The Jewish community in India comprises a tiny but important part of the population. There are around five thousand Jews and five Jewish communities in India, but they are fast diminishing in number. Intrigued by the common thread that binds the Indian Jews as a whole despite their living in different parts of the country, Esther David explores the lifestyle and cuisine of the Jews in every region, from the Bene Israelis of western India to the Bene Menashes of the Northeast, the Bene Ephraims of Andhra Pradesh, the Baghdadi Jews of Kolkata and the Kochi Jews. She discovers that while they all follow the strict Jewish dietary laws, they have also adapted to the local cuisine. Some have even turned vegetarian! Extensively researched, with heartwarming anecdotes and mouthwatering recipes, Bene Appetit offers a holistic portrait of a little-known community.
Esther David is an Indian Jewish author and illustrator belonging to the Bene Israel Jewish community of Ahmedabad. Her novel, Book of Rachel, received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English literature in 2010. She has received the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award, USA, for the study of Indo-Jewish cuisine.
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