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OP: Indian-Jewish Cooking

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by Mavis Hyman

Several Jewish communities—all with distinct histories, places of origin, and ethnic identities—have deep roots in India. Whether modern or ancient arrivals, each group began dwindling and dispersing throughout the mid-twentieth century after Indian independence, Partition, and the founding of Israel. Where there was once a thriving population, fewer than 5,000 Jews remain in the country today.

Many of those who do remain recognize the urgent need to preserve the legacy of their existence and culture before it disappears entirely. In 1992, Mavis Hyman, herself a direct descendant of one of the earliest Iraqi-Jewish settlers in Kolkata, published this collection of Indian-Jewish recipes, drawing from the practice and memories of home cooks. 

The result is an engaging cultural, historical, and culinary composite. The headnote for khitchree, for example, acknowledges the dish’s association with Indian culinary tradition but suggests an antecedent or counterpart in traditional Iraqi cuisine. 

Koofta curry takes the Middle-Eastern dish of meatballs ground with spices and bread crumbs (or matzo meal in this case) and simmers it in a broth flavored with garam masala and tamarind. 

Dopyasa, a chicken or lamb curry dish established in South Asia through Persian influence, is made suitable for kosher kitchens by omitting the yogurt. 

The recipes are written in prose, include exact quantities where relevant, and are adapted for western kitchens. 

We are pleased to offer a 2000 paperback printing in Near Fine, unused condition. A magnificent addition to any collection.

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