New in Paper. In the tradition of M.F.K. Fisher, Shoba Narayan weaves together a fascinating food narrative that combines delectable Indian recipes with musings about Indian culture, tales from her life, and stories of her delightfully eccentric family.
The pages of Monsoon Diary confirm a central truth: Life is lived in the kitchen. In this creative and intimate work, Shoba Narayan's considerable vegetarian cooking talents are matched by stories as varied as Indian spices--at times pungent, mellow, piquant, sweet--about her childhood in South India and her life in the U.S. Like Tender at the Bone and Comfort me with Apples, Monsoon Diary recounts stories that conclude with a related recipe. Inviting, exotic, recipes for potato masala, dosa, and coconut chutney, among others, emerge from Narayan's fascinating tales as she writes about her own passion for food and the solemn and quirky customs surrounding it.
Narayan illumines Indian culture while commenting on American culture from the privileged view of the empathetic outsider. Her characters, like herself, have a thing to say about cooking and about life.