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An Invitation to Indian Cooking Paperback – April 19, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. If you buy only one Indian recipe book, this should be it! Written for an audience that is unfamiliar with Indian cusinine, with a lot of background color and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ananta Mukerji
Excellent book for learning to cook Indian food and for learning to use the spices.Published 3 months ago by This One Smith
Clear well thought out recipes. I have traveled to Pakistan and most of her explanations about the difference in our products here in the US is so so true. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have found that I love Indian foods and this book gives not only good recipes for it; but also defines spices and ingredients to be used. Read morePublished 4 months ago by John M Swanson
Good fast read with lots of great behind the scenes info on how she "got there" with many of the recipes. Made some of them already and they are doable and tasty.Published 4 months ago by Van Traveler
This is the Indian cookbook I've been looking for for years. The cuisine mostly focuses around Delhi's regional cuisine, but the recipes are diverse and absolutely delicious. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Patrick Mundy