- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Every recipe tells a story in Raghavan Iyer's memoir-cum-cookbook evoking his childhood in Bombay, now called Mumbai. The recipes are delicious and exotic, while the stories range from nostalgic to poignant and, occasionally, extraordinarily painful. The latter includes the story of his grandmother, who married at age eight, became pregnant a few years later, and was beaten by her husband every night for years until her oldest son grew up and rescued her and his younger brother.
Interspersed with the stories are the food Iyer grew up on -- Tamilian foods like idlis (steamed cakes), dosais (lacy crepes), and sambhar (spicy stews). Later on, he was introduced to the food of northern India -- the hot naans, creamy spinach sauces, and delicately spiced basmati rice dishes. There are also street food dishes that rarely made it in to the homes of North or South, like Pista Baadam Paal, steamed milk with pistachios, almonds, and sugar.
Iyer does a very thorough job explaining the herbs, spices, and legumes of the Indian pantry; more than 60 varieties of beans, peas, and lentils are commonly used and form the backbone of Indian cuisine. (Ginger Curwen)