Love, love, love this book. (Didn’t see the movie because I was afraid it wouldn’t be as good. With great reviews, it’s on my list)
Jhumpa Lahiri, the book’s author, prolifically tells the story of the Ganguli family and their journey’s beginning in India and immigrating to the States. Lahiri depicts this family’s adjustment to American culture and the tension between the new and the old. Through food and family, the Ganguli’s are able to hold on to who they are and from where they came. Lahiri portrays Ashima’s cooking so well, the reader feels as though they are in the small kitchen in Cambridge, MA with her.
One of my favorite scenes describes Ashima homesickness and her craving for Jhal-Muŗi, a snack often found at street vendors consisting of puffed rice, spices, vegetables and raw mustard oil. There are many variations but one popular combination is chopped onion, roasted ground cumin, black salt, dried chili peppers, mustard oil, fresh coriander leaves. Served in a newspaper cone, the reader can taste it with her as she tries to recreate it.
In an attempt to fill a craving, I am going to make a red curry, from a jar. Not the same, I know. Wish I had a better grasp on Indian food. Any good recipe suggestions to try?
- How to Make Paneer at Home (Journey Kitchen)