This week we are proud to highlight the NPR featured Indian-American cookbook by Sri Rao, ‘Bollywood Kitchen’. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Rao shares how his Indian-American heritage is reflected through food.


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)

 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)

  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!