Cover image for Serving crazy with curry : a novel
Serving crazy with curry : a novel
Malladi, Amulya.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
251 pages ; 21 cm
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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library

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Between the pressures to marry and become a traditional Indian wife and the humiliation of losing her job in Silicon Valley, Devi is on the edge--where the only way out seems to be to jump. . . .

Yet Devi's plans to "end it all" fall short when she is saved by the last person she wants to see: her mother. Forced to move in with her parents until she recovers, Devi refuses to speak. Instead, she cooks . . . nonstop. And not the usual fare, but off the wall twists on Indian classics, like blueberry curry chicken or Cajun prawn biryani. Now family meals are no longer obligations. Devi's parents, her sister, and her brother-in-law can't get enough--and they suddenly find their lives taking turns as surprising as the impromptu creations Devi whips up in the kitchen each night. Then a stranger appears out of the blue. Devi, it appears, had a secret--one that touches many a nerve in her tightly wound family. Though exposing some shattering truths, the secret will also gather them back together in ways they never dreamed possible.

Interspersed with mouthwatering recipes, this story mixes humor, warmth, and leap-off-the-page characters into a rich stew of a novel that reveals a woman's struggle for acceptance from her family and herself.

Author Notes

Amulya Malladi has a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in journalism. Born and raised in India, she lived in the United States for several years before moving to Denmark, where she now lives on the island of Mors with her husband and young son. You can contact her at

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In Malladi's third novel, following A Breath of Fresh Air 0 (2002) and The Mango Season0 BKL Ap 15 03, the characters keep referencing "bad Hindi movies." Indeed, the plot of this very readable novel does resemble something out of Bollywood, but the characters are drawn so clearly and strongly that readers will immediately be taken by the triumphs and tribulations of the Veturi family. Devastated after being fired from her job at a Silicon Valley startup and suffering a miscarriage, Devi feels she has strayed far outside the expectations of her traditional Indian family and attempts to commit suicide. However, her intrusive mother, a continual source of aggravation for Devi, saves her life. Devi then moves in with her parents, but she refuses to speak, taking up cooking instead. Channeling all her emotions into the elaborate meals she prepares, Devi prompts her family to engage in a series of completely honest conversations that draw all of them closer to each other. A reading-group guide is bound into this heartfelt novel, which also provides a candid snapshot of fractious mother-daughter relationships. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Poor Devi Veturi, the American-born daughter of traditional Indian parents. She's too Americanized, and she's not compliant like her sister. She also isn't very successful in life, even though she comes from a family of overachievers. Devi is unlucky in love, has lost her job in Silicon Valley, can't pay her bills, and even fails at suicide. But things change when she is forced home to recuperate. Refusing to speak to anyone, Devi invades her mother's kitchen and begins to cook Indian food-her way. What follows is an honest look at how a young Hindu woman, torn between two cultures, reconnects with her family and, more important, with herself. The twist at the end is a bonus. Malladi's third novel (after The Mango Season) will definitely appeal to many readers (a reading group guide is included). Highly recommended for most public libraries. [A Ballantine Reader's Circle selection.]-Marika Zemke, West Bloomfield Twp. P.L., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.