Review: Korma Kheer and Kismet: Five Seasons in Old Delhi

October 13, 2014
Author: Pamela Timms
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9789382277149
Rating: ★★★★☆
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In her book, ‘Korma Kheer and Kismet’, Pamela Timms walks us through her romances with the streets of Old Delhi and their hidden savories, beaming with an energy and love, only a foreigner can carry for India.

Sometimes, we are so ignorant of the things that surround us that we forget to cherish their values until someone points out their importance. This book is one such reminder. Staying in Delhi for 1.5 years now, my excursions in the city has been pretty much limited to some monuments and the big, customer craving malls. When it comes to food, it has always been at one of those American chain restaurants or a few of the Indian biggies. Having lived in Delhi for this long, I thought I could consider myself a knowledgeable person, if not an expert, on Delhi’s who’s and whats. But author Pamela Timms has proved me wrong with this book.

In this book, Pamela Timms walks us through her romances with the streets of Old Delhi and their hidden savories, beaming with an energy and love, only a foreigner can carry for India. She starts her every encounter with a dish, with a back story and succeeds it with the recipe for the dish. My mom once said, “Food brings together people, no matter what their backgrounds are”. I can literally see that happening with Pamela Timms encounters with people, as she pummels throught the old streets of New Delhi, despite the hurdles of unwanted attention due to her being Fair-skinned. Moms and their wisdom! You have to see it happen to sheepishly agree to what she told you years back!

The author’s description of the food, is so real that it leaves you pining and hungry for it at the end of each chapter. Though I found a few of the recipes less detailed, it didn’t stop me for trying out a few. They did turn out well and my earlier skeptical confidence has picked up more energy to try a few more. But, I think the true essence of the book will be felt only when you try the food with the makers own hands. The author’s writing is addictive in a way only food lovers can understand. In fact, since I read this book, I have become a regular visitor to the author’s blog Eat & Dust.

This book is not just about the food or the recipes. It has an acute observation on people and their lives in Delhi. I love how the author has described the Delhi weather – the hot summers, the humid monsoons and the cold winters and how people blend into this weather.

For someone who loves to read, cook and try out new things, this book is just what one would want for a weekend. You not only get an interesting account of food and Delhi but also get to enjoy trying out new recipes.

Do check out the author’s blog Eat & Dust. Find out why the Telegrpah calls the author The Delia of Old Delhi!

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Writer at IndiaBookStore
Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!
Vanathi Parthasarathi

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One Comment

  • jenny October 15, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    It’s a wonderful book on five seasons of delhi. I liked how the author has described the Delhi weather.
    Many thanks for the nice blog.

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