a pilgrim’s journey through India

What is the role of spirituality in your life? Do you pray? Is religion part of your identity or does it make you uncomfortable?

To answer these and other questions, Shoba Narayan approaches faith through perhaps its most primal and nourishing aspect: food. She partakes of sacred food in shrines across India– Puri’s bhog, Amritsar’s langar, Palani’s panchamritam, Mathura’s pedas, Ambalapuzha’s paal-payasam, Kashi’s sweets, Jaipur’s rabdi, Ajmer’s kesaria bhat, Madurai’s dosai, Jewish halva in Mumbai, and communal feasts in Udupi, Goa and the Kumbh Mela.

Sacred food is linked to the history, myth, and identity of specific shrines all over India. They are served to devotees who view it as a divine blessing.  Food & Faith explores this powerful yet intimate connection.

Shrines visited

Favourite Prasadam

Tough Choice. Click here

Ambalapuzha Paal-payasam

But then I grew up with this

Kilometres logged

Cows, food, faith, and people....

all are fair game for Shoba's pen.

Her descriptions along with her understanding and humanity make the reader fall in love with her subjects, no matter what they are.

The Milk Lady of Bangalore

or how I bought a cow and donated its calf


with a cute gif

French edition

an excellent translation

Indian edition

with a slightly different name

Monsoon Diary

a memoir with recipes


contact me for signed copies


Available everywhere

Australia edition

sadly out of print

Indian edition

a few copies left

UK edition

love the colours

Dutch edition

sadly out of print

Some Interesting Details

Books Published
miles logged
Countries Visited

My second book

perhaps my most heartfelt

Indian edition

contact me for signed copies

Tell a story

a primer

Udderly delightful.  A herd of often funny and always fascinating bovine adven­tures . . . There’s plenty of heart and soul in this book as Narayan takes readers on a unique tour of her In­dian neighborhood, where there’s never a dull moment.”


“Sincere and laugh-out-loud funny . . . Narayan’s rich and evocative writing transports readers to the busy streets of Bangalore and a fully formed picture of modern India.”

Kirkus Reviews

Joyful….  Although readers may find [Narayan’s] analysis of Indian society illuminating and enjoy her breakdown of what makes a white, red, gold or smoke-colored cow worth appreciating, the real reason you’ll love this book is the author herself: a woman so curious, funny and self-deprecating that she is able to show us—delightfully—how the past informs our future.”

Kerri Arsenault,

Lovely, light-hearted….  a journey through cultural mores and female friendship, as well as a look at the spiritual and historical part that cows play in India; an easy read that you can’t help but love.”


An absolute joy to read!

Through her close encounters with the bovine kind, Narayan shows how Indian traditions are incorporated into her contemporary way of life.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

A delight

“Anyone with the slightest interest in India or cows will find Narayan’s memoir, with its myriad insights, a delight.”

Shelf Awareness

A Unique View

When a personal memoir like this one comes along, and it eschews high drama for gentle humor, dives deep into socio-cultural history, and presents slices of contemporary life as constant sources of everyday wonder, it’s a refreshing welcome . . . Narayan’s integrity of intention shines through so clearly and beautifully that it’s all too easy to take this journey with her.”

Pop Matters
The Milk Lady of Bangalore in Paperback

The Milk Lady of Bangalore immerses us in the culture, customs, myths, religion, sights, and sounds of a city in which the twenty-first century and the ancient past coexist like nowhere else in the world. It’s a true story of bridging divides, of understanding other ways of looking at the world, and of human connections and animal connections.

It’s an irresistible adventure of two strong women and the animals they love.

Subscribe to my newsletter