[Sca-cooks] Ancient India

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Thu Jan 29 05:11:47 PST 2009

I actually own Om Prakash
Food and Drinks in Ancient India from Earliest Times to c. 1200 A.D.
I managed to buy a copy about 5 years ago. I checked and prices for the
1961 edition
are about $70 now which is about three times higher than they were then.
I think I paid $20ish.
Another of his books is more reasonably priced and it's a two volume set
for less than $25--
Economy and Food in Ancient India.
The description says that volume 2 contains
*I. Geographical And Cultural Background; II. Prehistoric and
Protohistoric Age; Food and Drinks; III. (c 1500-1800 B.C. ) Vedic
Period; Iv. (c800-300 B.C. ): Section I: Sutra Period; SEction 2. Early
Buddhist and Jain Works; V. (c. 300 BC and 75 A.d. ): Section I; maurya
and Sunga Period; Section 2. The Epics and the Manusmrti; VI. (c 75 Ad.
-300 AD): The Kusana and Saka Satavahana Period; VII. (c 300-750 AD):
Gupta Period; VIII. (c. 750-1200 AD): post gupta period;

That might provide everything the reader wants.The drawback is that it 
has to be ordered from India or found on interlibrary loan.
KT Achaya's Indian Food: a Historical Companion is running around $70 
now too.Some stores are listing it as well over $120 for the hardback.
Check around because used copies of the paperback are running around $50 
on Amazon this am.

His The Illustrated Foods of India is due
out in the UK in April 2009. Amazon here in the US says April too so 
that may be available here sometime later this year.
  A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food by Achaya is listed at
  Amazon, right now however. It's $35 but they don't have copies in 
stock. You'll have to place an order and wait.

I mentioned Colleen Sen's book because you are more likely to find that
volume in an undergraduate
or public library at the moment or find it available for interlibrary 
loan. And there is a bibliography.
We just watched Michael Wood's India on PBS so perhaps there will be
more of a demand for things Indian
this year.

Hope this provides more information.


Jim and Andi Houston wrote:
> The timeline in Colleen Sen's book is accurate but oversimplified, because
> it doesn't differentiate between the regions of India. India is very large
> and only became a single country in the last 50 years. There are major
> linguistic, cultural and religious differences between North, South, East,
> West and Central regions of India.
> There are some really excellent books available in English about historical
> Indian cooking- anything by KT Achaya, Food and Drinks in Ancient India by
> Om Prakash, and various translated manuscripts. 
> Madhavi

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