Day 3/10 of my cookbook challenge, the books and cooks who have influenced my kitchen over the past 40 years: the wonderful Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery.
Having been brought up in rural Lincolnshire in the seventies, I had had no exposure to the wonders of Indian cuisine. As a student in the West Riding of Yorkshire however, I found everything from Indian fine dining at the legendary Shabab in Huddersfield (1978-1991) to the cheap and cheerful curry kitchens of Leeds and Bradford. I first learnt to cook Indian food from the mother of one of my student housemates who used to call us in our communal kitchen every evening to tell us how to make that evening’s supper home-style. Thanks to her, I know how to cook rice and dahls perfectly. Then along came Madhur Jaffrey with her 1982 BBC cookery series and this wonderful book.
My 38-year-old copy is battered, stained, loved and still much used. Prawns with courgettes, lamb with spinach and The Lake Palace Hotel’s aubergine in the pickling style are recipes that are still our family favourites. I’ve since added Madhur’s Curry Easy and Ultimate Curry Bible to my collection as well as Made in India by Meera Sodha, Rick Stein’s India and, most recently, the wonderful Dishoom restaurant recipe collection but this particular book will always hold a special place in my culinary heart.