Cookbook : Recipies From An Urban Village

Gracious hospitality, good cooking and the sharing of food are an integral part of life in Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin. The recipes cover a wide range of dishes including snacks, desserts, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, breads and festival foods. Comprehensive cookery notes will make the recipes suitable for both the Indian and Western kitchen.

Please support this exciting project by purchasing a copy of the book now! And spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards supporting The Hope Project .

Price: Rs. 300 (not including postage)

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Recipies from an urban village.., is perhaps India's only ode to ace cooks like Anwari; people whose hands yeild a modest income conjuring up a wealth of traditional dishes on a cheap two-burner chulah.
Capital Cuisine

"a treasure trove that exemplifies the human spirit and the collective wisdom of generations"
Sabina Sehgal Saikia
Food Critique
Delhi Times, April 2005


In a unique initiative, the Hope Project and author, Charmaine O’Brien worked together with the community to create a cookbook that captures the unique flavours and culinary heritage of the basti. More than 50 community members contributed their recipes to this book. The book titled “Recipes from an Urban Village” published in 2003 – has been well reviewed in the national press and has generated great interest in the basti.

The recipe book project emerged from our belief that basti communities are not victims but repositories of local knowledge, talents and a rich oral tradition waiting to be shared with the rest of the world. Often unrecognised, cooking is one such talent that all the basti women possess: cooking a meal for 100 people on a small stove is not a major event. As one of them remarked, “we’ve grown up doing it and we’ve never seen it as anything special”.

However, it is not only the cooking that is spectacular – but the culture of sharing and hospitality which makes the food unique. Festivals – a time to connect with your loved ones - revolve around prayer and food. Working in the basti has taught us to believe in the magical powers of food: the power to transform people and bring communities together so that they look beyond the narrow distinctions of religion or nationalism and embrace instead the universal values of love, harmony and beauty.


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