the world in my kitchen

Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian book is my bible.




Everything I eat comes from this book. It sits on the kitchen table and I flick through it while I’m having breakfast or lunch and pick things for the week.

It’s a hefty book. You won’t race through it in a hurry. And sorry it’s not a picture book, so if you’re the type that likes to see a photo of the finished meal then this book is not for you.




I prefer not to see a picture because it’s a false representation anyway. I used to buy a lot of recipe magazines and when I was cooking dinner, the children would come up and say – what are we having? And I’d scream at them – don’t look at the picture! Because it never looks like the picture anyway. Because I don’t spray it with varnish or glue it together or put foam wedges in my hamburgers and all the other things they do to make meals look glossy and gorgeous.

But now I just cook out of this book. I’m the only non meat eater in the house but it’s pretty easy to give everyone a serve and then slap a lump of flesh on the side. Or a nice piece of bread. Or a serve of greek salad. I’ve discovered that my oldest daughter will just about eat anything if you add a some greek salad.

And I made something interesting the other day.

Pretty eggs. (Not their technical name)

I didn’t really like the taste of them but they looked really pretty. Actually it wasn’t that I didn’t like the taste of them, it’s just that I like my egg yolks runny. And these get a good hard boiling. But they’d look lovely on a picnic plate or a salad buffet.

Lizzie was poking around the fridge looking for something to eat and I heard her yell out – What are these things in the fridge that look like little brains.

Aren’t they lovely?



The shells especially. You get the affect by boiling them, then tapping them all over and leaving a network of little cracks.




And because I’m incredibly lazy and can’t be bothered writing out the recipe. If you click on it you’ll get the full page.




13 thoughts on “the world in my kitchen

  1. Love the eggs, though I’d prefer to just use Easter dye rather than the sauce they describe. But since I now buy my eggs pre-boiled and peeled, I guess it’s a moot point. I iz LAZY!

  2. I have this book, but with a different cover: it has an illustration of these vaguely Asian-Indian-Middle Eastern people eating dinner together. (I’m guessing the artist didn’t know very much about any of those cultures.) But the recipes are great, at least the ones that I have actually tried. I haven’t cooked the tea eggs yet but they do look gorgeous.

    My only grumble is that for several of her curry dishes, she says to add asafoetida, a common herb in Indian cooking but damned uncommon in the Midwest. I finally gave up and skipped the ingredient until I moved to Cali, where Indian grocery stores are more common. Then I smelled the stuff and thought the store had sold me a bad bottle. Daughter #1’s mother-in-law said however that it’s supposed to smell a bit like rotten eggs or garbage. But now I’m back to skipping asafoetida for the curry.

    • We always have better book covers here than you guys. I notice that all the time. And not just cookbooks either.

      I’d have buckley’s chance of finding asafoetida where I live. I can’t even buy black beans here. And the different dried chillies she uses. I do a lot of googling looking for substitutes. I made the refried beans right at the front of the book last night, they were so good. I used red kidney beans instead of black beans.

  3. They look pretty but I’d not care for the taste. Soy sauce isn’t high on my list of favorite condiments. I can take it in very very small doses only.

    Food coloring would definitely work. As a matter of fact, I have inadvertently caused something similar.

    I love to look at the photos in the cookbooks but I hate that I can’t even come close to making the food look like that. On the other hand, I can’t follow a recipe either. It always just screams out for me to do something different. Usually more hurriedly and sloppier.

    This is why most of our food can be prepared in the microwave, of course.

    • No I wasn’t big on the taste either. Mainly because they’d been hard boiled for hours so were a little hard and dry for my liking. Which is why the sauce was needed. I don’t eat a lot of soy. Like a bit on my sushi – but I make a mixture of soy, balsamic vinegar, hoisin and crushed peanuts.

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