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Starred Review. The celebrated actress and author of several books on Indian cooking turns her attention to her own childhood in Delhi and Kampur. Born in 1933 as one of six children of a prosperous businessman, Jaffrey grew up as part of a huge "joint family" of aunts, uncles and cousins—often 40 at dinner—under the benign but strict thumb of Babaji, her grandfather and imperious family patriarch. It was a privileged and cosmopolitan family, influenced by Hindu, Muslim and British traditions, and though these were not easy years in India, a British ally in WWII and soon to go though the agony of partition (the separation and formation of Muslim Pakistan), Jaffrey's graceful prose and sure powers of description paint a vivid landscape of an almost enchanted childhood. Her family and friends, the bittersweet sorrows of puberty, the sensual sounds and smells of the monsoon rain, all are remembered with love and care, but nowhere is her writing more evocative than when she details the food of her childhood, which she does often and at length. Upon finishing this splendid memoir, the reader will delight in the 30 "family-style" recipes included as lagniappe at the end. Photos. (Oct. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Actress and consummate authority on the foods of India, Jaffrey reflects on her earliest memories in this autobiography. Steeped in Hindu culture and learning, she grew up within an extended well-to-do Delhi family that expected the best of each. Starting with her grandmother's placing honey on her tongue shortly after birth, Jaffrey's life began to arrange itself around all that food represents in Hindu life. Some of her most touching and distressing scenes come with the advent of India's independence and its partition. Jaffrey's friends and schoolmates had from the outset included both Hindu and Muslim, but religious and political strife soon sundered all relations. On the culinary front, Hindu refugees from the subcontinent's northwest regions brought tandoori cooking to Delhi and ultimately made it an integral part of the national cuisine. In an appendix, Jaffrey records recipes for dozens of dishes that figure in her memoir. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This book started slowly for me, then gained my interest but ended abruptly. In many places it seemed sloppy or poorly cohesive. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sharon G. Griffitts
Not for me. I am a Madhur Jaffrey fan, but for some reason I just could not get interested in this memoir. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Melissa Velik
The title is more exotic then the subject matter. Is still a good read.Published 8 months ago by Robbie
Beautifully written book, which gave me a background to post WWII India. The recipes are excellent as well. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dee A. Cope
I didn't know quite what to expect with this book. Admittedly, I am not a fan of all things India & not a fan of India cuisine. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Susan G.
When I couldn't get this at my local library I bought it for myself. It's quite a story and a fascinating read.Published 16 months ago by Francine H. Haraway
absorbing detail of life before and during the great divide. fascinating inside view of life in the upper middle classes in the 20th century predivision India.Published 18 months ago by Henry R. Achilles