Skip to content

Review: Savoring India

by Julie Sahni

2002: Oxmoor House  ISBN-13: 978-0848725907

This book is one of a several in the Williams-Sonoma ‘Savoring…’ series, all of which are beautiful to look at and pleasures to read. This, as are the others, is part travelogue, part culinary atlas and, as such is as much of a coffee-table book as it is a regular cookery publication… 

Content and Organization

 

The book is organized according to the function of a dish – snack, desert, main course, etc. – and there are 134 recipes, each with an accompanying illustration.  There is a general introduction to Indian cuisine at the beginning of the book and this is continued in more depth at the outset of each section, often featuring some personal recollections and observations by the author. There are also many ‘sidebars’ and additional pieces scattered throughout the text that introduce the reader to some interesting aspect of Indian food or culture, and all of this is richly and lavishly supplemented scores of photographs illustrating Indian life. Finally, in the end-pages, there is a glossary covering the spices and foodstuffs unique to the cuisines of the sub-continent.

Critique

It would be easy to dismiss this book as being a ‘fluff’ piece that is more about the photography than it is the food but, in fact, the recipes are very well chosen and consist of a lot more than just the standard Indian restaurant fare. I particularly like that the author has taken pains to select dishes from all around the continent and to indicate their origin as well as provide some interesting background information for each.

The photographs of each dish are all very beautiful but this is not merely a function of the photographer’s skill as it is clear that the author has taken great pains to produce food that ‘plates’ attractively. Even a well-prepared Indian feast, such as one might see laid out in a buffet, can often present as a bland range of ‘browns’ … red-browns, green-browns, and yellow-browns, to be sure … but a lot of Indian food can still be a bit visually uninteresting sometimes. In this book, however, every single dish is richly and vibrantly colored, all with beautiful contrasts and hues. It is this, perhaps more than anything else, speaks to the expertise of Ms. Sahni.

On a couple of occasions, I have had some less than perfect results following the recipes in this book (the ‘Nimboo Bhat’, comes to mind), but these were exceptions to the rule and it is quite possible that the fault lay with me rather than the recipe as she designed it. Ms. Sahni writes very clearly, and though she doesn’t spend a lot of time discussing technique, the recipes are all, for the most part, very easy to follow.

Overall

This is not the sort of book I would recommend as an introduction to Indian cooking. It is a celebration of Indian food rather than a manual of technique and does not, in fairness, pretend to be anything else. However, for those with a well-rounded library of Indian cuisine already this makes a fantastic addition. It is not impossible that one might learn a thing or two from Ms. Sahni, of course, but this is more a book to just sit down and enjoy…

Available Here…

No comments yet

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .

REMCooks

My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design

DENTIST CHEF

Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?

Chefsopinion

Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season

HolyPrettyApple

If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes

Rabbitcancook

a recipe sharing and bento blog

benleeirene

Just another WordPress.com site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine

FOODTRAIL

A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations

bcfoodieblogger

Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: