Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

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Notes about this book

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Okra fries (Tali bhindi)

    • MelMM on March 08, 2015

      Brilliant recipe, that will be a repeat in my house. The only thing I would change is to add salt to the chickpea flour/spice mixture, and then more salt when the okra slivers come out of the fryer.

  • Roasted cauliflower with Punjabi seasonings (Oven ki gobi)

    • MelMM on March 08, 2015

      Didn't thrill me. This recipe somehow lacked a certain depth of flavor. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.

    • Avocet on April 18, 2020

      We liked it, but it needed at least twice as much lemon juice, and increased amounts of spice. The cauliflower needed to be cut into smaller pieces than the recipe indicated. Not the greatest, but serviceable.

    • Lepa on February 01, 2017

      This was just mediocre. There are so many lovely Indian cauliflower dishes. Don't waste your time with this one!

  • Peas and potatoes cooked in a Bihari style (Matar ki ghugni)

    • MelMM on March 08, 2015

      Rather bland. I think this would be better if the onions were cooked longer, until they start to brown, rather than just soften. This would be more like 20 minutes instead of the 5 minutes specified in the recipe. Also, like every single recipe in this book I've tried, it needed more salt.

  • Mixed dal, Delhi-style (Dilli ki mili jhuli dal)

    • MelMM on March 08, 2015

      Yet another recipe that was too bland from this book. It's becoming a theme. There was no need to mash the dal with a potato masher - after 45 minutes, it was already cooked to mush. The picture of the spices being fried on the previous page clearly shows turmeric in the oil, but the only turmeric in the recipe was added to the simmering dal, not to the oil. Annoying. The dish wasn't bad, but it wasn't particularly exciting either.

    • mzgourmand on August 29, 2021

      I thought this dish was very tasty - a nice healthy dal dish that doesn't taste too virtuous. Had it as a side dish at dinner and then for breakfast the next morning! The tarka - spices sizzled in oil - really makes the flavors and mouthfeel sing in this dish. The "turmeric" sizzling in the oil that the other poster referred to is actually the hing or asafetida spice that really enhances the flavor of the dal. I only used one dried chile pod & it was mildly spicy. If you wanted more spice, I'd use the recommended two dried hot red chilies.

  • Simple seasoned yogurt, North Indian-style (Dahi ka saada raita)

    • MelMM on March 08, 2015

      Very simple. Just yoghurt, ground red chiles, ground cumin, and salt. I doubled the salt, which made it about right. This was a nice condiment to serve with the other dishes I made from the book, and added a lot to their flavor.

    • Avocet on March 21, 2020

      Good. I usually make a cucumber raita to go with various Indian dishes, but not having a cucumber, I tried this and it worked well.

  • Simple Kodava mushroom curry (Kumme curry)

    • mlbatt on May 20, 2020

      Excellent. I reduced the sauce at the end. Skipped the green chiles but might add 1/2 of one next time. A new favorite!

    • tmitra on March 25, 2017

      Okay but very soupy; I'm not sure if that's the intent?

  • Vegetable biryani with cauliflower, carrots, and peas (Gobi, gajar aur matar ki biryani)

    • aeader on November 17, 2019

      This was very good, would definitely make again. I used 1/4 tsp ground cardamom since I didn't have the pods. Used 1/4 tsp dried jalapeno for the chiles and added extra peas since I needed to use them up. Was relatively quick to make as long as you start the rice soaking ahead of time.

    • sosayi on April 17, 2020

      We really like this biryani. Easy prep, and great flavor even with a few changes. First, the rice portion is easily cooked in a rice cooker, with aromatics sautéed first in a skillet and added to the rice before it cooks and then the veggie portion can be cooked separately and added after the rice cooks. Also left out the chili peppers and cauliflower without any noticeable difference. Would make again for sure.

  • Chana dal with spinach and tomato (Saag-tamatar wali chana dal)

    • SugarFree_Vegan on May 16, 2015

      pg 120 - I used much less oil (I used Coconut) to fry the spices and veggies for this delicious Dal. I also cooked my lentils in my InstantPot pressure cooker for 6 mins with a 10 min natural release, I'd soaked the dal for an hour prior to cooking and then tipped the lentils into the pan that I'd cooked the veggies in and then let it all bubble together for about 30 mins before adding the spinach.

    • Lepa on June 07, 2020

      This is simple and good but wow, it takes a long time on the stove! It took almost an hour and a half for the chana dal to soften. Next time I will use my pressure cooker.

  • Fresh Indian cheese in a butter-tomato sauce (Paneer makhani)

    • Foodycat on June 01, 2021

      I used fresh pureed tomatoes which gave a lovely astringency and really fresh flavour but it meant that the colour was a bit pale. I also added a couple of cloves of garlic. Not sure if the dried methi leaves added anything so I'd probably leave them out the next time.

    • Lepa on November 04, 2016

      This was okay but the flavor wasn't as rich and deep as I had expected. Nobody complained about it but it didn't wow me.

    • Kduncan on October 19, 2020

      Agree the previous reviewer. This was fine, and reminded me how much I love paneer, but overall it wasn't a wow dish.

  • Black-eyed peas with cilantro and green chilies (Lobhia aur hari chutney)

    • cedarmakesthings on February 19, 2016

      This was delicious, though we used significantly less chilies. Will definitely make again.

    • Lepa on March 03, 2022

      I really didn't like how this turned out. The spice paste was green and slimy. The taste was okay but not great. I made it without green chilies so it wouldn't be so hot (I used degi mirch instead) so maybe that's the problem since other posters like this. Not a repeat for us.

    • allisonsemele on November 09, 2020

      I make this regularly--it's very easy. I usually add a few cloves to the oil at the beginning, borrowed from another recipe in this book. I like the warm spice that it adds. I also add garlic.

  • Stir-fried fresh Indian cheese with green peppers (Chili paneer)

    • cedarmakesthings on April 10, 2016

      The flavor of this dish is outstanding. I highly suggest prepping everything before you get started cooking, then it comes together quickly. I really liked the contrast between the crunchy peppers and onions against the soft and creamy paneer. This will likely become my go-to paneer recipe. Yum!

  • Roasted eggplant and tomato (Baigan chokah)

    • mzgourmand on August 29, 2021

      This was a fantastic refreshing dish - I made it with beautiful summer tomatoes and japanese eggplant. I used an excellent mustard oil which really helped the zinginess of the dish - the roasted eggplant and tomatoes combined with the fresh green herbs and chile pepper is a wonderful contrast in flavor and texture.

  • Simple South Indian tomato sauce (Tamatar pacchadi)

    • mzgourmand on August 29, 2021

      This is a delicious, mildly spicy sauce - I want to put it on everything! I used fresh summer tomatoes and only 1 jalapeno pepper. Next time I'll probably add a spicier fresh chile pepper.

  • Carrot raita (Gajar ka raita)

    • Lepa on November 01, 2016

      So delicious! Well worth the trouble, as it really made our meal into a feast and complimented our okra and chickpeas so well.

    • sosayi on February 06, 2018

      Great raita. I had to leave out the green chiles (small people), and sort of guesstimated all the ingredient measurements as I was throwing it together as my fish was cooking, but a delicious and easy mix of flavors. Would make again.

  • Cauliflower soup (Gobi ka soup)

    • Lepa on July 02, 2018

      This was quick and easy and well received at my house. It needs a whole lime and some extra salt at the end to balance the flavors. I served it with a small scoop of rice, a drizzle of yogurt and some cilantro. We ate it with naan.

    • sosayi on November 15, 2017

      Pretty good, warming winter soup. I was lazy and didn't want to puree the soup in my vitamix in batches, so it wasn't as creamy as it could have been, but it still turned out fine with a hand blender. It needed a bit more acid than the recipe called for, although that might have been because I used lemon juice instead of the recommended lime; either way it was just slightly flat. If I had the ingredients on hand I'd make it again (I had half a giant cauliflower to use up), but I don't know that I'd do it again otherwise. Definitely serve with some naan or other bread to dunk and provide textural contrast!

    • allisonsemele on November 23, 2020

      I agree that this needs a bit more acid--I might up the tomatoes next time, but it was still very good with a squeeze of lime. I used an immersion blender which worked fine, and left out the cream. Since the soup only called for half of my head of cauliflower, I tossed the other half in the same spices and roasted it. Topped the pureed soup with the browned cauliflower, and I think that substantially improved the overall dish.

  • Cauliflower with peas (Flower vatana nu shaak)

    • Lepa on September 27, 2016

      This is terrific. It is fairly easy and the flavors are lovely and unique.

  • Delhi-style green beans with ginger and green chilies (Sem ki sabzi)

    • Lepa on January 01, 2017

      This is a quick, simple and utterly delicious dish. Everybody in my family had second helpings and my son raved about it.

  • My everyday okra (Roz ki bhindi)

    • Lepa on November 01, 2016

      We thought this was just okay. We may have been a bit spoiled because I made the the okra cooked with yogurt on the following page last week and it was much better.

  • Okra dry-cooked with yogurt (Sookhi dahi wali bhindi)

    • Lepa on September 27, 2016

      The okra lovers in my house thought this was fantastic. My husband says it is his new favorite okra recipe and my six year old ate at least 1/2 of the pot.

  • Whole red lentils with cumin and shallots (Sabut masoor)

    • Lepa on November 14, 2017

      This was very, very easy and quite tasty. It was more soupy than I expected but I think that may have been my fault- I used regular red lentils. Next time I would reduce the water, perhaps by 1/3, so it has a thicker consistency. Perhaps the consistency would have been more like the picture if I had used whole red lentils?

  • Chickpeas in a simple northern style (Roz kay chaney)

    • Lepa on November 01, 2016

      This was excellent. Everybody in my family adored it and I expect to add it to our regular rotation.

  • Chickpeas in a fresh cilantro sauce (Hari chutney walay chanay)

    • Lepa on November 01, 2016

      Very good. We will make this again!

    • allisonsemele on November 18, 2020

      I added a little garlic. This is very good--the specified amount of liquid creates a pretty thin sauce. I would use less when you add the chickpeas if you want it thicker.

  • Flattened rice with cauliflower and peas (Phool gobi aur matar wala poha)

    • Lepa on November 04, 2016

      This was too bland. We added more salt but it was still just okay.

  • Marwari layered griddle breads (Marwari tavey ki roti or batia)

    • sosayi on October 06, 2017

      Very flavorful and easy Indian flatbread. Instructions have you roll out each portion, then immediately griddle it, and then roll out the next, etc. I pre-rolled them all out and fried them all at the end and it didn't seem like they suffered for it. I really enjoyed the added spices and the dough was simple and easy to work with. They flaked nicely and cooked in exactly 35-45 seconds per side (once I dialed in my pan temp). A repeat for sure!

  • Eggplant in a peanut and sesame sauce (Bhagara baigan)

    • Kduncan on October 19, 2020

      It was quick and easy to make, but we found that there just wasn't the pop of flavor we expected in this recipe.

  • Stir-fried carrots (Carrot poriyal)

    • jenburkholder on January 25, 2022

      Very good. The seasoning is subtle, but it enhances the carrots nicely. They did take longer to cook than suggested in the book.

  • Winter kale in a Kashmiri style (Kale ki Kashmiri sabzi)

    • jenburkholder on May 30, 2022

      I used the flavors, but just stir-fried the kale instead of simmering for a long time (I hate long-cooked kale). Tasted great!

  • Red lentil and zucchini soup (Masoor dal aur courgette ka soup)

    • allisonsemele on May 13, 2021

      This is a good base Indian soup recipe that can accommodate most vegetables. It’s nice and light with the zucchini, but I’ve more often made it when I need to use up a ton of kale. I don’t usually bother blending it.

  • Eggs in a Hyderabadi tomato sauce (Tomato kut)

    • fbcd on May 27, 2022

      This simple tomato curry could be served for any meal along with some rice. The sauce is delicious, gently spiced with a sour note from the tamarind. It may be even be better the next day, so I make up a full batch (instead of my usual half recipes) and stock the freezer for a quick meal. It goes well with eggs, but I think it would also be great with fried paneer or little meatballs. The first time I made this tomato curry, I missed seeing the added 2 1/2 cups of water, so the curry turned out to be quite thick (but delicious!). The next time I made it, I decided not to add as much water as she recommends.

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  • ISBN 10 1101874864
  • ISBN 13 9781101874868
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 27 2015
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 448
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Knopf Publishing Group
  • Imprint Knopf Publishing Group

Publishers Text

No one knows Indian food like Madhur Jaffrey. For more than forty years, the “godmother of Indian cooking” (The Independent on Sunday) has introduced Western home cooks to the vibrant cuisines of her homeland. Now, in Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking, the seven-time James Beard Award–winning author shares the delectable, healthful, vegetable- and grain-based foods enjoyed around the Indian subcontinent.

Vegetarian cooking is a way of life for more than 300 million Indians. Jaffrey travels from north to south, and from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, collecting recipes for the very tastiest dishes along the way. She visits the homes and businesses of shopkeepers, writers, designers, farmers, doctors, weavers, and more, gathering their stories and uncovering the secrets of their most delicious family specialties. From a sweet, sour, hot, salty Kodava Mushroom Curry with Coconut originating in the forested regions of South Karnataka to simple, crisp Okra Fries dusted with chili powder, turmeric, and chickpea flour; and from Stir-Fried Spinach, Andhra Style (with ginger, coriander, and cumin) to the mung bean pancakes she snacks on at a roadside stand, here Jaffrey brings together the very best of vegetable-centric Indian cuisine and explains how home cooks can easily replicate these dishes—and many more for beans, grains, and breads—in their own kitchens.

With more than two hundred recipes, beautifully illustrated throughout, and including personal photographs from Jaffrey’s own travels, Vegetarian India is a kitchen essential for vegetable enthusiasts and home cooks everywhere.



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