The Indian Cafe in London

Book title – The Indian café in London

Publisher – EP publishers   Pages –   318  Language – English

Genre – drama

Author – Veena Nagpal

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About the author –   Veena Nagpal is tiny but she’s fierce! She has always fiercely guarded her ‘me-time’ – read that to mean her writing time – yet it’s never been enough to satisfy that overwhelming urge in her to sit at her roll-top desk and keep tap-tapping at her keyboard. Family needs have intruded from time to time and, for her, family has always come above all else. The Indian Café in London is her fifth novel.

The last, Radius 200, was launched at JLF 2018. Her earlier novels include The Uncommon Memories of Zeenat Qureishi (Tara), Karmayogi (Jaico) and Compulsion (Sterling). She also has four published books for children – two of them aimed at creating environment awareness among school children. She has also had a successful career in Advertising and Corporate Communication having started Corporate Voice Public Relations (later Corvo-Shandwick) and worked as General Manager Corporate Communications with a Singhania Group company. Born an army brat, she loves travelling – preferably with a camera in hand; experimenting with new foods and flavours in the kitchen, dabbling with oil colours and pottering around her tiny oasis of green in Noida, near New Delhi.

About the book – The brief snippet on amazon describes this book as – ‘Steeped in the aroma of curries and roasts, brimming with love, banter and culinary secrets ancient and modern, The Indian Café in London is a tale of lost recipes, lost loves and lost identities’ – after reading the book, cover to cover, and savouring the aromas of the culinary recipes described therein, I concur. This book is one of a kind!!

It is the story of people whose love for culinary arts transcends continents. There is a commitment phobic young woman – Jamila, seeking her purpose in life by attending a culinary school in London. There is Akhil, who aspires to be a Michelin star chef but is frowned upon by his Fauji father. And, there is Puru, an old man living in London who runs a restaurant and who discovers a family secret. The chapters are clearly marked and dedicated to the individual whose story they contain and that helps to orient the reader. The book has everything – bold, brassy language, replete with colourful adjectives to give the drama that extra oomph and, characters that are etched vividly and are starkly contrasting which makes them so memorable. The thing I loved most about the book are the sections on – culinary trivia, musings and recipes. I found that part of the book extremely thoughtful, being a culinary aficionado myself. I learned quite a bit there from Veenaji’s wisdom and the recipes that she has shared.

This is a book of memories, recipes, reminiscences and I suspect is largely influenced by Veenaji’s own upbringing and her life.

About Sonal Singh

I believe that life is a repertoire of anecdotes. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, the people we meet, our conversations with them; all make life a melange of tales. And, that is what I attempt to capture through my writing. My cooking is no different! It reflects my love for travel and my love for innovation. The kitchen is my happy place. So, even though by vocation I am a recruiter (, by passion I am a writer, home chef and a hodophile.

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