Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 23, 2015 · Page C8
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October 23, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page C8

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, October 23, 2015
Page C8
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Page8C Friday,October23,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com ROCFLAVORS “EmmaandthedyingUlysses arefullofbitterregret—and thekindofgallowshumor thatderivesfromrawcour- age.Weareprivilegedtohave metthem.” -LosAngelesTimes 325-4370 DC-0000363209 JAZZ AT THE CABARET Tues at 7PM $25 general admission tickets for A TWIST OF LEMMON performances through Nov 1, 2015 only. *Not valid with other discounts or for existing reservations. $ 25 A TWIST OF LEMMON Oct 29-Nov 15 An authentic talent, New York Times calls this modern day singer / songwriter “classic pop perfection.” Don’t miss him! CHRIS TRAPPER Oct 24 at 8pm The heartfelt story of Chris Lemmon and his world famous father, actor Jack Lemmon - a unique yet universal celebration of a father and son torn apart, only to fi nd one another again, becoming the best of friends against all odds. “Brilliant!” '(&,55 "22*,14+3-,)$(# #&('61+)1(1.'137''401,/4.(+15'4,.* !,'%7243$4'-7.",'-1),//1)* !"!&#(%&%$'# $$$%)!)#*#"'"%+&( 7:39.;!540:4$25;888)920593.4;.#)2#" -(+,"."'%*$*(#$&&& !1,1%-53'-$$*#+2* 45/!0231"6!) 4#(1/"1,&.*50&)53 0##/,2&.0+!,'#,%*&%1,%*&%)-'("%#$ -26+$&3.'/1*((,% Madhur Jaffrey is known to Americans — when she is known at all — as an author of Indian cookbooks. And with good reason: she has written m ore than two dozen of t hem. B ut that’s just the start. T he woman often called “ the Julia Child of Indian cookery” was born in Delhi, India, and came to the United States in the late 1950s, eventually landing among the New York glit- terati. She started her career as an actress — something she continues to do — but soon found herself deeply rooted in the world of food. She has hosted cooking shows b oth here and in Britain, and helped launch the renowned New York Indian restaurant Dawat. Now 82, her newest book is “Vegetarian India: AJourney Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking.” We took the opportunity to talk with her about acting, her start in food, and her pivotal friendship with filmmak- e rs Ismail Merchant and James Ivory. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length. Q: What was the impetus for “Vegetarian Ind ia?” Why this book and why now? M adhur Jaffrey: I’ve never done a book that’s all Indian and all vegetarian. There are many areas of India that I don’t know and many cuisines I don’t k now, and I thought this w ould be a good way to learn about the cuisines I don’t know anything about. Q: When you came to t he United States in the l ate 1950s, you landed f irst in Vermont, where you taught pantomime, c orrect? How did that happen? Jaffrey: I needed a job. Iwas in the theater and was very kindly employed by the Catholic University theater team. They said “Why don’t you c ome in the summer and w ork with our summer s tock company,” which u sed to live in Winooski, V ermont. I joined the company to do odd jobs with them. And get a visa. It was a technical way of coming. Q: And from there you went to New York City. What were you hoping to find there? Jaffrey: The theater brought me to New York. (My first husband) Saeed (Jaffrey) also studied at C atholic. He graduated and came to New York and Icame with him. I was working as a guide at the U.N. at the time, and doing theater in the Village. We were doing off-Broadway. The way I could stay was to have a visa by working at the U.N. Then I could do theater, for which I was earning something like $10 a week. Q : I imagine the India n community in New Y ork was very small at that time. Did everyone know each other? What was it like? J affrey: All those (Indians) who came were doctors and statisticians and engineers. America wasn’t taking people who weren’t these things because that wasn’t what was needed. We were v ery rare, these people in t he arts. We knew all the people in the arts because that’s where our interest lay. We knew the Indians who were around and oth- e r people who were actors b ut weren’t Indians. It was an intellectual book- ish, artish world. Q: Were you fully em- b raced by the non-India n art scene? J affrey: As curiosities, yes. But as somebody to give work to, no. It was very hard to get work. That’s why we needed oth- e r jobs, all of us. I am in the art world; I have one daughter who’s an actress, one who is a writer. The actress daughter has the same problem I did. But she is two steps ahead. Indians now are m ore in shows. People are w riting more parts for Indians and they can play non-Indians. In “House of Cards,” my daughter played a Latino. (In my t ime) they never thought o f us as secretaries or lawyers. We were just Indians, and they were always the shieky types. They came vaguely from t he Middle East. Q: How and why did y ou transition from theater to cooking? J affrey: I said, “What else could I do to make m oney?” (I was getting divorced.) I had three little kids. I had no future. English literature was my ma- j or in college. I could write. I started writing about any subject that they wanted. Then one d ay, Holiday Magazine, which was a big magazine at that time, hired me to d o a story about what I ate as a child in India. Ihad just done the (Merchant-Ivory) film “Shakespeare Wallah,” so my name was about. Then ( New York Times food editor) Craig Claiborne did an article about me. That was Ismail’s doing. He had the ability to get to know anybody he wanted. He must have walked up to him at some point and s aid, “You must do an arti- c le about this woman who appears in my wonderful film.” After that story things took off. Q: You’ve published r oughly 30 cookbooks. B ut you’ve never really s topped acting. You’ve appeared in film, television, on stage, and you’re still acting today. A re you an actor who cooks, or a cook who a cts? Jaffrey: I always say, “ I’m an actress who cooks.” I see myself as an a ctress. Q: How do you think o thers see you? Jaffrey: Totally differ- e ntly. Some people say, “Oh you still act?” They’re not aware of that aspect of my life. From actress to author of Indian cookbooks: The lives of Madhur Jaffrey MICHELE KAYAL ASSOCIATED PRESS ALFRED A. KNOPF Madhur Jaffrey's newest book, “Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking.” AP Berry pilaf BERRY PILAF “The restaurant where t his pilaf is served has been in existence since 1923. It is a Bombay landmark,” Madhur Jaffrey w rites in her new cook- b ook, “Vegetarian India.” “ The berry used here is the tiny Iranian barberry, or zareshk, sold by Indian and Persian grocers. If y ou cannot find it, use d ried cranberries. The f inal flavors are sweet and sour.” Start to finish: 4 hours (30 minutes active) S ervings: 6 2cups basmati rice 1teaspoon saffron threads 3 tablespoons sugar, divided 3tablespoons very hot milk About 1 ⁄ 2 cup barberries or dried cranberries 3tablespoons olive or peanut oil 1large yellow onion, peeled and halved lengthwise, then sliced into fine half rings 1 1 ⁄ 2 tablespoons kosher salt 5cardamom pods 2 1 ⁄ 2 -inch cinnamon stick 1bay leaf 3cloves 3tablespoons butter, melted Wash the rice in several changes of water. Put in a bowl, cover generously with water, then set aside to soak for 3 hours. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, combine the saffron and 1tablespoon of the s ugar. Pound together to create a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl, t hen stir in the hot milk. S et aside for 3 hours. Toward the end of the 3 h ours, rinse the berries several times, then leave to soak in water for 20 m inutes. Drain and pat dry. I n a medium skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add t he onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Reduce the heat t o medium-low and continue to cook until they a re reddish brown. Add t he drained berries and the remaining 2 tablespoons s ugar. Stir once or twice, then remove from the heat. H eat the oven to 325 F. Bring about 10 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves. Stir once, then add the rice. Let it cook in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until it is three-quarters cooked but still has a thin, hard core. Drain in a colander. Working quickly now, spread 1tablespoon of the melted butter in a medium baking dish. Spread half the rice over it. Spread another tablespoon of the butter, plus half the saffron mixture and half the onion-berry mixture and some of its oil on top of the rice. Spread the remaining rice on top of the first layer. Pour the remaining tablespoon of butter over it, followed by the remaining saffron mixture and onion-berry mixture. Cover tightly with foil and a lid and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Toss the rice g ently to mix before serving. Nutrition information per serving: 410 calories; 110 calories from fat (27 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (4.5 g saturated; 0g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 68 g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 12 g s ugar; 6 g protein.

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