Op-Shopped Books: Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery

Madhur Jaffrey

I love op shop cookbooks. They’ve been around the block a few times AND they don’t subscribe to current foodie fashions. Phew to that.

As great as brand new, freshly-released cookbooks can be, there is something super satisfying about snaffling an older pre-loved volume, by an enduring or possibly new fave, from mixed-up shelves.

I’m currently obsessed with this Madhur Jaffrey book, which I found last weekend at our usual op shop (along with a Beverly Sutherland-Smith one which I’ll tell you about another time).

Because of Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery, it’s been Spicy Green Beans AND Chicken with Tomatoes and Garam Masala AND Dry Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic all over, at mine, all week. (Note that the recipes I just linked to might differ slightly from the ones in the book, but you can get the gist, at least! Or you could always buy a fresh copy of this book, right?!)

Inspired by the rumbly-mountained, good-cooking folk at Villa Gaia and Green Kitchen Bali Cooking School, I also made a steamed tomato-chilli sambal to plonk on top of said feast. (Because never enough spice – and the sambals in Bali are super delicious!)

Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookbook

I have a couple of Madhur’s other books, and have watched her on TV, but am loving this particular title because it’s unpretentious and standard-packed – and it’s got everything you’d want to make a delicious Indian feast.

There are some different ways to make rice, and lots of vegetable curries and some other meaty/fishy ones too… I think I’m going to make some bread-y things from it over the weekend. Maybe naan or puris (or maybe the plural is puri?!) I am not sure yet…

Have you ever snaffled a favourite cookbook from the op shop?

x Pip

Madhur Jeffrey Lunch

Also worth noting: Blog With Pip is running again, and you can make the most of a $20 discount if you sign up soon! See you in class! Let’s hang out!


  1. My favourite recipes are from op-shopped cook books. I picked up one on South American cooking this week and have been reading recipes out loud to my long suffering partner (who now that I think about it never really looked up from the computer or responded). Oh well, I am sure there will be overtures of appreciation once I serve up something delicious from it.

  2. I’ve had that book new for food looks so good that I’ve just written down the three dishes to remind to make them, again. Thanks for the inspiration Pipster.

    1. years* As I remember watching the original series here. Your food….

  3. We have used that book for years, the Nan is so easy to make and the potato and mushroom stew is a fave.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Tina!! x

  4. Can’t stop myself Pip, over 100 cookbooks from the op shop and counting… One of my favourites is Lamingtons and Lemongrass, 20 years old and from whatever show came before Food Safari on SBS. Every Nonna’s recipe in Australia in it!

    1. Oh that is great, Alison! What an awesome collection – and Lamingtons and Lemongrass sounds perfect!

  5. Our cooking bookshelf is pretty retro but we do have a few moderns like green kitchen stories and Sophie Dahl… heaps of old Indian and vegetarian cookbooks with parts underlined by the sisters and the odd comment. I want the dry ginger and garlic potatoes now but I am full of papaya salad and have the tingling lips.

    1. Bloody LOVE Papaya Salad!

  6. I bought a sambal at the markets a few weekends ago & could not stop eating it! So yum!
    One of my fave, go-to cookbooks is an op-shop buy- Lady Flo Bejkle Peterson’s Classic Country Collection. I love that book so much because it’s filled with homey, not fancy food & it all tastes so good.
    I have to agree with you Pip, new cookbooks are often great & lovely but books filled with recipes that aren’t ” on trend ” or gimmicky are my favourites 🙂

    1. We love the NON-trend, right?! I have that book somewhere! I must dig it out and have a look through it again!

  7. Isn’t that cookbook the best? I ‘snaffled’ mine from my nana’s kitchen many years ago – as she never cooked anything, and wouldn’t have dreamed of eating Indian food, I figured she wouldn’t miss it! One of my favourite dishes from this book is the sour chickpeas. Happy cooking 🙂

    1. Oh I am going to try those tomorrow! Thank you for the tip! xx

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