Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Contest 1 : Cookbooks and Food books

There are cookbooks and there are food books. Whats the difference? Cookbooks have recipes whereas food books tell stories starring food as a central theme.

I was never a cookbook collector. I cook a lot from the internet as it is so easy to search. I just Google for a recipe and there are scores of recipes with pictures and sometimes step-wise pictorials too. I mostly give away other books and novels I buy and have finished reading.

But cookbooks are reference books so they stay. Also cookbooks have curated recipes so lesser chance of failure in the kitchen. The one which is yellow and torn in the picture above is "Annapoorna" by Mangala Barve, it is the only one I had until couple of years ago. What you see here is my collection in the last 2-3 years, some are gifts from cookbook author's like Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal  and Saee Koranne-Khandekar and other friends, some I bought recently and a few booklets that came with appliances which I added to my kitchen over the years. The square book on the top left is the Desi Health Bites ebook that includes two recipes contributed by me.

In the picture above there is one that is not a cookbook, which one is it?

Since this is a contest, there has to be a prize!

Leave your answer in the comments on this post.

1. The first three correct answers will be chosen winners.

2. Pick any ONE product of your choice from the AnnaParabrahma Eshop and mention it in the comment along with the answer.

This giveaway can be shipped to any address in India. Which means you can answer the quiz from any location and request to ship to you or your family or friend anywhere in India.

3. Also tell us which is your favorite cookbook or food book and bring back the conversations to this blog.

4. Contest is open until midnight IST, 7th July 2015.

Have fun while you play and win!


  1. Love your collection, Anjali. Ani ho, Ruchira is a MUST , nahi ka?

    To answer your question, Following Fish is not a cookbook.

    My favorite cookbook varies,it has a lot to do with what I am in the mood to cook... but I do like 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer a Lot!
    Ammini Ramchandran's: grains greens and grated coconut is so full of history, culture and wonderful recipes, gotta love it too!

  2. 1. Following fish is a novel not a cookbook.
    2. Gondavale Goda Masala. Big fan of goda masalas
    3. I really do not have a favourite cookbook. The closest thing to a cookbook I have now is my cake decorating book which came with the kit when I did a cake decorating course. I do like tarla dalal books and I did have a couple at some point in time.

  3. The Tupperware Catalogue. The product of my choice is the masher from the Kitchen Tools section :)

  4. Following Fish is not a cookbook.
    My favorite product from annaparabrahma eshop is Orange Marmalade.
    My favorite cookbook/food book is not a single book, as I do surf Internet for various recipes and I do use various cookbook/food books. My recent read is Healthy Tiffin by Dr. Seema Sonis could be my favorite book for tiffin food.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  5. Following fish is a compilation of essays and not a cookery book

  6. following fish is a travelouge . If I win, I would like the chai masala.my fav book is good food by bbc. It is a food cum recepie book

  7. What a wonderful collection of books Anjali. Ok, for the contest - I think it is - New Concise Larousse Gastronomique, that we got from IFBM (I think). It is not a cookbook but a cookery encyclopedia. From the E-shop, I love ALL the masalas but haven't tried 'Kanda Lasun Masala' yet. :-) My favorite food book is - "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone" by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. I read this page to page during a particularly low time in my life and it made me cook & nourish my lonely soul.

    Hope all is well.


  8. 1. Morrisons Magazine is a magazine and not a cookbook. :-)
    2. Koli Masala
    3. I own and browse a lot of cookbooks and food books but I don't really have a favorite. I also mostly rely on food blogs and videos on youtube for new recipes.

    - Priti

  9. Dear Anjali - the odd one out is Following Fish, which is a travel book, not a cookbook.

    I am a longtime reader of your blog - have never commented before but being an avid cookbook collector, I could not resist this post. Picking a favorite cookbook is difficult because I buy and read cookbooks for many different reasons, and my cooking moods might vary from day to day. On some days, I just want a quick recipe for a specific ingredient; on other days, I may want to understand several variations of a particular recipe. Then there are days when I don't really want to cook, but simply sit and vicariously visit other people's cooking. I am old-fashioned and while I read several blogs and Facebook food groups, they will never be able to replace cookbooks. I am particularly fond of regional cookbooks written by women who have been cooking for their families for decades. I also look for cookbooks that represent community effort - books published by non-profits or associations of a particular community, or women's organizations - unfortunately, these books form a miniscule minority in India. But if I were forced to pick one cookbook, it would be Lakshmibai Vaidya's Paaksiddhi, the first exhaustive documentation of Marathi cuisine. Published in 1969 (before Ruchira), it never achieved the fame or status of Ruchira probably because the author died before the book's publication and the book was poorly marketed. The book is about 580 pages and has over 800 recipes. Smt. Vaidya was a home-science teacher and a lot of painstaking effort and research seems to have gone into the book. Recipes are meticulously presented. No pictures, only 580 pages of tightly-packed text. Many, many unusual recipes and a lot of advice on how to keep the kitchen, type of utensils to have, how to cook different types of vegetables, how to store, etc.

    Since food books a different category, I will nominate a separate favorite here - John Thorne's Mouth Wide Open. He is neither a celebrity chef with a TV show nor a famous journalist writing about food - the book is a compendium of articles from his self-published newsletter on food. As far as I am concerned,there is only one criterion for excellence in food writing and that is whether the writer succeeds in drawing you back into the kitchen. Thorne gets full marks on this account. Check out his method of making orange marmalade.


  10. Wud just like to complete my answer.. May favourite cookbook is ruchira and I like all your spices and am sure would love your pickles too


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