Mad about Madhur

Sometimes I really, really love my job. Being a pen for hire has its drawbacks – recently I’ve had some tedious times writing about ridiculously expensive wallpaper for a footballers’ magazine, not to mention compiling some “fun facts about nudism” for a rather low-rent women’s mag – but tomorrow I’m interviewing Madhur Jaffrey.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 50 years, Madhur Jaffrey is to Indian food what Julia Child was to French, in that she made it accessible and inviting for Western home cooks (“servantless”, I think Julia would have called them). She’s written more than 30 books – mostly on food – and is still a powerhouse of energy at nearly 80. She’s also an acclaimed actress and is sometimes credited for introducing Ismail Merchant to James Ivory (in whose films she often starred).

So I am hugely excited about this, but a bit daunted all the same. What would you ask Madhur Jaffrey if you had the chance? Go on, here’s your opportunity…



  1. April 25, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    How exciting … I hope you can keep your head about you!

    I'd ask silly questions … the one classic recipe that an Indian cuisine dilettante should master … the classic dinner party question (what six guests from anywhere in time) … talk about spices – their place in Indian cuisine, their blending, their storage, etc … what world cuisine does she aspire to learn more about … her opinion on dieting and the world's obsession with it … GOD! I could go on forever!

  2. April 25, 2011 / 9:41 pm

    oooooh! How fabulous. Hmmm, what to ask, the one classic recipe to master is a good one. Have fun.

  3. April 25, 2011 / 11:10 pm

    Woo hoo!

  4. April 26, 2011 / 1:42 am

    Ah yes… I read both of those articles!!
    I would ask what 4 or 5 ingredients she always, always has in her kitchen – fridge, freezer, pantry, whatever – that allow her to whip anything up at the last minute.
    In fact, that question is for you too. xx

  5. April 26, 2011 / 5:37 am

    How exciting!! I spent over 2 years living in Bombay and fell in love with Indian food and Madhur certainly made it all look very easy to whip up – ask her where she gets her Masala (curry powder to us Aussies) from as the best I ever tasted came from a local friend's native village in Tamil Nadu. They dry fried all the chillies and spices together and then took it to a local mill for grinding – 1/2 a tsp was all we needed and the flavour was do die for. Happy interviewing!!

  6. April 26, 2011 / 11:41 am

    Gosh, that's exciting!

    I'd ask which nationality/genre she would choose if she could master a different style of cooking.


  7. April 27, 2011 / 12:44 am

    What a wonderful opportunity! I think I'd have to remind myself not to ask too many questions (I seem to talk a lot when I'm nervous) and to just drink in all that wisdom. Have a great time and let us know how you go!

  8. April 27, 2011 / 4:23 am

    How Fab! I carried a tatty copy of her Taste of India all around the continent with me a few years back, it is my fav cookbook, she writes so beautifully I feel like I have tasted many of the dishes she describes:)

  9. April 27, 2011 / 8:14 pm

    Oh my goodness! I am very jealous. I hope it went well, she seems like such a wonderful human being. I hope she was.

  10. May 1, 2011 / 4:25 am

    How fantastic I look forward to reading your interview with her. Her book was the first I ever owned, bought in 1993 and we still use it today.

  11. May 1, 2011 / 9:24 am

    Oh how did the interview go with Madhur? She's great, I've been using her recipes for more years than I care to remember.

  12. May 10, 2011 / 2:10 am

    Oh you lucky thing. So wish I was still in nz to go to the food writers seminar she is speaking at. How did your interview go? My only question, would have been… can you be my personal chef? 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *