Jasmine and Jinns: Memories and Recipes of My Delhi


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The Dehlvi family made Delhi their home several hundred years ago. Sadia interlaces stories and memories of the city and its people, taking you inside its homes and kitchens, as well as the bazaars of the walled city. She shares recipes, many of which have not travelled outside of Dillwalla homes, and offers lived and real insights into the life and spirit of this ancient city through its changing customs, manners, cuisine and seasons.

In Jasmine and Jinns, Sadia Dehlvi weaves tales of Delhi's ancient past with stories of her growing up in the city. As part of a large and hospitable family, she learned early the skill and pleasures of entertaining at home. In this lovingly crafted volume of food and memories, she recalls the conversations and carefully prepared dastarkhwan that enriched her childhood.

She takes us inside her home and the kitchens of other Dilliwalas, sharing with us origin stories and recipes of many classic dishes including biryani, qorma, kofta, shaami kebab and kheer. In addition to these, there are recipes for season specialities and festivals. These home-cooked dishes are a distillation of Delhi's old cuisines and a reminder of how rich and historically layered our daily lives are.

From home to bazaar, Sadia takes us through the famous by-lanes of the old city to show us where the best jalebi, dalbiji, aloo poori, dahi bhalla, nihari and mithai continue to be served. In her telling, and the photographs that accompany her words, the city she knows so well comes alive in all its magical, delicious complexity.