I bought this book a few years ago and despite buying / being given other curry cook books, I always go back to this one time and time again. Madhur writes very affectionately about her childhood memories of food in India - it's the type of thing I would normally find very irritating in a cookery book, however I genuinely think it's helped me over the years create some fantastic food from the recipes.
There's a mixture of simple and complex recipes - all of which are pretty amazing. I've learnt to eat Indian food in a completely different way to how you would in a typical restaurant eg you eat the raita's etc with your main course to balance the flavours and heat. The variety of chutneys, accompaniments, vegetable dishes and snacks is vast for such a modestly sized book. Also, Indian food tastes much fresher and far less cloying than the stuff we're normally subjected to in a restaurant. This book has been so influential in our household that we rarely go out for a curry now because they taste so much better at home.
Don't be put off by the fact there's no pictures, it's packed full of useful tips. Also, you will need a food processor and something to grind spices with - apart from this no other special equipment is needed.
A gem of a book - if you have all the modern books, try this one for some lovely Indian home cooking like it used to be!
I am just reordering this great book. I have literally worn it out. You may not need another Indian cookbook. I have given it 4* rather than five as there are NO photos. More room for some fantastic recipes, most notably: Chicken with sliced lemon, Green Beans with mustard. Get it.
This book taught me how to cook real Indian curries using all the individual spices rather than just using curry powder. The detailed instructions are excellent and the recipes very good.
People have to remember that there was a time when cookbooks had no pictures! I still use 'The Glasgow Cookbook', 'Mastering the Art of FrenchCooking', 'Delia Smith's Complete CookeryCourse' and 'French a Provincial Cooking' by Elizabeth David. Not one has any pictures yet I achieve excellent results because I follow instructions.
Since food photography is now big business, you should not believe all you see. Many photographs do not show the 'real' finished product in any case and in the case of curries that is understandable. Photos of food is fashionable and allows publishers to charge twice as much.
If you want to learn to cook real Indian food then buy this book, or indeed any of the books by Madhur Jaffrey.
THis is a readable book as well as a helpful cookery book. I enjoyed the writer's memories of learning to cook and her comments on the various styles of cooking. Certainly a classic for those setting out to try Indian cookery for the first time
Had to buy this one .. as my original one that I got when we married over 38 yrs ago ... is just about falling apart due to constant use! It's a great book for beginners and for those who have a lot of Indian cookery under their belts too.