Before I used Madhur Jaffrey's instruction I had to use recipes that I found on the back of packets of spice called masalas that I found in South Asian grocery stores in our neighbourhood. Even with these, I soon became known as the great white Indian chef in my social circle. However, it worried me that I could not adjust the masalas that I was purchasing. I had friends and family members who struggled with the level of spiciness. I was making classic Indian dishes such as chana masala, palak paneer, etc however I became aware that there are Indians who create dishes in this tradition but in a more subtle, less exaggerated tone. Again, I wanted to learn to make my own masalas. With Madhur Jaffrey's book I am learning both to make Indian dishes where I prepare the entire masala and make meals that reflect a more current taste in this wonderful tradition. Well, now...I am a rock star!...in my social circle of course. Anyway, if you are looking for a way to experience some of the Indian tradition of cuisine, I can share with you that so far every recipe has been a hit and I combine the spices myself. So if there is a grandmother or a delicate soul coming to join us, I am able to make adjustments so they are not left out. Further, if just the spicy loving crowd is coming, well I can adjust for them too. I love this book.
Good luck exploring a wonderful tradition of food