Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films

Sri Rao. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-544-97125-7
Rao, a Bollywood screenwriter, here offers three-course menus for 22 of his favorite Indian films, all of which are available via streaming services. Readers expecting wildly complex preparations and nothing but showy musicals will be pleasantly surprised on both fronts, as Rao offers a refreshingly diverse set of movies as well as recipes that are easily sourced without sacrificing flavor or requiring too much time to prepare. The heartwarming Kapoor & Sons, for example, inspired Rao to prepare chicken marinated in yogurt and nuts and roasted, then served with pumpkin-and-cashew fried rice; the gritty Gangs of Wasseypur, a five-and-a-half-hour crime saga, is paired with Bollyburgers and zesty sweet potato fries. Lagaan—about cricket in 1893 India and the only Bollywood film to be nominated for an Academy Award—goes well with an elegant masala-crusted salmon, while the goofy slapstick of 3 Idiots reminded Rao of his high school days and lunches that sometimes consisted of Indian Sloppy Joes, made with ground turkey, ginger paste, and turmeric. The recipes are far from authentic Indian, but they’re also more than mere novelties. Rao’s chocolate chai affogato is ingenious and addictive, and his rustic Himalayan shepherd’s pie, rich with garlic, ginger, chile, cloves, and cinnamon, is an outstanding communal dish. This is a thoughtful collection of films accompanied by unique but doable recipes that bridge the gap between American and Indian comfort food. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Ebook - 978-0-544-97129-5
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