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Not For You

Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods

Ordinary Lives: Extraordinary Foods

  • What stories do our recipes reveal about us?

  • What happens when we migrate, marry and mingle with those unlike our own, or even move across local and international borders?

  • How do new regions, cuisines or communities influence a family’s food choices?

  • How do comfort foods evolve in such kitchens?

  • Not For You is my third cookbook on Indian food inspired by real-life events. In here, I explore the lives of three generations before me, highlighting pivotal moments that caused shifts and changes in their lives and influenced their relationships with those around them.

Personal family lore inspires this book, as I revisit the influence of 6 distinct cuisines both regional Indian and international, over 150 years on one family kitchen. I share the story of how ordinary people conquered public and private hurdles, and showcase how comfort foods sustained their spirits. The stories reflect on the evolution of relationships between people and their cuisines, how meaningful moments are carved out from life’s seemingly mundane events, how we redefine what is ordinary and what is extraordinary, and what influences ‘comfort foods’ for generations to come.

The vignettes in this book are based on larger beliefs: it takes complete darkness to appreciate the importance of light; and only in that darkness, does a spark become a beacon of hope. The stories are much like a photographers’ study of light and shadows, as all the pieces and stories hold greater lessons about the harmonious relationships that sustain the human spirit.

Profile Photo Nandita Godbole

About Nandita Godbole

Nandita Godbole: Food writer, cookbook author & instructor, connecting food, culture & people

Nandita is a teacher and story teller, a trait that makes her work popular across literary and global borders. Through both her written and culinary endeavors Nandita remains an enthusiastic advocate for the Indian culture, bridging the gaps between its perception and ‘consumption.’ A keen observer, she inquires about cultural overlays on our personal and social environments. She blogs regularly, sharing her observations and criticism of conventional ideologies, and orchestrates dining events setting the stage for such dialogues. She asks how and where ‘ethnic’ and personal ideologies collide with said convention, and all of her writing reflects her ability to passionately engage her audience, telling a story while honoring the reader as well. Nandita crafts holistic food and conversation for both mind and body. She had originally started writing her books as a written legacy for her daughter, but her recipes and stories are devoured by chefs, diners and readers alike.

All books by Nandita Godbole

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