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My Bombay Kitchen

International Cookbooks


Hardcover - 355 pages, 7 x 9 inches, 8 b/w photographs, 50 line illustrations, 1 map
Published June 2007

The Persians of antiquity were renowned for their lavish cuisine and their never-ceasing fascination with the exotic. These traits still find expression in the cooking of India's rapidly dwindling Parsi population--descendants of Zoroastrians who fled Persia after the Sassanian empire fell to the invading Arabs. The first book published in the United States on Parsi food written by a Parsi, this beautiful volume includes 165 recipes and makes one of India's most remarkable regional cuisines accessible to Westerners. In an intimate narrative rich with personal experience, the author leads readers into a world of new ideas, tastes, ingredients, and techniques, with a range of easy and seductive menus that will reassure neophytes and challenge explorers.

"The book easily transports readers to the household of the Ichaporia family in Bombay (now Mumbai) and submerges them in the scents and tastes of Parsi food.
As talented a writer as she is a cook, the author manages this with charm (enhanced by old-time family photographs) but without sentimentality. Her approach to cooking is traditional in the manner of Parsi cooking over the centuries: absorbing new ideas and influences without losing its essential Indo-Persian character. . . . Interesting, reliable and beautifully written."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Bringing regional Indian cuisine(s) home for all of us"--Los Angeles Times

"Answers a longstanding need in this country for documentation of the foodways of the Parsis, one of India's many ethnic groups. This book, written with knowing wit by an author of Parsi origin and backed by a wealth of scholarship, may be the definitive volume on this great cuisine. [Exudes] lighthearted, breezy confidence from beginning to end without sacrificing its central mission of teaching readers how easy and satisfying it is to bring the genius of Parsi cuisine into their homes."--Madhur Jaffrey, Saveur

"Begins with a brief history of the Parsis and an introduction to her grandmother's and mother's kitchens and then presents more than 150 recipes, both sophisticated and homey, many of which will be unfamiliar even to most Indian-food lovers. The headnotes are informative and entertaining, and the book concludes with a selection of menus, a detailed glossary, a source guide, and a bibliography. Highly recommended." (Starred Review)--Library Journal

"A lush memoir in the form of a cookbook, by a talented writer and inspired cook who grew up in a Parsi household in Bombay. With pervading wit and droll sense of humor, she tells us what it means to be part of the 3,000-year-old Parsi culture, and how this plays out in a crazy amalgam of India and the West.. . . She brings alive culinary traditions, passed on through generations of beloved household cooks, mothers and grandmothers. This cooking may soon disappear. UNESCO projects that only 25,000 Parsis may exist in the world by 2020 -- one more reason to grab this extraordinary book and start cooking."
--Patricia Unterman, San Francisco Examiner

"Niloufer King's food is always delicious. Here she unravels her native Parsi cuisine with love and intelligence, revealing its secrets and the little touches that make her dishes stand out. Bravo!"--Paula Wolfert, author of The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen
"With clever wit and panache, cook and culinary anthropologist, Niloufer King introduces us to one of India's most exceptional regional cuisines. Her market-inspired dishes have layers of flavor that immediately satiate your palate, yet leave you longing for the next bite. A gift of love from a passionate cook."--Gary Danko, Chef and Principle, Restaurant Gary Danko

"Niloufer's Bombay Kitchen is a place of delight and seduction. The stories and recipes are beautifully crafted and spiked with wit and wisdom. From an exotic coconut milk and fish stew to a simple cucumber-ginger salad, to her grilled Thanksgiving turkey, each dish is a treasure."--Judy Rogers, chef and owner, Zuni Café

"Full of evocative memories, tastes, smells, colors, places, kitchens, family, and friends--This is so much more than a cookbook!"--Diana Kennedy, author of The Essential Cuisines of Mexico

"What a seductive book! Niloufer King goes straight to the heart of what food is all about and makes you want to rush to the kitchen to join her. I'd read this fascinating book for the sheer fun of it, even without any recipes-but oh, the recipes!"--Fran McCullough, editor of the Best American Recipes series

Niloufer Ichaporia King is an independent scholar.


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