From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail

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9780609607046: From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail

Indian cookery is among the world’s most distinctive and enticing cuisines, one whose influence can be discerned in culinary traditions around the globe. In this groundbreaking book, bestselling author Madhur Jaffrey presents more than 100 of the best curries, many recorded for the very first time, plus all the savory accompaniments to serve with them.

In this fascinating volume, Madhur traces the origins of curry, explaining how Indian immigrants brought ingredients and techniques to new lands, creating an ever-growing cornucopia of delicious hybrids. To illustrate the evolution of curry, and its close relative, the kebab, she not only includes the finest recipes from India—like Hyderabadi Ground Lamb with Orange and Dry Masala Fish—but a wide variety of exotic curries from all over the world. Enticing recipes include Sumatran Lamb Curry from Indonesia, Red Beef Curry from Sri Lanka, Burmese Chicken-Coconut Soup from Myanmar, Lobster in Yellow Curry Sauce from Thailand, Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass, Lamb Shanks Braised in a Yogurt Sauce from Pakistan, and even a beef curry from Japan, where, as in the United Kingdom, curry is one of the most popular meals, even among schoolchildren. To complement the curries, there are soups, noodles, breads, chutneys, beans, vegetables, and, best of all, twenty recipes for easy and deliciously spiced kebabs.

Beautifully illustrated and filled with the kind of comprehensive insight into the art of curry that only Madhur Jaffrey could provide, From Curries to Kebabs makes fascinating reading for cooks everywhere and will be an outstanding addition to any curry lover’s library.

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About the Author:

Described by the New York Times as “the Indian cuisine authority,” MADHUR JAFFREY was born in Delhi. A bestselling cookbook author, she has written more than fifteen books, including Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, winner of the James Beard Award. Her articles on food have been published in numerous magazines, such as Gourmet, Food & Wine, Saveur, and The New Yorker. An accomplished actress, she has appeared in more than twenty films, including Merchant Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah, Heat and Dust, and Cotton Mary.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:


Sri Lanka has south India to its north and South-East Asia to its east. Its food has aspects of both, as this recipe shows. The pandanus leaves and lemon grass hint at Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, while the cumin and coriander show the influence of India. The sauce for these shrimp is both rich and aromatic. It is best served with rice. Directions for peeling, deveining, and cleaning shrimp are on page 343.

Serves 4 to 5

4 hot dried red chilies
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
1 small stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
3 tablespoons corn or peanut oil
6 tablespoons finely slivered shallots
1 small fresh hot green chili, cut into slivers (including the seeds)
2 teaspoon peeled fresh ginger, grated to a pulp
3 cloves garlic, crushed to a pulp
3-inch piece pandanus leaf (bai toey, rampe, daun paandan)
1 stalk fresh lemongrass (use the lower 6 inches and lightly crush the bulbous bottom) or 1 teaspoon dried, ground lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon bright red paprika
1 pound raw, headless, shell-on, medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup coconut milk, from a well-shaken can

Put the red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves in a small, cast-iiron frying pan and set over a medium heat. Stir until the spices turn a shade darker and emit a roasted aroma. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Then grind them in a clean coffee or spice grinder.

Pour the oil into a wide, lidded pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the shallots and green chili. Stir and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir for about 15 seconds. Now pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and add the reserved roasted spices, pandanus leaf, lemongrass, salt, and paprika. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and coconut milk. Stir and bring to a simmer on a low heat. As soon as the shrimp are opaque all the way through, they are done. Check for salt, adding more if needed.

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