Now in paper.
"Great cookbooks, like all great works of art, have the power to illuminate the unfamiliar. This book achieves just that, taking readers (at least those who haven't been to Calcutta) to places they've never visited, let alone imagined. In a compendium of masterly recipes, essays, and images, coauthors Parkes and Sarkhel and photographer Jason Lowe serve up a vision of India's third-largest city that stays with you long after you've left the kitchen."
-James Oseland, Saveur Magazine
“What you’ve got to remember about us Bengalis,” a good friend once told Simon Parkes, “is that we’re only really interested in three things: educating our children, reading books, and food.” Bengalis have a passion for good food—its authenticity, its freshness, its part in social occasions, and the pleasure of serving it at the table. The Calcutta Kitchen captures the essence of those pleasures through the evocative narrative of the BBC Food Programme’s Simon Parkes, the recipes of renowned chef Udit Sarkhel, and the pictures of award-winning photographer Jason Lowe.
Calcuttans know and adore fish, vegetables, and desserts in particular. They have a curiosity about food that never fades, and so they have embraced influences from around the world—most notably the English, Armenians, Jews, Tibetans, Chinese, Burmese, and Portuguese. Calcutta, and this book, has a taste of each of these cuisines.
Until recently it was nigh-on impossible to taste Bengali cooking unless you were invited to a private home, yet this is some of the most sophisticated food in India. With its inexhaustible roll-call of fish and vegetables, its pungency derived from the widespread use of mustard (both seeds and oil) and its tempering with a blend of five spices known as panch phoron, it is an evolved yet accessible cuisine.
The Calcutta Kitchenbrings you recipes from one of the best-known Bengali chefs, Udit Sarkhel, and snapshots of the fish ponds, markets, artisan food producers, restaurants, clubs, cooks, gourmet, and street foods that play a part in the city’s rich culinary culture.