MB Recommends: Travelling Diva
Renowned New Delhi-based chef, restaurateur, cooking show host and frequent traveller Ritu Dalmia’s new cookbook—her second after Italian Khana, which was published in 2008—is a compilation of recipes she picked up while journeying through Europe, America and Asia, including India. Travelling Diva—Recipes From Around The World is certain to make you salivate. This is largely thanks to the evocative food photography by New Delhi-based Anshika Varma, as well as the cute cartoon drawings of ingredients that pepper the book and provide relief from the text.
There’s a logical progression to Travelling Diva, which starts with a peek into Dalmia’s larder, followed by a listing of kitchen essentials for first-time cooks. Before getting into sections that cover cooking for one person, two people, a party, morning-after meals and late night snacks, Dalmia lays down recipes for basic cooking sauces and dips such as tomato sauce; béchamel sauce; an olive oil and herb marinade for meats; and tsatsiki. In a further bid to engage readers, she sprinkles her recipes with food trivia or an amusing tale on how she stumbled on that particular recipe. Her writing is lucid, her instructions are detailed yet simple enough for novices to follow, and most importantly, she takes care to list ingredients that are widely available in India. Dalmia has picked an interesting mix of recipes that include the Sindhi sai bhaji; Italian seafood spaghetti; Caribbean jambalaya; Swiss roesti; Vietnamese spring rolls; and the American red velvet cake.
Our favourite feature of the book is the handy chef’s tip scribbled at the bottom of each recipe. Here, Dalmia tells you to use an additional ingredient to enhance the dish; or to subtract some for the benefit of vegetarians; or she explains the provenance of certain foods. We also love that by categorising recipes into courses such as appetisers, mains and desserts at the end of the book, Dalmia has provided an easy reckoner to prep a quick meal. The book concludes with a list of a few of Dalmia’s favourite restaurants across the world and a list of grocers and supermarkets across India that stock imported ingredients required for her recipes.
Travelling Diva by Ritu Dalmia, Hachette, Rs499. Buy it from Flipkart.com.Tags: cookbooks, MB Recommends, Ritu Dalmia, Travelling Diva