The stories interwoven in the book tell of huts plastered with dung, days spent in hot fields, lives that are poor but rich and women who flout old customs, making this a timely read.
Appearing at Melissa's Produce, Godbole called "Not For You" a "novel with recipes." A meal in the book might be only a banana or two, or sugar cane stolen from a field, or nothing at all. But it could also be a richly flavored bean stew, a spicy shrimp dish or sweet cracked wheat pilaf. These are three of the 16 recipes that appear at the end of the book, all drawn from the story.
The introduction to Book Two is by Neela Paniz, an early promoter of Indian cooking in Los Angeles with her restaurant, The Bombay Cafe. Paniz was in the audience for Godbole's presentation.
At Melissa's, Godbole showed how to make the spicy shrimp (above) along with other dishes from her books (click here to see what she has written). From an episode set in Goa, the shrimp are in a tomato sauce spiced with cayenne, cumin, coriander and turmeric. "Think of it as a marinara with an Indian edge to it," Godbole said.
Vegetarians can add potatoes instead of shrimp, she suggested, or mushrooms or even bananas, as was done in her family. The sauce could also be tossed with pasta. It's a mother sauce, she said, and can be prepared in advance and kept handy for a last-minute dinner.
Spicy Shrimp in Tomatoes
From "Not For You" by Nandita Godbole
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup diced yellow or white onions
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 to 1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined raw shrimp
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and saute until lightly golden. Then add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute until fragrant. Add the turmeric, cayenne, cumin and coriander. Add the tomatoes and water. Let this mixture cook on medium low heat for a few minutes until it becomes a thick sauce.
Add the shrimp, mix well, cover lightly and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Season with salt to taste and cilantro. Serve hot with warm bread.
Makes 8 servings.