Madhur Jaffrey

Michael Nagrant / 12.22.06

Madhur Jaffrey, an actress, a writer, and a cook, is a true Renaissance woman. Born in Delhi, India, she moved to the UK to study acting. While there, she pined for an authentic home cooked Indian meal. While growing up she never really cooked, so she wrote her mother asking for cooking advice and recipes. The letters they exhanged launched the ship that now constitutes hundreds of articles, many critically acclaimed cookbooks, and a few cooking shows. Jaffrey has a new memoir out called Climbing the Mango Trees, about her childhood in India. It’s a rich and vivid romp of the senses and last week while she was in Chicago we caught up via a phonecall.