A Cookbook with Panache. Italian cooking, Indian style

italian_khana.jpg Introducing Italian cuisine to an Indian audience, Ritu Dalmia, chef and owner of Diva, one of Delhi’s most beloved Italian restaurants, has all the answers on Italian cooking in her first cookbook. For example, you will learn how to substitute lemon with lime, use chili (authentically!) with your pasta and dress your mutton as lamb. It also offers a wide range of options for vegetarians.

The book launches on July 15th but the Sommelier India editors attended an exclusive sneak peak event where guests did some Italian cooking for themselves.

Spicing up the recipes is information about how the different regions of Italy vary in their cooking styles, an accessible introduction to Italian wines including tips on what to pair with what dish, and fun details about the provenance of dishes. Incidentally, Diva has been recognized time and again by Wine Spectator for having one of the best wine lists in India (the list includes over 450 wines). Sneaking into the wine cellar between courses, I was able to notice a 1989 Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, a few Chateau Mouton Rothschild from the early 90s and several precious Gaja wines.

In the book, you will learn the story behind the puttanesca sauce; what is the pasta dish Romans eat after they return from the opera? Where do you get the best mozzarella? The book will also tell you how to prepare a large show-off dinner, cook fun and lavish meals with your friends, and combine food with love for a romantic supper à deux: divabottlesa.jpg

‘Pasta in broth for nippy winter nights, fish with black pepper for a summer Sunday afternoon with a big salad on the side, chocolate salame, every child’s comfort desert, and risi e bisi, a kind of Italian khichdi.’

‘Italian Khana’ the television show based on the book starts airing in July.
Gorgeously designed, with superb photography Italian Khana is one of India’s first truly stylish gourmet cookbooks. Friendly and informative, it will be both your guru and your best friend in the kitchen. And if you want even more, watch for ‘Italian Khana’, the television show based on the book, which will air on NDTV Good Times July onwards.
– Shiv Singh


  1. Raj Bagaria on

    Extremely excited! Cannot wait for the book to hit the bookstores. Ritu Dalmia rocks!

  2. Congratulations!! I am really delighted to read that Ritu Dalmia captured one of the beauties of our Italian cuisine: our variety!
    In Italy we are 21 regions and each one has a completely different culinary and wine tradition. This comes from the many different dominations we have had as well as from the different soil and weather conditions.
    Usually foreigners think that Italy is just spaghetti and pizza.
    Then when they explore the single regions everybody is excited to find out that every region is a new world.
    I think it is very fascinating to learn about a country’s culture through its cuisine and wine.
    I hope one day you will take the time to explore Puglia: it has everything from delicious extra virgin olive oil and wine…to the best mozzarrella, fresh pasta, meat, fish and vegetables!
    Stile Mediterraneo
    Italian Cooking and Wine School in Puglia

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