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Eating with History

Eating with history


PAPERBACK/Deepika Chhabra

 

 

community eating

 

[Incredible India Cuisines by

Incredible India
Cusisines

Pushpesh Pant; Published by Wisdom Tree].

 

This is the first of the ten-series "Incredible India" books and it offers a unique approach and rich insight into the culinary delights of one of the greatest civilizations. Food embodies the spirit of a civilization and is as integral a part of a nation's identity as are its monuments and myriad art forms.


The book written by reknowned scholar Pushpesh Pant has been successful in driving the point home "food is a nation's identity, the spirit of a civilization." Incredible India Cuisines neatly blends the mouth-watering, culture-defining dishes from the north - From the introduction that mentions the basic tenets of India's culinary philosophy "the concept of satvik, rajasik and tamasik, it goes on to touch the factors and changes that influenced the evolution of distinctive Indian cuisine."


The book showcases culture-rich recipes such as Kashmir's Ghushtaba, Nadr Yakkmi, Punjab's Murg Malaai Kebab, Dal Makhani, Barrah Kebab and Berhvin Poori of Delhi, Rajasthan's Kandey ki Sabzi and Bharwan Gatte, Awadh's Murg Mussallam and Lauki Mussallam; Goa Fish Curry and Chicken Xacuti of Goa and Coastline, Kerala's Aviyal and Pepper Prawns.


The culinary inheritance from Tamil Nadu with Sambar and Vendakai Masala Pachchadi, to the Baghare Baingan and Hyderabadi Dum ki Biryani of Hyderabad, to the Alu Potol and Doi Machh of Bengal have found place in the book. The concluding chapter "Fusion During the Raj" of the book is the one that keeps it distinct from other recipe books flooding the market.


This chapter encapsulates the culinary innovations that took place when the Britishers came to India, married local women and made India their home. And the cuisines that evolved ot of this cultural wedlock came to be known as Anglo-Indian cuisine have been given their rightful place. The book ends with many of the branded dishes of India from Khubani Ka Meetha, found-in-nook-and-cranny Samosa, to the popular dishes like Shahi Tukhra, Kesari Kheer, The book is not for recipe collectors. It is for those who are interested in exploring India's affair with food.


The book makes good reading for both national and international foodies. Kashimir, to the south - Kerala and from Bengal to Rajasthan. Pushpesh Pant has taken the food route to describe the cultural, political, historical hotspots of India. From the introduction that mentions the basic tenets of India's culinary philosophy "the concept of satvik, rajasik and tamasik, it goes on to touch the factors and changes that influenced the evolution of distinctive Indian cuisine."


One will find cuisines of Awadh, Hyderabad, Goa and coastline, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, not to forget Delhi getting its rightful mention in the book. It makes an interesting reading and the procedural method of recipes' description is lucid and its related information has being mentioned aptly unlike other books of this nature. The book features history of the place without getting lost in history.






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