Jasmine and JinnsMemories and Recipes of My Delhi


In Jasmine and Jinns, Sadia Dehlvi weaves tales of Delhi’s ancient past with stories of her growing up in the city. As part of a large and hospitable family, she learned early the skill and pleasures of entertaining at home. In this lovingly crafted volume of food and memories, she recalls the conversations and carefully prepared dastarkhwan that enriched her childhood. She takes us inside her home and the kitchens of other Dilliwalas, sharing with us origin stories and recipes of many classic dishes including biryani, qorma, kofta, shaami kebab and kheer. In addition to these, there are recipes for season specialities and festivals. These home-cooked dishes are a distillation of Delhi’s old cuisines and a reminder of how rich and historically layered our daily lives are. From home to bazaar, Sadia takes us through the famous by-lanes of the old city to show us where the best jalebi, dalbiji, aloo poori, dahi bhalla, nihari and mithai continue to be served. In her telling, and the photographs that accompany her words, the city she knows so well comes alive in all its magical, delicious complexity.

Sadia Dehlvi is an author and columnist. Her family name – Dehlvi – reflects their centuries old association with Delhi. She comes from a family of writers who published several Urdu and Hindi magazines and books. Her grandfather, Hafiz Yusuf Dehlvi, founded Shama in 1938, an iconic Urdu film and literary monthly. For almost forty years, Dehlvi has been writing on women, minorities, Islamic spirituality and Delhi’s heritage and culture. She is the author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam and The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi, both published by HarperCollins. She lives in New Delhi. Her website is sadiadehlvi.com