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Cooking from "Parsi: From Persia to Bombay: Recipes & Tales from the Ancient Culture"


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On 1/29/2023 at 10:51 PM, blue_dolphin said:

I’d love to hear how the books compare and even more love to hear that you have returned to work, assuming, of course, that it is your choice to do so. 


While I have not yet cooked from either book (and have not cooked much of anything from anywhere in the last two months), I have finished reading both Parsi and My Bombay Kitchen, and can offer a few words of comparison.  Short answer, I prefer Parsi.  But why not choose more than one!  Both Talati and King are accomplished writers.  The formats are similar, being organized by food course, rather than by, say, seasons, holidays, or phases of the moon.  Or worse, arranged by ingredient or by breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  My own pet peeve.


The Parsi recipes to my untrained eye are similar, although in his book Talati seems to favor variety meets and game:  "How shall I prepare my brains tonight?" you may be asking.


As a resource on Parsi religion and cookery I'd give the edge ParsiMy Bombay Kitchen slips more over into My Bay Area Kitchen.  Not a bad thing mind you, should you be into cuisine from California.  But still.


Other things that give an edge to Parsi:  the binding is impeccable and there is a real bookmark.  Temperatures are in Celsius, and accommodation is made for convection ovens.  Still there is one fault.  I believe I found an error in the introduction...


"So from the Parsi's first arrival in India, lets fast forward nearly a century-and-a-half to me [Talati] sitting outside the much-loved French patisserie Maison Bertaux in Soho."


I cannot help but believe Talati is confusing centuries with millennia -- that or he is far older than he looks.  What, may I ask, are copy editors paid for?


And lest I forget, the photographs in Parsi are gorgeous.





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12 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I have finished reading both Parsi and My Bombay Kitchen, and can offer a few words of comparison.  Short answer, I prefer Parsi

Great reviews!  Thank you so much for taking the time to write all this up. 
I sat myself down and told myself that I’m not to order Parsi until I dust off My Bombay Kitchen and actually cook a bunch from it. You've weakened my position but I was likely to weaken at some point anyway!  

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