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Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian (1999)

by Madhur Jaffrey

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This cookbook is somewhat hit-or-miss. A massive collection of vegetarian foods representing culinary traditions across the world, most of the recipes here are fairly easy to put together and generally tasty. The book is slightly skewed towards Indian food, which shouldn’t be too surprising given Jaffrey’s Indian heritage and the fact that most of her cookbooks are Indian-food-specific.

The main thing about this book is the sheer quantity of recipes in it. We’ve had it for several years now, and still have tried but a fraction of the recipes available. We’re occasionally let down by something that turns out a bit bland (we’re a spice-happy couple), but most of what we make is excellent. In addition to recipes for entrees, soups, sides, and appetizers, Jaffrey also provides instructions on how to create a number of spice blends, condiments, and sauces. Quite possibly the best thing in the book is her Trinidadian Pepper Sauce, a fiery condiment made of habaneros that we can’t live without a jar of in the fridge.

Although there are some bummers in the bunch, this book is definitely a staple in our kitchen – we probably cook from it at least once a week, and it’s great to always have something new to try. Vegetarians are certain to find new and tasty dishes here, and there’s plenty of hearty meals in here for carnivores, too. ( )
  philosojerk | Feb 14, 2014 |
This is one of a handful of cookbooks I keep coming back to again and again. It is very comprehensive, with recipes and cooking instructions for any vegetable, grain, or legume you care to name, ranging from trivially easy to complex. While Jaffrey is Indian this book covers a wide range of cuisines, and many recipes are pinned down very precisely -- not just a recipe for Salvadoran pupusas, but a recipe she learned from a specific woman on her travels; not just a Greek recipe for spinach and rice, but one from a specific restaurant.

I'm not vegetarian myself, but this book rarely lets me down. ( )
2 vote lorax | Feb 22, 2008 |
After 5+ years, time and time again, this is my favorite cookbook. I keep coming back to it when other cookbooks have fallen victim to garage sales. It has a wonderful selection of recipes from around the globe. Ms. Jaffrey's delight in cooking and sharing make learning about global cuisine fun and useful. For a vegetarian, you will never grow bored ... lots of wonderful ideas. ( )
  CarolynSchroeder | Jul 29, 2007 |
This is a fantastic book with a huge number and variety of recipes. I can think of few other cookbooks where nearly every recipe has appealed to me. Lots of great basic information too (how to cook the various beans and dals, how to sprout beans, how to make yogurt, how to make soymilk, etc.) I think most ingredients called for, with the possible exception of some dals, are readily available in grocery stores and the recipes aren't overly fussy. About the only thing missing is dessert, but I'm not complaining - I've got at least 30 other books that fully cover that topic :) ( )
  cailibrary | Jul 27, 2007 |
I go back to this book again and again... I've never made something from it that I didn't like!
  landerman | Dec 29, 2006 |
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and our little big ones

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0609809237, Paperback)

The author of seven previous cookbooks, including the classic Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey is among today's most influential and authoritative food writers. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, a meticulously researched collection of more than 750 meatless dishes from around the globe, presents its author in superlative form, culling the best vegetarian home-style dishes from virtually every culture and cooking tradition. Jaffrey's book, filled with delicious, approachable recipes, has universal appeal, and should be part of every cook's library.

Divided into sections on beans, grains, and vegetables, and including chapters on vegetables, soups, salads, and sauces, among other topics, the book brilliantly juxtaposes recipes grouped by ingredient to reveal, finally, the way that ingredient is approached globally to make food. Thus, for example, Jaffrey's section on rice offers Persian Pilaf with Lima Beans, Palestinian Rice with Lentils and Browned Onions, and Risotto with Fried Porcini Mushrooms, among other pitch-perfect dish choices in this and other chapters. Less familiar ingredients like spelt, millet, and soybeans are removed from the realm of dubious interest and presented in compelling recipes, such as Spicy Soybean Patties with Mint. Throughout, Jaffrey provides definitive notes on ingredients (her full investigation of couscous types is one of many examples) and techniques, as well as a truly comprehensive glossary. Jaffrey also offers a small but charming section on drinks; her Fresh Lime and Ginger Syrup from India, to be mixed with ice and soda water, is a simple but marvelous summertime treat, and one more example of Jaffrey at excitingly full throttle. A ten-page section of color photos rounds out this expert collection. --Arthur Boehm

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:34 -0400)

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