ISO Indian cookbook

Joined Apr 24, 2001
Any suggestions/recommendations for books on Indian cooking? I'm looking for books that are not necessarily heavy on recipes, but on text that explain the why's of spice combinations and cooking techniques. Basically, because I cannot have a live-in teacher, I want a book that will help train my intuition.

Joined Mar 6, 2001
My favorite is "Classic Indian Cooking" by Julie Sahni. It has all my favorite dishes and as I recall she does explain seasonings and misconseptions Americans have about curry.

Her samosa recipe is great. The pastry is really flakie..yum. On and on...

I have other Indian cookbooks but none I trust and treasure as much.
Joined May 26, 2001
WDB is right with recommending Julie Sahni's book -- Sahni is one of the best at explaining Indian food to Americans.

If you can find a copy of The Cooking of India from the Time-Life series, "Foods of the World," you'll also find what you need. This one was written by Santha Rama Rau (the novelist and playwright), and contrasts the cooking of the north with that of the south. Needless to say, extremely well written and informative.
Joined Jun 28, 2001
I really like Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. (I also like stealing recipes from Gujarati grandmothers). Heehee.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Although I like Julie Sahni very much, I'm very partial to Madhur Jaffrey. My choices would be:

- An Invitation to Indian Cooking
- Flavors of India: Classics and New Discoveries
- A Taste of India

I enjoy all three and recommend them. :p


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Julie Sahni is better at the discussion of the food. Jaffrey is better at actually giving you recipes that work. I have tried a few of Devi's recipes I have stumbed across. They're good. I don't know about his books as I haven't seen them.



Joined Apr 4, 2000
Take a look at The Cuisines of India: The Art and Tradition of Regional Indian Cooking by Smita Chandra. There is a chapter devoted to ingrdients used in Indian Cooking. You'll also find historical note for each recipes.

There are not many vegetarian recipes in this book, that would be the only negative thing I could say. If you are looking for vegetarian recipes try Dakshin : Vegetarian Cuisine from South India.
Joined Aug 8, 2000
I happen to like Savoring the Spice Coast of India by Maya Kaimal. This cookbook has recipes from the Kerala region of India. I've cooked plenty of dishes out of the book and they're all pretty tasty. I wanna get her other book someday too!:lips:
Joined Jun 24, 2002
monpetitchoux, a font of knowledge online is Suvir Saran. He has his own site: and is a moderator at eGullet, where he answerrs just about any question .

There is a long biograohy on his site that ends:

"Suvir now owns a catering and consulting business Rasoi, The Indian Kitchen. Rasoi lists among its clients the Asia Society, Carnegie Hall, the World Music Institute and New York University. (Suvir catered an event for the Asia Society in 1997 celebrating India's 50th year of independence from the British for which guests paid several thousand dollars per table.) Suvir's catering and cooking classes have been favorably reviewed in a variety of publications in addition to New York Magazine including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and US News.

"Suvir is on the editorial team of Food Arts Magazine as contributing authority for Indian food. His recipes and work have also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and US News World Report. Suvir is director of marketing for the Clubhouse Group that has opened restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, and will open two more restaurants this year in Dallas and Columbus, Ohio. "

He is also working on a book.
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