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Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films

Bollywood Kitchen is a one-of-a-kind cookbook by Indian American filmmaker and lifestyle expert Sri Rao.

According to Rao, Indian cuisine and Indian cinema have much in common: both feature bold colors, flavors and drama. Mingling gorgeous photography with colorful storytelling, he guides the reader on an exploratory journey of both healthy Indian American home cooking and well-loved Bollywood films, each one packed with dazzling songs and dances. Rao inherited a treasure trove of recipes from his mother and clearly these are some of his most precious links to the past. He has painstakingly updated these recipes for the modern American kitchen, combining easy-to-follow recipes with interesting cooking anecdotes and a variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Light and healthy eating and uncompromising flavor are Rao's focus, a refreshing change from the heavier fare available in most Indian restaurants.

Rao's menus are tailored to the geographical and historical focus of each movie that he recommends. For example, the Oscar-nominated colonial drama Lagaan is paired with British-influenced masala-encrusted salmon, grilled asparagus and creamy mint chutney. Meanwhile, for the thriller NH10, set in the capital city of New Delhi, Rao recommends a quintessential North Indian spinach chicken curry and a popular vegetarian dish of chickpeas and masala.

By pairing full menus (starters, entrees and desserts) with thematically matched Bollywood films, Rao has created a distinctive guide for "dinner and a movie" experiences at home. --Shahina Piyarali, writer and reviewer