Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 297 pages
20 Reviews
Today’s most highly regarded writer on Indian food gives us an enchanting memoir of her childhood in Delhi in an age and a society that has since disappeared.

Madhur (meaning “sweet as honey”) Jaffrey grew up in a large family compound where her grandfather often presided over dinners at which forty or more members of his extended family would savor together the wonderfully flavorful dishes that were forever imprinted on Madhur’s palate.

Climbing mango trees in the orchard, armed with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground chilies, and roasted cumin; picnicking in the Himalayan foothills on meatballs stuffed with raisins and mint and tucked into freshly friedpooris; sampling the heady flavors in the lunch boxes of Muslim friends; sneaking tastes of exotic street fare—these are the food memories Madhur Jaffrey draws on as a way of telling her story. Independent, sensitive, and ever curious, as a young girl she loved uncovering her family’s many-layered history, and she was deeply affected by their personal trials and by the devastating consequences of Partition, which ripped their world apart.

Climbing the Mango Treesis both an enormously appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food to evoke memory. And, at the end, this treasure of a book contains a secret ingredient—more than thirty family recipes recovered from Madhur’s childhood, which she now shares with us.
  

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Also, the ending was very abrupt and confusing. - Goodreads
Additionally, the recipes in the back are a nice touch. - Goodreads
Her writing is mechanical, yet flowery. - Goodreads

Review: Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

User Review  - famouslastwords - Goodreads

I regretted buying this book. The title, cover, and synopsis were all massively deceiving. The story is incoherent and the recipes are so sparse and simple that I felt cheated even though I bought it ... Read full review

Review: Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

User Review  - Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) - Goodreads

An enjoyable read with some mouth-watering family recipes (or near equivalents) at the back. I only knew Jaffrey from her cooking programmes of the 1980s on the BBC--and her publishers' penchant for ... Read full review

Contents

On DelhiOld and New Sir Edwin Lutyens and
7
ty Two Summer Lunch The Red Book The Story of
17
THR British Rule The RecordKeeper Mutiny ofi85j
25
pUR The Freedom oj Kanpur My Mother and Father
31
The Milk Beauty
40
4J Six Summer Holiday Baby Sister Starting School
47
6j lCHT My Caring Reticent Sister The Useful Club
63
Family
88
IQHTGGN Learning to Swim and Dance A Haven
136
i5o NhiieeN Chicken Pox SoupToast and Sewing
150
ni TwtNTYTWC The Muslim Twins Sudhas Vegetarian
171
t8j TweiMTYTHRee Punjabi Influences Food with
187
iqj TwCNTYpoUR The Looming Banyan Tree New School
197
2o5 TW NTY f IVfc Exam Season Brain Food The Honey
205
21S Twe NTY Seve N Future Planning The Radio Station
218
plLOCJU Kamals Return A Gift of CocaCola Sailing
237

f OURTeeN Summer Holidays in the Hills The Great
104
tig SlXTfcfcN Shibbudadas Favorites Teatime Tension
119

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About the author (2006)

\Madhur Jaffrey is the author of many previous cookbooks, including the classic An Invitation to Indian Cooking and Madhur Jaffrey’s Taste of the Far East, which was voted Best International Cookbook and Book of the Year for 1993 by the James Beard Foundation. She is also an award-winning actress with numerous major motion pictures to her credit. She lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information