Tiffin: A book on the culinary traditions of India


In great news for foodies, 500 authentic recipes, from family favorites to forgotten treasures and showcasing food from Ladakh to Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra to Arunachal Pradesh, have been compiled in book form. With recipes representing all regions, ethnic groups, cultural choices and traditions of the country, “Tiffin: 500 Authentic Recipes Celebrating India’s Regional Cuisine” features foods that are a tasty blend of favorite Indian recipes as well as of several lesser-known dishes.

The book also contains recipes from home chefs, celebrity chefs, and specially prepared dishes for festivals and special occasions. According to author Sonal Ved, “Tiffin” celebrates the incredible richness of India’s regional cuisine and is an effort to create a repository of varied culinary traditions. “When deciding which recipes to include in ‘Tiffin’, we kept in mind the diversity of products, techniques and cooking styles. While each section is well represented in terms of what all six regions have to offer, it is by no means exhaustive,” she says.

But how to bottle the benefits of such an ancient and diverse cuisine in 500 recipes? “So we’ve added a tasty mix of favorite Indian recipes and several lesser-known dishes taking cues from temple cuisine, street food, tribal recipes and other dishes you might not commonly find.” , explains the author. While most of the recipes have been handpicked by culinary experts from each region, “we went beyond and contacted the best custodians of traditional recipes – the wedding caterers, who have the responsibility of serving spreads contemporary and traditional.

Each of the contributors’ recipes, which includes those donated by grandmothers, mothers, aunts, friends, cookbook authors and chefs who champion regional Indian cuisine, are marked with a miniature bell. A handy glossary and basic recipe section are provided to help you navigate these recipes. The book, edited by Roli, is divided regionally, the dishes are not eaten in an insular way. It contains photographs by Anshika Varma and illustrations by Abhilasha Dewan.

“In fact, most can be paired effortlessly with each other. When we have friends over for tea, we often dream of pairing a Jabalpuri Chicken Samosa with Khasta Kachori from Madhya Pradesh, along with Vazaipoo Vadais Toasts from Tamil Nadu and Kutchi Kadak. “And on Sunday, with brunch in mind, we want our tables to be loaded with Bhojpuri Dum Aloo, Bengali Luchis, Rajasthani Gatte ki Sabzi, Chingri Cutlet, Chicken Stir Fry and Assamese banana flower and Adhirasams from Tamil Nadu,” writes Ved.

From Patiala Papad ki Sabzi to Kerala Chicken Fry and sumptuous Mizo Dal to Bajre ka Soyta, Indian regional cuisine offers incredible variety. A country that boasts an extensive coastline and is home to six major climate subtypes, it’s no wonder it’s home to cuisines that use local and seasonal ingredients. The book was launched recently in Mumbai during which there was a discussion between chefs Thomas Zacharias and Anuj Wadhawan, restaurateur Aditi Dugar and Ved, moderated by food writer Ankiet Gulabani.


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