Book reviews by Mobilism's Book Review team
May 8th, 2019, 4:02 pm

TITLE: Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family
AUTHOR: Priya Krishna
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Books > Cookbooks, Comfort Food > Indian Cooking, Food & Wine
PUBLISHED: April 23, 2019
RATING: ★★★★☆

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon iBookStore

Review:Let me start by saying that Indian-ish is not your typical or traditional Indian cookbook, it’s a one-of-a-kind Indian-American hybrid cookbook as the blurb from the book describes. Priya Krishna is a food writer who contributes to the New York Times, The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and more; this cookbook is her dedication to her mum who had to deal with a child born in the USA, whose demands were met by her creating hybrid Indian dishes by sort of Americanising them. The result? Indian-ish is thoughtful, clever, practical, and packed with flavour dishes from a busy mum dealing with the demands of a full-time job with her love of cooking and her daughter's very American tastes.

This cookbook is one of the best representations I have seen for the fusion of cuisine for an American child of Indian parents. The recipes given are easy to comprehend thanks to simple instructions and explanations and also has wonderful anecdotes attached to various recipes that sort of personalises it and makes it autobiographical in a way. I like that a lot of recipes in Indian-ish are the sort you can make at home, not the full-fat rich kind you find and eat at a restaurant.

There are 100 recipes, techniques, culinary wisdom of all sorts, ingredient pairings and tips for hosting your own soirees; Priya asks her readers to trust her mother’s knowledge as implicitly as she does. I love the flow-chart given for cooking Lentils ingredients, a sort of 101 on it, the best wines to pair with Indian dishes, and a how-to on cooking rice; and it has an entire chapter dedicated to chutneys and sauces! Chutneys and sauces are a huge part of Indian food, which sometimes I feel doesn’t get enough due to it. Last but not the least but very important to Indian cooking are the spices; Priya has created a spice guide (along with substitutes) to help the readers that is brilliant.

There are many fusion recipes; one of my faves is the simple mushrooms below and the other is saag paneer (spinach with creamy cottage cheese) made with feta, the Roti Pizza, sandwiches crusted in curry leaves, how to make your own yogurt -- it boggled my mind as why would someone require that as we make our own but apparently not the case with people abroad hence the need for the same.

Caramelised Ginger Mushrooms

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, julienned fresh
1 small Indian green chile or serrano chile, halved lengthwise (no need to stem them)
1 pound white button mushrooms, cut into thin slices (about 5 cups)
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp red chile powder


In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil.
Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the cumin seeds and cook until they turn a medium shade of brown, about 1-minute max.
Add the onion, spread it out into an even layer in the pan, and cook until lightly browned and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the ginger and green chile and cook for 2 minutes, until the chile is slightly wilted.
Stir in the mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. The mushrooms will start to sweat.
Cook until the mushrooms are browned and soft and the liquid they release has evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the salt and red chili powder.

Indian-ish is a cross between a thank you and love letter from Priya Krishna to her mum, a woman who grew up in India having never learned how to cook (considered very out-of-the-ordinary at the time), immigrated to America with my father right after their arranged marriage, traveled the world as an engineer for an airline software company, and watched a lot of PBS cooking shows. Indian-ish is an excellent cookbook for anyone who loves or even is curious about Indian food, or who wants to cook Indian dishes in their own home.
May 8th, 2019, 4:02 pm