18 September 2012

Book Review: STIR IT UP by Ramin Ganeshram


STIR IT UP by Ramin Ganeshram is more than just a fun story. It's also a great cookbook, containing delicious recipes for the Indian cuisine that serves as a backdrop for the novel.

Anjali Krishnan is passionate about cooking.   Working in her family’s roti shop in Queens, she experiments with recipes that combine her Trinidadian culture and family traditions with the influences of the multicultural world she lives in.  Though her parents hope Anjali will make the family proud by gaining admittance into the exclusive Stuyvesant high school, she has other plans.  Anjali dreams of attending a public school, where she can participate in C-CAP, a culinary arts study program, and ultimately becoming a famous chef with her very own Food Network TV show. 

When a contest for young chefs promises a chance at her dreams, Anjali knows she’s destined for greatness.  Unfortunately, the contest tryouts are the same day as the Stuyvesant entrance exam, and Anjali’s parents insist that her studies must come before her hobby.   Taking a chance at her dream means defying her parents and her family traditions, but Anjali can’t let the chance of a lifetime slip away. 

Chock full of real (and delectable) recipes, this novel is a treat for the mind as well as the taste buds.  The chicken curry recipe has become a family favorite, and it's super easy! (We've used variations of the recipe as the basis for many, many family dinners, since we read the book a few months ago.) I recommend this book for anyone who loves cooking, and anyone who has ever had to make difficult choices when following their dreams.

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