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183 of 185 found the following review helpful:
Best Indian Cookbook period.Jan 24, 2005
By Owen Linderholm
I've been eating Indian food for over 30 years and cooking it for over 20. I can't believe the few negative comments about this book. You do NOT need a pressure cooker. You will very soon be making food better than any Indian Restaurant in the US. I have made about 15 of the recipes without a single dud and four of them are now absolute regulars at our house. It is FAR better than all the other books with fancier photos or millions of recipes.
136 of 141 found the following review helpful:
Almost 100% successful recipesJan 12, 1999
By Adam C. Engst
"TidBITS/Take Control publisher"
Overall, this is a fabulous cookbook, and we've made most of the recipes with great success. The person who reviewed it above complaining about the onion fritter recipe is correct - that's one of two confusing recipes in the book.
(Add 1/2 cup water for the onion fritters, normal flour works fine, and if you're using a deep fat fryer, try 380 degrees. Once you do these things, the onion fritters are great.)
The other dangerous recipe is the fish fillets in a curry sauce, which is hard because it doesn't scale well and the heat is highly dependent on your curry powder.
Otherwise, though, the recipes are stunningly good, and generally easy after the work of cutting everything up and measuring spices. Even ingredients I don't like normally, like spinach and cabbage are wonderful when cooked in Indian food.
122 of 128 found the following review helpful:
Madhur Jaffrey - the Savior of expat Indian students!Dec 22, 1996
I am a graduate student in the United States, by definition
of which, I have to economize on both, the time and the
money I spend on cooking. Besides, an important factor in keeping
a cheerful countenance is tasty (!) food. This is where
Ms. Jaffrey steps in.
Before I started using "Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian
Cooking," I relied on a few recipes handed down from my Mom
and my sister. Some of Ms. Jaffrey's recipes are
refreshing renditions of old favorites (e.g. red lentil `tarka',
whole green lentils with cilantro and mint, hard boiled eggs
masala,...), and some creative delicacies, like fish in green sauce, and
stir fried shrimp in an aromatic tomato cream sauce, simply
grilled tomatoes,... ah, the list is seemingly endless!
To give a sampling of Ms. Jaffrey's creative prowess in
whipping up culinary delights, it is instructive to discuss
a recipe that I recently used. `Fish in Green Sauce' (p.69)
is a recipe that calls for cooking a green sauce made of onion,
garlic, cilantro (the "green"), tomato, ginger, and lemon
juice, and then simmering the fish steaks in the sauce.
I admit I was skeptical at first. I am a cilantro devotee,
and the thought of mixing cilantro and fish never ever
occured to me (I guess this is where her creativity comes in).
I have just one thing to say about the end result--wow!
I think deep down Ms. Jaffrey is a sentimentalist. Her
recipes are peppered with such homey, down-earth musings
about her childhood memories as, "... I remembered how much I
had loved it [fresh green mango chutney] as a child. Memories
of breakfasts and lunches with fresh pooris, vegetables, and
this chutney came flooding back." This book evokes similar
feeings in me, as I flip through it now, wondering what to cook
for dinner tonight, of course, not worrying at all that I have
my study group meeting in about one hour.
48 of 49 found the following review helpful:
Delicious food on my first attempt!May 27, 2000
We have been searching for a novice's guide to Indian cooking, and have had great luck with this one. After borrowing it from the library for a test drive, I had to buy it. I made the Spicy Grilled Chicken, Smothered Pork and Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt. These recipes were easy to prepare and DELICIOUS - and I'm not a very experienced cook. All these recipes were really great on the first try.
The recipes are simple in that they don't have lots of steps, and often allow the cook to kick back for a few minutes while something simmers. You have to add lots of spices, but adding a teaspoon of Garam Masala is not a big deal. It seems to be part of the magic in Indian food - if you get the spices right, it tastes right! We also have Jaffrey's "Taste of India" which is of the more time-consuming and complicated style, and appreciate this easier approach. The beautiful photos and descriptions really inspire you to cook.
By the way, it seems the Colorado review is inaccurate about the canned vegetables - I looked through the whole cookbook and only found canned tomatoes and coconut milk. Doesn't bother me!
41 of 42 found the following review helpful:
Great for a beginner.Dec 12, 2003
By Jennifer Balbale
This book is a great introduction to Indian cooking. First of all, I wanted to address a previous review. Someone posted that they hated this book. They blatantly stated that they didn't even try the recipes. Don't be swayed by their review this book is great.
Think of this book as a shorthand guide to Indian cooking. I married an Indian, and I wanted to cook him Indian food but did not have the slightest idea on the style and attitude towards Indian cooking. I was mostly concerned with it's authentic taste. This was the first book I used to teach myself Indian cooking.
You will find curries, kebabs, pooris, chutneys, or anything else relevant to an Indian dinner. She carefully describes how to find scarce items with a wonderful glossary in back. She will teach you what is imperative to have and what combinations make the meal seamless. The tastes are definitely pleasing.
What's even more pleasing? To hear my husband tell his brother and his friends that, "We are eating saag gosht with pooris tonite," and to hear them reply with, "You are so lucky." As many of his Indian friends are bachelors busy with the school books, they miss the taste of India made at home.
So what have we learned today, boys and girls? 1)This book is for beginners, however, very authentic. 2) You can't go wrong with Madhur Jaffrey. 3)Ignore the person who wrote that bad review. Enjoy!
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