“Climbing The Mango Trees” — Let’s Travel to India with Madhur Jaffrey & Cook The Books!

8 08 2010

Time to pick up the hosting torch from Rachel and her wonderful pick of Erica Bauermeister’s “The School of Essential Ingredients.” For my selection, I am taking us on a journey to exotic India  with “Climbing The Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India” by the multi-talented (author, cook, actress and Indian cuisine guru), Madhur Jaffrey. A huge fan of Indian food myself, I have several of Jaffrey’s cookbooks and was excited to pick up her beautifully written story of growing up in the large family compound in Delhi. I love books that allow me a glimpse into someone’s life, in another time, and in another place, and especially reading about the details of the food and culture. Jaffrey’s book transports the reader to India, in the 1930’s to the 1950’s, and what it was like being from a prosperous and large extended family there.

From the book jacket:

“Climbing mango trees in the orchard, armed with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground chilies, and roasted cumin; picnicking in the Himalayan foothills on meatballs stuffed with raisins and mint and tucked into freshly fired ‘pooris;’ sampling the heady flavors in the lunch boxes of Muslim friends; sneaking tastes of exotic street fare–these are the food memories Madhur Jaffrey draws on as a way of telling her story. … ‘Climbing the Mango Trees’ is both an enormously appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food to evoke memory.”

In addition to the evocative food descriptions in the book, at the back are more than 30 family recipes–each sounding more delicious than the next. Between these recipes and Jaffrey’s many cookbooks, we will have a treasure trove of recipes and ideas to choose from when deciding what dish the book inspires us to cook.

The deadline for reading “Climbing The Mango Trees” and cooking and posting a dish inspired by it is Friday, September 24th. I will post a round-up shortly after and a winner will be selected.

Anyone is eligible to join in the fun. If you are new to Cook The Books–Welcome! Please check out the tabs above (Guidelines and Books We’ve Read) to see what we have read, look at past roundups and check out some sample CTB posts.

Once you have read the book, cooked your fabulous dish and posted it, leave a comment here or email me (debinhawaii@gmail.com) so I can be sure you are included in the round-up.

Happy reading & cooking!

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