Rao's theme in his book mirrors the 2nd-generation inspiration of recently prominent movies and televisions shows: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, Pixar’s ‘Bao’, and ‘Fresh Off The Boat'. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Rao had a strong family connection to his culture through home-cooked Indian food. His mother adapted to the ingredients available and local tastes, creating her own hybrid cuisine. This exemplifies the common melting pot story: regardless of one's country of origin, the memories of home, family, and heritage, and facilitate connections across cultures and backgrounds.
Something truly unique about this recipe & movie pairing book, are the authentically Indian American dishes. Rao explains that part of his motivation for the book was to help second-generation Indian Americans feel less intimidated when trying to cook the dishes they grew up eating and re-creating experiences in their own homes. With easy-to-follow recipes, he helps make it easy to cook those authentic, flavorful dishes, which aligns directly with the mission of Spice Road Market to provide those authentic ingredients in a convenient online shop.
Below are our favorite dishes from the book:
Snack: Bollywood Popcorn (spicy masala-dusted popcorn)
Appetizer: Aloo Kati Roll (saucy potatoes)
Rice Staple: Vegetable Pulao (colorful veggie fried rice)
Vegetable dish: Bhindi Masala (okra sautéed with dry spices)
Chicken dish: Homestyle Chicken Curry (bone-in chicken braised in rich tomato gravy)
Beef dish: Keema (sublime ground beef curry)
Fall-inspired dish: Sweet & Savory Pumpkin (simmered with Indian green chillies, sesame, coconut, and brown sugar)
Dessert: Kheer (creamy rice pudding)
To help you easily re-create these dishes, you can check out the book for the recipes, and conveniently order authentic products online at our shop!