An Invitation to Indian Cooking
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This seminal book, originally published in 1973, introduced the richly fascinating cuisine of India to America—and changed the face of American cooking. Now, as Indian food enjoys an upsurge of popularity in the United States, a whole new generation of readers and cooks will find all they need to know about Indian cooking in Madhur Jaffrey’s wonderful book.
Jaffrey was prompted to become a cook by her nostalgia for the tastes of her Delhi childhood, but she learned to cook on her own, in a Western kitchen. So she is particularly skillful at conveying the techniques of Indian cooking, at describing the exact taste and texture of a dish. The many readers who have discovered her inspiring book over the years have found it deeply rewarding, with recipes for appetizers, soups, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, chutneys, breads, desserts, even leftovers, all carefully worked out in American measurements and ingredients for American kitchens.
This landmark of cookery makes clear just how extraordinarily subtle, varied, and exciting Indian food can be, and how you can produce authentic dishes in your own kitchen. From formal recipes for parties to the leisurely projects of making dals, pickles, and relishes, this “invitation” to Indian cooking has proved completely irresistible.
In 2006, the James Beard Foundation ushered this book into its Cookbook Hall of Fame.
minutes with the sauce. Peel the hard-boiled eggs, and 10 minutes before the chicken is fully cooked put them in the pot, spooning some sauce over them as well. Pour saffron and saffron water over chicken. Cover and continue simmering until chicken is tender. To serve: Lift chicken carefully out of pot and place it on warmed platter. Arrange eggs around it. If you like, skim the oil off the sauce before pouring it over chicken and eggs. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with a fish pullao or
garnishing) A piece of fresh ginger, 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped 5–7 cloves garlic (depending on preference—I use 7), peeled and coarsely chopped ⅔ cup lemon juice 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon ground turmeric ¼ teaspoon ground mace ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup olive oil 2½ teaspoons salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½–1 teaspoon
are sprinkled in, and the dish is cooled before being served. Various “dumplings” can also be made and put into yogurt. Since they never comprise a main dish, “relish” is a very good word for them. Most Westerners seem to think that the usual relishes served with Indian food are Major Grey’s chutney and little bowls filled with nuts, grated coconut, and sliced bananas and apples. If you have developed a taste for these items, eat them, by all means. But do experiment with some of these much
fresh syrup in the serving bowl. Keep frying and “syruping” a batch at a time—as one batch fries, another can “syrup” until they are all done. When cool, cover serving bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The syrup in the pot can now be discarded. To serve: Gulab jamuns can be served cold, at room temperature, or slightly warmed. Remember, you serve yourself only the gulab jamun, not the syrup in the bowl! And, to end, would you care for a paan? The guest has eaten well. Reluctantly,
waving the paan with a look of smug achievement. There was quiet for a second. Then, like wild demons, we all leaped upon him, snatched the paan, tore it into equal shreds, and devoured the scraps that fell to our lot. We were very ashamed and embarrassed afterwards as we handed the Pakistani gentleman his share, watched him eat it, straighten his tie, cough, and leave the studio without a word exchanged. There was no excuse except that it was unpremeditated! This is what a paan can do to Indians