Sri Rao

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Our guest is writer-director-producer, Sri Rao. His new book is Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 7, 2017). The book has been called culinary school meets film school, and dinner and a movie.

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Sri Rao is a writer-director-producer and lifestyle expert in New York City.

Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films was released November 7, 2017 by  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Bollywood Kitchen is his first book. 

Sri is uniquely positioned at the intersection of Hollywood & Bollywood, as one of the few Americans to have worked in the mainstream Indian film industry.  He is the first American Indian born writer to have written a major Bollywood Film.

Sri’s projects span both drama and comedy. He wrote the film Baar Baar Dekho (Look Again & Again), featuring 2016’s #1 dance song, “Kala Chashma” (with over 300 million views on YouTube). He also produced the films New York and Badmaash Company for India’s leading movie studio, Yash Raj Films.

Sri is also a screenwriter for television. He was lead writer on the ABC series, General Hospital – Night Shift, and What Goes On for MTV’s Nickelodeon Teen. He has sold pilots to numerous networks including ABC, NBC, Fox, The CW, Bravo, BBC America, and Nickelodeon. His credits include: Courtesan (with director Shekhar Kapur), S.O.B. (with Kelly Ripa), Bollywood Spy (with Ryan Seacrest), and I Am Not Myself These Days (with Darren Star).  

Sri is an honors graduate of the Wharton School of Business. His work has been profiled in the New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and TV Guide. He has appeared nationally on Dish Network, SiriusXM, and PBS. He has spoken at the White House on the topic of cultural identity among young Indian-Americans. Born and raised in Pennsylvania to parents who emigrated from India, Sri has spent his life bridging cultures. He is passionate about using his unique point-of-view as a cultural ambassador to help people translate the rich traditions of his Indian heritage – health and wellness, food, beauty, and design – to fit their modern lifestyle.

He lives in New York City.

Reviews of  Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 7, 2017)

“Readers expecting wildly complex preparations and nothing but showy musicals will be pleasantly surprised on both fronts, as Rao offers a refreshingly diverse set of movies as well as recipes…This is a thoughtful collection of films accompanied by unique but doable recipes that bridge the gap between American and Indian comfort food.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Bollywood Kitchen is a must-have book for hardcore Hindi-film fans, but the movies featured offer a great introduction for any Bollywood newbies. The recipes themselves suit those new to cooking Indian dishes at home, although even those who prepare Indian food regularly will appreciate the meal-planning that Rao’s done. This really is a terrific book.” —Access Bollywood

“Interspersed with captivating film and recipe photographs, the book is a “dinner and a movie” treat for the reader. In Technicolor, we must add.” Nitish S. Rele, Khaas Baat

About Bollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films

You’re invited to a party where the food and entertainment are both in Technicolor. It’s “dinner and a movie” in this vibrant, beautifully photographed tour of Indian food and films.
Indian cuisine and Indian cinema (known as Bollywood) share much in common – bold colors and flavors with plenty of drama. But to the uninitiated, they can seem dizzying. Let Sri Rao be your guide. As one of the only Americans working in Bollywood, Sri is an expert on Indian musical films, and as an avid cook, he’s taken his mom’s authentic, home-cooked recipes and adapted them for the modern, American kitchen.
The popularity of Indian food has grown immensely in recent years – and for good reason. It’s perfectly suited for people who love bold flavors, as well as those looking for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free meals that don’t skimp on taste. But as Sri points out in Bollywood Kitchen – you’ve probably never tasted real Indian food. Home-cooked Indian-American food is surprisingly simple to make, using ingredients readily available in your local grocery store.
In this book you’ll find dinner menus and brunch menus, menus for kids and menus for cocktail parties. Along with each healthy and easy-to-prepare meal, Sri has paired one of his favorite Bollywood movies. Every one of these films is a musical, packed with dazzling song-and-dance numbers that are the hallmark of Bollywood, beloved by millions of fans all over the world. Sri will introduce each film to you, explaining why you’ll love it, and letting you in on some juicy morsels from behind the scenes.
Bollywood Kitchen is as much a beautiful coffee table book as it is a cookbook, filled with gorgeous film photographs and colorful tablescapes. It’s a unique treasure for Indian food lovers, as well as fans of world cinema. –Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

For more information, please see You can keep up with Sri on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.