by Jeffrey Alford
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A roadmap, for cooks and armchair travellers alike, to one of the world’s richest and most diverse culinary regions, by the authors of Seductions of Rice and Hot Sour Salty Sweet. From Sri Lanka to Pakistan, from the Himalayan foothills of Nepal and northern India to the lushness of Bangladesh and southern India, the Subcontinent has always been a source of wonder, and for people who love food and cooking, it has forever been a part of the world unlike any other. Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford have been making trips to the Subcontinent, separately and together, for over thirty years. As the couple says, “A trip to the Subcontinent has become a great gift; we come home feeling more alive, more connected.” On their frequent visits, they are continually reminded how good everyday food is, both street food and home cooking. Whether it’s a simple dish of rice and lentils, a masala dosa, or a tender grilled fish served with hot tandoor bread and fresh coriander chutney, food doesn’t have to be elaborate to be good, or to be special. Jeffrey and Naomi explore the Subcontinent and its cuisines, seeking out authenticity as they go. Their stories, along with their breathtakingly diverse photographs of places, people and food, allow us to experience with them one of the most visually stunning places on earth. Their recipes are tailored for the North American home cook, and for every occasion. Mountain Dal with Bhutanese Red Rice makes a perfect last-minute weeknight supper, while Cashew-Coconut Meatballs, Goan Fish with Green Chutney, Banana Pachadi, and Bean Sprout Salad make a dazzling yet easy-to-prepare feast for a dinner party. Mangoes and Curry Leaves is a very accessible and practical resource, and an intriguing introduction to one of the most extraordinary culinary regions of the world, served up with a little slice of life on the side.
Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s four previous books have all been major award-winners. Flatbreads & Flavors and Hot Sour Salty Sweet both won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year Award (in 1996 and 2001 respectively). Seductions of Rice and HomeBaking, their most recent book, each won a Cuisine Canada Cookbook Award (in 1999 and 2004). Naomi and Jeffrey have written for all the major food magazines in Canada and the U.S., including Gourmet and Food & Wine, and also for the National Post. They live in Toronto with their two sons.
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