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Cook up Delhi?s past

A bit of history, some geography and all the kinds of food that you get in Delhi at its vast range of eateries put together along with anecdotes.

books Updated: Mar 21, 2003 13:38 IST
Kaushik Ramaswamy
Kaushik Ramaswamy

Flavours of Delhi:
A Food Lover's Guide

Charmine O’Brien
Pages: 304
Price: Rs 295

A bit of history, some geography and all the kinds of food that you get in Delhi. Charmine O’Brien has put in a lot more than just phone numbers and addresses of different eateries in this 900-year-old capital city. Once Turk, then Mughal and British and now Punjabi, the book traces the range of food and its history from the bylanes of Old Delhi to the corridors of five-star hotels.
With a couple of recipes per cuisine and narration of the past behind the recipes, the book makes an interesting read, besides serving as a cookbook.

It’s also full of interesting trivia. For example, about the “two quintessential drinks of British India”: “whiskey soda is good for digestion” and “gin and tonic keeps malaria away”.

The only problem lies in O’Brien’s Australian habit of using India masala. Most recipes under use sabut garam masala and chillies. Truly, six black peppercorns for two kilos of biryani with one kilo red meat is just not the way. So be liberal with the masala and we have a great cookbook garnished with history.

First Published: Mar 10, 2003 10:43 IST