Issue No. 167 of Saveur magazine — The India Issue — offers an ambitious and mouthwatering journey across India, from East to West, from South to North and Northeast by way of recipes, guides, stories, photography and videos. Here are a few highlights from the issue to whet your appetite. For more, visit Saveur online or pick up an issue of the magazine.
Start with the basics. Chef Raghavan Iyer offers a numbered photo guide to some of the abundant produce common to Indian kitchens, from bitter melon (5) to rhim jim (10).
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Indrani Sen provides a peek into the Indian Coffee House where her father Amartya Sen, awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, played hooky during college in the early 1950s and fed on samosas, coffee and “revolutionary ideas that went on to define the subcontinent over the next half century.” Sen also shares a story about her grandmother’s aversion — and dedication — to fish.
In “The Last Tappers” journalist VK Sreelesh writes about working with his father as a toddy tapper. The ancient, perilous job “involves scaling palm trees to the top, cutting open the leaves, and collecting the white sap that pours out.” The sap is fermented into toddy, or palm wine. Due in part to the dangers of the occupation, the numbers of tappers are dwindling.
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Lyla Bavadam reminisces about her Parsi family’s Sunday lunches in “Persian Roots,” and shares her spot for eats these days in Mumbai’s Fort district, where most of the world’s Parsis live.
Famed Indian food writer Madhur Jaffrey explores Andhra Pradesh’s cuisine, including its passion for the pungent and the sour, in her piece “The Heart of South India”.
In “Unruly Appetites” NYU professor of nutrition Krishnendu Ray recalls the first time he ever tried street meat kebabs as a teen in Delhi. For him, the dish “opens the door to looking beyond political and religious differences.”
Cookbook author Smita Chandra (Cuisines of India, Indian Grill) shares recipes for lemon and mango pickles as well as her belief that pickles do more than safeguard seasonal produce in “Preserving Culture.”
Dig in to much more from Saveur‘s India Issue over at the magazine’s website.