NOT FOR YOU: Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods

Family Narratives of Denial
& Comfort Foods

 Book One is DEFINITELY for you!

Recipe included at the end of the review: A Freedom Fighter’s Tea

 Review by Linda Kissam and Adrianne Morrison

Do you know your family’s history back through multiple generations? Who came before you—where did they live—did they live on easy-street or was life difficult? How did they celebrate?  Are there family secrets, family recipes that no one shares, or even knows about?

Nandita Godbole, in her newest book, Not For You, Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods, gives us a perfect example of how to preserve and present both. With a glimpse into the history of India moving forward from 1857, she speaks of life, of love, marriage, family obstacles, and the significance food plays in our lives.

Nandita Godbole

Nandita offers Book One as the introduction to her family story and rewards us with authentic Indian recipes:  Kolmbi: Spicy Shrimp in Tomatoes; Satyagahi Cha: A Freedom Fighter’s Tea; and, Pineapple Malpua (Fritters) with chutneys and breads and rice dishes, too—not many, just enough to give you a taste of India from a personal point-of-view. See below for the tea recipe.

We gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.  It can be read in one afternoon. It’s a delightful read and we’re both sure you’ll know someone who should also read this book.  It’s the kind of book that inspires you to share with others. At 99 cents on Kindle, it’s a bargain.


If you have thought of assembling a family cookbook to preserve your family’s recipes, do consider adding in your family’s story. Ask siblings and cousins to contribute their accounts of what they remember from Grandma and her cooking. Gift this book to inspire their thoughts and participation with you – it’s short, only 76 pages, but they are full of a family’s history that, like your own, should never be lost or forgotten.

Be sure to stop by Nandita’s splendid website and blog at .  I love the flavors of curry, cumin, and cilantro. My mother never used them in her cooking. I wonder why?


I really loved this book, so that pretty much sums it up. It’s one of the new generations of hybrid books that contain a story and recipes. I think the author did a terrific job of matching the recipes to the theme of the story.

At 76 pages you can read it in one sitting.  You will, however, have to pay attention as the author sets up the story.  There are a lot of characters to keep track of.  You’ll be interested in and care for each one of them, which in my opinion is what good books have in common.

There is also many new global vocabulary terms to deal with.  The author explains each one skillfully, but as they keep popping up in the story it’s necessary to, once again…pay attention.


Thank you to the author for this wonderful tea recipe.  My readers who are tea drinkers are going to love it. For everyone else, give it a try, you can thank us later.

Satyagrahi Cha: A Freedom Fighter’s Tea

Makes: Four servings
Cook Time: 10 minutes


2 cups water
1 entire leaflet of lemongrass or about 8-10 2” pieces
1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
¼ tsp dried ginger powder
1” jaggery piece (Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar consumed in Asia, Africa and some countries in the Americas. It is a concentrated product of cane juice and often date or palm sap.)


Set the water to boil in a saucepan. When the water begins a gentle boil, add the lemongrass leaflets to the water and let this simmer for 3 minutes on medium-low. The water will pick up a pale green hue, this is normal. Add the whole coriander seeds and dried ginger powder and allow this to simmer for another minute. Simmer longer if you want a stronger decoction. Strain into desired container. Serve with a side of jaggery.

Jaggery may be dissolved into the tea itself if desired or may be consumed alongside the tea itself.

# # #

Photos provided courtesy of Nandita Godbole

Disclaimer: The authors were given a copy of the book to review. This is a normal practice in the book review industry.  In no way did receiving the book free influence our review.

Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!