Mumbai Modern: Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by Indian Roots and California Cuisine

Amisha Dodhia Gurbani. Countryman, $35 (400p) ISBN 978-1-68268-628-7
JamLab blogger Gurbani takes readers from Mumbai to California and back in this enticing if clunky collection of recipes inspired by her heritage. Gurbani effortlessly melds cuisines and flavors in such dishes as homemade Pop-Tarts with apple, fennel, and cardamom, and a dahi papdi chaat where tortillas replace puri. Main dishes such as vegetable kofta in cashew sauce are complex and layered, while Gurbani’s talent as a baker is made apparent in a stunning black sesame Bundt cake decorated with slices of candied kumquats, and colorful “peacock” macarons with apricot buttercream. Mumbai street food such as lentil fritters, and a beet, potato, and mint chutney sandwich stand out among the numerous delicious dishes on offer. Indeed, no fault can be found with the fare. The trap Gurbani falls into is information overload; many headnotes fill an entire page, while the tips set off in callout boxes are often unnecessary: one suggests eating potato curry with flatbread, advice repeated in the three-paragraph headnote two pages earlier. Snacks and salads, such as mung bean salad, appear in a chapter on appetizers, but a later chapter on “accompaniments and snacks,” contains more snacks and another salad. This stylish collection bursts with ideas—occasionally to its detriment. Agent: Leigh Eisenman, Wolf Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/24/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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