Kitchen publics: Indian Delights, gender and culinary diaspora

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the compilation, publication and international marketing of the best-selling cookbook, Indian Delights, by the Women's Cultural Group of Durban - a mostly Muslim, women's philanthropic association. On the market from 1961, and with subsequent editions and new recipes reflecting ongoing changes in family roles and culinary technologies, the history of this text reveals how gendered spaces and identities have shaped transoceanic print cultures in the formation of diasporic identity. With hundreds of thousands copies sold, Indian Delights has become both a household reference for Indian cultural authenticity as well as a reflection of changes in cultural meanings, locally and globally. The article also demonstrates how the production of this successful literary work secured a public role and presence for its creators, self-described 'housewives' whose community-service work and reputation has endured for more than half a century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-593
Number of pages19
JournalSouth African Historical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Durban
  • Food
  • Gender
  • Indian diaspora
  • Print culture
  • South African identity
  • Women's Cultural Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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