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An Invitation to Indian Cooking (Vintage) by Madhur Jaffrey

By Madhur Jaffrey

Written particularly for americans, this booklet demonstrates how assorted, fascinating, and cheap Indian cooking will be, and the way simply you could produce real dishes at domestic. Over 2 hundred recipes.

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Naturally, it is difficult to recommend such a restaurant. The only alternative is to invite the people in question home for dinner. I did this for several years, justifying the expense and the effort by telling myself that someone had to let Americans know what authentic Indian food was like and that I couldn’t heartlessly ignore their curiosity and interest. So I kept feeding people in large numbers until exhaustion finally put an end to what I considered was rather discreet proselytizing. A better scheme, as effective as it was cheap, occurred to me.

It is not only what spices you use but also how you use them that gives dishes their special taste and appearance. Take cumin, for instance. If it is roasted whole and crushed, its coffee color will darken the looks of any food and its strong aroma will fill not just your kitchen but your entire house. This way it has a sharp, nutty taste. Whole cumin, when it is “popped” in very hot fat, has a mild aroma and a gentle, licoricelike taste. Ground unroasted cumin provides a third flavor and has perhaps the mildest taste of the three.

CHINESE PARSLEY Called small cilantro in Spanish stores, fresh coriander or fresh dhania in Indian food stores, and Chinese parsley in Chinese stores, it is used in our food as an herb and a garnish. If unavailable, Italian or ordinary parsley can be substituted. If you have an herb garden, you can grow your own Chinese parsley by planting coriander seeds and waiting until the plants are about 10 inches high. Keep parsley refrigerated in a plastic bag. B. Dried coriander powder cannot be substituted for fresh parsley.

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