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5 Books That’ll Make You A Masterchef In The Kitchen!

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While working from home, having or acquiring the ability to make easy, healthy and scrumptious food is high on our to-do-lists. So what if you haven’t even boiled an egg before? These five beautiful and accessible cookery books will help you transform from a novice to the head chef in your kitchen in no time!

1. Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir


“The cookbook we’ve been waiting for” –  Women’s Health

At long last, Dishoom share the secrets to their much sought-after Bombay comfort food: the Bacon Naan Roll, Black Daal, Okra Fries, Jackfruit Biryani, Chicken Ruby and Lamb Raan, along with Masala Chai, coolers and cocktails.

As you learn to cook the comforting Dishoom menu at home, you will also be taken on a day-long tour of south Bombay, peppered with much eating and drinking. You’ll discover the simple joy of early chai and omelette at Kyani and Co., of dawdling in Horniman Circle on a lazy morning, of eating your fill on Mohammed Ali Road, of strolling on the sands at Chowpatty at sunset or taking the air at Nariman Point at night.

This beautiful cookery book and its equally beautiful photography will transport you to Dishoom’s most treasured corners of an eccentric and charming Bombay. Read it, and you will find yourself replete with recipes and stories to share with all who come to your table.

Get it here.

2. Masala: Indian Cooking for Modern Living by Mallika Basu


Wholesome recipes, bold flavours and easy cheats to create a true taste of India in a modern kitchen

Food writer Mallika Basu grew up enjoying exotic flavours from across India in an unconventional, bustling home in Kolkata – and then spent years recreating them in a London kitchen. Now she shares those recipes, techniques and shortcuts so you too can cook wholesome, real Indian food simply.

Embrace weekday dinners with lightly spiced fish curry, wok-friendly Goan chilli beef fry or silken kofta curry made with packs of ready-rolled meatballs. For leisurely weekends, tuck into a feast of Vindaloo pulled pork; give your Sunday roast a sumptuous twist with spicy marinades, or enjoy a whole roasted cauliflower encrusted with nut butter. And that’s before you even think about swirling dosa and more for a full-on Indian brunch.

Mallika’s recipes respect the past and celebrate the present in an easy and informal way that will broaden your understanding of Indian cooking, and inspire you to return to these simple recipes time and time again.

Get it here.

3. Lose Weight & Get Fit by Tom Kerridge

Following on from the No.1 bestseller Lose Weight for Good, top chef Tom Kerridge shows you how to shed the pounds and kick-start a more active lifestyle with ALL of the maximum-taste, lower-calorie recipes from his upcoming BBC2 TV series.

Having lost more than 12 stone in the last five years, Tom knows from experience how important it is to motivate yourself to start dieting and exercising – and to stay on track.

“When I first set out to lose weight, I concentrated mainly on what I was eating,” he says. “But now I know that it’s to do with fitness as well: the two working together is the winning formula for getting maximum results and maintaining those results long term. And the number one rule when it comes to eating well on a diet is to keep food interesting! Every recipe in this book not only sustains you through the day, but provides fantastic tastes and textures with each mouthful.”

With light bites and veggie feasts, meal-prep to see you through the week and tasty sweet treats, Tom has got it covered. The focus is on BOLD FLAVOURS and BIG PORTION SIZES, so you’ll never go hungry, and you’ll always feel satisfied. Recipes include Quick black dhal; Steak tacos with burnt corn salsa; Charred mackerel and potato salad; Lamb bhuna; blueberry meringue sundaes, and many more.

At the back of the book, you’ll find a fantastic bonus chapter with a cardio workout and strength exercises that you can do from home with minimal equipment. It’s all about taking control of your life in a positive way, so get ready to EAT better, DO more and LOSE WEIGHT with Tom Kerridge!

Get it here.

4. Shaker Sutra: The Tulleeho Book of Cocktails by Vikram Achanta

The people behind hundreds of cocktail workshops involving over 10,000 Indians and a one-of-a-kind drinks website, tulleeho.com have put together all the advice you need to turn a corner of your home into what you’ve seen only in starry hotels.

The first cocktail book of its kind with a uniquely Indian focus, Shaker Sutra – The Tulleeho Book of Cocktails provides you with information about the techniques and different styles of mixing drinks, including easy-to-follow cocktail recipes with accessible desi ingredients. Peppering the recipes are delightful trivia, anecdotes and facts, making the reading priceless for the home bartending enthusiast or even the most serious social drinker.

Get it here.

5. Caperberry by Abhijit Saha

The Caperberry story should appeal to a wide and varied audience for several reasons. When Chef Abhijit Saha wanted to venture out as an entrepreneur after 18 long years of passionate work and learning in the kitchen, he wanted to create a restaurant that was special. Caperberry has been a trend-setter, not only with its avant garde European cuisine in India, but also in the way it was created and is managed and nurtured. This makes the story engaging for everyone who is interested in modern cooking and understanding the nuances of operating a fine dining restaurant with its highs and lows.

Get it here.

Which of these bestselling books are you going to take with you in the kitchen and which recipe will you be trying out first? Let us know in the comments section below. Stay indoors and #ReadwithBloomsbury.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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