The kitchen is often the heart
of South Asian homes.
Muslim South Asian kitchens, in particular, are the
engines of an entire culture. The alchemy that takes place
within them affects nations and economies, politics and
history, and of course human relationships. There is
proof of it in Desi Delicacies, Claire Chambers’ anthology
of essays, stories and recipes supplied by some of the
region’s most well-loved writers, historians and chefs.
An unexpected revelation awaits Nadeem Aslam in a London
restaurant as he yearns for a special delicacy from Pakistan.
Rana Safvi recounts the history of Awadhi cooking and the
origins of qorma, while Sadaf Hussain tells us how the samosa
came to be paired with chai and of his own newfound love for
the beverage. Tabish Khair examines our attitudes towards
food that is ‘jootha’. Death comes with an aftertaste of taar roti
for the protagonist of Tarana Husain Khan’s story set in Rampur. Gulla puts his heart into making the perfect nadroo yakhni
but is taken aback by a hairy surprise in Asiya Zahoor’s ‘The
A multitude of flavours blend with love, joy, grief,
regret and nostalgia in this book which is not only a
beautiful collection of food writing, but also a rich
helping of the histories and cultures of Muslim
South Asia and their diasporas.
With a Foreword by Bina Shah and an
Afterword by Siobhan Lambert-Hurley