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Indian Cookbook


KeithA
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Anyone have any suggestions for a cookbook for Indian food? I'm looking for something that has a wide range of recipes and that is pretty user-friendly. I really like Indian food, but my wife hates spicy food and usually refuses to eat it out with me. Since I like to cook and experiment in the kitchen, my hope is to find a cookbook that can train a newbie to cook indian food while being able to adapt the recipes for less heat and somewhat more mild flavors for my less adventuresome spouse. Any ideas?

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How is your wife on strong smelling Indian spices? or is her hatred just spicy food in general. Cooking Indian food will stink out your house and it lingers. Some don't mind...some find it objectionable.

Most Indian cook books by Madhur Jaffrey are user friendly and readible available.

However, one of my favorite Indian cookbooks is Spice Coast of India: Fresh Flavors from Kerala by Maya Kaimal...it seems to be hard to come by these days (maybe out of print?) or at least very expensive online...but if you happen to find it cheaply, I would recommend it for Southern Indian cooking, which is much different from Northern Indian cooking, which is the more familiar style served up in Indian restaurants. I would suggest this book after you have become more familiar with Indian cooking.

As for spice levels, if you are using whole spices the only factor is the use of chili peppers. Common Indian spices like cardamon, cumin, black mustard seeds, turmeric, as well as more familiar spices used like garlic, ginger, cinammon have little to no heat. If you use store bought pre-made pastes/spice mixtures they will have varying levels of heat...but basically throw in chili peppers at your own risk!

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Anyone have any suggestions for a cookbook for Indian food? I'm looking for something that has a wide range of recipes and that is pretty user-friendly. I really like Indian food, but my wife hates spicy food and usually refuses to eat it out with me. Since I like to cook and experiment in the kitchen, my hope is to find a cookbook that can train a newbie to cook indian food while being able to adapt the recipes for less heat and somewhat more mild flavors for my less adventuresome spouse. Any ideas?
I received as a gift years ago a Madhur Jaffrey book that is not really an Indian cookbook. It's an eclectic mix of dishes, including some your wife would probably like. It's Called Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook: Easy East/West Menus for Family and Friends. That might be a starting point.
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"A Taste of India" by Madhur Jaffrey is a nice place to start - not only because the instructions are easy to follow and there is plenty of background information on the ingredients used - but the recipes are separated by region of India with lots of background on the culinary and cultural differences for each area. If nothing else, it's a fascinating read.

As for "stink(ing) out your house"...I'll leave that one alone. :lol:

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Indian Regional Classics by Julie Sahni may be the most simple cookbook I own. She has some sample menus for the multicourse dinner and provides the ingredients for the spice blends.

I second this vote. It's a great book. There is also "Demystifying the Indian Grocery Store" on Amazon. I'd give you an author name but it's packed.

I hate the smell of cheap commercial curry powder, but everything else makes my mouth water.

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