By chance, the last two books I've read were about Indian culture and immigrants and also--Indian Cuisine. In fact, I am now craving samosas & chicken masala! Hmmm, maybe that will have to be our next adventure out to eat. But back to the books...
The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan alternates chapters with 3 30-something Indian -American women and their 3 Indian immigrant mothers. Each chapter ends with recipes that coincide with the previous chapter. Food is big in this book. In fact, much of the action takes place eating or cooking. It's a fun book that might constitute a beach read or chick lit, but I gobbled it up (note the eating reference) in about a day. It deals with mother-daughter relationships, love and dealing with families that get along and must mesh 2 cultures into one.
Next, I happened to pick up Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins. MS is on the division 2 Maud Hart Lovelace nominee list for this school year and that is why it ended up in my book pile. It tells the story of 14 year old Jasmine. She spends the summer in India (monsoon time) because her Indian born/American adopted mother wants to give back to the orphanage she lived in as a little girl. Jazz must learn to find her place in her family and survive a long distance crush with her best friend, Steve. She also makes some Indian friends and learns to look Indian dishes. (Sorry, no recipes in this one.) Great conversations happen over the making of meals and the smells of India come through loud and clear in this one, too. This book will appeal to girls who want a light romance/coming of age book to read.
Bring on the samosas. :)