For all who love the magical flavors of good Indian cooking and want to reproduce effortlessly some of the delectable dishes from that part of the world, here is a groundbreaking book from the incomparable Madhur Jaffrey that makes it possible. By deconstructing age-old techniques and reducing the number of steps in a recipe, as well as helping us to understand the nature of each spice and seasoning, she enables us to make seemingly exotic Indian dishes part of our everyday cooking.
• First, she tantalizes us with bite-size delights to snack on with drinks or tea.
• A silky soup is mellowed with coconut milk; a spinach-and-ginger soup is perfumed with cloves.
• Fish and seafood are transformed by simple rubs and sauces and new ways of cooking.
• A lover of eggs and chicken dishes, Jaffrey offers fresh and easy ways to cook them, including her favorite masala omelet and simple poached eggs over vegetables. There’s chicken from western Goa cooked in garlic, onion, and a splash of vinegar; from Bombay, it’s with apricots; from Delhi, it’s stewed with spinach and cardamom; from eastern India, it has yogurt and cinnamon; and from the south, mustard, curry leaves, and coconut.
• There is a wide range of dishes for lamb, pork, and beef with important tips on what cuts to use for curries, kebabs, and braises.
• There are vegetable dishes, in a tempting array—from everyday carrots and greens in new dress to intriguing ways with eggplant and okra—served center stage for vegetarians or as accompaniments.
• At the heart of so many Indian meals are the dals, rice, and grains, as well as the little salads, chutneys, and pickles that add sparkle, and Jaffrey opens up a new world of these simple pleasures.
Throughout, Madhur Jaffrey’s knowledge of and love of these foods is contagious. Here are the dishes she grew up on in India and then shared with her own family and friends in America. And now that she has made them so accessible to us, we can incorporate them confidently into our own kitchen, and enjoy the spice and variety and health-giving properties of this delectable cuisine.