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Not For You

a cookbook with character (s)

Not For You: Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods

My next cookbook of heriloom recipes.

When ones’ exploration of family history leads to Pandora’s box of stories about social and emotional denial, disappointments or rejection; and yet, buried within are stories of faith, perseverance and comfort foods that represent the sole threads of positivity, lifelines, there could be no better title.

The vignettes in this book reflect on a larger belief: it takes complete darkness to appreciate the importance of light; and only in utter darkness, does a spark or a tiny flame becomes a beacon of hope. The book is much like an architect’s figure-ground study of space, where positive and negative spaces are equally important or a photographers’ study of light and shadows, all the pieces and stories hold greater lessons about harmonious relationships.

What is on the back of the book?

Not For You: Family Narratives of Denial & Comfort Foods

What happens when people migrate, marry and mingle with those unlike their own? What happens when people move across local and international borders? Although they take their kitchen with them - how does a new region, cuisine or community influence a family’s food choices? How do comfort foods evolve in such a kitchen?

Not For You is Nandita’s first fiction and third cookbook on Indian food. In her upcoming book, Nandita explores the lives of 3 generations before her, highlighting pivotal moments that caused shifts and changes in their day to day existence as well as their relationships with each other and their communities. Her book explores how ordinary individuals conquered public and private hurdles and her narrative uses their personal journeys to emphasize the role of comfort foods that sustained their spirits. Nandita’s latest work is a reflection on how relationships between people and their cuisines evolves, how life’s seemingly mundane events carve out meaningful moments, can redefine what is ordinary and what is extraordinary, and can influence ‘comfort foods’ for generations to come.

This fiction is inspired by personal family lore, and traverses through 6 distinct cuisines both regional Indian and international, over more than 150 years.

Cookbook or Memoir or Fiction?




Let me explain the last two questions first. This book was in the works for many years. It started as memoir but because of the many gaps in memory, it became a fiction based on real events.

The cookbook component of this book is strong. The last time I checked, there are more than 60 recipes in here, and counting. Here is a sampling.

Who are the characters?

Here is a broad character map… names may change some more as the story is refined over the next few weeks, and also during editing.

Which regions are covered here?

Individuals from this book travel through Rajasthan, Pune, Kolhapur, Goa & Mumbai in India, and the last few characters are based in Illinois, Michigan and Georgia in the USA. Each vignette will have a recipe or four based on what is going on in the story, the character or the general mood. All vignettes connect over time.


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Nandita Godbole
Once: botanist & landscape architect.
Now: personal chef, author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger, poet & potter!
Always: dreamer.

Loves fresh brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 
Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 
Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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