My exploration of spicy cooking:
When I first decided to try Indian cooking at home I bought a book on spices
first. There was a spice store that I loved in New Hope PA (unfortunately
they are no longer there.) They were very knowledgeable and easy to talk to
there. I would go there with this cookbook of spices called Herbs & Spices:
The Cook's Reference by Jill Norman. I would go through the store and
smell and ask questions all the while reading the descriptions and asking
questions. I came home with a few new spices and a recipe from the owners
each time. Since I could buy a few teaspoons at a time, I wasn't wasting
money on spices that I would only use once.
Then I started looking for specific Indian Cooking recipes. Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking and The Indian Grocery Store Demystified (Take It with You Guides) by Neela Paniz became my favorite books. Then I moved on to more exotic stuff and now I have about 15 books on Indian cooking. Many are by Madhur Jaffrey. I find her very easy to read and use. The latest is called From Curries to Kebabs : Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail. I also got 2 new cookbooks for Christmas called Indian Home Cooking : A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes by SUVIR SARAN, STEPHANIE LYNESS and The Everything Indian Cookbook: 300 Tantalizing Recipes--From Sizzling Tandoori Chicken to Fiery Lamb Vindaloo (Everything: Cooking).
I have quite a few more on my wish list and hope to gather them as I continue to experiment with the spices of James Cook and Ferdinand Magellan's spice trade.
also purchased a book about Chile's called
The Chile Pepper Encyclopedia :
Everything You'll Ever Need To Know About Hot Peppers, With More Than 100
Recipes by Dave Dewitt. I take it to the grocery store when I feel
adventurous and try new peppers all the time. I experiment with Mexican and
Asian cooking too.
Back to my cookbook list