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Oct 27, 2013 09:23 PM

Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" is lacking as a great Indian cookbook// Recommend me a different one!

So yea it's not a bad book or anything, and I've definitely made great tasting food out of it, but I feel it is lacking as a thorough and adept-skilled Indian cookbook. Many of the recipes seem like the same cookie cutter design with a couple changes. For example, most recipes use the same spices and at the same ratio (mainly cumin, coriander, tumeric, cayenne). Wouldn't it be better to use whole chilies to build a flavor base as opposed to cayenne pepper powder? Also, there aren't that many exciting vegetable dishes. Overall, it just seems to be lacking in some detail and depth. I want to see more variety in spices/flavorings used. One of my favorite Indian flavors, tamarind, isn't even mentioned in this book once, which I find a bit odd, since its such a pervasive Indian flavoring. So with that said, can somebody recommend an Indian cookbook more suited to my tastes. I'm looking for something like Thompson's "Thai Food" but obviously for Indian cuisine. I'm also not opposed to fusion. Thanks!

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  1. Indian cooking varies by region. Whole chillies aren't used as much up north, nor is tamarind. Both are commonly used further south. I'd suggest looking for a South Indian cookbook if those are the flavors you are looking for.

    1. I have the food of India (food of the world series). If I recall if does have recipes calling for tamarind paste and grinding your own spices

      1. You might check out 660 curries. It was a COTM last year. I use it frequently and like it. It is a huge, fairly comprehensive book.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sedimental

          +1 on the 660 Curries, I've made lots of delicious recipes from that book.

        2. As pointed out there is no one cookbook ..each area has a differening cuisine ...

          is for example a reasonably good book for food from Kerala

          You may try this as well

          1. I really like her Curry Bible book. There are a few recipes that use tamarind paste in it. I know what you mean about the same spices being used, but what I find really amazing is how even using basically the same spices, each dish does taste different.

            It is a very informative book, and each recipe has an indication of the region it is from. Well worth the purchase and probably one of my most used cookbooks