Mother India, at Westminster Terrace in Glasgow, has been an institution since 1996 and specialises in dishes such as ginger and green chilli fish pakora, seasoned Scottish haddock with Puy lentils, and Delhi-style Scottish lamb, all cooked fresh to order, reflecting Mother India owner Monir Mohammed’s commitment to cooking quality Indian food without pandering to the British taste for inauthentic korma or masala.
The strategy has been hugely popular, allowing expansion to five outlets, including tapas, take- aways and a Mother India Cafe in Edinburgh. Mother India is regularly ranked in Herald restaurant critic Ron MacKenna’s top 10 Scottish restaurants.
The book incorporates a first-person account of Monir’s personal culinary journey, with a photo essay of the life of one of the world's great Indian restaurants as an integral cog in the cultural melting pot of a modern British city. Alongside this is a collection of recipes, some of which are signature Mother India dishes, and others designed specifically for home cooking. Each recipe draws upon Monir's story: his beginnings as a boy from a British Asian family who started working in restaurants at 14 and his pivotal stay in the Punjab in his late teens where he learned the ancient principles of Indian home cooking from scratch. The book tells the story of the risks he took to build a personal, authentic style of Indian cooking. There are human stories running through the recipes as well: Hajra Bibi's Salmon was inspired by a dish his mother (Hajra Bibi) used to make them as children.