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6 Lesser-Known Facts behind Everyday Ingredients!

As the Indian middleclass discovers the world it finds that it has money to spend, that new prosperity is finding its first expression in its food choices.

This is a book that focuses on Indians in the kitchen. It looks at the ingredients that have become available to us, and traces the history of many that we often take for granted.

It also looks at some of the dishes that we regard as essential components of Indian cuisine and considers their origins and the way in which they have spread all over India—and in many cases, all over the world.

Vir Sanghvi’s  Indian Pantry talks about everyday ingredients and unknown facts about them.


Potato can be considered the king of vegetables.You can cook the potato any way you like. You can boil it,roast it, bake it, fry it or cook it in a subzi, and it will still taste as good.


There’s a whole generation in the West that has never seen a pea pod and regards the fresh pea as a strange and exotic vegetable.


No matter which part of India you go to, there is a great baingan dish: the begun bhaja of Bengal, the bharta of north India, the simple ringan nu shaak of Gujarat or the many wonderful baingan preparations of Andhra, such as vankaya peanut kura.


Goans, like the Brazilians, prize the cashewnut, while in the rest of South America, it is the outer cashew apple that is the delicacy.


Emperor Akbar planted 1,00,000 mango trees all over India— one reason why the mango’s popularity perhaps extends to every part of the country.


The strawberry that we know today, is a hybrid. It was created from the American variety in the nineteenth century when British gardeners cross-bred strawberry plants to create the ‘Keens Seedling’ (one of the gardeners was called Michael Keens), which was a large flavourful strawberry of the sort we eat today.

As the Indian middle class discovers the world, it finds that it has money to spend, that new prosperity is finding its first expression in its food choices.

The food boom is a symptom of a nation that is now confidently exploring the world, if not with its mind, certainly with its stomach! Get your copy of The Indian Pantry for the very best of (rude) food!

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