Monday, August 11, 2008

The Only Cookbook I'll Ever Need

There's a sense of wonderful... ownership when it comes to finally getting something that one has wanted for a very, very, very long time.

No, not the job (though I love the job).

No, not the apartment (though it is a dream apartment).

Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking.

Back in print, and now in my turmeric-stained little hands.

I have to say I'm not thrilled by the new cover design.


I was reading it while waiting for the metro and kind of wanted to hold up a sign saying "Seriously -- I know the cover art is mildly insulting, and I'm only reading it for the recipes."

But oh, the recipes.

When I first came to this country, I took on a job as a guide at the United Nations in order to support myself. This "support" turned out to be more than just financial. Every evening, we guides found ourselves gathering at each other's homes to have heated, informative discussions on international affairs, and to eat superb food. It was Amal, a Palestinian refugee from Beirut, who introduced me to tabouleh.

Now who wouldn't want to learn how to make their own tabouleh after reading that?

It's one of the only cookbooks I've ever read where the cookery is explained through storytelling, which I think is why I've been so successful using it. It's also a great motivator: Madhur Jaffrey lived (and is living) an overwhelmingly interesting life, from her start climbing the mango trees through her theatre and film work through her career as author and international food connoisseur to her current status as giant freakin' Obama supporter... and therefore, if I learn how to cook her recipes, I might have a fighting chance of turning out equally as awesome. ^__^

5 comments:

Pooja said...

Yep, it's a great book, even if the cover is a tad stereotyped.

I've just seen this blog but if you haven't already talked about your job at the UN, then please...

Blue said...

LOL I don't work at the UN...

maya said...

This was my first ever cookbook and still my go-to. I forgot it was a veg cookbook until your picture made me read the title all over again, Blue. It's since been re-shelved with the veg books :)

Blue said...

Maya -- you're still trying to go more veg, yes? ^__^

bombaygirl said...

This was one of my first cookbooks too! I haven't looked at it in a long long time. And no, its not because I'm a great cook now either...