This is a very old book; I remember spying it in the bookshop and at that time I had not heard of Karen Anand. I leafed through the book, because of comments behind the book by known celebrities and after reading a few lines, I wanted to devour the book and also get myself something tasty to eat😋
Karen Anand has been described as the Martha Stewart of India as per the intro in the book. The book is a compilation of her columns is various newspapers over the years and details her adventures in the culinary landscape as she goes globetrotting. There are a few recipes too, but sadly no pictures of what the end product must look like.
The chapters are delicious and begins in Paris – described as the gourmet capital of Western civilisation. She doesn’t indulge in fine dining, but takes us through the bakeries and market places; I recollect scenes from the movie Ratatouille. She describes the meal she prepared for her friends in Paris consisting of among many other delightful offerings – Quiche Lorraine, shoulder of lamb with preserved garlic, tangy lemon tart; I am hungry and I read on greedily.
She travels through Switzerland, UK, Australia, Far east, Italy, Singapore, many other countries and India; enlightens about wine and herbs, sushi and satays, caviar and crabs. I liked her chapter on Thai cuisine the most.
Manchurian dishes, a staple in India and we believe as quintessential Chinese (not to forget Szechwan) actually traces its origins to a cook in Mumbai at the NSCI club as per the author.😆” You will find no mention of any culinary achievements in Manchuria in any Chinese cookery book.”
Avocado – I have found 2 varieties in the supermarkets – the light green and the blackish purple ones. In my ignorance I assumed the latter were overripe former😬. Karen corrects as she says “The long light green variety comes from Bangalore. These are perfect for filling with a crab or prawn salad and for slicing. Less common variety, round and heavy and will turn from dark green to blackish purple when ripe, comes from Kodaikanal. Do not attempt to cut it until it feels almost overripe and is totally black.”🥑🤗
Finally I stop as I came across an easy recipe; Karen is in Spain and she is describing tapas or Spanish appetisers. Gambas Pil Pil (Prawns in garlic and chilli sauce). I make an attempt and it’s super tasty.
My kitchen does not stock the ingredients needed for the other recipes in her book. Though I agree with her when she says that the ingredients are more readily available now than ever before esp. in speciality stores; but they will probably see only a one time use and so the rest of it will sit on my kitchen self and expire away. But she educates you on the stories behind the plate – she compares wagyu beef and kobe “The next time you eat a piece of steak, it is worth spending some time on choosing and educating yourself on the differences….to justify the price if nothing else!”
She continues with her adventures 👩🏻🍳 and I follow🏃♀️.
Wishing everyone a happy week ahead 🦋🦋