The Bollywood Cookbook ハードカバー – 2006/10/19
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'The chutzpah of Bollywood is a reflection of how we feel about food. There is a constant celebration, the mingling of colours and flavours, the near excess of emotive breathlessness. There is no better way to sample the high life of India than to see what our gods - the Bollywood royals - eat and enjoy.' Bulbul Mankani celebrates the sensuality and vibrancy of Bollywood by marrying it with the food of the stars. This book is a feast for the senses, revelling in fun, food and film. "The Bollywood Cookbook" is comprised of two main sections: a fascinating look at the history of Bollywood - its stylisation, high and low art, musical world and best directors and stars - embedded with charming stories and anecdotes. And an introduction to twenty of Bollywood's greatest film stars and their food choices - from childhood treats to food fetishes and favourite restaurants - including 3-4 recipes from each star. Brimming with eye-catching photography, interviews with film legends and delicious Indian recipes, this book is a joy to read and to cook from.
Bulbul Mankani spent a peripatetic childhood across four countries. After a few years with the Taj group of hotels, she landed herself a career in media, spanning advertising, television and films. Her television series Shahi Dawat anchored by Saeed Jaffrey, on the royal cuisine of India, was seen in India and the UK. Her enduring passions are writing, travel and photography. She has published her food and travel explorations in Elle, Free & Easy, Namaskar and Travel Times amongst many others. She lives between Mumbai, Bhiwadi and Paris.
My mom being Indian is very much against using an actual cook book. Anyone with an Indian mom will tell you that there's no such thing as following a recipe in Indian cuisine. You use a dash of oil, a little cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic, onion, garam masala, (very different than marsala) a few ripe tomatoes blend it up, toss in a cooking pot and voila you have the base to a great curry (no not that yucky yellow powder that you find on a shelf at your grocery store).
Nice pictures of classic Bollywood movies, the actors and some of their favorite dishes.
The pictures are lovely and the printing quality is good. The photos of the food that accompany the recipes can easily tempt you into cooking from the book. Some of the traditional recipes like the Manglorean Coconut curries have been given a low fat, low cal twist by the stars, their parents or their cooks.
Contrary to what is sometimes perceived as my indiscriminate picking up of cookbooks, I do read a couple of recipes to get a feel of whether the author is being authentic to the taste of the dish and if ingredients will be easy to find. This book scores high on both counts. Just like someone who reads music, can visualise and hear what the notes will sound like, some foodies who are avid cooks will have an idea what the finished product will taste like, just by reading a recipe.
The reason I don't bake is because I can't follow precise instructions, so I do jiggle with the quantities recommended to suit my own tastebuds and mood, so I cannot tell you how accurate the measurements are. And I have not yet been in my own kitchen since the time I bought this book, to put the recipes to the test, but they seem to have potential.
Some of the stars also share their favorite restaurants with you. I was suprised to see that 2 of Nandita Das's favorties, Aap Ki Khatir and Swagath in Delhi mirrored my own. It somehow makes them more human to read their likes and dislikes about food.
The recipes are Pan Indian and some of them have an International twist to them too. Contributions from Shah Rukh Khan, the Bacchans, the Roshans, Shabana Azmi, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor among others, span Lucknowi, Mughal, Manglorean, Parsi, Marathi, Rasta and Bengali recipes. So it does give you a wide range of cuisines to choose from.
My only crib about this book so far, is that on page 127 where the recipe is for Suneil Shetty's Uppitu, the accompanying picture is of some paneer dish.
If Bollywood and Food are dual interests to you, then this book is worth your while. Even if just one of the 2 interests you, there is still a lot you can get out of this book.