Book Review: ‘The India Cookbook: From the Tables of My Friends’ by Sunita Kohli

A Culinary Journey Through the Heart of Diversity

Book Title: The India Cookbook: From the Tables of My Friends
Author: Sunita Kohli
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-9390652440
Date Published: Dec. 5, 2023
Price: INR 565

The India Cookbook From the Tables of My Friends by Sunita Kohli Book Cover

Book Review

The India Cookbook” by Sunita Kohli embarks on a personal culinary journey that goes beyond being a mere panoramic overview of Indian cuisine. Instead, it delves into the rich tapestry of regional home-style cooking, showcasing the immense variety and pluralism of Indian food. The book is a celebration of the friendships and goodwill cultivated with well-wishers across India, offering a unique insight into the culinary heritage passed down through generations.

Divided into six sections representing different regions, the book intricately explores the diverse cooking methods, utensils, and dining practices that define each part of the country. From the grand dastarkhans in some regions to the low baajots in others, and the traditional use of banana leaves in South India symbolizing hospitality, the book captures the nuanced dining habits that make each region’s cuisine distinct. Ingredients, ranging from staple rice to various flatbreads, are explored alongside cooking mediums like desi ghee, vegetable oils, and mustard, reflecting the vastness of India’s culinary landscape.

One notable aspect is the inclusion of international Delhi recipes, offering a cross-border culinary experience. Emphasizing the importance of sustainability, the book aligns itself with UNESCO’s recognition of culinary traditions as a vital part of cultural expression. Each recipe becomes a microcosm representing the larger macrocosmic world of India’s diverse cuisines, influenced by its magnificent geography.

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The India Cookbook” features recipes from a plethora of renowned personalities, including Vinod and Chinna Dua, Shabana Azmi, Shashi Tharoor, and many more. These recipes, originating from various walks of life, showcase the intricate narratives of each cuisine and region. Kohli’s book is more than just a collection of recipes; it is a testament to the rich cultural heritage embedded in the culinary traditions of India, inviting readers to embark on a flavorful journey through its pages.

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