmmm.... allofasudden there are now SIX copies of IC in the system. Wonder how that happened so fast.
                Bye now. Gonna take typing classes.

                1. re: Gio

                  Not to worry ... I had a similar problem with Sanhi/Sahni. My library went from having nothing to ... bingo! having her book.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Ohoh, checking spellings right now. BRB.

                    EDIT: nope!

                    ~TDQ

                  2. re: Gio

                    Gio: It's capitalism at work! Find a need and fill it! ;+)

              2. re: beetlebug

                I broke down and ordered both books so I will not be competing with you in the Middlesex system this month. I love Indian food and own one Indian cookbook that isn't good enough. Worst thing that can happen is that I don't use one of the two COTM's and I donate it to the library.

                1. re: smtucker

                  Betcha if you donate one it will be the Sahni...

              3. re: The Dairy Queen

                Did you try interlibrary loan?

                1. re: clepro

                  No, but good idea. Better start that soon, as it takes several weeks, even coming from Minneapolis. You know, the long journey from one side of the river to the other.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Books swim very slowly.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Well, if we wait too much longer, the river will freeze and they can just walk across!

                      I'm reserving a copy of Jaffrey's memoir "Climbing the Mango Trees" while I'm at in. Anybody read that one?

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        But of course. If you like the cookbook you'll enjoy it. My MIL and SIL liked it a lot it as well. (Incidentally I went to a Jaffrey cookbook signing way back when and have to say she was not as charming and warm as she would appear to be in the books. Still love the books.)

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I also am reserving "Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India," along with "Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking." I recall seeing her memoir recommended here on CH in the past, but it had drifted from my mind.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Yeah, being a Jaffreymaniac, I bought and have read it. It's a fascinating look at her childhood in India. She was obviously raised in a wealthy household.

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Well, it's one of the biggest in the world, no? Last time I was in St. Paul, however, they seemed to have put in a bridge over it! Ah, the wonders of modern technology.

                          Maybe the library system still uses pole-driven ferries.

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            They do (use pole-driven ferries). Causes an awful mess when the river freezes up while one's in the middle. Last time that happened we had to tie a rope around one of the library assistants and send her out there skittering on her belly to retrieve the books. She refused to go again after the fifth cast. They just don't make library assistants like they used to.

                            1. re: clepro

                              Well, I've ordered both books vian interlibrary loan, each from a different library system. It will be a test of the library assitants and their preferred methods of travel. In the meantime, someone in St. Paul has already put my copy of Jaffrey's memoir on the hold shelf for me to pick up!

                              And, my copy of Sahni's Moghul Microwave should arrive from Amazon any day. WOOHOO! All set for Indian month.

                              While we're waiting, how shall we stock our spice cabinets?

                              Oh, and someone in my house has an aversion to cardamom, which has dampened our enthusiasm for Indian cooking.

                              For those of you familiar with Indian cooking and ingredients, are there any secrets for finding recipes that don't call for cardamom? (Perhaps a particular region that uses them/ doesn't use them that I should avoid/be drawn to?)

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                From the cooking that I have done, there are many, many recipes that don't call for cardamom. I think Jen Kalb made a list of items, either on this thread or the run-off thread.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  Interesting, mmruth. Most of the curry recipes I've encountered (in various Indian cookbooks, not the two at hand) seem to call for cardamom. Should I be focusing on non-curry recipes, perhaps?

                                  And, indeed, here's a link Jen Kalb's post about ingredients to stock (from the voting thread): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6521...

                                  (eek! I see cardamom on it! HAHAHA!

                                  )

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    I just mentally reviewed the 5-6 recipes I most often make from the Jaffrey book, and none of them call for cardamom.

                                    I buy it mostly just for chai and baking. If memory serves, I think it's also a key element in garam masala, and in sauced dishes, like rogan josh and curries.

                                    1. re: clepro

                                      Thank you so much. Would you mind listing your favs? (when you have time...)

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Sure. These are from the 1983 first US edition.
                                        Spicy baked chicken (masaledar murghi)
                                        Cauliflower with potatoes (Phool gobi aur aloo ki bhaji)
                                        Spinach cooked with onions (Mughlai saag)
                                        Red split lentils with cabbage (Masoor dal aur band gobi)
                                        Deep-fried, puffy bread (Poori)
                                        Rice with peas (Tahiri)
                                        Gujerati carrot salad (Gajar ka salad)

                                        1. re: clepro

                                          Oh, those all sound fantastic, and (as you know), dishes that use produce that grow here in MN. I look forward to those! Thank you!

                                          I'm not a huge fan of lentils, but I get lots o'cabbage this time of year (have one in my fridge right now, in fact), so I'll probably try it anyway.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            DQ: Maybe not for Indian month -- where I expect we'll use dal or red lentils -- but have you tried puy (French) lentils? I like them better than regular green. I'll make a stew of them, or serve until grilled salmon. Yummy (really!) and healthy to boot!
                                            http://www.recipetips.com/glossary-te...

                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I think you should just sneak it in there, TDQ. The spices should be balanced so no flavour stands out - I'd be amazed if he could even tell it's in there. ;-)

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        If you want to avoid "curry recipes," then the Jaffrey book is for you. AFAIK the word "curry" never appears anywhere in its pages. That said, a fair number of the recipes do call for cardamom.

                                        One possibility for those who object to the flavor of cardamom is to use whole pods. For example, the rogan josh recipe on p. 51 calls for 10 cardamom pods, but they're removed and discarded. The flavor they impart is much more subtle than if the seeds were ground up and added to the dish.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          I love the tip about using whole cardamom pods!

                                          ~TDQ

                                    3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      TDQ:
                                      Here's a link to Julie Sahni's spice page on her web site:
                                      http://www.juliesahni.com/pantry.html

                                      Just something to peruse whilst we wait for books and 1 Oct.

                          2. With the Sahni book in the lead yesterday afternoon I went ahead and ordered it from an Amazon third-party seller (like new condition, autographed by the author - what's not to like?). Now I'll have both!

                            Thanks for taking the point on this, MMR.

                            1. I'm really starting to get excited about Indian month, even if I'm going to be the only person eating my cooking! Just ordered Sahni's book ($10 "Used-Very Good") from Amazon.

                              I'm not familiar with the range of Indian cuisine, so would love advice on dishes that I could get my husband to like. I have dragged him to a couple of Indian restaurants over the years. He will eat the creamy curries like korma and tikka masala. And of course anything fried, like samosas, as long as they don't have a lot of turmeric. He loves naan of course (which is the only way I could get him to go to an Indian restaurant in the first place). He's also not a big fan of rice dishes. He doesn't like cooked spinach so no saag paneer, etc., won't eat eggplant, squash, or okra (but does like cauliflower), and he doesn't like anything with turmeric in it or a spice blend with lots of ginger (doesn't like it fresh or dried). Sigh, typing that out, now I think I'm getting a little discouraged.

                              I know, Indian is going to be tough month (thank goodness leftovers heat up nicely and I'll be eating well for lunches), but I'd be thrilled if I could get him to change his mind, so appealing to the knowledgeable Chowhounds! I do have access to a couple very good Indian markets. Thanks for any recommendations.

                              19 Replies
                              1. re: Rubee

                                Hey Rubee, I know exactly what you're going through as I have a "no cooking with cardamom, please" preference in my household and I'm trying to avoid all cardamom recipes.

                                I forgot until you mentioned it, "no cooking with turmeric, either, please." I try to sneak it in in small amounts but the color betrays me every time!

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  The tumeric thing is interesting to me, as I don't think of it has having much flavour. Maybe you could tell them it's some esoteric Indian ingredient.

                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                    I know! I keep saying that, but, the response is, if it doesn't have any flavor, why do you need to add it?

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      I actually think turmeric does have a flavor, though not very strong. It has a little bitterness/pepperiness to it. I wonder if it's that lingering bitterness E doesn't like. I just went and tasted the tumeric I have, and it's definitely there. When cooking with fresh turmeric root for "Cradle of Flavor" COTM, it had a pungency that I think would carry over to dried. However, I have McCormick's dried - I wonder if a quality turmeric (Penzey's for example) is more mellow.

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Turmeric isn't just for flavor and/or color. When cooked with legumes, it's supposed to decrease, um, gastrointestinal discomfort.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          Now there's a reason that folks in my house just might buy!

                                          Rubee, I think it does have a subtle earthy taste, but I think it's pretty subtle. I fear I might be living with a supertaster, though. Super-smeller, for sure.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                            turmeric also apparently contains significant anticancer substances. That might be a sell to a stick-in-the-mud!

                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Yes, turmeric powder has a bitter, musty flavour when it's raw. But when lightly cooked in oil, it's flavour becomes mellow and lovely, with an almost toffee-like taste and smell. If it's old, it does tend to lose its taste. So if your turmeric powder isn't fresh, do please replace it before testing these recipes. You might be pleasantly surprised!

                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          <the color betrays me every time!>

                                          Ha! Yes, that's definitely not one you can sneak by!

                                          Thank goodness for Sortun's "Spice" cookbook - it helped win him over on cardamom (especially the cognac-cardamon-orange sangria!). I'm sure with Indian month, I'm going to find more spices he doesn't like.....

                                          1. re: Rubee

                                            HA! Well, what I'm trying to do is isolate the spices that people don't like. I hate to feel like an entire cuisine is off-limits to me cooking-wise, so, if I can just narrow it down to the spices that are objectionable, then I feel like that's something I can work with. The initial feedback was "I don't like Indian food." I was able to reduce that to, "I don't like curry." And now, by explaining that there are a bazillion different spices combinations called "curry", I have been able to reduce it to, "I dislike the flavor of cardamom." That I can work with! But, I think the yellow COLOR of turmeric signals this person's brain DANGER! there may be CARDAMOM LURKING SOMEWHERE!

                                            I'm glad that my primary food aversion is to raisins, which are so easy to see that I smite them upon view. :).

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              TDQ:

                                              Make him the potato fritters I made from a Jaffrey book last night. Mashed potatoes formed into balls. A hole is poked into the middle and fried onions, cilantro and chili are added. Then they're closed up and flattened like a patty. Fried and served with a yoghurt/cilantro/garlic dipping sauce.

                                              Verrrrrrrrrrry good.

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                If you think about standard curry powder, its main ingredients are chile powder, dried mustard and dried fenugreek, I think. Even coriander and cumin are lesser ingredients.

                                                Id start with some of the simpler recipes that dont have sauces and do have fresh herbs and see how it goes. He does like cilantro doesnt he?

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  Good advice, thank you. Cilantro, chile powder mustard, are all no problem. I think I'll start simple and work up from there.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              Cardamom is lovely in tiny, tiny amounts. If you use it right,no one will know it's there.

                                            3. re: Rubee

                                              I ate at a one michelin starred Indian restaurant in London last year. I ordered the $17 set lunch... and it came on a round tray with lots of different foods. The chutneys were astonishing, there was a lentil dish, and this amazing grilled fish fillet. Some of the chutneys were raw and others were cooked. My overall impression was that this was light food, not bogged down with diary and seasoned delicately.

                                              These are the types of food that I am hoping to find during this month. The range of flavors I ate during this one lunch surpasses anything I have had in an Indian restaurant in Boston.

                                              EDITED: Here is their current lunch menu if this gives you some ideas of what inspires me. [And I love a good korma as well.]

                                              http://www.quilon.co.uk/Lunch.pdf

                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                Oh! You just reminded me that we enjoyed lunch a few years ago at Michelin-starred Tamarind in London, and he admitted that he liked almost everything. Now I have to try to find the menu and what I ordered; I'm pretty sure I kept it. Thanks for the idea!

                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                  quilon offers south indian cuisine - the featured books are more northern and ribsticking recipes, but Im sure you will find plenty of recipes with the lightness you prefer.

                                                2. re: Rubee

                                                  Jaffrey has an excellent cauliflower and potato dish we make so often that I don't even bother pulling the book off the shelf to check the recipe any more. I often serve it with naan and dahl (or hummus, if that's what I've got handy), or her spicy red chicken.

                                                  It calls for tumeric, but you could easily leave it out. Besides tumeric, it uses regular and roasted/ground cumin seeds, coriander, green chilis, and cayenne. And, it reheats well!

                                                  1. re: clepro

                                                    Great! That sounds perfect.

                                                3. I'm excited! I already have the Jaffrey, and will try to pick up a copy of the Sahni in New York next week. Did I mention that I'm going to be in NYC soon? ;-)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    Have a wonderful trip greedygirl!

                                                  2. Has anyone found any recipes online? Seems the books are not available at my library and I'm not sure if I'd like to buy the book yet.

                                                    13 Replies
                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                      Which book, Soypower? Jaffrey or Sahni?

                                                      I found a bunch of Julie Sahni recipes on-line. I'll list them in a moment.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Some on-line recipes from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking:

                                                        1.) Murgh Masala - Chicken in Onion Tomato Gravy
                                                        http://maninas.wordpress.com/2008/02/...

                                                        2.) Chicken in Ginger Sauce
                                                        http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/...

                                                        3.) Indian Keema with Ginger
                                                        http://recipe.aol.com/recipe/julie-sa...

                                                        4.) Broccoli in Garlic Sauce
                                                        http://www.surlatable.com/gs/julie-sa...

                                                        5.) Masala Dal
                                                        http://www.recipezaar.com/masala-dal-...

                                                        6.) Tomato Chutney
                                                        http://www.ivu.org/recipes/indian-chu...

                                                        7.) Whole Potatoes in Spicy Yogurt Gravy
                                                        http://sbkproductions.com/blog/2009/0...

                                                        8.) Velvet Buttered Chicken
                                                        http://www.spicelines.com/2007/02/rec...

                                                        9.) Apricot Chicken
                                                        (a riff on original recipe but with Sahn's notes
                                                        )http://www.suvir.com/recipes/meat.html

                                                        10.) Mateer Paneer - Green Peas and Cheese in Frageant Tomato Sauce
                                                        http://www.learntocook101.com/recipes...

                                                        11.) 4 minute Basmati Rice
                                                        http://www.bigoven.com/138665-Julie-S...

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Regarding Suvir Saran's recipe for Apricot Chicken. That's no riff it's a steal. Put it side by side with Sahni's recipe and you'll see that although there are some minor changes in ingredients the method is just about verbatim from JS.

                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                          Either would be great! I've just started eating Indian food and love it. This will be a great way to explore this cuisine at home!

                                                          1. re: soypower

                                                            We posted at the same time..... see above ^

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              Thanks!

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Thanks Gio for the links!

                                                                I think "Velvet Buttered Chicken" will be the first dish I make. How can my husband not like that one? Just the name sounds delicious......

                                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                                  My Indian-Cousin-By-Marriage swears that Butter Chicken is an English invention, but that doesn't stop his child from eating as much of it as he can we eat together in London. It is a wonderful preparation.

                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                    smtucker: Sounds just like chicken tikka masala, which is claimed by both Indians and Brits. I actually saw an Indian chef on tv a while ago who claimed he invented it.

                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                      Nonsense, makhani is found through most of Rajasthan, though more commonly with paneer. He may be confusing it with chicken tikka masala as oakjoan suggests

                                                                      1. re: mr_gimlet

                                                                        According to the caption under the accompanying picture in the link to Butter Chicken I gave above, "Rich with tomatoes, cream and spices, butter chicken was invented at Delhi's Moti Mahal restaurant, using leftover tandoori chicken, during the 1950's."

                                                                      2. re: smtucker

                                                                        chooza makhani (buttered young chicken or chick) is definately an authentic Panjabi dish, but the way restaurants typically make it with loads of cream and orange food coloring does not resemble the original dish.

                                                                      3. re: Rubee

                                                                        (Linking Sahni's Tandoori recipe in case I make her Butter Chicken before my book arrives)

                                                                        http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/828...

                                                              2. I got sleepy before I finished this, but here are a few links to Jaffrey recipes.

                                                                http://www.recipezaar.com/cookbook.ph...

                                                                http://www.foodari.com/Recipes/Defaul...

                                                                http://www.kitchencookingrecipes.com/...

                                                                http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/as...

                                                                http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

                                                                http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/get_cooking...

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                  Good list. Here's another link: http://uktv.co.uk/food/search/q/madhu...

                                                                  The problem is that Jaffrey has so many books it's hard to pinpoint recipes from just "Indian Cooking." Still, I'm sure there are a bazillion of them if you look around.

                                                                  Thanks for the tip on the potato fritters, oakjoan. That already sounds like a dish that would be a hit in my household!

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                2. Just wanted to link to the website of a store that I often shop at in NYC for ingredients. I've also gone out to Jackson Heights to buy things, and I'm sure they are cheaper there, but for those without access to an Indian market, this might be useful:

                                                                  http://www.kalustyans.com/

                                                                  For some reason, I can't get to the site right now.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    In Jackson Heights, the two reliable stores are:

                                                                    Patel brothers, 37-27 74th St., Queens, NY 11372 (Ph: 718-898-3445) . This is more expensive one (though cheaper than Manhattan stores). It is more organized and has proper check out lines.
                                                                    But for cheaper than Patel brothers other option is Subzi Mandi: 72-30 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (less organized, but has a slight different selection)

                                                                    Getting help in both the stores is hit or miss.

                                                                    Going there by Subway, better trains are E and F (express). Get off at Roosevelt ave stop and take the exit - 37rd and 73 st (quite sure, though not 100%). If you are going for the first time, do take a print out map of the area, as it gets confusing over there (there is a 37 St, 37 Ave as well as a 37 Rd)

                                                                    1. re: cpw

                                                                      Apna Bazaar, a newer store next to Subzi Mandi is also good.

                                                                    2. re: MMRuth

                                                                      Right next door to Kalustyans is a little gem of a store called Foods of India. The spices there are, in my opinion, fresher and less expensive. Unfortunately, F of I often gets overshadowed by Kalustyans. If you live in the metro NY area give it a try.

                                                                      1. re: micki

                                                                        At this stage in Little India I shop in Kalustyan and the shop on 28th St between Park and Lex S. Side which has some additional so. indian items. After several recent experiences with unfriendly, unhelpful sales staff in the Food of India store, Im not using them any more. Im really sorry about that but given their products are not any fresher or better, service matters.

                                                                    3. I own and love both books. Done recipes from each. Sahni's book has loads of good tips like how to achieve perfect basmati rice or how to get fluffy bhallay for dahi bhallay, etc. Madhur Jaffrey...that is not my favorite of her books, but I do like it. I love the water pickle recipes.

                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                      1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                        Which is your favorite? I am also very fond of A Taste of India (interesting and unusual regional dishes) and Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook (menus for entertaining and family meals, not strictly Indian - there's a great spiced shepherd's pie in it I've made many times).

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          buttertart: I Iove both those books. I'm partial to the broiled coriander-honey chicken and that chicken pilaf dish in the cooking for friends book. The taste of India book is great and interesting because they're from all the states of India.

                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                            There's a wonderful tamarind-based prawn curry in it too, Keralan I think. (I love her description of the cook opening up crabs like powder compacts. What an image.)

                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                            I have been cooking out of Taste of India for 20 years.

                                                                            My favorite recipes are the Punjabi BlackEyed Peas (Lobhia), Radishes with their Leaves (Mooli Ka Saag) and Yogurt Rice (Masura Anna) but really, there are very few misses.

                                                                            1. re: mlgb

                                                                              It is a great book, a lot of the recipes are not to be found elsewhere in English at least.

                                                                          3. re: luckyfatima

                                                                            Which is your favorite of Jaffrey's? I love World of the East Vegetarian... I think she has a later vegetarian book that's supposed to be even better, though.

                                                                            1. re: clepro

                                                                              Busting in since yours was to luckyfatima, I love World of the East, have the later World Vegetarian but don't like it as much.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                I agree about World of the East. It was the first book of hers I bought. Although I have World Veg., I rarely use it. Too many recipes, too little time. I have tried several recipes from that book and they were really good, but I find it doesn't get used much. Actually, Deborah Madison's big veg cookbook sits on the shelf as well. I cook regularly from her smaller books.

                                                                              2. re: clepro

                                                                                I love Far Eastern Cookery but in Indian I LOVE A Taste of India. Just so much knowledge to gain in one book about all of the regional cooking and famous dishes. The recipes are very good. Just a really good book for cooking and an interesting read. That book of mine is covered in stains and fingerprints and dog eared pages.

                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                  That's interesting - I acquired that book years ago when I used to work for the publisher and have never used it. I'm going to dust it down when I get home.

                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                    You should. the recipes are a revelation.

                                                                                  2. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                    I also have Far Eastern Cookery but never used it much. When I had a profile (which i have removed in general disgust overall with CH) I listed Taste of India as one of my most-used. It probably looks a lot like luckyfatima's copy.

                                                                              3. Are any of you familiar with the Show Me the Curry cooking videos? This link takes you to the listing for videos on various breads: http://showmethecurry.com/category/br...

                                                                                You'll see links for many more categories at the top of the screen.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: clepro

                                                                                  No, I've never heard of this. Will check it out. I did find a very good naan video on YouTube. I actually made the naan and it was quite good.

                                                                                  1. re: clepro

                                                                                    I LOVE LOVE LOVE show me the curry. they have very authentic food with lots of regional variety, easy to follow recipes, explain everything very well, and the recipes are in non-stick and use less oil or low-fat versions. that whole website is a gem.

                                                                                    1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                      I also love SMTC. Rockin'. Watching those videos has massively increased this WASP's confidence in cooking Indian food.

                                                                                      1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                        I watched a couple of the Show Me The Curry vids. They're charming and interesting. I saw one with a paratha stuffed with egg and chilis for adults and cheese and egg for kids. I'm hooked!

                                                                                    2. Wow! I can't believe this thread is up to 85 posts already! I'm still waiting for my interlibrary transfer for the two actual books of October, but my copy of Sahni's Moghul Microwave arrived today and the recipes actually sound pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised, although, I guess the proof will be in the proverbial pudding.

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        I made a couple of things out of it that were fairly good but it's my least favorite of her books (it was one of the very few cookbooks I've ever purged, in my last move - it had also gotten water damaged in a radiator nightmare in my then apt in an 1840's vintage building, so it was easier to let go). Her Quick and Easy book has some nice recipes in it. I tend to use the microwave primarily for melting and thawing stuff and heating water (and as a timer - my husband calls it the world's biggest electronic timer). However, it is great for one Indian preparation - cooking poppadums - 1 minute on full power (mine is 1000 watts) and they are all bubbly and crisp. Much easier than toasting over a flame, and no frying needed either.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          I shall note those poppadums! If there are any others that occur to you, do let me know. I read about this (and Kafka's) microwave book in Bittman's column and I seem to recall he thought the microwave was best for applications where you might be steaming or for pudding-type dishes.

                                                                                          It gets so incredibly sweltering hot here in summer that I'd like to try to do more microwave cooking then. Also, it's supposed to be a very energy efficient "green" way to cook, so, I've been meaning to force myself to at least make a sincere stab at microwave cooking to what I think. I'm willing to compromise a little on quality if it turns out to be much easier/quicker and doesn't steam up my kitchen. I told myself that when Indian month eventually came, I was going to try to compare the microwave dishes to their originals and see what I thought. That's a little challenging at the moment since my "real" Sahni book hasn't arrived yet.

                                                                                          We'll see!

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            I know what you mean about a steamy kitchen, ours is underairconditioned. Will be interested to hear what you come up with.

                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                            buttertart, which recipes do you like from Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking? I have it, but haven't really delved into it.

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Shrimp with Garlic and Chilies p 17, Ground Lamb with Potatoes and Peas p 25 (and Chicken ditto p 48), Hamburger Kebabs p 27, Chicken in a Cilantro, Spinach, and Mustard Sauce p 50 (made this once with leftover pea shoots from our favorite Shanghai restaurant i/o spinach and man was it good), Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt p 53, Chicken Breasts Baked with Green Chilies and Onions p 55. Stirfried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds p 88, New Potatoes with Cumin p 91 (love this, emphasizes the earthy quality). Those are the highlights, but there aren't any dogs that I've found in this book.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                That's a great start. I'm going to haul out the book and check these out, as well as looking through the rest. Thanks! I do like about this book that, while it emphasizes somewhat streamlined and quick-to-cook recipes, the flavors and ingredients are true, e.g., it still uses whole spices, etc.

                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                  Yes, the food tastes right even though the recipes are less complicated. (Another swell Indian book - off-topic unfortunately - is "My Bombay Kitchen" by Niloufer Ichaporia King - my favorite of the recent ones. Parsi cooking is very interesting and the flavors are quite different from the usual roster of dishes.)

                                                                                        2. I didnt even see the second voting thread MMruth - I was following the old thread which IMO should have said to look for a new voting thread and have to say I was totally confused to see the references to Sahni.

                                                                                          Hope we do better at the process next time.
                                                                                          looking forward to a little cooking.
                                                                                          the thing I am always wishing for is that there is actual direct comparison of recipes in the two books - we have a constant argument between partisans but has anyone ever cooked, say Sahni and Jaffrey Roghan Josh or baigan bharta to see which is best?

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                            Actually, MMRuth did post in the old thread a link to the run-off and second voting:
                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6521...

                                                                                            I think MMRuth did a great job with the process and winnowing down the variety of suggestions. Hoping my book arrives Monday - I'm itching to do some reading and research, and then visit the Indian market and get started!

                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                              sorry I was following the discussion closely and just didnt see that at all.

                                                                                            2. re: jen kalb

                                                                                              My fault! Next time I promise not to disappear after posting a confusing voting thread! Thanks again MMRuth!

                                                                                            3. Quick question:
                                                                                              My library has 2 different books by Sahni -- "Classic Indian Cookery" (not "cooking") and "Classic Indian Vegetarian Cooking". Which one is the correct one for this COTM?

                                                                                              Thanks.

                                                                                              42 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                I'm almost sure it's Classic Indian COOKING. That's the name of the Sahni book I have and I don't think she'd write 2 books, one called Classic Indian Cooking and the other C. I. Cookery. Did you see the Cookery book online or in person? Maybe it's a typo?

                                                                                                Another possibility is that I don't know what I'm talking about. ;+)

                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                  Sorry if I wasn't clear. The first book on my lending library's listing is "Classic Indian Cookery" and the second book is "Classic Indian Vegetarian Cooking". So I'm confused because the one that has "cooking" in the title says vegetarian which the title of this post does not. But the one that doesn't say vegetarian uses the word "cookery" in the title and not "cooking". Maybe it's the research library's fault since it's listed there on the closed stacks as "Cookery".

                                                                                                  So I guess the short question is -- is the COTM the vegetarian one or not?? :) Sorry I'm new to this and just trying to get it straight. Thanks.

                                                                                                  1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                    The COTM one is NOT the vegetarian one - I'm making a lamb dish tonight. I'll see what I can figure out about the cookery thing - that's usually the word used in the U.K., but as far as I know, the book wasn't published there.

                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                      Ah. Thanks for the clarification, MMRuth. I just looked at the NYPL listing for the "Cookery" book again and their copy was indeed published in London. That explains it.

                                                                                                      In case anyone else is looking on NYPL for it, the Sahni "Classic Indian Cookery" is listed only for the research library and not for the lending library.

                                                                                                      1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                        The US edition of the Sahni is "Classic Indian Cooking". The UK edition of the Jaffrey book is "Indian Cookery".

                                                                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                          I was looking at the same book on nypl.org and did not understand the difference either. I guess the explaination is what you and MMRuth figured out: this is a London published book in 1997/or 2004 and who knows it might be same as the "cooking" which was published in New York in 1980 (from the nypl website).

                                                                                                          Also, thanks for the clarification on why this book cannot be borrowed. I had been wondering about it.

                                                                                                          The other book selected for the COTM is Jaffrey's Indian cooking, and is available on nypl.org. There are 5 available copies, so if you are interested in cooking along , you can place your hold on this one. (I am waiting for mine too)

                                                                                                          1. re: cpw

                                                                                                            Sigh. Only one copy of Jaffrey's Indian Cooking available at Berkeley Lib. and it's reserved upon return. None at Oakland.

                                                                                                            I have 6 Jaffrey cookbooks. NONE are Indian Cooking. I tell ya, this is not my month! I guess I have to decide whether to pay $17 plus shipping for a used copy from Amazon or whether I skip this month because I don't want to buy a 7th Jaffrey book.

                                                                                                            Maybe it's available on inter-library loan. Ah the trials and tribs of a Chowhound.

                                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                              Do you have no interest in cooking out of Sahni's book?

                                                                                                              1. re: clepro

                                                                                                                I made several dishes from it last night that I thought were just wonderful - holding off report for Oct. 1.

                                                                                                                1. re: clepro

                                                                                                                  I have Sahni's book and have found I rarely use it. I do plan to cook from it next month as I feel that I have not really given it a good chance.

                                                                                                                  It's just my bad luck that Indian Cooking is not among my many Jaffrey cookbooks.

                                                                                                                2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                  I'm having to use inter-library loan for the Sahni book, and no promise that one will actually turn up before the end of October. I feel your pain.

                                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                    But Joan.... there are several on-line Jaffrey recipes from the COTM....can't you print out those you're interested and join in? ???? ??

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      Thanks, Gio. I hadn't thought of online recipes. I certainly can print and cook.

                                                                                                                    2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                      At the risk of being tedious, do you have the BBC/Barron's yellow-bordered 1980's Indian Cookery? Basically same in descriptions and recipes, page nos. may be off. I recently bought a copy for my SIL on Abebooks for very little. Also Black Oak Books or Moe's may have a used copy? (I love this book, it's one of my top 10 most used.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        buttertart, I just want to be clear, it's the Jaffrey book or the Sahni book that is your top 10 most used? (I know you don't throw this kind of praise around loosely...)

                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                          No problem, the Jaffrey. Have been cooking out of it since I got it in maybe 1983? It's also in heavy use at my BIL and SIL's house (she's from Kolkata, he's the cook). Used the Sahni much MUCH less, going to crack it this wkend and see what I can find. (Have and have read the Sahni veg book, have cooked almost nothing from it. Husb was raised in Iowa, no meat = essentially no meal.)

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            Okay, thank you! I'm really torn between these two books. I guess I'll find out in Oct which is best for me!

                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Same for me. I got the Jaffery when it came out in 83, and it's listed on my CH profile as one of the ones in tatters from overuse. Have had the Sahni for several years but just haven't used it as much.

                                                                                                                              I don't think of one as better than the other though. I think the reason I keep going back to Jaffrey is just because her's arrived first on my shelves, and when we're in the mood for Indian, I immediately think of, and crave, the tried-and-true recipes in that book.

                                                                                                                              But not a single one of Sahni's that I've made has been less than very good. Which is why I voted for it for this month's COTM! To kick me out of my Jaffrey rut.

                                                                                                                              1. re: clepro

                                                                                                                                Me too, I'm looking my under-used Sahni over this weekend and am planning to cook from it Sat night.

                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            Black Oak was great for used cookbooks once upon a time, before it was sold and downsized. More relevant, it's now closed altogether.

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              buttertart: No I don't. I DO have a book which I bought at the Strand in NY, that contains 2 books: Eastern Veg. Cooking and An Invitation to Indian Cooking. Since the price printed on the fly leaf is in pounds, I assume it's Brit. However, I didn't notice that at first (years ago when I bought it) and just used U.S. measurements. Everything has turned out fine over the years.

                                                                                                                              I'll look at Moe's, but sadly, Black Oak is no more. Went the way of Cody's. Sigh.

                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                To Caitlin McGrath and oakjoan: Very sorry to hear that about both stores, I thought I might be going out on a limb by suggesting Black Oak given what's happened to bookstores in the past few years. They were big shopping stops for us when we lived there and on visits back. Haven't been on that part of Shattuck since 2006 I guess, and near Cody's on Tele for a lot longer than that. I guess I'm still living mentally in le beau idéal of Berkeley of the past. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                  Too bad it's those 2 books, not really her best. I think I paid under $10.00 incl shipping on Abebooks for the copy I sent to my SIL and she had it in a week's time. Better World Books may also have it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    buttertart: I don't understand your response to my mzz. I actually think that the 2 books in one, especially the eastern veg book, are among the best she's written. Maybe you were writing about the 2 COTMs? If so, I agree.

                                                                                                                                    re "beau ideal" Berkeley...there are some bad changes but there are many more Indian and Pakistani restos these days and that's great. Also a Berkeley Bowl down on 9th and Shattuck...more convenient to us Oaklanders and makes the both stores less crowded.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                      I'm just not that fond of Invitation. If it's World of the East Veg Cooking that is in the compilation volume, I love that one. There's nothing really wrong with any of her books in my opinion.
                                                                                                                                      Is the Shattuck location the one the Bowl originally had? Used to hike there from Berkeley Way.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        The original was on Shattuck, in the old bowling alley called...well, you know. Around 10 years ago, they moved a block south into the much-remodeled, expanded former Safeway. The West Berkeley Bowl, which is on 9th off Ashby (oakjoan mistyped) opened in May. I still shop at the Shattuck store, as I live close by and traffic/parking aren't issues for me. More on topic for this thread, there are several good local Indian/South Asian markets on lower University Avenue in Berkeley.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                          Milan Market's still there, not that far down on University, right? I used to shop there too.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            Yes, still there.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                              Yes, Milan Market's still there and still wonderful...where else can you rent a Bollywood extravaganza, buy McVitties Ginger Nut cookies and pick up some besan at the same place?

                                                                                                                                              I shop at the BB West more now because it's close to me when I'm driving back from somewhere on I-80. It's not nearly as soulful as the orig. and I like the orig. better. Orig is also less crowded now that the other store opened.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                We're fortunate with Kalustyan's here (no Bollywood, but they have just about everything else Indian as well as imports from a lot of other companies) and with Fairway to some extent as an approximation of the Bowl, but I miss my Berkeley shopping haunts. Enjoy them for me!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                    Oakjoan, could you bop across the bay and get copies from the SF library? They seem to have multiple copies of both books.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                                      Duh! I totally forgot about SF. They prob have inter-library loans as well.

                                                                                                                                      In any case, Caitlin McG is in charge of our Jaffreys. She's the Maven des Biblioteques.

                                                                                                                                2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                  I would feel free to cook out of whatever book you have or can locate. Personally, I have two Sahni books but not the one chosen and 4 or 5 Jaffrey books including the older copy of the one chosen which I like but which is NOT the best jaffrey book. Better to cook and share the good recipes you try than to drop out. there will be others in the same boat as you.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                    I have been wondering if it would be OK to use recipes from my copy of Sahni's vegetarian cookbook. Don't want to buy yet another cookbook and my library has neither of the chosen ones. Of course I'll start with the online recipes but more variety is a good thing.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                      Maybe not the best Jaffrey (I agree) but it is a v solid introduction to ingredients/technique/dishes.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                      I feel for you, I wouldn't want to buy yet another Jaffrey book. I am not buying Sahni just because I use to own it and I had hardly cooked 4 recipes from it. But I do want to buy at the same time for COTM.

                                                                                                                                      I have had only one experiance with inter-library loan, and it wasn't very good. I had to wait 3-4 months for the book. But maybe it was this particular book.

                                                                                                                                    3. re: cpw

                                                                                                                                      Hi, cpw - yes, I did put my name down for the Jaffrey book also. In the meantime, I'll probably pop over to the main reading room and take a look at the Sahni book. I can write down a couple of recipes, whatever strikes me.

                                                                                                                                      Hopefully we'll both get our Jaffrey books before the month is over!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                                        That's great that you placed your hold on the Jaffrey book. I am waiting for mine too and hopefully it comes in soon.

                                                                                                                                        You think we can go over the Sahni book from the the main reading room (the big library behind Bryant Park) ?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cpw

                                                                                                                                          I think I'm second on the request list for Jaffrey. So maybe you're the 1 ahead of me!

                                                                                                                                          Yes, the Shani book's got a regular JFE code number (JFE 01-1871 if you don't have it already). So it should be available - as all materials are - in the closed stacks. The Sahni vegetarian book seems to be available the same way too, if you are interested in that one as well (though I know it's not the one for COTM).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cpw

                                                                                                                                            cpw: I actually have done that for a couple of COTMs, that is, gone to the library and copied various recipes. Since I usually just pop in and out of the library after looking for a book in the lib. website, I find it's pretty neat to hang around poring over books. I have also discovered some books I'd never heard of.

                                                                                                                                            What a great treasure our public libraries are. I was reminded of public treasures by the (usually pretty tedious) Ken Burns National Park doc. on PBS last wknd. The part about parts of Yellowstone being sold off for farming and ranching and development (100 years ago or so) made me cringe. Luckily, it was stopped in time. Not that it wouldn't be great to have a Burger King next to Old Faithful.... ;+)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                              The Brooklyn Public Library (I live close to the main branch and love it to bits) is a godsend, for cookbooks and general reading. I have managed to restrict my cookbook buying (somewhat...) by getting ones I'm iffy about out of the library first. Posted about the experience on Food Media & News last wkend - two books by bloggers, one excellent, one good but problematic.
                                                                                                                                              PS on the Ken Burns: Intermittenty interesting, some glorious photography. My husb called it "essentially wallpaper" last night.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                I love browsing too. Unfortunately, to see this book it's at the research library. Browsing there isn't quite the same, closed stacks and all.

                                                                                                                              2. I already own the Sahni cookbook and have had nothing but fantastic results with it... I've been looking for an excuse to explore more recipes from it, and making this my first month participating in COTM is exactly the motivation I need!

                                                                                                                                1. Okay, so I got the Sahni book a couple of days ago and last night's dinner had several dishes taken from it (murgh masala, masoor dal, and kheere ka raita) Reports will follow on the individual dishes, but as to the book as a whole, I am **very** impressed.

                                                                                                                                  Finally, a cookbook author who tells you what she means when she says "1 medium onion" (one that weighs about 4 oz. - p.88). And who explains in detail the method for, the reason behind, and the various stages you'll see in a cooking technique (eg, brown-frying onions with garlic and ginger - p.71). But best of all was the description of the intended consistency of the masoor dal - both qualitative ("it should be like a moderately thick cream soup") and quantitative ("there should be 5 to 5 1/2 cups of lentil puree") (pp. 332-333).

                                                                                                                                  Following Jaffrey's recipes for years, I always ended up with dals a little on the pasty side, but was never quite sure whether that's what she intended. Turns out it's just that her "simmer" setting is lower than mine.

                                                                                                                                  I think it would be interesting to compare (first by reading, then maybe by cooking) some of the standards that each author offers. Murgh makhani, rogan josh, etc. But not today - I'm looking forward to leftovers!

                                                                                                                                  20 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                    Hey, this is great feedback! I can't wait for my copy of the book to arrive!

                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      This is jumping the gun on the whole COTM thing, but I thought of you while cooking the murgh masala. It calls for whole cardamom pods, but they can be removed before serving (along with the cinnamon stick). Very, very good, and the spices were subtle and well-balanced. My 12-year-old is the pickiest eater in the house, and isn't a big fan of Indian food in general. She had seconds.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                        Oohhh, good to know. Now, forgive my ignorance, but are whole cardamom pods the ones that look like green watermelon seeds? Or, are those just the seeds prior to being ground?

                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          Well, there's green cardamom pods and black cardamom pods. I've only used black for quite a while, but AFAIR the green ones are smaller and, well, green. Watermelon-seed sized sounds about right.

                                                                                                                                          With either green or black pods, you can open the hull with your fingernails to get to the seeds. The seeds themselves are dark, more or less round, and pretty tiny - maybe a little bigger than black mustard seeds. Getting them out of the pods is a chore, so I just buy them already hulled.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                            FWIW, green and black cardamom have entirely different tastes. Green have a rather sweet flavour, whilst black are considerably larger, with a rather smoky taste. They really should not be used interchangeably.

                                                                                                                                            Here are photos.
                                                                                                                                            http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/E...
                                                                                                                                            http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/A...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Channa

                                                                                                                                              Hmm...green or black, that's not what I was envisioning at all. I'd better go back and have another look at what I thought was "cardamom" pod or seed. Whatever it was it was distinctly green and had a tear shape, like a watermelon seed.

                                                                                                                                              Now I have to wonder what that really was because it doesn't resemble any of your photos for pods or seeds, green or black.

                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                Well this is what I just bought.... I hope they're the right ones:
                                                                                                                                                http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/spices...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                  That's the stuff.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                  It's a teardrop shape but puffy/rounded, not flat like a pumpkin seed.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    We posted at the same time. Do they look like the ones in the photo I posted above yours?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      OK, yeah yeah yeah, that's what they look like. Maybe the photos in Channa's link were just taken at a funny angle? (or my head is attached at a funny angle?!)

                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                        Yup. That's green cardamom all right.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Channa

                                                                                                                                                    Good to know, although the recipe I was working from used called for either/or. I'll pick up some green and see how much difference it makes.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                      Unusual to call for either green or black cardamom pods, the black pods are quite a bit bigger and have a very different flavor, rather smoky. The seeds of all are black. You also see the white bleached pods which I've used but prefer the green.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                    TDQ: Cardamom pods are different colors and shapes. The most prevalent look like pendant earrings....they're fatter than watermelon seeds and usually light greenish in color....of course there are black cardamom and, and, and

                                                                                                                                                    I use whole green card. seeds in rice pudding to great effect.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                      No wonder I'm so confused! But, now I'm pretty sure that what I thought was cardamom pods was indeed cardamom pods, but that I'll have to be careful to note which TYPE of cardamom pods are being requested in any given recipe.

                                                                                                                                                      See, October hasn't even started yet and I'm already learning!

                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                        for heavens sake dont go nuts about this. There are two basic types of Cardamon pods (different species, totally different fragrance) The type you will use are the green cardamon pods pictured in the links above. Sometimes they are bleached white but its the same thing (green preferred by south asians). the pods contain maybe 20 small black seeds. Sometimes recipes (for example garam masala) will call for the seeds inside the pods or ground cardamon , made by grinding these little seeds. You can simply smash some green pods and remove the seeds or buy them already seeded. dont buy ground cardamon whatever you do, its just not as fragrant.

                                                                                                                                                        There are some recipes that call for the large black cardamons which have a camphor fragrance but they are relatively uncommon..

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                          I'm not really going nuts. I just wanted to know whether the green, tear-shaped cardamom I saw at the market was the actual pod or if it was the seed. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                            It's the pod, the seeds are inside, they are black and about 1/8 the size of a peppercorn. And I love the flavor but it's not universally adored.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                You're a terrific salesperson, AB! I just ordered the Sahni book from Jessica's. I'm going to start with Jaffrey but have some of Ms Sahni's on-line recipes which I'll start with till the book arrives. Gosh, I just have no will power.....

                                                                                                                                              3. OK - so now I'm really confused. I checked out Jaffrey's Indian Cooking book at Kitchen Arts and Letters today and it doesn't appear to be the same as my ancient copy of Indian Cookery, which is a BBC edition from the 80s. This is the one I have.

                                                                                                                                                http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Madhur-Jaffreys...

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                  Looks like yours is a british edition. The book here is called, Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, which looks like this:

                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764...

                                                                                                                                                  We went through the same thing with Julie Sahni, the american version is Indian cooking and the british version is Indian cookery. We are hoping that these are essentially the same books.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cpw

                                                                                                                                                    Yes, and if you use the "look inside function" you can see the page w/ the copyright information, which refers back to the 1982 UK edition, and says this later one is published by arrangement with BBC books.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                      Mine is the same as greedygirl's (to whom, welcome to New York!) - checked the look in the book app on Amazon, the pre-recipe spiels and the recipes are basically the same in each (the spellings may been changed to keep Americans from swooning at the u's in flavour etc). The 1982 edition was on sale in the '80s in the US, I got mine at the late and lamented Black Oak Books in Berkeley, CA.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks buttertart. If you're free and would like to meet for a drink then e-mail me
                                                                                                                                                        (in profile). We're here until Saturday. Sorry for derail.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                          Hi, great idea! Check your mail.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                        I had a quick look inside and the recipes didn't appear to be the same - but then it was very quick glance so I'm sure you're right.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                      Hmmm, how many covers has this book worn?

                                                                                                                                                      Here's the one I have:

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Madhur-Jaffreys...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                        Like CPW, I have this one:

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764...

                                                                                                                                                        I think we'll all be OK, though. Thishas happened in the past.