How to master Indian food in the Instant Pot like Madhur Jaffrey

When she first published "An Invitation to Indian Cooking" in 1973, Madhur Jaffrey explained that writing the book was a "gradual maneuver of self-defense." Newly arrived in New York City from London where she graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (with Diana Rigg, among others), Jaffrey was often approached while attending dinner parties by guests eager to discover where the best Indian restaurant in the city was. She couldn't, in good conscience, recommend a single one was her reply.

Then, feeling guilty about disappointing people, and homesick for Delhi where she was born, she began having dinner parties. Before too long, Jaffrey was doling out recipes to grateful friends. As a guest at a party one night, she realized she was eating a dish made from her own. That's when Jaffrey resolved to write her first book.

Thirty-six years later Jaffrey has written her 31st book, "Madhur Jaffrey's Instantly Indian Cookbook: Modern and Classic Recipes for the Instant Pot", In this book, she embraces the culinary tool of the moment, the Instant Pot and makes it her own.

Recently, Jaffrey joined SalonTV's Manny Howard on "Salon Talks" to discuss her latest book and how she adapted some recipes from her earlier works and even delivers some zingers like the Chinese Indian pork chops. All the while, she patiently explains to new arrivals to the complex cuisine that curry isn't really a thing in India and there are plenty of four ingredient dishes that make it reasonable to serve Indian food on a Wednesday, especially with an Instant Pot.

Watch the episode above to learn more about Jaffrey's new approach to a wonderfully varied cuisine and how she harnessed the power of the Instant Pot to make both supple and complicated flavors shine. For more food-centric episodes, visit our "Salon Talks" Food playlist.

About "Salon Talks"

Hosted by Salon journalists, "Salon Talks" episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. "Salon Talks" is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on

Watch SalonTV, streaming live daily on, and YouTube.

Subscribe to SalonTV on YouTube HERE:

Like Salon on Facebook HERE:

Follow Salon on Twitter HERE:

More From This Week on SalonTV