Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Top Five Madhur Jaffrey Recipes

Six months ago our cooking club voted in Madhur Jaffrey and I was very wary.  I had never tasted Indian food before, much less cooked it myself.  I instantly assumed that my family wouldn't like her recipes at all.  I felt as if I'd never survive six full months of Madhur Jaffrey's recipes.  I couldn't have been more wrong.

During my time with I Heart Cooking Clubs I've cooked the recipes of Nigella Lawson, Mark Bittman, Giada De Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver, Tessa Kiros, Rick Bayless, and Madhur Jaffrey.  One recipe every week for six months straight.  After cooking a particular person's recipes for that length of time you really get a feel for their cooking style.  You also usually have a few recipe failures.  I've had my fair share of failures with all the above mentioned chefs, except Madhur Jaffrey.  I can honestly say that all of Jaffrey's recipes were a home run.  It's kinda ironic, isn't it?

I was so skeptical about cooking her recipes.  I worried I wouldn't like them at all.  I figured my family would fight me with each new dish.  Then we fell in love with her recipes and ended up adding many new favorites into our dinner rotation.  Just goes to show that a little push in the right direction really pays off.

Every Madhur Jaffrey recipe I tried was delicious, but these were our top five favorites.  The first three recipes listed below are really tied for first place.  There is really no way I could put them in order.  I think it really depends on personal taste and maybe what you're in the mood for that day.  Either way, these top three recipes are very quick and really easy to cook on weeknights.  I've made the Delicious Chicken Bits and served them over rice at least 8 times since October.  I have the Most Delicious Meat Cubes on the menu for next week.  All three of these dishes are absolute flavor explosions and would be great for serving to company.  You really can't go wrong!
First up, and one of my husband's favorite dishes, are The Most Delicious Meat Cubes.  Crispy on the edges and tender in the inside, these little nuggets of pork shoulder are screaming with flavor.  Forget doubling the recipe....just go ahead and triple it (just don't crowd the pan or you won't get those crispy edges).  I kid you not.  One of the best meat dishes I've ever made.
Also tied for top place, are these Delicious Chicken Bits.  My eleven year old daughter can be quite picky and she usually does not like eating chicken.  Unless it's this dish.  When she smells it cooking she comes running.  I always laugh because the dish seems too spicy for her, but she pretty much inhales it like the rest of us.  Love this one because it's flavorful, great for weeknights, and pretty healthy.
Another top favorite was this Chicken with Garlic and Black Pepper.  If I had to pick my own personal top favorite then it would probably be this recipe.  This recipe is a lot like the Delicious Chicken Bits, but I'm a little biased when it comes to garlic so I think that's why I prefer this dish over the Delicious Chicken Bits.  It's all about personal preference, right?
While the first three recipes are tied for first place, this recipe for Onion Fritters with Fresh Green Chutney have been on my mind ever since they day I first made them.  Golden little crunchy fritters with chunks of onion dunked in a tangy zippy indulgence.  I wish I could indulge in some right now!
And, lastly, these Chicken Patties with Korean Dipping Sauce are really out of this world delicious.  I could never decide whether I liked the patties more than the sauce or the sauce more than the patties.  Either way, they're incredibly addictive.  My husband and I dunked and dunked till they were all gone. These would make a perfect party appetizer.

*Next week our our cooking club, I Heart Cooking Clubs, will begin cooking the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi.  If you are interested please head over and check it out!


  1. Great round-up of your family's top recipes, Kim. I agree--it's hard to rank them b/c so much depends on what you feel for on any given day. While Tessa Kiros is still my favorite (she completely blew me away), I enjoyed cooking MJ's dishes. Even the dish we were least wild about certainly was no failure. Looking forward to learning more about Yotam Ottolenghi. Funny enough, it turns out I've tried one of his recipes and didn't realize it--got it from Sue's blog!

    I love how IHCC keeps introducing me to new things and challenging me in the kitchen. Thank you!

  2. Another great round up! I am loving all these roundups!

  3. Kim, that's a great round-up of your Madhur faves. I think it's especially exciting that you discovered a whole new cuisine you hadn't tried before and that you and your whole family liked it. That to me is the great thing about IHCC and blogging in general, is the unexpected journeys that food takes us on. How exciting is the next journey going to be?!

  4. It is so funny how recipes can really surprise you! I'm so glad Jaffrey (and Indian cooking!) was a pleasant surprise. I wish I had been able to participate more but hopefully with ottolenghi I can get my butt in gear!

  5. I have to admit that when you first mentioned you would be doing it, I thought, "Ewwwww...months of Indian food?" but I have been liking the dishes that you have done. The meat cubes alone had me drooling.

  6. Great round-up! You made some fabulous and delectable dishes. I am glad your family got on the Madhur Jaffrey program too. No fun to eat it all alone--except maybe those onion fritters--how did I never make those?!?

  7. Great round up. Sounds like a good book to add to my cookbook shelf. I have Plenty by Ottolenghi and I love it. I'm sure that you will have fun exploring his cooking style.

  8. I admire how you stick to one cookbook. I have total cookbook ADD. I bookmark all I want to make, and then... oh, look! It's another cookbook! Indian food is very foreign to me, but you've made these all look and sound so good. My husband loves Indian food, so I'll bookmark a few of these and surprise him. Congrats on sticking with the book and discovering new flavors.

  9. i want to try all of those!! my mouth watered more and more as i scrolled down. it looks like the name of the game is FLAVOR, which i love. this cooking club is so cool because it gets you out of your comfort zone, something i really need to do more often!

  10. Hi Kim,
    I could not get into your blog for the last few days, glad that it is OK now.
    That is a delicious round-up! The delicious chicken bits is in one of the books of MJ that I'm having, and have bookmarked this to try for ages. Looks like I've got to make that soon!
    So far, my most favourite chef that I've been cooking with IHCC, is definitely Madhur Jaffrey!


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