Khabaar is a food memoir and personal narrative that braids the global journeys of South Asian food through immigration, migration, and indenture. Focusing on chefs, home cooks, and food stall owners, the book questions what it means to belong and what does belonging in a new place look like in the foods carried over from the old country? These questions are integral to the author’s own immigrant journey to America as a daughter of Indian refugees (from what’s now Bangladesh to India during the 1947 Partition of India); as a woman of color in science; as a woman who left an abusive marriage; and as a woman who keeps her parents’ memory alive through her Bengali food.
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“[A] well-turned collection of essays combining cuisine with social and personal politics…Ghosh writes especially well through her memories, from tender to terrifying…Ghosh clearly sees the downsides of food culture—indentured servitude, racism, oversugared and watered-down variations of her favorite dishes—but her mood is also often celebratory…A likable food memoir from a self-aware and culturally astute author.”