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Classic Indian Cooking

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

This extraordinary cookbook, Classic Indian Cooking, amounts to a complete course in Indian cuisine. Elucidated by over 100 line drawings, it systematically introduces the properties of all the basic... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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Excellent Indian Cookbook............

..........that has truly brought my family hours upon hours of joyous cooking. I've had "Classic Indian Cooking" for more than a year now and I cannot count how many times we've enjoyed the treasures within. My husband and I were great fans of going out for Indian food. We enjoyed cooking, but always thought Indian cooking would be so very difficult. We were wrong! With this cookbook, Julie Sahni presents a thorough introduction to Indian cooking that is sufficient to get any amateur chef started making wonderful, genuine Indian dishes. Sahni begins by introducing readers to the cultures of North India from where her recipes are derived and then teaches us how to prepare this marvelous Moghul cooking by thoroughly explaining Indian herbs and spices and the special ingredients and equipment traditionally used. There is a handy section on techniques used when preparing spices from frying them to roasting, crushing and grinding them. This cookbook contains recipes that we've come to view as family traditions that we'll make for a lifetime. The Rogan Josh (Lamb in Fragrant Garlic Cream Sauce) and Shahi Korma (Royal Braised Lamb with Fragrant Spices) are absolute favorites! Also excellent are the Meat-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Ginger Lemon Sauce, Ground Meat in Cashew Nut Sauce with Chick-peas, Whole Potatoes in Spicy Yogurt Gravy, Chick-peas in Tangy Tamarind Sauce and the Almond and Rice Dessert. In a sense, we are still discovering this cookbook, having made about a quarter of its many recipes. The are chapters presenting dals, yogurt salads, rice, breads, relishes, pickles and beverages that we are just starting to introduce ourselves to. I know that this cookbook will give us many, many more years of cooking and eating enjoyment!


I have been a fan of Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking for as long as I can remember, shall we say decades, cooking great Indian food for my family and friends. When my children moved out, I gave each a copy of this book. Today they are cooking Julie Sahni's recipes for their circle of friends. How fortunate for us that she shares her authentic family mogul treasures, which we now call our family food. You will find this book easy to use because Julie Sahni, an amazing teacher and writer, has made it all so simple. There are almost 100 pages devoted to cooking techniques and description of spices. The instructions are clear, precise and detailed without being overly long. Every recipe is delicious, producing results exactly as described. Just try Rogan Josh-lamb in fragrant garlic cream sauce, Murgh Khoobani- Moghul spice braised Cornish hens with apricot or Goan Vindaloo-hot pungent curry and you will understand the definition of 'extraordinary flavor'. Classic Indian Cooking is one of my three most treasured possessions (the others being Julia Child's French and Marcella Hazan's Italian). I seriously recommend this book.

My Favorite Window Into India

Some eight years ago or so, I decided to try to impress both my vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends by making them some authentic Indian dishes. The only thing was, I had no real idea of what I was getting into, as almost all of the Indian food I had eaten had been in restaurants in London and the East Village in Manhattan. Somehow I found my way to purchasing "Classic Indian Cooking." Slowly and methodically, I then made my way through the very helpful discussions about such things as roasting and crushing spices and herbs and techniques for preparing onions, garlic and ginger root as bases for various curry dishes. I've since learned that this cookbook was ranked last year as one of six all-time cooking "bibles" by the New York Times. I can see why. It's not a picture text (although there are some helpful illustrations); it's a text for teaching yourself a wholly different cuisine whose fundamental cooking techniques may be completely foreign to many home chefs in the United States, although that seems to be changing. There are some simply astonishing recipes in this book. You will need to take your time though, because they can be complex and may require preparation of recipe components a day ahead of the time you plan to serve your meal. You should take Julie Sahni's words to heart that cooking should be a "relaxing" enterprise.If pressed to choose a favorite recipe, it would have to be "Keema Bhare Bandh Gobhi" (meat-stuffed cabbage rolls with ginger lemon sauce), which has a vegetarian counterpart in "Aloo Bhare Bandh Gobhi" (same cabbage rolls, but a vegetarian version stuffed with a spicy potato filling). The extraordinary taste of this meal cannot be found in any Indian restaurant of which I am aware (they tend to stick to a small repertoire of established recipes that in no way define the range of cuisine actually available in India). I have seen these cabbage rolls almost voraciously consumed. That--in my book--is the mark of a great meal. So, my friends over time have been duly impressed and I must say that I've become a much better cook because of "happening" across this true classic of varied Indian cuisines. Hope you have as much fun with it as I have had over the last eight years!

Great book for novices!

Though I've eaten a lot of Indian food in restaurants, I'd never cooked Indian food before I bought this book. Nor am I an especially enthusiastic cook. I found Ms. Sahni's book informative (but not overwhelming) and very easy to follow. I've now tried five or six of the recipes and also made usli ghee and paneer--all came out perfectly. The most amazing thing to me was that when Ms. Sahni says, "Let this cook for 15 minutes, then it will start to spatter a little...", that's exactly what happens, practically to the second.From one novice to many others who may be reading this, be sure you get all your spices and other ingredients measured and ready to go before you start cooking, because often things go in quick sequence. In the ingredient lists, I've also drawn brackets around the spices and other ingredients that go in at the same time so I can measure the group into one bowl and also have a quick reference for the stages of cooking without having to reread the narrative in the steps.The only thing that has tripped me--and this is slight--is that when hot water is required during cooking, it's stated in the steps but not in the ingredient list. I'm now in the habit of writing it in the ingredient list so I'll know I'll need it ahead of time.I have a couple of other Indian cookbooks that are also very good, but I keep going back to this one. Great book!!

Among the Classics

Classic Indian Cooking has been a staple reference in my kitchen for years. I rate it among my top 5, along with the classic Julia Childs and out-of-print Gourmet set. It is informative, concise, and clearly written. All of the recipes are successful if they are followed exactly, and the flavors are a delight to the most demanding eater. This is one of the few cookbooks that can be used successfully even if you haven't tasted Indian food before. I strongly recommend purchasing it.
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