I have received a book named “Gujarati Kitchen by Bhanu Hajratwala“ from BlogAdda. They have a book review program and I am one of those lucky 10 selected to do a bookreview.
This is the first time that I am doing a book review. So I am a bit nervous. But I hope this review helps those people who intend to buy this book.
Gujarati Kitchen is a book which has a wonderful collection of recipes cooked in Gujarati Kitchen. The author Bhanu Hajratwala has presented the book in a very nice way. She has mentioned a lot of incidents of her life and her cooking journey. She is a Gujarati, born and brought up in Fiji, where all her ancestors had migrated. She has beautifully mentioned how she developed interest in cooking and how she learnt to cook Gujarati Food.
Just like most of us, who learn to cook after marriage, the author also started her cooking training just before her marriage. She also learnt to cook by writing recipes of Gujarati food in her diary. Later with her husband’s help she emerged into a very good and a very experienced cook. The experience that she had with rising dough was really a good one. She went on a trip to a local ice cream and a bread factory. She took some rising dough from the bread factory and the dough rose so much that it burst out of a box in which it was packed. This happened in flight when they were flying back home.
Many such incidents are mentioned in the book by the author which makes one feel, that she has written this book with real love and affection.
She even mentioned that Health-consciousness plays a major role in our lives and how she started focusing on healthy cooking by substituting low-cholesterol vegetable oil for peanut oil and more. She mentions that “fresh spices and ingredients are necessary for a healthy cooking”. She also mentioned that food should not only taste good, it should look good, be presentable and make the mouth water. I really liked the way she has mentioned all such facts.
There are 85 recipes in the cookbook which are the authors family favorite and they are generations old. Some were even not written down before. She has given some tips on getting started before cooking. The tips of washing Dal’s, art of deep-frying, soaking and sprouting methods,etc. Even what type of equipments and utensils to use have been mentioned. She compares herself to a surgeon and stresses on the right equipment for cooking, just like how a surgeon needs the right equipment to perform a surgery. So one can imagine how good the author is.
Steps to set up a basic pantry at home have been mentioned. Description of various spices have been mentioned. There is a brief section describing the types of cooking oils and fats. Tables of solid and liquid measurements as well as temperature conversions have been mentioned.
The book has been started with the starters or appetisers section. There are no starters in Gujarati Cooking as they are a part of main meal, but with some western influence they have been mentioned. This book covers vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. But since most Hindus do not eat beef and pork, recipes containing beef and pork are not mentioned.
Rice recipes and rice accompaniments, mithai or sweets,Gujarati breads, chutneys and a variety of tea time snacks have been wonderfully presented by the author. Gujarati Masala Chai is the authors favorite Chai. The recipe for this masala has also been mentioned along with how she got the recipe for this. Other types of masalas like the Gujarati Dal Masala, Sookha Masala and a couple of other masalas have been mentioned. These masalas can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for some weeks.
Each and every recipe has been tried by the author in her kitchen and is very nicely written down. It is easy to follow the instructions mentioned for the recipe and I think any person who knows to cook basic food can easily cook something nice from this cookbook. Some pictures are present in every section i.e. starters, main dishes, breads, rice, accompaniments with rice, sweets, chutneys, pickles, tea time snacks like nankhatai, drinks and mouth fresheners like Pan Masala Mukhwas. In the sections too, there are separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections. In some places, diagrams are mentioned eg. how to fold the round patty to make a ghughara (a Gujarati sweet). Sample menus have been mentioned and a wonderful index is also maintained.
Overall this book is a very good book, specially if you want to learn to cook Gujarati dishes.
The book is decently priced at Rs.395/- .
I recommend this book to my readers who have an interest to learn Gujarati cooking.
Thanks BlogAdda for providing this book to me.
I will try out some nice Gujarati dishes for my family and friends 🙂
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