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Ammu: Indian Home-Cooking to Nourish Your Soul

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by Asma Khan
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Renowned London chef Asma Khan—you may have seen her on Netflix's The Chef's Table—pays tribute here to the home cooking of Indian mothers, particularly her own.

Ammu is an affectionate word used in Muslim Indian households for mothers, and the book concentrates on the food of Khan's own childhood spent in Calcutta, now called Kolkata.

Family photographs and frank, poignant reflections on the roles of women in Indian culture along with Khan's own personal story add depth to the book.

Many of the dishes are traditionally Bengali, though some come from elsewhere in India, such as aloo mattar sabzi, potatoes with peas, which comes from neighboring Uttar Pradesh, where Khan's father was raised. But from her mother's family come dishes such as kaddu nariyal shorba, a pumpkin and coconut soup, and a chicken biryani infused with spices and saffron.

Khan's recipe headnotes are friendly and reassuring, pointing out dishes which are accessible to novices and those which are typically reserved for celebrations.

A warm and endearing read.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

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