It's incredible how this book has stood the test of time - it's nearly 30 years old and many of the recipes still feel very modern. I love it partly for the delicious variety - and the fact that the recipes work - but also for the way in which she hooks her recipes to memories and provides the context in which they are eaten (either for her personally, or for a culture).
A stunning range of recipes - in addition to the standard vegetables, rice, pulses chapters are chapters on bean curd and soy products, yoghurt and salads and little dishes. The chutney / dips / condiments and relishes chapter is particularly good. She includes suggested combinations of recipes, and like all the best books encourages readers to experiment - and above all to have fun.
I never fail to find something I really want to make when I open this lovely book - and just flicking through the book takes me back to very happy times round the family table enjoying her food.
See the cracked binding? Notice the stains on every page? This is where we learned to cook many pan-Asian dishes that have become everyday favorites in our kitchen.
In fact, just flipping through to check recipe name spellings, we stumbled across something wonderful to make tonight.
Anyone interested in Asian food should have this book on hand!
Owning this book is the next best thing to having an Indian auntie beside you in the kitchen to teach you how to make classic Indian and greater Middle East fare. The saag paneer; daal; yogurt and cucumber; and carrots, dates, and raisins recipes are all simple yet delicious. The Arabic food is spot on. I could eat from this book for the rest of my life and never tire of it.
This is the first cookbook my parents gave both my sister and I when each of us became vegetarian. It rivals Deborah Madison's Veg Cooking for Everyone as my most-used book.
Cynthia, I totally agree with you about this book. It is a classic veggie cookbook. In addition to excellent instructions, Madur also provides the reader/cook with background knowledge about the dish.