World Vegetarian, At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, Vegetarian India, & Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 5:36pm -- JDavanza


On November 21, 2016 the library's cookbook club met for dinner with three cookbooks and one memoir by Madhur Jaffrey. They included:



World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes From Around the Globe (1999)

Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of Childhood (2005)

At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (2010)

Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking (2015) 

Madhur Jaffrey is thought by many to be the authority on Indian food. She was born in 1933 in Delhi into a large family, and retells her childhood and the food she ate during the final years of colonial rule in her memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees.

Cooking she learned from her mother, mostly by correspondence while in London studying drama. She's acted in TV, film, and radio productions in England and won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival. In New York City she began writing food articles to help fund her children's education.

Her first book was published in 1973 and titled, An Introduction to Indian Cooking published by Knopf and edited by Judith Jones (same editor as Julia Child). In 1982 the BBC aired her series, Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery which helped launch her career as the expert on Indian cuisine. Since then she has written over 25 cookbooks, not including three children's books and her memoir.

Seven of Madhur's cookbooks have won James Beard Awards and she was named to the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation. She received a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) from Queen Elizabeth II for her promotion and appreciation of Indian food and culture and her achievements in drama.

Club Rating: 3.9

Club Comments:

"Recipes are well-written but the introductions to them make the book really worthwhile." M.H. (reviewing World Vegetarian)

"I liked them, but many of the recipes used all the same ingredients (spices). Fun recipes to read!" J.K. (reviewing Vegetarian India)

"Lots of ingredients for some, and many ingredients that most don't have--challenging. Enjoyed trying a few of the recipes. Nice info and photos." T.H. (reviewing Vegetarian India)

"Family fare, authentic, simple, and fresh." S.E. (reviewing the recipes in Climbing the Mango Trees)

9 out of 9 reviewers would recommend Madhur's cookbooks to a friend. 4 out of 9 reviewers were familiar with her before our Club meeting.

Madhur Jaffrey lives in New York City.


Selected Recipes

World Vegetarian (1999) More than 650 meatless recipes from around the globe. With chapters on legumes, grains, dairy, vegetables, and drinks along with an equipment guide, detailed glossary of unique ingredients and resources for sourcing ingredients. This book won a James Beard Award for International Cooking in 2000.

At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (2010) Madhur Jaffrey deconstructs classic Indian recipes, reducing the number of steps and helps the home cook understand the importance of each seasoning and spice. With vegetable dishes; meat dishes of lamb, pork, and beef; fish and seafood; and egg and chicken dishes; along with the heart of Indian meals...dals, rice, grains, and chutneys. Includes 32 color photographs and line drawings by the author.

  • Sweet-and-Sour Eggplant p.153 
  • Mushroom and Pea Curry p.161 
  • Bulgar Pilaf with Peas and Tomato p. 221 
  • Cauliflower Cachumbar on page 240 
  • Easy Masala Chai p. 263 

Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking (2015) With more than 200 recipes, Jaffrey brings together the very best of vegetable-centric Indian cuisine and explains how home cooks can easily replicate these dishes at home. Includes lots of full-page color photos. This book was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2016.

  • Roasted Eggplant and Tomato p. 50 
  • Stir-Fried Carrots p. 69 
  • Okra with Onions and Green Chilies p.98 
  • Peas and Potatoes Cooked in a Bihari Style p. 103 
  • Chana Dal with Spinach and Tomatoes p. 127 
  • Berry Pilaf p. 185
  • Sooji Halva p.376

Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India (2005) Takes readers along the journey of Madhur's life growing up in India during the final years of colonial rule, the fifth child in a boisterous family in Delhi. Includes over 30 recipes.








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