cover image Simple Indian Cookery: Step by Step to Everyone's Favourite Indian Recipes

Simple Indian Cookery: Step by Step to Everyone's Favourite Indian Recipes

Madhur Jaffrey. BBC Books, $18.95 (127pp) ISBN 978-0-563-52183-9

James Beard Award-winner Jaffrey (Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian), one of the subcontinent's foremost culinary ambassadors, offers relatively simple recipes for classic Indian dishes, as well as some that may be less familiar to American readers. She includes Easy Mulligatawny Soup and Chicken Tikka with Tomato in the first-courses, but also Potato Bhajias, which are less common in Indian restaurants in the U.S., yet simple to make and certain to please French fry aficionados. Seafood, poultry and meat recipes are mostly standards like Creamy Chicken Korma with Almonds and Rogan Josh (lamb stew), all made with a long list of spices, but the well-illustrated, step-by-step presentation, combined with Jaffrey's insightful commentary, makes them accessible. Madras Fish Curry, for example, uses an intimidating number of seasonings for an end result that doesn't look like much, but it is both easy to make and flavorful. The final section is a catch-all of accompaniments, including Green Lentils with Lemon Slices, classic Vegetable Pullao and Yoghurt Raita with Cucumber and Mint. Cooks who didn't grow up in an Indian kitchen may trip over some of recipes-the Flaky Flatbread with Cumin Seeds, for instance, is far trickier than Jaffrey's instructions suggest-but, in general, readers will feel her comforting presence at their side as they cook, convincing them that they, too, can produce top-notch Indian food.