England has its domestic goddess in the shape of Nigella Lawson, now India has a domestic diva. Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra, in the process of starting a kitchen game, have produced the Diary of a Domestic Diva, healthy recipes from Shilpa Shetty’s own kitchen, concocted with the help of her chef who takes a lively hand in the proceedings. Diary of a Domestic Diva has a plethora of options from her popular Sunday Binge Videos on Instagram replete with ingredients like oranges, avocados, chicken and falafel in addition to the traditional and the expected.
The Diary is meant for the experimental young housewife with a patient cook who is willing to put up with the bhabiji’s instructions. The Diary concentrates on the trendy and fashionably healthy with recipes like Bunt Bombs, Chatpata Sweet Potatoes, Eggs with Chickpeas and many more. Her cookbook belongs to a sort of fusion trend that has set in where the age-old makhna has become more ‘in’ than popcorn, or broccoli can be put into a paratha with cauliflower.
Shetty’s cooking is certainly healthier than a lot of traditional Indian foods but she does use sesame and olive oil in quite a few of her recipes and utters that no-no word ‘fry’ where one would expect grilling or a light stir frying. She narrates the recipes simply with no complications and does not try for poetic essays as Nigella in her domestic goddess avatar does but Shetty’s simplicity makes it easy for the novice cook to manoeuvre.
Treat the book as a carnival of happy flavours and you will be quite satisfied playing the diva in your own kitchen, though you will have to have a well-stocked bazaar or mall nearby. There is no doubt that the book will make a popular gift or spur cooking competitions among besties determined to prove that they are domestic divas in their own right.
Anjana Basu is the author of Rhythms of Darkness