Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thinner Dinner : a book review

I am a big eater and a foodie soul. My food philosophy revolves around macrobiotic principles. Macrobiotic because I need a lot to eat , I am the most happy when my tummy is gratified. It's a fact of life for me. For many others too I know.

My cooking is more based on Ayurvedic principles, combining ingredients mostly according to the food groups which make healthier combinations of nutrients and help in absorption of the nutrients by the body. The process of cooking is an important way to enhance taste as well as nutrient value in whatever we eat. The food for me, is a nourishing-healing factor in our life. Not just the body and physiology, the mood and the psychological well being too. This philosophy, for me, is to attain optimum health goals. Be it weight loss goals or stabilising blood sugar or managing blood cholesterol, choosing ingredients wisely and working on them in a way they provide desired benefits for the mind, body and soul. That is my way to my food.


A foodie who loves her ingredients and wants to know more about them, always curious about everything food. This was the reason I got curious when  I saw this book called Thinner Dinner by Shubhra Krishan, put up for review under Blogadda's book review program, and wanted to see what this book is all about.

The introduction says, Shubhra Krishan is not a nutritionist. She is just ravenous. Now this ringed a bell as I am the same...not a nutritionist but keep working on nutrients ...and ravenous when it comes to good food. The introduction of the book says that she serves dinner everyday in a way that it doesn't get to your waist... I wanted to know if the food is actually real food.

Yes the food is real. Real whole food which I believe is the only way to get healthy. The book talks about how home cooked simple meals can be satisfying and healthy and can be tweaked to stay slim and fit and even loose weight while eating normal food. Normal food , by the way, has gone into the category of exotic food because for many of us, food comes out of packets and tetra packs. This book talks about the good old simple home cooked food.

And I loved the book for this reason....for propagating the philosophy of real whole old fashioned food to be healthy and worthy. She talks about food with such romanticism in her tone it feels like reading a memoir. Full of nostalgia about a meal shared with a farmer family near Pataudi, the home of former cricketer Nawab Pataudi and Sharmila tagore, and another meal she had in a fancy restaurant in New York and many more such meals. Her cooking incorporates what she likes eating outside too. That is what many of do, we all want to tweak the recipes to a healthier version without compromising on the taste. I just wish she had substantiated this idea of healthy eating in a better way. The approach is week.

She has shared some recipes too.

That is what exactly it is. Some recipes too. This is not a recipe book if you want to get recipes for healthy cooking for weight loss. Yes, there are recipes but not written in a way one can effectively follow them. While one reads the book with a smile and feels good that the journey from fat to fit can be enjoyed. The books is written in a very casual way like we share some experiences with friends, it is engaging too as it makes you believe it can be fun to loose weight. And that can be a good message for many out there.

But the book does not make you to learn cooking fat burning food. The recipes are written in a casual way too , ingredient list is mostly printed in a reference card style format and could have been very helpful but the names of the ingredients are in Hindi sometimes. Actually the whole book uses Hindi terms and phrases like haath ki roti or chulhe ka swad which I enjoyed as a Hindi speaking person myself, but could be difficult for many other people to understand. Moreover some ingredient lists and recipes are hastily written without proper instructions, a novice cook would find it difficult to follow.


Pictures are a big letdown too. The kind of pictures we used to see in the magazines of the 80s. It is disappointing to see such poor quality pictures on good quality glossy paper. With good paper and good printing you expect good pictures too , especially if it is about food.

So I feel it's not  a book which can motivate someone to cook and enjoy home cooked food. Moreover, some ingredients like maida (all purpose flour) and corn flour are used freely in many recipes that is another let down for me for sure.

But if the romanticism in the conversational tone of the book touches you, you would feel good about the long forgotten real old fashioned food on your tables. Having said that, I doubt the book has that appeal to motivate someone to cook healthy every day.

This review is a part of the book reviews program by Blogadda , participate now to get free books!



6 comments:

  1. I have been eyeing this book on Flipkart and wondering if I should buy it. Thanks for the review! It was really helpful... though I love most books about food, like you, I too prefer books that have good food photography! Pity this doesnt have that...

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  2. how can maida or corn flour be real foods ? And beats me - how can they make you thinner ??

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    1. The logic is ..thinner(finer)grains make you thinner :-)

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  3. This sounds like a good read.....esp 'coz said the book is not only about recipes.

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  4. Good recipe, would like to try it out definitely.
    giftwithlove.com

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  5. @ gwl..recipe ???

    @ Varsha...Maida and corn flour were the only grudge i had with this book on the food front...otherwise the food is good and real I mean.

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