by Mita Kapur
About the book: Essential. Evocative. Addictive. The experience of food can mean many things to many people. Whether it's carrying a chilli around to dinner parties in the UK or finding out what it really means to be a vegetarian in a carnivorous world, whether it's exploring the junk food revolution in India or discovering the art of slow cooking, this full-bodied collection of food writing will take you back to the kitchens of your childhood, and far out to realms of imagined flavours and sensory excitement. A joyous mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar, the home-grown and the street-born, Chillies and Porridge is a celebration of that most vital ingredient of life: food. Features essays by Anita Nair, Avtar Singh, Bachi Karkaria, Bulbul Sharma, Chitrita Banerji, Sumana-Jayaditya-Bikramjit, Floyd Cardoz, Janice Pariat, Jerome Marrel, Jhampan Mookerjee, Kai Friese, Karthika Nair, Naintara M. Oberoi, Niloufer Ichaporia King, Mamang Dai, Manu Chandra, Nilanjana S. Roy, Rocky and Mayur, Saleem Kidwai, Sidin Vadukut, Srinath Perur, Tara Deshpande and Wendell Rodricks.
by Colleen Taylor Sen
About the book: From dal to samosas, paneer to vindaloo, dosa to naan, Indian food is diverse and wide-ranging—unsurprising when you consider India’s incredible range of climates, languages, religions, tribes, and customs. Its cuisine differs from north to south, yet what is it that makes Indian food recognizably Indian, and how did it get that way? To answer those questions, Colleen Taylor Sen examines the diet of the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, describing the country’s cuisine in the context of its religious, moral, social, and philosophical development. Exploring the ancient indigenous plants such as lentils, eggplants, and peppers that are central to the Indian diet, Sen depicts the country’s agricultural bounty and the fascination it has long held for foreign visitors. She illuminates how India’s place at the center of a vast network of land and sea trade routes led it to become a conduit for plants, dishes, and cooking techniques to and from the rest of the world. She shows the influence of the British and Portuguese during the colonial period, and she addresses India’s dietary prescriptions and proscriptions, the origins of vegetarianism, its culinary borrowings and innovations, and the links between diet, health, and medicine. She also offers a taste of Indian cooking itself—especially its use of spices, from chili pepper, cardamom, and cumin to turmeric, ginger, and coriander—and outlines how the country’s cuisine varies throughout its many regions. Lavishly illustrated with one hundred images, Feasts and Fasts is a mouthwatering tour of Indian food full of fascinating anecdotes and delicious recipes that will have readers devouring its pages.
by Nilanjana S. Roy
About the book: A delectable collection of writing on food and its place in our lives that brings together some of the most significant Indian voices over the last century. From lavish meals, modern diets and cooking lessons that serve as a rite of passage to fake fasts and real ones, fish, feni, and fiery meals that smack of revenge, this book has something to satisfy every palate. Gandhi's guilt-ridden account of his failed flirtation with eating meat starkly complements Ruchir Joshi's toast to the senses as he describes his characters discovering a truly alternative use for some perfectly innocent shrikhand. In unique gastronomic takes on history, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh and Saadat Hasan Manto ensure that we will never look at chutney, a Tibetan momo or jelly in quite the same way again.
by Chitrita Banerji
About the book: In Eating India, the award-winning writer Chitrita Banerji takes us on a thrilling journey through a national food formed by generations of arrivals, assimilations and conquests. In mouth-watering prose, she explores how each wave of newcomers brought innovative new ways to combine the subcontinent's rich native spices, poppy seeds, saffron and mustard with the vegetables, fish, grains and pulses that are the staples of the Indian kitchen. Along the way, she visits traditional weddings, tiffin rooms, city markets, roadside cafes and tribal villages, to find out how India's turbulent history has shaped its people and its cuisine. Beautifully illustrated throughout, Eating India will stand as an authority on Indian food for years to come.
by ACHAYA K T
About the book: The cuisine of India is as ancient as it is varied, and in this attractive, oversized volume, food expert A.K. Achaya captures the full range and history of the Indian diet, from prehistoric times to the modern era. An informative volume that boasts over 150 black-and-white illustrations (including line drawings, photographs, and maps) and fifty-five color photographs on twenty plates, Indian Food draws on archaeology, anthropology, literature, philology, and botany to cook up a smorgasbord of fascinating facts about this exotic fare. Achaya begins with the earliest food preparations of Paleolithic and Neolithic times. He covers the diet of the Aryans; examines regional cuisines; describes the customs, rituals, and beliefs observed by different communities and religious groups; and traces the gradual shift towards vegetarianism with the advent of Buddhism and Jainism. In thirty-three boxed sections, he takes the reader on various sidetrips, from the Indian use of Bhang (cannabis) and opium, to the history of ice cream, ranging from Marco Polo to Dolly Madison. With illustrations ranging from Neolithic cave paintings from Madhya Pradesh, to full color photographs of modern Indian foods, Indian Food offers a rich cornucopia of information on this flavorful and popular cuisine.
by K.T. Achaya
About the book: The Illustrated Foods of India contains a wealth of information on the food materials, food ethos, cuisine, and recipes of India. Drawing up material from a range of sources - literature, archaeology, epigraphic records, anthropology, philology, and botanical and genetic studies - the book details the history of Indian food from the prehistoric times through British rule till date. Arranged in alphabetical order, the book is profusely illustrated with line drawings and photographs.
by Charmaine O'Brien
About the book: This first-ever comprehensive guide to regional food across India takes you on a mouth-watering journey through the homes, streets and restaurants of each state, exploring exotic and everyday fare in equal measure. Be it the lime-laced Moplah biryani, the Goan Galinha cafreal, the bhang ka raita of Uttarakhand, or the Singpho people’s Wu san tikye, India’s rich palette of flavours is sure to drum up an insatiable appetite in you. Laden with historical information, cultural insights and personalized recommendations, The Penguin Food Guide to India is your ideal companion to the delightful world of Indian cuisine.