Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#BookReview: Korma, Kheer & Kismet by Pamela Timms

On the jacket:

Pamela Timms finds her inspiration when the disorderly, not-so-grand and yet honest gullies of the old city, Delhi, offer her a sweet escape into the world of aroma and vibrant flavours. Numerous explorations change her perceptions about cooking and food forever, and she embarks on a journey to explore the stories and the undisclosed ingredients of the much-loved street food of Old Delhi. She discloses the anonymities surrounding several recipes. This journey takes Pamela straight to the heart of the city, where she is not only opened up to new ways of cooking and creating brilliant taste, but is also welcomed into the lives of people who are in this noble business. She rejoices festivals with them, gets acquainted with their families, finds recipes for some of the best Khorma, Kheer and beyond, and makes treasured friends, soon to gather that Old Delhi has become no less than a home.


I cannot review this book, unless I talk about it's cover. Since the day the book came home, I would pick it up everyday, and just gaze at the cover. For someone who deals with words, I rarely agree that a picture speaks a thousand words. Except that this one really does. The cover mesmerised me, I must confess.

Moving on to the book, as the book suggests, this is Timms journal of discovering food in the streets and flavours of old Delhi, while she stayed in India. In all of twelve chapters, the book gives us not only the author's recount of staying in Delhi and finding out the dishes (and their recipes) but also gives us twelve authentic recipes which otherwise we would have had to give an arm and a leg for. 

Now, before I forget, let me warn you. While this is not a recipe book per se, the recipes in here will make your tummy churn and tongue salivate. So, eat before you read this book. Trust me on this. I was left wanting and dreaming of Shokky's Mutton Korma.

The anecdotes mentioned and Timms' the style of writing, both are so engaging that as a reader, you will be transported to a few years ago, about when Timms is talking. You will find yourself scouring the streets of Old Delhi with her, such is the way the book has been written. And more brilliantly, it exudes the earthy feel of old Delhi. A brilliant book, to say the least.

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Rupa Publications. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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