In My Hands Today…

Maman’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen – Donia Bijan

11487954For Donia Bijan’s family, food has been the language they use to tell their stories and to communicate their love. In 1978, when the Islamic revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California’s Bay Area, where the familiar flavours of Bijan’s mother’s cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, award-winning chef Donia Bijan unwinds her own story, finding that at the heart of it all is her mother, whose love and support enabled Bijan to realize her dreams.

From the Persian world of her youth to the American life she embraced as a teenager to her years at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris (studying under the infamous Madame Brassart) to apprenticeships in France’s three-star kitchens and finally back to San Francisco, where she opened her own celebrated bistro, Bijan evokes a vibrant kaleidoscope of cultures and cuisines.

And she shares thirty inspired recipes from her childhood (Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken and Eggplant and Orange Cardamom Cookies), her French training (Ratatouille with Black Olives and Fried Bread and Purple Plum Skillet Tart), and her cooking career (Roast Duck Legs with Dates and Warm Lentil Salad and Rose Petal Ice Cream).

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In My Hands Today…

The Essential Marathi Cookbook – Kaumudi Marathe

The Essential Marathi Cookbook, a modern, easy-to-use introduction to several Marathi sub-cuisines, travels across the regions and religions of Maharashtra to bring out the most authentic and appetising recipes from the state. Journalist and chef Kaumudi Marathe presents a varied and nuanced selection ranging from the delectable entrees long associated with Maharashtra to appetising and unusual side dishes, and a plethora of desserts, as well as lesser-known but equally tantalising family and regional specialities which have never before appeared in an English-language cookbook.

The comprehensive introduction describes Marathi cooking basics, ingredients and techniques, and also explains the special spices used in Marathi kitchens along with the methods for their best use in seasonings. Packed with personal anecdotes and food memories from the author and other contributors to the book, The Essential Marathi Cookbook is the definite guide to Marathi food and customs.

Recipes include Pithla-Bath (zesty gram flour sauce with hot rice), Shiryachi Poli (sweet semolina-stuffed bread), Ambyacha Loncha (green mango-mustard pickle), Spicy Kolhapuri Mutton, Suranachi Koshimbir (elephant’s foot yam salad), Kelphulachi Bhaji (banana blossom stir-fry), Pach Dalichi Amti (five lentil stew), Mugache Kadhan (Konkan lentil-coconut pudding), Bol Marie (East Indian coconut pie), Pathare Prabhu Baked Karanjis (Coconut crescents), Kharvas (first-milk custard), Khudi (sauteed East Indian style chicken), Ukad Shengule (sorghum pasta), Kaumudi’s Grandmother’s Lettuce Salad.