Lot 70 of 541:
First "Hindu" Indian recipes published in America, 1917  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$420
$250 - $350

Hindu Dietetics, with Hints on Cooking and Recipes

K.[eshava] D.[eva] Shastri


Indo-Aryan Publishing Co.



First and only edition. Original cloth. Frontispiece illustration of the author. 5 x 7.5”, 60pp.+ publishers ads. Inscribed on front flyleaf: “Presented to Mr. & Mrs. Hudson. K.D.Shastri, M.D. Dec. 9th, 1917.” Rare.


According to a 2004 issue of “Gastronomica”, this book “on the Hindu philosophy of life and food”,  is a rare (“few copies…extant”) and “unusual early Hindu culinary contribution” . Its 10-page chapter on "Preparations and Recipes" is probably the first book appearance in America on Indian cooking. No complete Indian cookbook was published in the US until 1957 (that being merely the first American Edition of a 1954 British imprint) and no Indian cookbook written specifically for American readers appeared until 1973.


Dr. Shastri was a colorful figure who first came to America in 1913 to speak at a "Purity" Convention, remaining as a popular lecturer who railed against Indian forced child marriage (and high-living American missionaries). An early vocal US advocate of Indian independence from British colonial domination, befriended by W.E.B. DuBois of the newly-formed NAACP, he was also a devotee of the occult doctrine of Theosophy. Once arrested for fraud after claiming he could cure the insane wife of an American businessman by hypnotism, he later married the Norwegian adopted daughter of an Omaha Jewish millionaire, and returned to India, where, in 1924, he and his wife disappeared, his father-in-law fearing they had been victims of a "popular uprising". 


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