A fascinating food narrativethat combines delectable Indian recipes with tales from her life, stories of her delightfully eccentric family, and musings about Indian culture.
Good Reads, starred review.
An entirely enchanting lookat growing up in South India, in an exotic world populated by the flower woman, maamis, and the colorful and opinionated members of an extended Hindu family. Food and recipes are a powerful element in Shoba’s story—tokens of identity and a passport to freedom.
Nancy novgorod, editor in chief, travel+Leisure
I loved this book.I was a big fan of Milk Lady of Bangalore, so I just bought this in paperback. I love Shoba's writing. It is engrossing and fun.
Rob Landerman, Good Reads
Shoba Narayan prepares a meal
SPICING THINGS UP Shoba Narayan prepares a meal. 'Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes' Shoba Narayan's Book Celebrates Family and [...]
Publisher’s Weekly review of Monsoon Diary
Food is intimacy and comfort, and Narayan’s book neatly transitions between descriptions of her family’s life and the meals that punctuated it.
Kirkus Reviews Monsoon Diary
In a series of color-drenched chapters accompanied by recipes, food and travel writer Narayan recalls growing up in India and studying in the US. Place and taste take center stage, often at the expense of story, in a narrative focused as much on particular foods as on milestones in the author's life.
Passage to India: Cooking With Shoba Narayan
‘In a proper Indian meal you have to balance six tastes," explains food writer Shoba Narayan, a native of Madras. "Salt, sweetness, tartness, bitterness, sour, astringent. So every family strives to have these six tastes in every meal." She flashes a mischievous grin."Of course, no one ever really does. Or at least not in our family. Balance is a goal."
Recipe for a memoir: how to write about food
Shoba Narayan spends a lot of time thinking about food. A big part of her weekend plans are to fantasize about what she will have for Saturday breakfast.
Shoba beats Jhumpa in Writing Sweepstakes
When the editors of Gourmet assigned journalist Shoba Narayan to write a piece for the magazine's January 2000 issue, they virtually gave her a carte blanche. The editors had seen some of Narayan's writing and had liked her personal style. Of course, she was told to weave in descriptions of Indian food, cooking and kitchens in the article.
Advance Praise for Monsoon Diary
"Shoba Narayan is that rarity in the food world: She has both a unique story and the lyrical skills to tell it."
Thank you, Vanity Fair….
And then there are the stories by writers-first-cooks-second that are just particularly well-illustrated through food. Shoba Narayan’s 2003 Monsoon Diary describes growing up in Madras, India and summering in Kerala on the South Indian coast before making her way to Mount Holyoke—she fell in love with such new delicacies as blue corn nachos and salsa, but stayed devoted to the food she grew up with, like yoghurt rice, her preferred late night dorm snack.
Thanks for the plug, Ashville
"And, while there was precedent for a memoir with recipes (Elizabeth Bard’s Picnic in Provence, Shoba Narayan’s Monsoon Diary and an entire Goodreads list dedicated to “books shelved as cookbook-memoir”), “the cooking lessons with Jonah linked me to the way food was central to both of our stories,” Smith says."
Monsoon Diary on social media
"HOW had I been cooking/eating/reading this long and not devoured Monsoon Diary, by Shoba Narayan? It seems unthinkable now that I have read it cover to cover in about a day (the 20 inches of snow outside helped me a little).
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