Asia New Zealand Foundation has brought over famous Indian food writer and TV presenter Madhur Jaffrey to take part in the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival and in a special dinner event in Wellington.

Delhi-born, US-based Madhur Jaffrey has had decades of experience researching, compiling and presenting mouthwatering curry recipes in books and on TV shows in the UK and US. She is renowned for having ingeniously adapted the complexities of Indian cuisines to our fast-paced age.

With support from the Asia:NZ culture programme, Madhur Jaffrey is in New Zealand to take part in the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival and speak at a dinner in her honour in Wellington thisweek.

Ms Jaffrey’s naming had a symbolic, prescient connection to food (her chosen name, “Madhur” means sweet as honey in Sanskrit) and Madhur “was left with honey on my palate and my deepest soul,” as she tells in her 2006 memoir Climbing the Mango Trees, one of over 15 books she has become known for.

With 175 easy recipes, Ms Jaffrey’s latest bestseller, Curry Easy, is a tantalising culinary journey across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and allows foodies to recreate the tastes of South Asia with a minimum amount of work.

“Indian food isn’t always complicated to make, and you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen,” says Ms Jaffrey. “With just a few very easy steps, you can get a Goan prawn curry or a Sri Lankan beef curry with coconut milk. That is what Curry Easy is going to show you how to do.”

At the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival on Friday 13 May, Ms Jaffrey will talk about her fascinating life journey from the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi to Manhattan.

“The innocent Indian honey of my infancy is now mixed with the pungencies of Indian spices, the sour and bitter, the nutty, and the tinglingly aromatic,” she goes on to say in Climbing the Mango Trees.

“We are delighted to have been able to bring culinary legend Madhur Jaffrey to New Zealand,” said Asia:NZ culture director Jennifer King. “The vividness of her life story is suitably complemented by the richness of her recipes – and we’re glad New Zealanders will get a taste of both, through our cooperation both with the festival in Auckland and the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers in Wellington, which made these events possible.”

Wellingtonians will have a chance to sample Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes and hear her talk at a degustation dinner, organised by the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers, with support from Asia:NZ and the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor.

The dinner is at 6pm on 19 May at the James Cook Hotel. Tickets, available from James Cook, cost $95 per person for a six-course menu including drinks and pre-dinner snacks.

Madhur Jaffrey’s latest cookbook, Curry Easy, is now available online and from bookshops in New Zealand.

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