Chaat

Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy. Clarkson Potter, $32.50 (272p) ISBN 978-1-98482-388-5
Chef and Chopped judge Chauhan partners with food writer Eddy to reminisce on their travels via India’s vast railway system, where food and beverage carts and markets offer passengers a quick bite or a drink. They collect a bounty of recipes, in four sections broken out regionally, beginning in the north, where Gajar ka Halwa (carrot pudding with saffron and pistachios) is served up in the junction station at Amritsar, and the popular street food, Nadir Monji (spicy, crispy-fried lotus root), gets paired with tamarind and green chutneys in Srinagar. To the west, there is the renowned Bombay sandwich of Mumbai, a panini-like affair filled with cheese, potato, beet, and other vegetables, while in the southern port of Mangalore—where, Chauhan says, “Each visit has left an indelible mark upon” her as a chef—coffee is boiled with basil, cardamom, and ginger to create the sweet and spicy Chukku Kappi. Ending in the east, Chauhan returns to her hometown of Ranchi to rediscover a favorite childhood treat, the “universally beloved” puchkas (semolina puffs stuffed with potatoes and chutney, and spiked with a cilantro-lime “spicy water”). Food photographer Linda Xiao does an outstanding job bringing color and texture to each plate and frothy glass. An entire country’s quick eats come to the home kitchen in this transporting collection. Agent: Jonah Straus, Straus Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/02/2020
Release date: 10/06/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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