Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review- Chakh Le India + Blogger's Table@Veda


So this post was due to be posted on 5thSeptember; it was filed, dated and everything.
All I was waiting was for some time to test out one of the dishes from the Book- The Mango kheer. I even had 2 mangoes in the fridge and promises made to my Mom about the new recipe. Unfortunately though, after the meet, I was NOT Enthused enough to try it. Then, came the wonderful holiday, and of course, by now, it’s too late to try out a mango recipe. Sorry Mr Bal, Better Luck next time- I wish there was something in the book to inspire me to instantly test out a recipe. The original post is as follows.

The Bloggers Table has had a hectic 2 weeks; and along with that my life has been extremely social. With a packed 10 days over 3 events, I’m amazed how I didn’t know this existed till a while back. Although the first time was a bit intimidating- especially meeting people who are so good at what they do, I finally loosened up a bit at the second event. Having met this wonderful group of people, I feel there is a lot to learn, a lot to explore and a lot to discover.

This meet was at Veda, Connaught place, a fine dining Indian restaurant, run by the ever so popular Rohit Bal. The event was organized by West Midland Publishing House that has recently launched the Book Chakh Le India by Aditya Bal (Coincidentally Rohit Bal’s nephew). The event was organized for the Bloggers Table to have a tete-a-tete with Aditya on his new book. As much as we were given the book a week earlier, to be able to make a more informed review, I didn’t manage to try out a recipe before we actually met. However, I did make do by going over it from back to front.
My first thoughts were that the book is simple, intended for easy reading, and Aditya’s casual style of writing makes him really reach out to the reader. Also, the fact that it is based on a TV show, my initial reaction was that it would be a good buy for people who follow the show regularly. The introductory chapters are fun to read, But, on going through it in detail, The photographs were not enticing enough and the recipes- well, without the photographs, I am not sure how many I would end up trying. Hailing from a publishing background, where I do this on a daily basis, I do feel that the real reason why pick up books, especially cookbooks are for their glossiness and the tempting photographs which would entice one to try out the recipe. In this case, there was none. It seems to be just another book off the shelf, which may actually just get lost in a bookshop, unless Mr Bal decides to actively promote it on his show!
The event though, was fun; he is a simple man, a novice at this, who found himself amidst a few people, who really knew what they were talking about. The chat over some wonderful, famous Palak Chaat and Kurkuri Bhindi at Vedaa, went beyond the book itself. I think the evening was a great reality check for all of us- some of the people on the table I assume would be writing books soon! It was good reminder for all of us - to keep that Quality check in control, rather not do it, than do it without your heart. Aditya however was extremely positive about feedback, and I would want to wish him luck. The publishing business is a tough one- and I experience that daily- it’s a pity, but if I was to go ahead, I would just self-publish. But that’s a personal opinion. Wonder though, if out of the many books I plan to write- will a cook book be one?
Sadly though, beyond the above mentioned dishes- the food was not worth talking about. In fact, the Gobhi Manchurian- Well, it tasted of ‘more flour than cauliflower.’ Hats off to Aditya and the Bloggers Table to keep the conversation going- and to create an event that was a lot of fun and learning. Looking forward to a few more. The book is kinda lost on me now; am not so enthused to try a recipe, but maybe will test out one sometime in the future. Good Luck Mr Bal.
p.s Apologies for the shaky photographs- The lighting @veda was extremely dim!

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