Roli Books celebrates the publication of ‘Tiffin, 500 authentic recipes celebrating India’s regional cuisine’.
India is a country with a vast coastline and hosts six major climatic subtypes, it is no wonder it is home to cuisines that use ingredients that are local and seasonal. Spreading the word and sharing 500 cuisines from the different part of India, Sonal Ved has written a book “Tiffin”.
“Tiffin” brings in over 500 recipes representing all the regions, ethnic groups, cultural choices, and traditions that make up the country, Tiffin showcases food that is a flavourful blend of favourite Indian recipes (of course, there is Butter Chicken and Samosa) along with several lesser-known dishes. Also featuring recipes by home chefs, celebrated chefs, and dishes specially made at festivals and special occasions, this is a celebration of the diversity of Indian regional cuisine.
The book is brought under the banner of Roli Books, supported by Anshika Varma, freelance documentary photographer, and Abhilasha Dewan, animation artist and illustrator, who have contributed to the illustration and photographs along with chefs.
Sonal Ved shares her experience about the making of the book with PEAKLIFE. Sonal is a food writer at Vogue India. Over the last 10 years, she has written food features for various newspapers and magazines in India including Hindustan Times, DNA, Midday, Times of India, TimeOut Mumbai, Uppercrust and Verve magazine.
- Where did the idea of the title “Tiffin” came up from?
My publishers came up with this name. When you think of the words ‘thali’ or ‘tiffin’ you usually think of Indian food. I think that’s the essence we were trying to touch.
- Tell us about the highlights of the book, and what should one look forward to while reading it.
The book has recipes from every single state in the country. It’s all divided into 6 regions – north, south, east, west, central, and northeast.
- Share with us you’re a personal instance or story that inspired you to compile this book.
As mentioned above, this idea came from my brilliant publishers. They are a creative bunch who wanted to put together one of India’s finest recipe cookbooks. That brief was overwhelming, so I got thinking about how to make Tiffin different than anything that’s out there. If you scroll through a lot of Indian cookbooks, you will notice how the dialogue usually tilts towards the representation of popular Indian cuisines compartmentalized as North or South. That too fewer regions within these, like Punjab, Lucknow within UP, a little bit of Kerala, something of Tamil Nadu and that’s it. But what about hyper-regional recipes? Like food from Bhatinda or curries from the Saraswat Goan community, what about cuisine from the desserts of Kutch, or that cooked by the Memon community in Mumbai or Gujarat. So, I set about to collect hyper-regional recipes to put together one of India’s most comprehensive recipe cookbooks.
- Out of the 500 recipes shared here, which one is your favourite & tell us about your interest in Authentic recipes.
Rather than a dish, one technique that stood out for me was how even Indians boil various kinds of dough in bubbling water like an Italian making pasta! From the Gujarati dal dholki, Rajasthani Gatta, Amritsari vadi (in this case it’s lentil pastes), Ladakhi skyu – dough or some dumpling is poached in hot liquid until al dente. Also, I’m fascinated with cooking in leaves, from banana leaves to make a Kerala-style fish to a South Indian dish called eradye that’s made using turmeric leaves, it was fascinating to discover that.
- Tell us about some of the Chefs who contributed these age-old authentic recipes.
Chef Thomas Zacharias from The Bombay Canteen, chef Floyd Cardoz from O Pedro, The Bombay Canteen and The Bombay Bread Bar, chef Anuj Wadhwan from The Roseate House in Delhi, chef Manu Chandra of Monkey Bar and Toast and Tonic fame.
- You have also authored “Gujju Goes Gourmet” which was a digital cookbook, so, what’s lined up for in the future for you? Any other interesting cookbooks that you are working on?
Let’s see what’s in store for me. As of now, I’m looking forward to my book launches.