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62 Reviews
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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST Indian cookbook out there!
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 &...
Published on November 30, 1999 by M. Bouchard

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27 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really Indian food
This book contains recipes for nothing but "watered-down" Indian food. Madhur has "Americanized" every dish, right down to the menu suggestions My question is why? Isn't this supposed to be an Indian cookbook? If you really want to eat REAL Indian food, I'd recommend buying a book by Shehzad Husain or Julie Sahni (author of Classical Indian Cooking, the best Indian...
Published on May 28, 2001 by Snazzy DJ


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92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST Indian cookbook out there!, November 30, 1999
By 
M. Bouchard (Trumansburg, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Best Indian Cookbook, September 9, 1999
By A Customer
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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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Cookbook of All Time!, January 21, 2000
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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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Indian Cookbook Out There, January 19, 2002
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Any cookbook by Jaffrey is great, but this one's the best, August 2, 2004
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, November 27, 2003
By 
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attractive Invite to World of Indian Cuisine, December 29, 2004
By 
rodboomboom (St. Louis, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Jaffrey is surely one of Indian cuisine's true ambassadors. Finding the need initially in our country to receive Indian food, she had to prepare it herself and thus modified recipes to American appliances, measurements, etc.

Thus, we have a trusted intro into this fascinating, spicy world of major cuisine with a reliable source to guide. There is an excellent source listing by state with many mail and email order sites.

I am enchanted with the spices and yogurt sauces, e.g. Lamb korma with almonds, pecans, and sour cream; lamb chops with whole spices and yogurt; shrimp with brown sauce; sweet rice; yogurt with roasted eggplant.

This is great work to enter and explore this flavorful world. Color photos of finished work would help us that are unfamiliar with this.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Indian Cookbook of All!, December 12, 2001
By 
This was the first Indian cookbook I ever bought back in 1978. I've since bought over 100, but this is still my favorite, in fact I've had to replace it two times since then (the last time I got it in hardcover).
Don't listen to the fool here who said this is "watered down" or "Americanized" Indian food. This fellow apparently thinks that Indian food must be blazingly hot to be "authentic." Nothing could be further from the truth. The recipes here are all authentically Indian although, yes, they reflect Ms Jaffrey's personal tastes. Of course, that's what makes this cookbook so charming.
If you must buy one Indian cookbook, it should be this one. It is absolutely indespensible for any good kitchen.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat Madhur's tomato chutney and you'll be spoiled forever., October 19, 1999
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been using this book for almost 20 years, and I can't imagine not having it for another 20 years. It's a fantastic introduction to certain kinds of Indian food and is fully usuable by anyone not used to this cuisine. Be forewarned, however: if you cook from this book, you will have a hard time being pleased by many Indian restaurants, few of which can match the splended results even a novice Indian chef can accomplish using this book. I promise that if you make Madhur's tomato chutney, you will never be able to eat anthing purchased in a jar again!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful way to learn Indian Cooking, May 16, 2004
After spending some time in England, and falling in love with the Indian and Pakistan cuisine, I found myself wanting to make some of these dishes at home. My wife purchased An Invitation to Indian Cooking for me. I cannot begin to offer high enough praise for the book. Ms. Jaffrey makes the complex recipes of this part of the world not only reasonable for the average American cook, but gave my family and I the chance to try some fun and delightful recipes. All the recipes are translated to western measurements, and where possible into western ingredients (be prepared to track down a local Indian food store for some of the ingredients. Interestingly, some of the spices you might find at your local grocery store are usually cheaper at the Indian food stores).
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An Invitation to Indian Cooking
An Invitation to Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey (Paperback - April 19, 2011)
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