Food of the Grand Trunk Road

31 October 2011

For centuries the Grand Trunk Road has linked the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, running from Bengal, across north India, into Pakistan and up to Afghanistan. Today it is still a major route, the axis of
India’s heavily populated north.

'Food of the Grand Trunk Road' is a fascinating look at the food, culture and traditions that have sprung up along the road, promising recipes that reflect the eating traditions of the real India. The book follows Hardeep Singh Kohli’s travels along this age-old route, starting in Calcutta, linking with Lucknow, Aligargh and Delhi before curling north into the Punjab region of northwest India.

The recipes are provided by Anirudh Arora, head chef at Moti Mahal in London, who has devoted his career to researching the long-forgotten recipes of rural India as found along the old Grand Trunk Road. Nostalgic favourites include bhalla papdi chaat, a dish discovered in the streets of North India featuring crisp-fried pastry and chickpeas with a tamarind and mint chutney.

Featuring the seductive barbecued flavours of Peshawar and Rawalpindi to the sumptuous secrets of the imperial dastarkhans of Delhi and Agra, to the sublime vegetarian food of Varanasi and the tantalising sweets of Bengal, this will be an eye-opening look at Indian food.

Anirudh Arora is head chef at Moti Mahal, a relaxed Indian restaurant in the heart of London’s West End. Hardeep Singh Kohli is a British writer and radio and television presenter. His most recent venture has been his one-man show The Nearly Naked Chef, a mixture of stand-up comedy and cookery, which won critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival.