A lively exploration of the rich tapestry of the Kayasth foodscape through an intimate portrait of a family’s – and a community’s – social mores.
Known as much for the lavishness of its dining table spreads as for its intellectual and cultural capital, the Kayasth community – spread over many parts of India – has a unique history that has over centuries influenced its widely varied and delectable cuisine. It is this story that Anoothi Vishal weaves in Mrs LC’s Table, an inventive and delightful food narrative that combines her memories of her imperious grandmother – 'Mrs LC' to the world – and her impeccable gourmet sensibilities with endearing tales of feasts and fasts, weddings and charming musical soirees – all accompanied by generously served meals.
In accompaniment are 20 recipes that speak to the incredible variety and stunning adaptability of Kayasth communities in different corners of the country, who as bureaucrats in Mughal courts and the British administration alike assimilated elite Muslim manners, culture and food into their universe as easily as they did the Westernized ways of the colonial rulers while retaining the essence of their own caste and religion. In essence the story of the Kayasthas is the story of an older Hindustan, one which we are slowly forgetting, as liberal, creative spaces get squeezed out in an increasingly schizoid world – connected on the surface but deeply parochial within.