An Invitation to Indian Cooking, by Madhur Jaffrey is my go-to cookbook for Indian food. I’ve had my paperback copy for quite a while and it’s yellow pages are stained from the number of times I’ve used it. That’s a true sign of a good cookbook in my kitchen. Yes, I’ve had one of those mostly useless plexiglass cookbook holders and it long ago got donated to a thrift store. I write in my cookbooks too. For some reason I was held back from doing this for many, many years. Who knows why? They are my books after all. Mostly you’ll find index entries, because almost every cookbook is lacking in that regard. Even the esteemed Thomas Keller’s $50 cookbooks don’t escape my index entries. I added “profiteroles” to one just the other day. I digress.

As much as I love making Madhur Jaffrey’s full version of Tandoori Chicken, I also love the connivence of doing something easier. Using tandoori paste that I get at the Indian grocery along with yogurt to marinate the chicken does speed things along. If I have less time, I use more paste to the amount yogurt. It was this route I chose last night. It’s on the grill above.

I made two side dishes from the book though: Cauliflower with Onions and Tomatoes, and Lentils P1050478 (dal). I make the cauliflower recipe quite often, even for non Indian dinners, as it’s just stunningly delicious. Even people who profess to not like cauliflower will like this recipe. I haven’t made the dal in quite a while and tasting it last night I now know why: it’s good, but there’s not a wow factor like in the cauliflower dish. It is however, homey and comforting. We will be having it again, as the recipe makes quite a lot and it freezes well. P1050479

Thanks to Madhur Jaffrey for making me not just like, but love cauliflower!