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From Mom with love: Complete Guide to Indian Cooking and Entertaining Hardcover – January 1, 2010

126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A  treasure for amateurs and for seasoned cooks alike. The recipes are utilitarian, the photography makes it even more delectable and while the food cooks, one feels like re-reading the acknowledgements.  --India Abroad

The end result is a beautifully written book with recipes that a first time beginner can look at and create a multi-course meal, safety tips and home remedies thrown in as a bonus. All nervous questions are already answered..

As the Introduction says, this book "is a substitute for your Mom standing next to you ...lovingly helping you prepare ..Indian meals for every occasion."  It really is!

About the Author

The magical aroma of Pushpa Bhargava's gourmet and everyday cooking has welcomed innumerable guests to her beautiful home. The delectable taste of her cooking has enchanted even the most discerning of friends. The elegance and grace of her hospitality and the comfort of her food has warmed the hearts of many after a tiring, stressful day at work. Pushpa has offered her years of experience in the art of special and everyday cooking and entertaining to young people starting their own kitchens and to the young at heart wanting to add to their repertoire. She has been rewarded with truly heartwarming feedback from friends, family, and total strangers from around the globe.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Crest Books Inc (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976185121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976185123
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Any American cook who longs to plunge deeply into the cuisine of India is bound to grow impatient with the cookbooks offered by major United States publisher....But mainstream cookbook publishers are no longer the only game in town." Anne Mendelson, New York Times - July 18. 2007

Pushpa Bhargava is a mother of two who came to the US in 1972 as a newlywed. Pushpa currently lives outside New York city with her husband Vikram. She has two children who are business executives in the greater New York area.

She has seen a whole generation of Indian Americans including her own two children grow from birth to highly successful professionals. As rich as their American experience has been, she felt they missed out on the warmth of the touch of mothers, aunts and grandmothers that she had the privilege of having grown up with in a traditional home in India.

Her book was initially an attempt to fill that gap that started as hand written recipes for her own children.

To her pleasant surprise, there was a huge base of mainstream US and
International customers who saw the same value in the book. In less than two years the first edition was completely sold out -mostly through street fairs and personal networking. It was replaced by the second edition - that was available through the main stream book outlets and websites. It also sold out in about a year. The third printing has been available since December 2010.

The book exemplifies a wonderful and unique trait of the American life... "If you will build it, he will come." (Movie - "Field of Dreams").

Pushpa dared to "build' a book. And the users came!

Thus, this is a story of a loving home maker mother and her engineer husband who had few resources and little knowledge of writing or publishing. Through sheer grit and determination lasting almost eight years and with the help of friends, family and a camera, they toiled on perfecting the recipes, designing the book, starting a publishing company, going to Book Fairs and finding a willing printer.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

525 of 529 people found the following review helpful By Holly Holly on December 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this cookbook about 8 months ago. I wanted to really give it a workout before writing a review. I'm a born and raised American who married a born and raised East Indian. My husband is a doll, but having been one of the fortunate few to have grown up in a wealthy Indian home, he was provided only the best meals and is extremely picky with food. So much so that his mother even warned me about it.

I have quite a few Indian cookbooks, my favorites being this one, "Quick and Easy Indian Cooking" by Mahur Jaffrey and "5 Spices, 50 Dishes" by Ruhta Kahate. Madhur Jaffrey and Rutha Kahate are both fabulous cooks and have some great recipes, but my husbands biggest complaints about both of their cookbooks is that many of the recipes are too mild or are "Americanized" Indian dishes. (The spice issue is easy to work with, I just double the chili powder or add additional green chilies.) So while the meals in both of those cookbooks are really great tasting food, my Gujarati husband was looking for the EXACT SAME taste he would get at home in every recipe of the book. (EEEK!)

I read the great reviews on this book and decided to purchase it even though it didn't have anything about "simple" or "easy" in the title. I really think Mahur Jaffrey and Rutha Kahate both introduced me to Indian style cooking and helped me get past that initial fear of all the spices, taking me from beginner to intermediate. Both are really great books and I highly recommend them for beginners.

Well, this is THE BOOK!! From meal one, this cookbook was a huge hit with my husband! I don't consider myself a naturally good cook, but this book is absolutely fabulous at guiding you every step of the way.
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105 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Anjali Kapal on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have over 10 cookbooks in my pantry that claim to be the 'best' Indian cookbooks around. So, skeptical of adding yet another book to an already overcrowded shelf of unused cookbooks, I made the purchase...mainly becuase the pictures and recipes just looked so delicious...and my strong desire to have good home-made Indian food. When I tried out a recipe...I noticed that the directions were easy to follow and were accurate (in my experience, Indian cookbooks are not accurate about all the ingredients necessary or the amounts or even the preparation times)! To my surprise, my dishes turned out just as the book described (unlike the results I got from some of those other cookbooks in my pantry). This book has given me confidence that I can actually cook Indian food...successfully. I especially like the recommendation at the beginning of the book that tells you the essential spices to have in your pantry. I hope Pushpa Bhargava will consider writing a Vol. 2!
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Delores on March 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this cookbook as a present for my husband who loves Indian food but never learned to cook it. We've now made several recipes (mostly our favorites from Indian restaurants, but also some we were unfamiliar with) and all of them have been delicious. Some recipes are complicated, others less so, but nothing has been beyond our skill.

Standout aspects of this excellent book:
- glossary explaining ingredients
- list of ingredients to have on hand
- list of special equipment needed
- menu suggestions for entertainment
- lassi and homemade paneer recipes
- suggestions for meals that freeze or keep well
- suggestions for recipes

Problem and suggestions:
- The list of ingredients preceding a recipe is not organized in the order of use. She might tell you to heat oil in a pan and then add two or three spices, but those spices will not be the first items on the ingredients list, they might be the 3rd, 4th, and 10th items in the list. To overcome this confusion we've developed two techniques:
1) Read the recipe thoroughly at least twice before starting to cook. If you are accustomed to scanning a recipe and then diving in, don't be tempted to do that with this cookbook.
2) Measure out all the spices ahead of time. We use small dishes and organize the spices as they are used in the recipe. If 3 bay leaves, a stick of cinnamon and a tablespoon of turmeric all go into the pan together, we put those three spices into one bowl and set it aside, and so on for all the spices in the recipe. That way as you are cooking you can grab one bowl that contains all the relevant spices for that area of the recipe. This means you spend less time being confused by the disorganized list of ingredients.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By pleureur. on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've really enjoyed this cookbook and have made several items from it. What I've cooked has been quite nice tasting. The basic masala (which is used in some other recipes) is delicious and its use is clever and time saving. The butternut squash dish is one of the most fantastic tasting squash recipes I've ever eaten. Her directions for bread-making are clear. Also the reader can take advantage of the author's website to view cooking demonstrations online.

The book has a nice sturdy cover and is easy to use and read in the kitchen.

I do have some suggestions for improvement for the next edition:
* please put the ingredients in order of their use in the recipe. It is really confusing, for example in one lentil recipe, to have the ingredients all jumbled together and then be told at the end "add remaining ingredients," so that one must look through the list and recall which were already put in.
* provide English translations for the dishes in the table of contents to broaden the appeal to those who don't know their Hindi names.
* include an index so that one can locate a particular recipe in the text.
* provide the yields of the recipes. For example, there is a big batch of a basic masala used throughout the book, but the yield is not stated. When I made it, the yield seemed to be approximately 2-1/4 cups.
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From Mom with love: Complete Guide to Indian Cooking and Entertaining
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