Indian Food: A Historical Companion

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Oxford University Press, 1997 - Cooking - 322 pages
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The cuisine of India is as ancient as it is varied, and in this attractive, oversized volume, food expert A.K. Achaya captures the full range and history of the Indian diet, from prehistoric times to the modern era. An informative volume that boasts over 150 black-and-white illustrations (including line drawings, photographs, and maps) and fifty-five color photographs on twenty plates, Indian Food draws on archaeology, anthropology, literature, philology, and botany to cook up a smorgasbord of fascinating facts about this exotic fare.
Achaya begins with the earliest food preparations of Paleolithic and Neolithic times. He covers the diet of the Aryans; examines regional cuisines; describes the customs, rituals, and beliefs observed by different communities and religious groups; and traces the gradual shift towards vegetarianism with the advent of Buddhism and Jainism. In thirty-three boxed sections, he takes the reader on various sidetrips, from the Indian use of Bhang (cannabis) and opium, to the history of ice cream, ranging from Marco Polo to Dolly Madison. With illustrations ranging from Neolithic cave paintings from Madhya Pradesh, to full color photographs of modern Indian foods, Indian Food offers a rich cornucopia of information on this flavorful and popular cuisine.

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One of the finest books on Indian food history. The book talks of history and food in the same breath. The book is well researched and a must read for anyone interested in Indian food.

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About the author (1997)

About the Author:
K.T. Achaya is a renowned nutritionist who has written several other books on the history and culture of food in India.

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