“Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” by Chitrita Banerji

Chitrita Banerji’s “Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” , much like the sweets from Bengal, is delectable. I find the book was originally published in 1991 as, ” Life and Food in Bengal” and has seen several re-prints since then. Well, that title just about sums up what this slim volume covers. I read the recent 2017 edition published by Aleph Book Company. I have briefly lived in West Bengal, for about 4 years and visited there often, although decades ago. Reading Ms. Banerji’s book brought back innumerable memories of Bengal and Bengali food. If they could evoke such emotion within me a non-Bengali, I can well imagine how much it would instigate a Bengali to debate  (and don’t they just love to do that?) on the merits and demerits of the recipes which dot the book from time to time. Continue reading ““Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals” by Chitrita Banerji”

“Chillies and Porridge” Edited by Mita Kapur

This delightful book, edited by Mita Kapur, founder and CEO of Siyahi, described as India’s leading literary consultancy sports the  cheerful title of  “Chillies and Porridge.” It is a must read for food lovers. It is not a collection of recipes, it is not a treatise on the history of food habits in the various parts of India but is a collection of anecdotes contributed by 23 well-known Indians. All of them have one theme in common : food is central to their  stories. In them, they capture through their words the sights, sounds and tastes that they relished in the course of their lives, recounting their favourite stories about their favourite foods. Continue reading ““Chillies and Porridge” Edited by Mita Kapur”