Archive for June 13th, 2007

A Mouthwatering Book

June 13, 2007








There is no greater love than the love of eating and there is no greater pleasure than the joy of reading. I love eating delicious food. I enjoy reading good books. I was so thrilled when I came across a delightful book on food in my library, that I grabbed it, rushed home, and spent the rest of the day in sheer bliss relishing this mouthwatering book. Would you be so good and permit me, my dear Readers, fellow Foodies, and Bibliophiles, to tell you a bit about this wonderful book.


TITLE: Curry: A Biography


AUTHOR: Lizzie Collingham


PUBLISHER: Chatto & Windus, London, 2005, 318 pages


PRICE: £16.99


ISBN 0701173351


The moment you start reading the book you realize that the author truly loves food, loves India, loves history, and loves writing. And that’s why this well researched culinary biography of curry is so fascinating and engrossing. At the beginning of her preface, Lizzie Collingham tells about the beginnings of her gastromonic adventures in India from the moment she drank her first thick, velvety-sweet and seductive lassi in Colaba Mumbai. What follows is a remarkable culinary exploration, delving much beyond the study of curry, encompassing fabulous panoply of Indian cuisine like Biryani, ChickenTikka Masala, Vindaloo, Korma, Madras Curry and Curry Powders, Cutlets and Chai, and British food in India.


The highlights of the book are the twenty select recipes at the end of each chapter ranging from Kebabs, Biryani and Korma to Bebinca, Vindaloo and Dhansak, and even laddus and lassis. I tried out the Lamb Korma and it was indeed succulent and delicious. The ‘meat’ of the book is chapter 6 on “Curry Powder” which includes unique and rare formulations, and even a poem recipe. This is indeed an ‘unputdownable’ book, replete with lively anecdotes and interesting gastronomic and historical facts. The artistic and apt illustrations, vivid maps, attractive design and appealing get-up enhance the enjoyment of the reading experience. I wish the author had included authentic restaurants and signature curry eateries from India in the chapter on Curry Travels to make it complete and comprehensive. The exhaustive bibliography bears testimony to the research efforts of the author.


Curry – a biography is a delicious book. Relish it, savor it, feast on it.