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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
9
3.9 out of 5 stars


on 8 September 2016
I assume it's meant to be an academic book, which is why it's a bit of a long read; but for the most part I found it illuminating and interesting. There's really quite a lot of history you can glean from something as mundane as a roti, and it works as well as an entrée at building up an appetite before meals!
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on 26 November 2017
This book has just been delivered to me. My usual practice with such books is to go straight to the sections that I am already familiar with, the assumption being that if these sections stand up to what I know for a fact, the authenticity of the rest of the book can be taken for granted. So I quickly went to the section on Andhra Pradesh (p. 262-3) and found (i) over-generalisations and simplifications (reading the section, a Martian can be forgiven for coming away with the impression that the Andhra people survived on eating gongura alone! To say that gongura is an ‘essential’ ingredient in Andhra cuisine is about as valid as saying that the Russians lived on caviar), (ii) casualness of colonial proportions in getting the Telugu names right: ‘koraivikaram’ should be ‘korivikaram’ and it does not translate as ‘flaming stick’ (a close approximation may be 'a chilly concoction as hot as a burning stick’) and avikkai’ should be ‘avakai’ and (iii) worse, plainly wrong information: ‘koraivikaram’, as the author spells it, is not the ‘hottest chilli’ as she would have it, but a pickle made of red hot chillies; statements like ‘A typical meal among the poor is gongura with boiled rice...’ or that avakai is 'so hot that it has sent unsuspecting visitors to hospital’ seem frivolous.

I hope the author does a better job of getting her facts right in the rest of the book, but I am afraid I won't be able to know: reading just those two paragraphs has unfortunately put me off the book for good. To quote a gastronomic proverb that the Andhra people use frequently, "You don’t need to taste the whole pot of rice to check whether it is cooked well; a couple of grains will do!"
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on 24 May 2017
A good attempt of writing a tough topic, cuisine of India. Sen attempted well, still there are overgeneralization of the particular culture in definite period of time. That to historical period does not goes with propertype. The writing is more simple. It should be peppered with various existing anecdotes to have a spice flavor.
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on 19 April 2017
Very...very well researched and well written book.A MUST read for all interested in the history of food in India.Truly amazing information on the diet of people in India in both the near and distant past.
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on 12 April 2017
Wonderful read about India culinary habits
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on 14 November 2016
Was a disappointment..
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on 22 January 2017
Thanks Colleen. It expanded the content and Contours of my Knowledge
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on 27 October 2016
Ahistory of culinary in India from Indus civilization to present date. Interesting and absorbing. Recommended for those who like Food.
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on 22 February 2017
good, nice seller
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