Madhur Jaffrey’s 50-Year Writing Career

The award-winning actress and author's latest cookbook, Vegetarian India, is out today.

VegetarianIndiaCoverIt’s always cause for celebration when a cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey hits the shelves. New in bookstores today, Vegetarian India features more than 200 recipes as well as photos from the 82-year-old author’s personal travels.

It was 50 years ago that Jaffrey, faced with an impending divorce and the charge of three young children, turned to writing to make money. As she recently explained to AP contributor Michele Kayal, the New York Times was instrumental in launching her towards those seven James Beard awards:

“I started writing about any subject that they [editors] wanted. Then one day, Holiday Magazine, which was a big magazine at that time, hired me to do a story about what I ate as a child in India. I did the story.”

“I had 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 [Merchant]’s doing. He had the ability to get to know anybody he wanted. He must have walked up to him at some point and said, ‘You must do an article about this woman who appears in my wonderful film.’ After that story things took off.”

The official launch for Jaffrey’s latest book was held last Thursday at New York’s Hunter College. She was also in attendance at the beginning of the month when her publisher, Knopf, festively marked 100 years.
 
[Jacket cover courtesy: Knopf]