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Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the Globe Hardcover – November 2, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Whole World Vegetarian by Marie Simmons
Delicious Vegetarian Cooking
Big-flavored vegetarian fare from around the globe, by a James Beard Award– and IACP Award–winning author. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The author of seven previous cookbooks, including the classic Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey is among today's most influential and authoritative food writers. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, a meticulously researched collection of more than 750 meatless dishes from around the globe, presents its author in superlative form, culling the best vegetarian home-style dishes from virtually every culture and cooking tradition. Jaffrey's book, filled with delicious, approachable recipes, has universal appeal, and should be part of every cook's library.

Divided into sections on beans, grains, and vegetables, and including chapters on vegetables, soups, salads, and sauces, among other topics, the book brilliantly juxtaposes recipes grouped by ingredient to reveal, finally, the way that ingredient is approached globally to make food. Thus, for example, Jaffrey's section on rice offers Persian Pilaf with Lima Beans, Palestinian Rice with Lentils and Browned Onions, and Risotto with Fried Porcini Mushrooms, among other pitch-perfect dish choices in this and other chapters. Less familiar ingredients like spelt, millet, and soybeans are removed from the realm of dubious interest and presented in compelling recipes, such as Spicy Soybean Patties with Mint. Throughout, Jaffrey provides definitive notes on ingredients (her full investigation of couscous types is one of many examples) and techniques, as well as a truly comprehensive glossary. Jaffrey also offers a small but charming section on drinks; her Fresh Lime and Ginger Syrup from India, to be mixed with ice and soda water, is a simple but marvelous summertime treat, and one more example of Jaffrey at excitingly full throttle. A ten-page section of color photos rounds out this expert collection. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Jaffrey (author of the James Beard Award-winning Madhur Jaffrey's Taste of the Far East) offers an Asian-centered complement to Deborah Madison's European-focused Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. True to Jaffrey's title, the recipes here do hail from all over the world, but an Indian slant can be detected: a chapter on dried legumes contains Black-Eyed Pea Fritters from Nigeria, Boiled Peanuts Indonesian Style, and variations on Chickpea Flour Pancakes from India; a section on grains includes, among other things, the quickly made flatbreads of India, like Punjabi Village-Style Flat Whole Wheat Flaky Breads. Sometimes Jaffrey adopts vegetarian ingredients to make nonmeat versions of familiar dishes, such as a Mock Lamb Curry with seitan (wheat gluten), but more often she simply delves into the meatless tradition of a specific country and pulls up a signature dish (Savory Greek Pumpkin Pie). A chapter on dairy gives instructions for making yogurt, the Indian cheese paneer, mascarpone and other preparations, then describes a variety of ways these bases can be used (Yogurt with Green Mango or Homemade Indian Cheese Cooked in the Style of Scrambled Eggs). With its top-notch glossary of unusual ingredients and thorough information about vegetables, this is an excellent resource for those who like to make everything from scratch as well as those who want fast results. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (November 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517596326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517596326
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`World Vegetarian' by leading authority on Indian cooking, Madhur Jaffrey is one of those books you can tell after reading a page or two that it is worth your time and money if you are interested in learning new things about food.

It is important to note that the notion of `vegetarian' in the title does not mean that the book is all about vegetables, just as a vegetarian is not a person who eats only vegetables. A vegan or vegetarian is someone who avoids meat and, to some extent, products derived from animals. Some people whose vegetarianism is based on respect for animal life go so far as to avoid vegetables like root vegetables whose harvest may entail the death of insects or worms or other subterranean living animals. Ms. Jaffrey is a partial vegetarian, based more on Indian culture and tradition than anything else. And, her book includes major chapters on dairy products derived from milk and eggs.

This is a very big book, with very long chapters on all the big vegetarian topics. These are:

Dried Beans, Dried Peas, Lentils, and Nuts -122 pages

Vegetables - 200 pages

Grains - 186 pages

Dairy - 64 pages

Soups, Salads, and Drinks - 82 pages

Sauces and Added Flavorings - 54 pages


Equipment, Glossary, and Resources - 32 pages

Even with 200 pages and 200 recipes, this very large section does not match the depth of books dedicated entirely to vegetables such as Jack Bishop's `Vegetables Every Day' or Elizabeth Schneider's encyclopedic `Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini'. In fact, Ms. Jaffrey has just 31 sections dedicated to different vegetables, while Ms. Schneider covers over 130 different named vegetables, but Ms.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, yes, this could use more pictures. And I'll be honest, some of her techniques are too complicated and time consuming for me, so I make up my own shortcuts. Soak beans overnight? Heck, it's 6PM, I just got done working & I have a preschooler to feed NOW, so canned beans work FINE for me.
But this is GOOD food. I've made about two dozen recipes out of this cookbook so far, two of which were total flops and one of which needed some tweaking but was good the second time I made it with my tweaks in. So no, this isn't for the inexperienced cook, and not every recipe is as good as it sounds.
But when you have a few extra minutes to cook or want something special, try the Sri Lankan Sweet Potatoes with Cardamom and Chiles, or the Middle Eastern Stew of Chickpeas, Potatoes, and Carrots. If you only have a minute, throw together the Yogurt with Herbs or the Korean Soy Dipping Sauce and top your veggies with it. You won't regret it.
In short, while I don't pull out this cookbook every night, the flavors in it are good enough that I pull it out at least once a week. Give it a try - if the first recipe you try isn't a favorite, try another before you give up. Not everything is going to be to everyone's taste, but everyone is bound to find something they'll like!
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Format: Hardcover
I have acquired a reputation because of this book. I cook for potlucks at church, my wife and I take leftovers to work the next day, and all over people rave about how good the food (so often straight from Madhur's recipes) smells and tastes.

But who cares what other people think, I just love the food.

Now, I learned to cook from this book as a new husband in charge of meals with a vegetarian wife. It's been about a year, probably close to 100 various recipes cooked (many repeated repeatedly), and I'm still excited to try new ones (Doubles is on the menu tonight) and I love going back again and again to find out what to do with asparagus when I find it on sale.

I cook straight from her directions and most often things have come out tasty and memorable and begging to be cooked again. In the beginning I stuck with things that looked pretty easy to me, like stews--I do have the luxury of having lots of time to soak and boil beans, which everyone talks about. Often time-consuming, sure, but I haven't found that the required culinary skills have taxed my limited experience and (limited) common sense. If you want to cook this food and are willing to put in the time and effort, you won't be disappointed.

Like I said, I just get the right ingredients (unfortunately fresh curry leaves seem to be one item I can rarely find, but tamarind, dried whole red chilies, mirin, etc. have all turned up on enjoyable visits to local ethnic food stores), leave myself time for prep and follow her instructions, and I get treated like a star. Hey, it's just a good recipe.

No, not everything has been earth-shattering. But I'm not sure of the heights plain bulgur and lentils could achieve, either. And some are forgettable, or worse.
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Format: Hardcover
Madhur Jaffrey is a renowned author of numerous cookbooks, often focusing on Indian cuisine. "World Vegetarian" is one of her most ambitious works, covers over 200 vegetable and non-meat recipes from around the globe. Although a relatively large portion of the recipes are from India or China, recipes from around the world are well represented: Mexico, Greece, Jamaica, Cyprus, Italy, Trinidad, Japan, France, Morocco, the United States and Native America, Costa Rica, Korea, Cuba, Indonesia, Africa, and Lebanon. Jaffrey also integrates a few recipes that she's developed herself, often borrowing from traditions of several different cultures.
The cookbook is divided into 6 main sections, with major ingredients organized in alphabetical order: 1) Dried Beans, Dried Peas, Lentils, and Nuts (azuki beans to urad beans); 2) Vegetables (artichokes to turnips); 3) Grains (barley to wild rice); 4) Dairy (eggs to yogurt); 5) Soups, Salads, and Drinks (cold soups to sweet soups); 6) Sauces and Added Flavorings (chutney to spice mixtures). Each ingredient is discussed in detail as are basic cooking and preparation instructions, such as peeling daikon, sprouting mung beans, and making basic polenta. As with all her cookbooks, Jaffrey's recipes are written clearly and easy to follow. In addition, each recipe has an introductory paragraph, where she explains some of the ingredients, tells why she loves the recipe, gives hints about good accompanying dishes, and so forth. Reading her recipes is like being in the kitchen with a good friend.
The final section is an extensive glossary that describes needed equipment and foreign ingredients. Finally, Jaffrey includes a one-page summary of places to find unusual cooking resources.
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