Recipes from Sri Lanka, India, Ireland and a myriad of other countries and regions are interspersed with cooking techniques and personal stories of the author’s travels.
In his debut cookbook, Parle takes the knowledge he has picked up in kitchens all over the world—including London's River Cafe and New York's The Spotted Pig—and guides home cooks through recipes such as Keralan's Pollichattu, a heavily seasoned white fish covered in coconut. Using the right mix of spices, he writes “the flavor of a dish suddenly takes on tangible authenticity, becoming immediately Moroccan, Kashmiri, or Sri Lankan.” The author maximizes the bounty from home gardens and gives pointers on how to make the best tomato sauce—it's all about the ratios. Sprinkled throughout the book are his tips on how to make your own coconut milk or the best way to serve porcini mushrooms as an appetizer. However, some readers may find trouble sourcing many of his ingredients. But the search for them can often be rewarding: “Truly good cooks try to educate themselves about food all the time. And a trip to a new part of town to rummage in an ethnic market can be inspiring as a vacation.” To find ingredients for his Malaysian Breakfast, like dried anchovies, Parle suggests a trip to the local Thai or Indian market. Recipes are divided by month, geared to make the most of seasonal ingredients.
A voyage for the palette of any eager cook.