Cookbook Explores Recipes From India's Most Famous Slum


The Indecisive Chicken combines the recipes and life stories of eight women from communities across India who now live in Dharavi, a teeming Mumbai slum. Sarita Rai, from a village in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, contributed a recipe for pharas, “semi-circular pockets of rice dough” filled with chickpea flour, served steamed or deep-fried.

Neville Sukhia/Courtesy of The Indecisive Chicken: Stories and recipes from eight Dharavi cooks

Once Mumbai’s largest slum, Dharavi — made famous by the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire — is a teeming multi-ethnic and multicultural settlement claiming almost a million migrants from across India.

Dharavi houses hundreds of cottage and small-scale industries, run mostly by men, who make products like bags and belts, zari embroidery and pottery. It’s also known for its huge recycling industry. Together, these enterprises generate more than $650 million a year, according to some reports.

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