Madhur Jaffrey’s New Cookbook Inspires

Actress. Chef. Cookbook Author. Food Writer. Television Personality. Worldwide Name. She is Madhur Jaffrey and is known by some as the Godmother of Indian cuisine. She introduced the United States to Indian food in 1973 when she wrote her first cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking.
I was fortunate to be in Ms. Jaffrey’s presence last Wednesday at an event at Camino in Oakland. We enjoyed delicious food that the talented Camino kitchen prepared using recipes from her latest cookbook, Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking.   
 In her new cookbook, Ms. Jaffrey travels throughout India and explores vegetarian dishes in various regions of the country and compiles the best and most simplistic recipes she finds. With each recipe, Ms. Jaffrey provides a description of where the dish originates.   
 I had fun reading and learning about her travels, including her experience with Kodava mushroom curry with coconut, a dish enjoyed in the mountainous region of Coorg. The Kodava community farm cardamom, coffee, black pepper, and multiple varieties of mushrooms that range in size from tiny to a large dinner plate. When Ms. Jaffrey came home to her test kitchen to recreate this dish, she substituted lime juice for a type of vinegar that could only be found in Coorg kitchens. This was one of the many dishes we were served on Wednesday and it was my absolute favorite!   
 I have always been intimidated by cooking Indian food and have never experimented with this cuisine. After having this fabulous meal and perusing Vegetarian India, I am inspired to cook from this book. There are probably a few basic Indian spices I need to get my hands on, but Ms. Jaffrey does mention over and over that the recipes are simple. Wish me luck!