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A festival of cooking

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Sweet somethings! The book contains some traditional recipes as well as some offbeat ones
Sweet somethings! The book contains some traditional recipes as well as some offbeat ones

Cuisine Nita Mehta has come out with a Diwali cookbook

Diwali season is here, and along with illuminated markets and crammed store shelves the good things of life that really remind us about the festival are the eats.

As the official gateway to the winter, Diwali is the time for all those scrumptious sweets and gravy-rich foods.

Help at hand

But who has the time and how many of us have the skills left to whip up these goodies?

If you are tempted to try your hand at cooking Diwali specialties but frightened off by recipes that sound like scientists’ reports, “Nita Mehta’s Diwali Cookbook” just brought out by Snab Publishers, might just be the right gift for you.

The slim volume with lavish colour photographs contains recipes for dishes from the commonly known names — like dahi vada, aloo chana chaat, paneer makhani and the like — to the less traditional like cream and biscuit pudding, sitaphal rabri and others. The latter, by the way, is an enticingly simple and seemingly quick recipe. There are speedy snacks like masala cashews, and namak paare in which the maida is combined with whole wheat flour to add a healthy touch. And the palak and beetroot puris, if you can manage to make them as delicious as they look in the photograph, are sure to be winners, both as a snack and as an accompaniment to the vegetables and dals. The dishes, by the way, are all vegetarian. If the directions leave you in any doubt, you can presumably clear them up with the author herself, as the book contains her email id.

Mehta, known for her popular cookery classes in which she not only shares recipes but also dispenses practical tips from vegetable shopping to cooking times, has even included interior decoration ideas and rangoli designs.

She reminds us that darkness is not the only time to show off Diwali decorations.

Flowers for the house, combinations of traditional textiles for your clothes, and a manual bell instead of the electric doorbell are among her suggestions.

At Rs.295, the book is sure to light up your kitchen this Diwali.

ANJANA RAJAN

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