Title: Thinner Dinner
Author: Shubhra Krishnan
Price: Rs. 395
Review copy: courtesy Blogadda Book Reviews Programme.
After the excesses of December, Shubhra Krishnan’s Thinner Dinner was a welcome sight. The blurb sets the tone for the book
“Shubhra Krishnan is not a nutritionist. She’s just ravenous!”
The book is the result of her own weight-loss story, a story we can all identify with. Shubhra lost about 20 kilos by just eating better. Her one tip? “Eat light at night.”
The book is a delight. It is funny, yet very informative at the same time. The chapter titles are often puns or just witty. The recipes are your everyday ones- old-fashioned dal, soups, vegetables (she even has a whole section on potatoes. Imagine.), rice, pasta and desserts – but with a healthy twist. Nothing fancy, exotic or elaborate. All ingredients are likely to be at your local subzi-mandi.
Because the food in the book is what one would usually have most Indian homes, the recipes can easily be adapted and included for lunch or dinner. Light and nutritious meals that are quick to make – every hassled woman’s dream.
Shubhra doesn’t beat you with the diet stick. In fact, her book makes you want to go to the kitchen and try out those deceptively simple dishes right away; yes, even for reluctant cooks like me. I tried the ‘mushrooms on toast’ f(‘Dhania Dhamaka Mushrooms (!)) for breakfast one morning and I’m really looking forward to making one of her dals, as that is one dish that I’ve never been very happy with.
I was delighted with the author’s informal and chatty style. It made the book easy to read and a pleasure to leaf through. The accompanying photographs were average; they could have been crisper and better styled. The illustrations were a welcome touch and added to the informal feeling of the book.
The book is interspersed with little nuggets of good advice, like her 5 pm snacks (which, unlike a lot of other books, doesn’t deny that you have mid-afternoon cravings). Simple things like fruit & cheese or black and white delight (paneer with chaat masala) are wonderful to quieten those rumbles. It has certainly made me look at snacking differently. Could it really be that easy?
I was a bit stumped by the names of a few vegetables like ‘bathua’, ‘tinda’ and ‘tori’. I’m sure these are easy to find, but it means extra work for a reader not familiar with these terms. A glossary would have helped, as would an index of recipes.
I would gladly gift this book to friends who like to eat heartily, but well. The price, though, (Rs. 395) is a bit steep for this slim volume.