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Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking Hardcover – October 27, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Whole World Vegetarian by Marie Simmons
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A James Beard Foundation Book Award and IACP Award nominee

One of The Washington Post’s 10 Best Cookbooks of 2015
A Publishers Weekly Best Lifestyle Book of the Year
A Library Journal Best Cookbook of the Year
One of The Houston Chronicle’s 10 of the Year’s Best Cookbooks
A Staff Book Pick at The Splendid Table

"Madhur Jaffrey has traveled extensively through India to bring you a book of epic proportions. Vegetarian India will open your palate and mind. Within these pages, Madhur offers an approachable way to take on Indian cookery; and by following her voice, you can turn the humble vegetable into an amazing feast.” —April Bloomfield
 
“Madhur Jaffrey is a culinary treasure and no one knows more about Indian cooking than she does. The recipes in Vegetarian India got me more excited than meat.” —Aasif Mandvi 
 
“Madhur Jaffrey manages to capture both the sheer vastness and variety of India, at the same time producing recipes which are easy and quick to prepare. Pulling off these two very different things—conveying how much history and variety exists in all the various Indian cuisines while making them so accessible to the home cook—is mighty impressive.” —Yotam Ottolenghi

"Jaffrey's book does a great service by showcasing the diversity of vegetable-based cuisine in India and is guaranteed to introduce even the most well-versed non-Indian (or Indian!) cook to new techniques, ingredients, or regional variations." —Food52

“Jaffrey explores vegetarian cooking in India through regional and modern dishes, presenting uncomplicated recipes with flavor and history. Recipes and notes share a precision and detail that can come only from Jaffrey's sheer love and desire to share her life lessons through food.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“The world’s best-known ambassador of Indian cuisine travels the subcontinent to showcase the vast diversity of vegetarian dishes. Best of all: She makes them doable for the Western cook.” —The Washington Post

“An appetizing journey through the best vegetarian cuisine India has to offer, and it is decidedly worth the trip. . . . Jaffrey, a seven-time James Beard Award winner for her stellar cookbooks, explores vegetarian home cooking in this exceptional new [book]. . . . In this enticing collection, she focuses on traditional dishes that make up a typical Indian vegetarian diet. The country’s size and the vastly dissimilar cuisines in its different regions make this a nearly herculean task. Jaffrey’s recipes, learned from locals in all walks of life, emphasize regional ingredients and influences.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
 
“Highly recommended. . . . Jaffrey’s fresh compilation features extraordinary variety and achieves approachability without simplification. . . . [She] made multiple trips to India to collect the 200-plus vegetarian recipes presented here. . . . [And] has successfully translated these for Western home cooks. . . . Readers who take the time to prep and measure the many spices called for in each recipe will be richly rewarded at mealtime.” —Library Journal (starred)
 
“Jaffrey reinvigorates vegetarian cooking by turning to an ancient cuisine that mastered meat-free eating long before it was trendy. More than 200 spiced and seasoned recipes include Punjabi-Style Beets with Ginger and Chickpeas in Fresh Cilantro Sauce, but the real hook is Jaffrey, the legendary and award-winning cookbook author and actress whose voice is both elegant and engaging.” —Yahoo! Food (One of Best Cookbooks for Holiday Gift Giving)
 
“Any time there's a new Indian cookbook from Madhur Jaffrey is cause for celebration. After all, the woman who has been called ‘the godmother of Indian cooking’ has spent four decades introducing dishes from her homeland to the West. She's won arm-loads of James Beard Awards along the way, and has become a celebrity not just for her cooking, but for her work as a film actress. This new cookbooks showcases how important vegetarian cooking is in India, where more than 300 million people follow the diet, turning plants into hearty stews and curries that are full of flavors thanks to spices like turmeric, coriander and cumin. Jaffrey shares 200 of these dishes, ranging from simple to complex.” —The Oregonian
 
“Vegetarians make up a huge percentage of the population of India, and . . . have produced some of the most flavorful, delicious cuisines on the planet. Who better than Madhur Jaffrey, Indian cookbook author extraordinaire and the recipient of an astounding seven James Beard Awards, to chronicle their home cooking? In her new cookbook, Vegetarian India, Jaffrey shares her travels throughout India, as well as recipes for the diverse foods she encounters along the way. These recipes—which are inspired by the vegetarian home cooks of India—are simple in execution but incredibly complex in flavor.” —Epicurious, “The 30 Most Exciting New Fall Cookbooks, 2015”
 
“Let’s get something out of the way right now: This book is stunning. Like, absolutely incredible. Flipping through the recipes is not advised on an empty stomach; you'll want to eat the pages. Don't tell me I didn't warn you.” —Ariel Knutson, The Kitchn, “10 New Cookbooks Everyone Is Going to Be Talking About This Fall”
 
“With beautiful illustrations and photos from [Jaffrey’s] own travels, this book is an indispensable addition to your collection, whether you’re an avid home cook, vegetarian, or Indian food enthusiast. . . . The award-winning cookbook author traveled the Indian subcontinent to amass 200-plus vegetable, grain, bean, and bread recipes that are easily replicated at home. We’re calling it now: Okra fries are the new kale chips. And trust us when we say that you haven’t really had curry until you’ve tasted Jaffrey’s recipe for Kodava Mushroom Curry with Coconut.” —Tastebook

“Comfort food, Indian style, is spicy and rich in fibre and protein. Madhur Jaffrey’s new cookbook,Vegetarian India, is a gold mine of this type of cooking. Jaffrey, longtime guru for North America of Indian cuisine, has produced a collection of more than 200 recipes, temptingly illustrated.” —National Post (Canada)
 
“Beautiful and authoritative.” —The Gazette (Montreal)

"Exceptional." —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

MADHUR JAFFREY is the author of many previous cookbooks—seven of which have won James Beard Awards—and was named to the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation. She is the recipient of an honorary CBE from Queen Elizabeth II for her services to drama and promoting the appreciation of Indian food and culture. She is also an award-winning actress, having won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival, with numerous major motion pictures to her credit. She lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (October 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101874864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101874868
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.3 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bundt Lust VINE VOICE on October 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Earlier this summer, I ordered the excellent "Curry Easy Vegetarian from the UK as I adore Madhur Jaffrey (and vegetarian Indian cookbooks in general, especially the two fantastic Gujarati cookbooks by Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking. True to form, this is an excellent, informative guide to vegetarian cooking across India that includes over 200 recipes for vegetables (roasted, stir-fried, curry), dals, grains (pilaf, flattened rice, upmas), breads and pancakes, numerous delicious egg and cheese dishes, chutneys, and drinks, sweets and desserts. From what I can tell, "Vegetarian India" appears to be identical (as referenced in the book's title page) but in US measurements, so if you already own "Curry Easy Vegetarian," you will be getting the exact same recipes. This is a lovely, user-friendly introduction to vegetarian Indian cuisine; highly recommended.
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Well, I had preordered this and got it this morning on Kindle. Read through it all morning. It looks great. I am an Indian food aficionado and have a large collection of cookbooks, including the Krishna ones. I see many recipes there that are very new, not in any of my other books. I especially like the poha recipes and interesting new potato ones. I think most vegetarian cooks and Indian food lovers will like this book.
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This is DIFFERENT Indian cuisine. Some of the regions that Jaffrey covers are remote and unfamiliar to those who know either Northern Indian cuisine or Southern Indian (rasam, sambhar and the delicious little steamed idli cakes.) A lot of the preparations are very fresh and uncomplicated: potatoes and peas with a few spices, for example.

I think the best Indian cuisine is the vegetarian version, which seems to really reach for good flavor combinations and bringing the best out of each vegetable. So there is a lot about preparation here, like char-grilling eggplants and tomatoes for a simple relish or dish that is uncomplicated but deep in flavor.

A few upma recipes are here--poha (flattened, steamed rice, available at Indian groceries) and one with quinoa, not a traditional Indian ingredient but adaptable to the upma which is essentially savory spiced porridge. I'm often reluctant to make these because if I haven't had the original, I'm not sure I'll get it right--but the poha upma in here looks good.

If you are looking for tikka masala, saag paneer and traditional restaurant Indian food, this isn't the book for that. These are recipes you haven't seen before. Some are kind of a waste: I mean melon balls with mint doesn't require a recipe or photo. We know how to do that. But other recipes are new and exciting.
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Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey has lots of recipes. But with the pictures and variety of locations, Ms Jaffrey has done something wonderful. She's cracked the code of how to turn a cookbook into a travelogue. Taking the readers into kitchens grand like Falaknuma (when there's a spin like asking for a pomegranate Margarita to be made non-alcoholic. These kind of incidents paint a little picture about the author, bartender and the place) but also going to places where the good food flows like the Bombay dubba walla. The book focuses on different parts of India, so even if you are a vegetarian cook from India, you will still appreciate the ingredients and special mixes in the other parts of the country - eg Kasthundi.
The berry pulav with its pink astonishing colours, looks so great that I want to try a variant of it with pomegranate. I am going to try naan khatai too. It is more involved than a simple recipe that i have. But I want to see how will it be with sooji and besan flour.
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I really like this book for the range of recipes from different regions. The ingredients, especially the many spices which often need to be added to the pan in a quick and specific order, seem to be listed in no particular order. It would be nice if they were listed in the order in which they appear in the recipe as is often the case with a well written recipe list. That way, while I am measuring out all my spices, I could just line them up in the order in which they need to be cooked. As it is, I have to measure them out, and then read back and forth through the recipe to get everything lined up correctly.
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This was one of those cookbooks that also takes you on a journey, sharing small stories and history lessons along the way. The recipes were clear, easy to follow, and were grouped in a logical order. The photos were lovely as well. I just wish there was more of everything! I came away with maybe a dozen recipes that I'd likely make regularly, and a few that I want to try at least once. For such a broad topic, I was expecting more recipes and more vignettes from the author's travels throughout the region.
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Wonderful cookbook with light vegetarian fare...very different from the usual Indian cookbook. Try mushroom curry with coconut milk, or my absolute favorite, eggplant with nut sauce. You won't be sorry. Jaffrey presents a comprehensive survey of Indian vegetarian home cooking.
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