Saroj Kering, a resident of Pune, is a homemaker with wide-ranging interests. Cooking remains her first love, and it is this passion that the book hopes to convey.
This book of Saroj Kering will take you along on a wonderful journey through the various Indian Festivals celebrated across the country.
Saroj has brought the joy of Indian food into the lives of millions worldwide through her website www.sarojscook book.com. The simplicity and diversity of her recipes have made her famous in many kitchens around the world.
I still remember the first time I proposed this thought to her. It was at a wedding in Pune, India in January of 1997. We had been chatting about her wanting to do something different. It was then that I suggested to her, “Would you like to create a website on food?” I have had the joy of savoring her simple yet magical cooking for many years. For her, the kitchen is a playground like the laboratory is to a scientist. She whips up new delights and invents new ways of simplifying traditional ones. In her hands, ingredients become the building blocks for extraordinary creations in a way that mirrors how a grandmaster toys with chess pieces on the board.
In 1997, the Internet had just begun its slow growth in India. Yet, it had become something of a staple for millions of Indians outside India. And they were the first audience for the web portal that I had created — India World. Good Indian food for this group was a challenge. Most, like me during my student days, relied on their own cooking abilities. Learning to make better meals was limited to watching and talking to friends. It was in this landscape that Saroj’s Cookbook came to life in early 1997 — first as a section within India World, and then the anchor for an independent food portal, bawarchi.com. It was all about Indian Cooking made Simple. For the Indians in faraway lands, Saroj’s Cookbook brought back the memories and taste of Mummy’s cooking — and it didn’t matter which part of India they came from.
From the simple to the exotic, from the basic to the complex, Saroj’s Cookbook brought the joy of Indian food into the lives of millions worldwide through its life on India World Food, bawarchi.com and then as part of Sify Food. Her recipes, her cooking tips and tricks and her diversity of selections have made her the Annapuma of many Kitchens in homes around the world. (And if one were to believe the e-mails we got, even saved more than a handful of marriages!). Saroj’s cooking and works (the online website and now this book) are a reflection of the person that she is — beautiful on the outside and inside. It is my hope that this is the first of many collections — for her cooking needs to be sampled and re-created in homes even where computers are not there.
What started as a result of a simple question on a cold, wintry Pune night over a decade ago has been truly amazing. For Saroj, the book is the fulfillment of a promise she made to her father many years ago. For me, it is the natural outcome of all that she has created over the years — and the first step is taken in this book.
Festive Indian Recipes, is an interesting Cookbook by Saroj Kering. It is an attempt to present the diverse traditional festival recipes that India celebrates. The variety of festivals India hosts has no equal in the world. So also the diversity of colour, flavour and culture which have been reflected marvellously in the book.
This book strives to strike a balance between the traditional and the modern. It tries to make the new generation’ take a fresh attempt at their cooking schedules. It also tries to generate a growing interest in the present generation towards traditional fare. The book is a cover-to-cover treat for the eyes - and then, of course, an irresistible appeal to the palate.
It contains recipes for twenty-five festivals celebrated in India as well as the world over. The book also has a glossary of methods and terms used. Every recipe carries the calorie count with its calorific breakup. However, the festive dishes are a shade rich, that is what the festivals are all about!
Thus Saroj’s Cookbook is a celebration of Indian cuisine in its full richness.
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