Every Day Advice

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Thinner Dinner (Paperback) by  S. Krishnan, book review‘It’s hard to figure out how to eat the dinner of your dreams, without letting the kilos climb. That’s why this book.’ – Shubhra Krishan

The book is attractive from the moment you see the bold cover. Inside you’ll find very personal pieces on eating and staying thin peppered with attractive illustrations and delivered in a chatty tone of voice. There are quite a few useful tips on cutting down on the portions that one eats, or serving soup with olive oil drizzled baked croutons rather than fried ones. Of course what she says – eat light at dinner – is not exactly a pathbreaking revelation, but it is delivered in a way guaranteed to appeal to today’s trendy young homemakers.

Thinner Dinner has a potpourri of recipes from the most popular Indian cuisines: Indian, Italian and English (or at least an Indian version of the last two!). There are recipes for soups, salads, vegetables, breads, fish and meat and desserts. And covering the comfort foods, a range of choices from rice and dal, to rotis, pizzas and sizzlers.

Amateur chefs will probably think that the recipes are attractively laid out, with ingredients set against lined notebook paper. However, occasionally the steps fall flat – in Small Potatoes with Two Zesty dips, you’re given the ingredients: twelve small potatoes and choose from a bowl of pesto, chilli garlic sauce and mint chutney or a bowl of roasted garlic and herb yogurt dip but then all at once you’re told how to serve it and nothing about whether the potatoes are boiled or baked. The conclusion is that you’re supposed to eat them raw.

To be fair to Krishan this book is not meant for gourmets but for people who potter around their kitchens and can be tempted with hugs to eschew tubs of chocolate fudge. What she offers is hope for the binge eater – most people she says, having binged on pizzas or chocolate ice cream will the next day instinctively cut down on their eating to make up for all those calories. They will head for a clear soup for dinner. There are recipes timed to item numbers and things like tori and tinda which will make north Indian cooks feel quite at home.

The chapters cover various types of home eating and make space for in between meal cravings with healthy stuff like paneer rolled in chaat masala. In Chapter 2 for example, she gets into soups under the heading “Life is too short for bland soup” and goes on to suggest spices which ‘sex up soups’. The puns and the examples set the tone for the book and most amateur cooks with their figures on their minds will find it entertaining. Krishan’s is a world where you can indulge with care – considering she herself went through weight gain problems and triumphantly shed the flab.

Getting back to practicalities, the book has no index or glossary, though it ends with a poem on temptation and tips on how to make things like fruit butter.

Shubhra Krishan, news correspondent with Doordarshan and editor for Femina, Cosmopolitan and DNA, is known for her pieces on good food and good living.

Thinner Dinner by Shubhra Krishnan
Published by Westland Tranquebar in India, 2011

Buy book online
Buy book online
Thinner Dinner
by Shubhra Krishan

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Written by Anjana Basu