The positive feedback we have been receiving regarding our Restaurant Cookbook Review Series has been overwhelming. And for that very reason, this week we decided to bring you another restaurant book. Today we'll take a closer look at Dishoom Cookbook, the first-ever cookbook from the much-loved Indian restaurant.
At long last, Dishoom shares the secrets to their much sought-after Bombay comfort food. As you learn to cook the Dishoom menu, you will also be taken on a day-long tour of south Bombay, peppered with much eating and drinking. You'll discover the simple joy of early chai and omelet at Kyani and Co., of dawdling in Horniman Circle on a lazy morning, of eating your fill on Mohammed Ali Road, of strolling on the sands at Chowpatty at sunset or taking the air at Nariman Point at night.
Dishoom Cookbook has been created around an imaginary day tour of Mumbai (then known as “Bombay”) stopping off at cafes and restaurants, hotels and Jazz gigs to pick up refreshments along the way. Personal stories, documented histories, route guides and recommendations dart between much-loved recipes and mouth-watering images of dishes to be made, make this journey a mouth-watering experience.
For anyone who doesn't know Dishoom, or never visit one of its restaurants, the introductory chapter will make you want to catch the first plane to go eat in one of its eight restaurants. Written by Shamil Thakrar (one of Dishoom’s founders), it is a beautifully unpretentiously personal expression of the love and history that has gone into creating the cookbook. Peppered with memories, it gives a brief account of family ties, how chef Naved Nasir came on board, the importance of shared spaces, and how Bombay’s Irani cafés are – to him – a symbol of inclusion.
Dishoom Cookbook is divided into 10 chapters from Breakfast and Mid-Morning Snacks, right through Lunch and Sunset Snacks to three dinner chapters, and finally Pudding and Tipples. Further sections are dedicated to Ingredients and Cookery Guidance, Breads, Chutneys, Pickles & Dressings, and more.
Dishoom cookbook is a melting pot of people and practices, featuring over 100 recipes from Parsi, Black Daal, and Christian traditions. The recipes themselves are divided across different elements of the day, from breakfast through morning snacks through to the Bilboesque Third Dinner and Pudding.
In this book, you'll find several elements dedicated to helping you understand spices, basic cooking and preparation techniques. There are also a number of step-by-step photo sections to help you through the trickier parts of some dishes. Whilst some recipes take more time than others, and have flavors that are stronger than others, there is always something for everyone.
Although the recipes are relatively easy to do, some require a lot of ingredients, and in some cases, some of the ingredients can be difficult to find. For some people, the number of ingredients used can be intimidating, however, if you give a change to these "complex" recipes you'll realize that they are not so difficult to make as they look.
Dishoom: From Bombay with Love is a great example of a cookbook done right. Not only does it include simple and detailed step-by-step instructions, with helpful tips and suggestions, making it accessible for everyone, but it also will transport you to Dishoom's most treasured corners of an eccentric and charming Bombay. Vibrant photography and warrens of local advice make it akin to a travel guide where the snapshots and souvenirs are food experiences to be savored.
Dishoom Cookbook reads like an open and passionate love letter to Mumbai’s diverse gastronomy. Read it, and you will find yourself replete with recipes and stories to share with all who come to your table.