By Raji Jallepalli
with Judith Choate
"Raji Jallepalli" is a major player in the Indian story in the United States." ... The New York Times
"Hers becomes one cuisine—not a melding of two. It is completely natural, there is nothing contrived about it." ...Charlie Trotter, Chef
"Restaurant Raji is one of the most exciting in America." ...Food & Wine
When Raji Jallepalli was a child growing up in India, she loved to sneak into the kitchen to carefully observe the cook busy working at the stove. Young Raji would ask questions, smell spices, help choose produce, and otherwise immerse herself in the world of food. Rather than pursue her interest in the culinary arts—a career in cooking being unthinkable for an Indian lady—Raji earned a degree in microbiology. But years later her passion for food was re-ignited by a trip to France and eventually Raji followed her bliss to become one of America's hottest Indian-French fusion chefs. This spring, HarperCollins will release Raji's debut cookbook Raji Cuisine: Indian Flavors, French Passion.
Three important influences—her Indian upbringing, scientific background, and love of French cuisine—inform Raji's cooking style and account for her incredible success as a chef. Guaranteed to dazzle any palate, the dishes in Raji Cuisine boldly combine the precisely balanced flavors of French cooking with the profound bouquets of Indian cooking. Raji writes, "Fusion cooking is a quiet melding of vastly different cultures, philosophies, and cooking techniques." This approach to cooking is showcased in all of the recipes found in her new cookbook including dishes such as Dover Sole with Curry Leaf Emulsion, Duck Breasts with Caramelized Curry Sauce and Confit of Sweet Potatoes and Lemongrass Sorbet with Sweet Spice Madeleines.
In addition to myriad recipes offered in Raji Cuisine, the author provides descriptions of a variety of exotic spices (ajowan, black onion seeds and tumeric) and oils and fats ( ghee, sesame oil and mustard oil) that act as anchors for the superb fusion dishes found in her cookbook. Raji writes, "When you lift the lids off the jars of spices to which I have introduced you, I want you to feel a bit of my spirit urging you on to discover your own personal style of cooking."
Extraordinary, easy-to-follow recipes, wine suggestions, cooking techniques and Raji's personal narrative, all combine to make Raji Cuisine a welcome and remarkable debut.
Raji Jallepalli is the owner/chef of Restaurant Raji in Memphis, which was nominated for a James Beard Award in 1997. She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Food Arts, and many other newspapers and food magazines. Raji lives in Memphis, TN.
Indian Flavors, French Passion
By Raji Jallepalli with Judith Choate
HarperCollins Publishers, March 2000
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created April 2000
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