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Ten Thousand Tongues

secrets of a layered kitchen


the companion cookbook

Ten Thousand Tongues: secrets of a layered kitchen

Strong matriarchs in the author’s family are the inspiration for “Ten Thousand Tongues.” These are stories of perseverance, and of a deep-rooted appreciation of family legacies that inspire and shape reverence to one’s culinary heritage.

This biographical fiction is about eight women who find refuge, solace, and strength in their constantly evolving relationship to family and each other, through the foods they cooked and later, the dishes they are most often remembered by. It captures their essence through narratives from within and around their homes, their lives intersecting briefly, as mothers and as daughters. The main characters of this book navigate the constructs of religious boundaries, between Hinduism and Judaism, and definitions of identity in India and the United States. Despite their flawed relationships, their modest kitchens create indelible memories. Their domestic life is sometimes their burden, and at other times their sanctuary, and yet, long after the kitchen fires are cold, the warmth of old-fashioned comfort foods continue to nourish both body and spirit. Their narratives lead readers through the food pathways that finally culminate in Ana’s kitchen, far away from where the stories first began. Immortalized through iconic comfort foods, eight women effortlessly manage to create a unique and lasting culinary legacy that spans many generations.

Look for a companion cookbook of the same name to pair with the novel for a complete immersive experience.

Ten Thousand Tongues: the companion cookbook

This book serves as a companion to the upcoming biographical fiction by the same author, titled: Ten Thousand Tongues: secrets of a layered kitchen (December 2018)

Comfort foods have the power to seep straight to our innermost core: the strength emanating from a hearty breakfast on a cold winter’s morning, the beverage that fosters a long-lasting friendship, the reverence and reassurance that wafts from a religious offering, the giddy excitement that seasons a wedding feast, a soup that becomes a salve for incurable homesickness or that imperfect dessert that only reinforces our belief a sense of eternal happiness. Unassuming, ordinary, simple and familiar, comfort foods offer the recipes for solace, strength, and nourishment, facilitating an escape into the soft creases of contentment.

Comfort food, for life.

This cookbook is a companion to ‘Ten Thousand Tongues: secrets of a layered kitchen’, a biographical fiction about eight matriarchs and their many contributions to the authors' repertoire.

The cookbook includes many iconic dishes from the regional cuisines of India: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, from the Bene Israel Jewish traditions, as well as streeteats from Mumbai to those adapted to a suburban American kitchen. The book has more than seventy dishes from the kitchens of eight women, the food reflecting an intersection of time and place. The dishes have crossed borders, survived adversity, and adapted, sustaining the power to soothe spirits. They continue to energize the mind, body, and soul. The kitchen becomes a Zen-like space where ones’ senses are centered, validated and nurtured.​

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Nandita Godbole
Once: botanist & landscape architect.
Now: personal chef, author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger, poet & potter!
Always: dreamer.

Loves fresh brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 
Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 
Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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