Review of Curry Easy Vegetarian – Madhur Jaffrey

Posted: December 15, 2014 in cookbook, Review
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curry easy vegetarian

It’s a weird thing, maybe something about the sentence structure or vocabulary, but I can almost hear Madhur Jaffrey speaking to me in the distinctive accent of the subcontinent as I read her book of recipes and thoughts about Indian vegetarian cooking. You don’t normally get that in a recipe book, but this is a lot more than just recipes, it’s an insight into a lifestyle. I know you’re thinking, how can there be a whole book, almost 350 pages, about how to make a vegetable curry? Well, to begin with there are many vegetables used in Indian cooking, which can be combined in different ways, and many more permutations and variations of spices. There are, for example, more than twenty potato recipes in this book. There are also recipes for snacks, for flatbreads, an extensive collection of chutneys, together with drinks and desserts. In other words, all you need to put on an excellent vegetarian feast. Or accompany, dare I admit it, a spiced meat dish for the more omnivorous of us. For example, having picked up some nice tandoori chicken skewers at the supermarket, I was inspired to try a simple curry of spiced potatoes and peas, and home-made paratha flatbreads, to go alongside. There are little surprises too, like the Bombay toasties which are basically Indian toasted sandwiches – this sharing of food ideas goes both ways, it seems.

There’s no doubt, however, that if you’re going to get far with Curry Easy Vegetarian, you will need to find a good Indian supermarket. There are a lot of unusual ingredients, not just among the spice list either, but among the lentils and grains as well. Madhur has done an excellent job of including explanatory notes not just at the header for most of the recipes, but in longer articles interspersed between them. There’s a lot to learn here, and many ideas to try, even if you’re not vegetarian. And if you are, this may well be just the book you are looking for!

Random House

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

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