“I was home and I was happy,” the book signs off but the words, the emotions linger. Sita’s Kitchen by Raghav Khanna is the essence of life sautéed in Indian and Italian spices, and despite the Italian flavour it retains the unique Indianness.

The book follows the story of a Himalayan wonderchef, Sita. Sita runs a cafe on a highway in Himachal, The midway cafe. It’s quite famous for it’s unique blend of Indo-Italian cuisine, the first of it’s kind in the hills. Arun, a renowned restaurateur from London stops by at the cafe and is stunned to find Italian menu. He tastes some and is blown away. He comes back to find the chef and asks Sita to accompany him to London and work in his restaurant. Sita is adamant. She wouldn’t leave her cafe and her Baba behind. But with a talent like hers things are bound to change. And soon she is finds herself seated in a London bound flight with her father. A heartening future awaits.

This book is wholesome and sumptuous. It delighted me to the bones. The charismatic characters coupled with the poetic language and a well-crafted plot is what made this book an absolutely unputdownable read for me. It left me satiated and dewy-eyed. The characters were relatable and adorable. Some, deplorable even. But that’s just the magic of the author’s pen. He pens these characters, these words so assertively that they strike a chord from the page one. Add to that the ambience he created, it instantly teleported me to the picturesque Himachal Pradesh and I found myself craving for that Himalayan Aglio Olio from Sita’s Kitchen. Being a foodie, this book was a treat for me.

Last word – Author’s inclination and in-depth knowledge of culinary arts comes from his profession but to toss in the characters, the ambience,  poetry, a pinch of drama, conflict and all that, and skillfully plating it for the readers, makes this one a delectable and a must read at that.

A treat not to be missed!

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