COOKING & FOOD

Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India

Clarkson Potter: Crown. Oct. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781984823885. $32.50. COOKING
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The scenery, colors, people, and food, this book, like India, has it all. Though it includes memories of train travel and charming photos, allowing it to be read almost as a travelog, this cookbook is focused on chaat, the varying and delicious snacks found at railway stations throughout India. If you’ve been to India, the recipes and images will reignite your memories, and if you haven’t, they’ll provide inspiration until the real thing can be experienced. An introduction, including a history of trains in India, and an overview of chaat, which are generally healthy and vegetarian, provides context for the recipes to follow. The book by chef Chauhan and food and travel writer Eddy is organized geographically, North, South, East, West, with four subsections for each, which allows readers to explore recipes by region and glean the differences in Indian cuisine. A brief overview is included for each section providing context, history, and personal experiences.
VERDICT Randomly open any page and discover something delightful or browse start to finish to uncover chaat and cuisine varieties by region. Either way, home cooks and travelers will be inspired.

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