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Ayla: A Feast of Nepali Dishes from Terai, Hills and the Himalayas

Written by

Santosh Shah


03 February 2022

Who’s the author?: Nepali-born, London-based chef Santosh Shah wowed judges and viewers alike on the 2020 series of MasterChef: The Professionals. Showcasing the flavours of his native Nepal, Santosh made it all the way to the series final, producing strikingly beautiful dishes week after week and amassing a huge fanbase along the way. He has worked in some of London’s most prestigious professional kitchens, from Michelin-starred Benares and cult hit Dishoom, to critically-acclaimed The Cinnamon Club and five-star Lalit Hotel.

What’s it about?: Ayla is a breathtakingly beautiful debut cookbook from a chef on a mission to put Nepali cuisine firmly on the map. With 60 inspiring recipes and captivating stories, Santosh takes readers on a culinary journey across his homeland, exploring the ingredients, influences and traditions central to Nepali and Himalayan cookery. Chapters span snacks and street food to sweet dishes and drinks, with bold, colourful and refreshingly different recipes to try. With the trademark warmth that earned Santosh a place in the nation’s hearts, his recipes are a practical and easy-to-follow introduction to this hugely exciting cuisine.

Recipes we love: Steamed Chicken Momos, Crispy Chilli Chicken and Himalayan Passion Fruit Cream.

Perfect book for: A true celebration of a cuisine that has remained somewhat under the radar here in the UK until recently, Ayla is a must-read for cooks who love to travel the world from their kitchens and discover new cuisines.


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From the book: Ayla: A Feast of Nepali Dishes from Terai, Hills and the Himalayas

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