Official Book Launch – Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Junoon Restaurant
6 to 8 p.m.
Media Check-In: 5:30 p.m
Return to the Rivers
Recipes and Memories of the Himalayan River Valleys
by Vikas Khanna
with Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn
Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Hardcover/444 pages/ ISBN: 978-1891105-53-1
Lake Isle Press
In the realm of travel and culinary enthusiasts, few ventures are more sought-after than the adventurous culinary vacation. Food aficionados are leaving the comfort of their own kitchens to travel the globe and cook alongside expert chefs, learning the best techniques in dish preparation, spice selection and the secrets of indigenous ingredients.
For those who are unable to take several weeks off to discover the wonders of international cuisines, Return to the Rivers brings the culinary expedition to YOU! Take a gastronomic tour with Vikas Khanna, award-winning Michelin-starred Indian chef, restaurateur, filmmaker, humanitarian and the host of the TV show MasterChef India. Both a cookbook and a travelogue, Khanna’s newest book takes us on a pilgrimage across the Himalayas as he delves into the culture and tradition surrounding these sacred pathways—everything from finding local ingredients to serving this incredible food.
Vikas Khanna, along with Lake Isle Press, will launch Return to the Rivers at an exclusive event on Tuesday, January 28 from 5:30 p.m. onwards at Junoon Restaurant (27 W 24th St., between 5th and 6th Avenues). Media RSVP is required, and one-on-one interviews with Khanna will be made available.
Return to the Rivers boasts nearly 500 pages, and 100 full-color photographs of plated dishes, exotic travel experiences, and personal and thoughtful musings that preserve the traditions, values and simple gifts that the Himalayan people bestowed upon Khanna.
Khanna’s spiritual and culinary journey through the Himalayan heartland brings foodies and travel enthusiasts some of the best recipes and culture from northern India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and western China.
Khanna’s book explores a wide variety of cultural delicacies, as it is organized by Street Foods; Soups and Noodles; Grains; Vegetables; Fish; Poultry, Eggs and Cheese; Meats; Breads; Condiments; Desserts; and Beverages. There’s even a section dedicated to the ever popular Momo, and the many ways in which to fold these iconic little dumplings.
Recipes include everything from savory dishes like Durbar Square Chaat Piti, one of the most popular roadside snacks in the Himalayas, to the Vaishno Devi Chickpeas Masala that travelers bring on their pilgrimages to seek favor at the Vaishno Devi Temple. Khanna even gives pointers for the perfect way to cook Spicy Fried Tofu with his own Tibetan Chile-Garlic Paste recipe.
Return to the Rivers also features Lamb Rogan Josh, the signature dish of Kashmir, as well as Saffron-Yogurt Fish Curry and a variety of naans and curries that make use of an eclectic bouquet of spices that defines Himalayan cuisine. Khanna also shares a few exotic delights, as he gives his recipe for Tibetan Steamed Lotus Bread and recounts the journey that led to his affinity for Tsampa Butter Tea. Connoisseurs of sweets and desserts will be smitten by his recipes for Bhutanese Rose Pastries and Kulfi, the Indian ice cream of Khanna’s childhood.
Return to the Rivers Book Trailer:
Vikas Khanna speaks about Return to the Rivers:
About the Author
Born in India, Vikas Khanna learned to cook from his grandmother and opened his own catering company at age seventeen. After apprenticing under the most renowned chefs of India, he moved to the United States in 2000 and has worked his way up to be one of New York City’s top-rated chefs. He was named one of StarChef’s “Rising Stars” in 2010 and is currently the Executive Chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant Junoon. Known to many as the host of MasterChef India and FOX Traveller’s Twist of Taste, Vikas is equally recognized for his humanitarian work with SAKIV, New York Chefs Cooking for Life and his documentary film series about food and religion, Holy Kitchens. Vikas currently resides in New York City.