Mother India At Home, Recipes Pictures Stories, review by Pat Byrne
Mother India at Home
Recipes Pictures Stories
by Monir Mohammed & Martin Gray
Mother India at Home takes the reader right to the heart of Glasgwegians’ love of Indian Restaurants. Beautifully illustrated and introduced by the acclaimed Scottish photographer, Martin Gray, it tells the story of Monir Mohammed and his much loved Mother India restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Monir takes us on a journey from his teenage years, working in kitchens in Glasgow, visiting the Punjab where he not only tended the buffalo but became fascinated by Indian home cooking. We learn of his early foray into the world of the restaurateur, aged just eighteen, and the struggles and setbacks he encountered en route to success.
Monir’s experience growing up in Glasgow, combined with his knowledge of the principles of home cooking, made him yearn to introduce his customers to a whole new style of Indian food. Mother India at Home is an absorbing account of his life and how success was achieved with the support of family, friends and colleagues. The names of his close family crop up often, accompanied by many fascinating anecdotes and amazing photographs. Some of you may recognise other well known Glasgow restaurateurs referred to, including: Sanjay Majhu, Balbir, Colin Clydesdale and Alan Mawn.
The book, which was conceived by Monir and Martin, has come together very pleasingly with stories complementing recipes and fascinating photographs of food, people and places. In particular the photographs of Monir’s family and friends vividly capture the multicultural nature of his world and the people in his life.
His much loved restaurants with their renowned dishes are now well established in both Glasgow and Edinburgh and fans of the award winning Mother India restaurants will be delighted to try their hand at the recipes in the book. Favourite dishes are included from the menus of Mother India, The Wee Curry Shop, Mother India’s Cafe and The Den. They are made all the more tantalising when you learn of the inspiration behind their creation – Hajra Bibi’s Special Salmon – named after Monir’s mother and Auntie Rashida’s Chicken Curry.
It is a charming book and significant not simply as a great recipe book but in offering real insight into the intrinsic role Indian restaurants play in the life of Glaswegians – shown though stories and pictures.
I’ve taken many people visiting me in Glasgow to The Den – its intimate setting creates the perfect location for a good chat – and I am always confident that with its ‘simple lighter dishes’ there will be something on the menu that will appeal to everyone. Now I have Mother India at Home I’ll be trying out some of the recipes.
The selection of recipes in the book is very appealing – I’m going to start by making Lahore Fish Stew.
‘Indian food is one of the most varied, subtle and seasonal of the world’s great cuisines … this book will open your eyes to its possibilities, under the guidance of a master.’ Martin Gray
‘I hope you enjoy cooking and eating these reeipes as much as I have enjoyed creating them,’ Monir Mohammed.
Pat Byrne, November, 2014.
How to buy the book
Mother India At Home by Monir Mohammed and Martin Gray
Available at Waterstone’s and all good bookshops and to buy at all Mother India Restaurants including:
28 Westminster Terrace
0141 221 1663
The Wee Curry Shop,
Glasgow West End, G12
Also available in all Mother India Restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
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