The Settler's Cookbook

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

The Settler's Cookbook

This is a warm, personal memoir from one of Britain's most high-profile and vocal immigrants - a mouth-watering exploration of the author's East African Indian roots through the shared experience of cooking. Through the personal story of Yasmin's family and the food and recipes they've shared together, "The Settler's Cookbook" tells the history of the Indian migration to the UK, via East Africa. Her family was part of the mass exodus from India to East Africa during the height of British expansion, fleeing famine and lured by the prospect of prosperity under the imperial regime. In 1972, they were one of the many families expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin who moved to the UK, where Yasmin has made her home with an Englishman. The food she cooks now, in one of the world's most ethnically-diverse cities, combines the traditions and tastes of her family's hybrid history. Here you'll discover how Shepherd's Pie is much enhanced by sprinkling in some chilli, Victoria sponge can be wonderfully enlivened by saffron and lime juice, and the addition of ketchup to a curry can be life-changing... 4.4 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
The Settler's Cookbook

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Food & Drink, Biography
Format Hardback
Pages 400
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication March 2009
ISBN 978-1846270833
Publisher Portobello
 

This is a warm, personal memoir from one of Britain's most high-profile and vocal immigrants - a mouth-watering exploration of the author's East African Indian roots through the shared experience of cooking. Through the personal story of Yasmin's family and the food and recipes they've shared together, "The Settler's Cookbook" tells the history of the Indian migration to the UK, via East Africa. Her family was part of the mass exodus from India to East Africa during the height of British expansion, fleeing famine and lured by the prospect of prosperity under the imperial regime. In 1972, they were one of the many families expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin who moved to the UK, where Yasmin has made her home with an Englishman. The food she cooks now, in one of the world's most ethnically-diverse cities, combines the traditions and tastes of her family's hybrid history. Here you'll discover how Shepherd's Pie is much enhanced by sprinkling in some chilli, Victoria sponge can be wonderfully enlivened by saffron and lime juice, and the addition of ketchup to a curry can be life-changing...

Reviews

The Independent

Susan Williams

More than a hundred recipes pepper The Settler's Cookbook, but readers with scant interest in cookery should not be deterred from this wonderful book. If the recipes were stripped away, a memoir of real substance would remain... a compelling, moving narrative: of shifting identities, survival and, in the case of Jena, the strength of maternal love.

27/03/2009

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The Sunday Times

Lucas Hollweg

Her story is evocative, revealing and often tender... This is, though, more than a collection of foodie memories. Alibhai-Brown's own migration is intimately bound up with the fate of other East African Asians ... It is a story seldom told, and Alibhai-Brown's account of it is fascinating and touching... Does it work as a cookbook? All I can say is that reading it made me hungry - and, for a cookbook, that's half the battle won.

01/03/2009

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The Guardian

Jeevan Vasagar

I long for the day when an Asian history can be written without mentioning curry - but perhaps it can't be done... Alibhai-Brown paints a lively picture of a community that stayed trapped in old ways until it was too late to change, just as they clung on to intensely calorific recipes intended for famished railway labourers rather than sleek businessmen. But she might have taken the chance to celebrate the wahindi in an unexpected way - not just recounting the ways they shaped Africa, but revealing more about how the continent shaped them.

14/03/2009

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The Times

Iain Finlayson

Alibhai-Brown's story of acculturation, and her own success as a sharp-minded, at times sharp-tongued, commentator on race, multiculturalism and human rights, is as lively as her journalism. If she makes curry with ketchup, she knows what she's doing: take a tip from her.

20/03/2009

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