Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Book Review : Tiffin

Title : Tiffin

Author : Rukmini Srinivas
Publisher : Rupa
ISBN : 978-81-291-2390-9

Rukmini Srinivas who divides her time between Bangalore and Boston, is a television chef, a storyteller, a gardener, an entrepreneur, a teacher, an author and a connoisseur of food. The seed of this book got sown many years ago when she started writing recipes of various tiffin options to her daughters along with many anecdotes and narratives about people and places that were associated with the recipes. The request from her daughters for the stories and the recipes grew more frequent and a mother's replies grew more lengthy. Eventually what we see today is the consolidated version of all those narratives and recipes.

Through her memoir-cum-cookbook, Rukmini gives a peak into her life over last many decades during which she has cooked and eaten different dishes.  As she got to travel a lot from very young age, she recognised the importance of home-cooked food everywhere. Through her recipes and the memories of bygone times intertwined around food, she recreates the life well spent. One can see fusion of different places in her recipes as she showcases traditional dishes with some convenient twists here and there.

The book is an outcome of author's sincere love for food and cooking and that is palpable all through the narrative. She talks about various places, people and customs in great detail and from the perspective of food. In fact, she stirs some chords deep within as some things etch in our memories with tastes, flavours and company. A great way to share a slice of life with readers.

There are however a few things that could be improved for subsequent prints. Readers would feel the need of an index of all the recipes, otherwise it is very difficult to sift through more than 300 pages for a particular recipe that one would like to try. A few recipes get repeated in the book. The pictures could be improved especially now when when food photography has taken a new dimension and not all recipes have accompanying pictures with them.

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