Bangalore Mirror Bureau, January 16,2016
Shivani Kagti 
 “Food not for the eyes but for the soul”, is how Janice Pariat’s describes porridge in her paean to the breakfast food in a delicious new food anthology, Chillies and Porridge. From the humble morning gruel to fiery chillies (author Bulbul Sharma recalls smuggling chillies into a French restaurant), from the political to the personal, the 23 stories in this book cover a range of topics. But some of the best writing comes from people who have dipped into their childhood memories – the smells and tastes that stay on forever – to put in words what food means to them. Take, for instance, Anita Nair’s The Theatre of The Table, where she recalls the sanctity of mealtimes at her childhood home (no phones or uninvited visitors were encouraged) or designer Wendell Rodricks’ ode to a fictional aunt Tia Rosa who came up with intriguing recipes such as drumstick mousse (something Rodricks whips up quite often at home). Unseen Food by Nilanjana Roy dwells on street food across states in north India (not the popular panipuris or chaat) but the more wholesome and filling variants consumed by daily wage earners. The book is a mixed bag – both in terms of choice of topics to quality of writing – but, on the whole, it’s an appetising read.
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