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An Invitation To Indian Cooking Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Ecco ed edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880016647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880016643
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The final word on the subject . . . perhaps the best Indian cookbook available in English." --Craig Claiborne, "The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Written especially for Americans, this book demonstrates how varied, exciting, and inexpensive Indian cooking can be, and how easily you can produce authentic dishes at home. Over 200 recipes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 57 customer reviews
Easy to follow, good recipes.
J. Snyder
Her recipe headnotes and endnotes give helpful suggestions as to what to serve the dishes with and possible variations.
abt1950
I am on my second copy of this book because I used my first copy so much that it fell apart!
Radbarb@AOL.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 92 people found the following review helpful By M. Bouchard on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is really an excellent cookbook. I've used it for around 20 years, and the pages are well-stained. The nice thing is that the recipes are truly adapted to American kitchens, which is not always true for Indian cookbooks. And the recipes themselves are delicious. I have turned many friends on to Indian cooking through this book, some of whom have gone out & bought their own copies. A woman- from India- with whom I work copied several recipes, then decided she needed her own copy of the book. There is explanation of Indian customs and cooking methods, also, in a breezy style that is almost conversational. Thorough, interesting, and best of all-- tasty!
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Fifteen years ago I bought An Invitation to Indian Cooking when Indian food was still hard to find. This was my first Indian cookbook and is still my favorite. Jaffrey explains the unusual (for an American) techniques and leads you through the recipes so carefully that you will lift the lid of the pot and smell the wonderful fragrance of Indian food with amazement! Just do as she says and you will have delicious Indian meals. I have served some of her recipes at parties and received wonderful compliments, even from people who thought they wouldn't like such food. I'm on my second copy of this book -- the only cookbook where that is the case! It's the best!
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Fillekes on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
We have a 1992 Tiger Books edition (UK), The Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook. This book combines Invitation to Indian Cooking and Eastern Vegitarian Cooking -- it's nearly a thousand pages long! We use it almost every day.
What I like best about it are the illustrations, the detailed descriptions of the cooking techniques and ingredients (I'm always overwelmed with my own ignorance at those packets of strange things in an asian grocer!) -- and effusive way she describes the context in which she discovered many of the recipes and how they're eaten in different parts of India and Asia.
Oh, and the recipes make for some incredibly good food. Although we're not vegetarians, we've found that the wide variety of vegetable dishes make for a more interesting way of getting enough vegetables, and having less and less meat in our diets--very good for the health, as are the spices!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm from Delhi myself, and I grew up with excellent North Indian cooking every day of my life. This is the cookbook that I recommend to my friends. Indian cooking is so very different from region to region that not every recipe is how I myself would make it ("kheer," for example, varies tremendously throughout India and though I make it completely differently from Jaffrey, her recipe is still tasty). But they're all good, they're all authentic, and they're all very easy to follow. I disagree with the person who said this is Americanized Indian cooking -- I think this is extremely genuine North Indian cooking. It's not South Indian or West Indian or Punjabi, and you can't expect it to be. The only book I use more is Jaffrey's "World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking" which is probably my favorite cookbook in the world. But I think this book still is truly the best introduction to Indian cooking, and it's an enjoyable read in its own right (don't miss the "foreward").
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By abt1950 on August 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book when it came out in paperback for the first time. It cost all of $3.95, so that should give you an idea of how long ago that was. I have used it and loved it ever since. I've bought other Indian and Asian cookbooks, including some by Jaffrey, but this one remains my favorite.

So why is "An Invitation to Indian Cooking " so special? For one thing, the fact that it's written to be used by "American cooks in American kitchens" doesn't mean that the recipes have been modified to death. Jaffrey includes an extensive section on spices and a preliminary introduction on Indian cooking in general. If you read these, you come away with a basic understanding of Indian cooking techniques. That may not sound so unusual today, but it was, back in the early 1970s when this book first came out. There are no pretty pictures in this cookbook, but Jaffrey provides very detailed instructions in her recipes as to what the food is supposed to look like at each stage. This really helps if you're not familiar with Indian cooking. Her recipe headnotes and endnotes give helpful suggestions as to what to serve the dishes with and possible variations. As far as I'm concerned, "An Invitation to Indian Cooking" is a true classic.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte A. Rowe on November 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
After returning from a trip to India,
I decided I must learn how to cook the delicious
foods that I was able to sample in various regions
of that diverse and fascinating country.
"An Invitation to Indian Cooking" is the
book I bought, and it was clearly a great choice.
The book has been very carefully adapted by
the author for American kitchens - this in no
way "waters down" or "Americanizes" the recipes
as some other reviewers falsely assume has
been said. The book DOES, deliberately,
modify recipes so that they will be
authentic despite the differences in the
American market (our meats are more tender
and have more moisture, for instance, so the
methods for browning meat must be different
than a cook would use in Delhi). These changes
and adaptations are absolutely necessary to
assure the dishes will taste and appear as they
would in India. Ms. Jaffrey has done a marvelous
job and her instructions are not only easy to
follow, but the explanations are easy to under-
stand and appreciate. By all means, if you want
to try cooking Indian, buy this book - and her
others as well.
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