Book review: Gujarati kitchen by Bhanu Hajratwala

Author : Bhanu Hajratwala
Publisher : Westland

The author Bhanu Hajratwala was brought up in a traditional Gujarati family in Fiji Island and later moved on to the US after her marriage. And this is clearly evident in the way she has presented traditional Gujarati recipe with instructions to prepare using microwave also wherever possible.

It wouldnt be possible to cover all the recipes of any Indian cuisine in a single book as there are so many varieties and variations. However, the author has selected about 85 recipes of which some are synonymous with Gujarati cuisine and the rest are traditional family recipes.

Browsing through the pages, the first thing I noticed was non-vegetarian recipe and was in a for a shock as all along I have been of the view that Gujaratis are pure vegetarian and many of them dont even use onions and garlic in their daily food. Since I am a pure vegetarian this review doesnt cover the Non-vegetarian sections.

The book begins with a really big introduction by the author where she shares her experiences and experiments related to cooking. She introduces the readers about how she has been putting in efforts in the form of writing the recipes with exact measurements, the smallest details and trying on the written notes to ensure that she doesnt miss out on any detail. Next, comes in some kitchen basics like general tips, utensils required, ingredients used in Indian cooking, measurements and conversions.

The recipes begin a few masala mix(spices) that have been used in the dishes. 

The recipe categories -

1.   Starters - There are vegetarian as well as non vegetarian varieties.
2.   Main dishes -Vegetarian and Non vegetarian varieties
3.   Breads
4.   Rice
5.   Accompaniments with rice
6.   Sweets
7.   Chutneys and Relishes
8.   Pickles
9.   Favourite teatime snacks
10. Drinks
11. Mouth Fresheners
12. Sample Menus

Apart from Gujarati names, the recipe names are also mentioned in English. This would be very helpful for non Gujaratis. The procedure for each and every dish is well explained in a detailed and simple way which would be more beneficial for newbies in the kitchen. The step by step instructions would make it easy to try some hard core dishes that would otherwise be difficult.

The author's stay abroad in US and other countries is clearly reflected as the author has also included freezing method for the recipes. It is also mentioned how long the dish would stay fresh and variations to the original recipe have also been mentioned wherever possible. Most of the ingredients used in the recipes are simple and are easily available. The dishes are cooked to quantities that would suit a family of 4-6 people.

Apart from the all time famous Gujarati cuisine dishes like Oondhiyu, Thepla, Kachori, Khandvi, the author also explores some exotic dishes. Overall, whether you are a lover of gujarati food or have been wanting to try out any authentic Gujarati dish since long, this book is for you. In short, a must have for a complete foodie.

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Kavi said...

I love Gujju food! :) Will check out the book..
Kavi (Edible Entertainment)

Aarthi said...

great one..i too got it for review..will post mine tomorrow

Raksha said...

great review. Check mine too :)

Sanctified Spaces said...

Nice review EC.

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Simple Indian food blog (author- EC) is the legal copyright holder of the material and pictures in this blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without the written consent of the author. All the measures used in the recipes are approximate. Please adjust the spices as per your taste. For any queries, please email us at