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Jyoti Basu was a foodie: Granddaughter

Jyoti Basu was a foodie and relished well-cooked mutton, the late CPI-M patriarch eldest granddaughter says.

delhi Updated: Jul 25, 2010 15:59 IST

Jyoti Basu was a foodie and relished well-cooked mutton, the late CPI-M patriarch eldest granddaughter says.

"Grandpa loved food. His real craze was well-cooked mutton dishes," Mallika Basu, who has written a cookbook Miss Masala, says.

"I've included one of his favourite mutton preparations – kosha mangsho (lamb sauteed in roasted cumin and yoghurt) in my book," 32-year-old Mallika, who is a director of a PR firm in London, told PTI.

She, however, loved cooking pastas and soups for Basu.

"My grandpa always preferred me to cook pastas and soups for him."

Miss Masala is much more than just a cookbook, this essential, handbag-sized account fuses irresistible Indian recipes with quirky and evocative narrative with an aim to make ethnic cooking an effortless part of a glamorous goddess lifestyle.

Bollywood finally meets Sex and the City - along with easy instructions for making succulent Ceylon chicken or the best shami kebabs, Mallika also shares witty anecdotes about her high-flying city life, and gives handy hints on how to cook a jalfrezi and still head to the bar an hour later without reeking of eau de curry.

According to publishers HarperCollins, anyone who aspires to the job, the image, the parties, and still wants to whip up a meal for friends and bask in the reflected glory will be clamouring for a copy.

"This is real Indian cooking for busy city living!"

So why a cookbook with rich colours, scrapbook-style internals and lavish finishes?

"My book evolves organically from my blog My intention is to create a platform to inspire people to go for ghar ka khana. It is also to break all myths about Indian cooking. So I thought of incorporating stories and lifestyle elements," she says.

According to her, authentic Indian cooking, is, in fact, blindingly easy and can be a regular part of frantic lives.

"This book is about those invaluable lessons, transferred from my kitchen to yours. The pages are packed with simple recipes and handy tips for busy people who live full lives."

Mallika, who rates herself very highly as a cook, has also mentioned many dishes that were cooked by her grandmother, including her favourite cheese chilli bond and aloo paratha.

Besides famed Bengali dishes, other recipes include murgh makhani (velvety butter chicken), tandoori macchli (moist monkfish in tandoori spices), Peshawari naan (luxurious naan stuffed with nuts and raisins), Mango Fool (pureed mangoes folded into double cream).

Expecting her second child this October, Mallika says her next book will have more maternal element.

"It may be about how to cook for a family," she signs off.

First Published: Jul 25, 2010 15:56 IST