Book Review: ‘The Sweet Kitchen’ by Rajyasree Sen

Well-researched and articulated book on Indian Sweet Dishes.

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The Sweet Kitchen by Rajyasree Sen Book Cover

Book Title: The Sweet Kitchen: Tales and Recipes of India’s Favourite Desserts
Author: Rajyasree Sen
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Number of Pages: 128
ISBN: 978-9391047726
Date Published: Jun. 06, 2022
Price: INR 185

Book Review

India is a multicultural nation with many distinct languages and customs. The most diverse element in each region is food. Nevertheless, this book goes into great detail about desserts, or what Indians generally refer to as a sweet. And the book’s contents are entirely about them! Along with stories of the sweets’ beginnings and recipes, the author offers fascinating tidbits about them.

Chef and food writer Rajyasree Sen looks into the histories of some of these famous sweet recipes and speculates about the ancestry of others in her book “The Sweet Kitchen: Tales and Recipes of India’s Favourite Desserts“. The book is a fascinating peek at the desserts we have consumed for numerous Diwali, Christmas, Eid, and Navroz celebrations by bringing together tales, historical documents, and recipes.

The 128-page book is not a typical book with a collection of recipes arranged in a nearly mechanical fashion. In actuality, it gives the viewer a glimpse into a particular dish’s background and historical importance. As one reads through the pages, one becomes immersed in a web of information that explains the distinctive flavors of various regions and the rationale behind using particular ingredients in unique dishes.

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The book highlights previously unnoticed details of Indian food, particularly desserts. An area’s past, geography, and politics have geography, and politics of a place have all influenced its cuisine. “The Sweet Kitchen” does that very well. You can anticipate learning what links the Portuguese and chenna, Sandesh and the Bengal Renaissance, etc.

This book also has recipes in detail, along with the stories. The book has both homemade recipes and chef-specials-special tips & tricks. And all recipes have details: Serves, ingredients, preparation time, and method. Overall, this book is an engaging work that will intrigue readers interested in learning the accurate histories behind some of India’s most well-known delectable foods.

The Review was first published in Storizen Magazine March 2023 issue.