A lively exploration of the Kayasth foodscape through an intimate portrait of a family’s – and a community’s – social mores
Known as much for the lavishness of its dining table spreads as for its intellectual and cultural capital, the Kayasth community, spread across many parts of India, has a unique history that has over centuries influenced its amazingly varied, ‘fusion’ cuisine. In Mrs LC’s Table Anoothi Vishal presents a rich account of the world of the Kayasths and its famed khatirdari, or generous hospitality, through her memories of her imperious grandmother – Mrs LC to the world.
Vivid vignettes of feasts and fasts, pedigreed matrimonial alliances and the pressures to be just as accomplished in music as in gastronomy come together with delectable descriptions of ingredients, culinary techniques and recipes in this sumptuous narrative.
As Vishal recounts the fascinating history behind signature Kayasth dishes – dals turned artfully into subzi and snacks, mock-meat delicacies made of the most innocuous ingredients, slow-cooked meat dishes, pulaos, tahiris, kebabs and pasande, tangy pickles and delicious desserts – what emerges is the story of the incredible adaptability and inventiveness of a community given to easy assimilation of a variety of influences.