Rohini Rana’s reminiscences of her life within one of Nepal’s most illustrious families conjure up images of plenty, of tables groaning under platters of food, of pomp and pageantry, glamour and royalty. The Rana Cookbook: Recipes from the Palaces of Nepal by Rohini Rana (28 years in the making, she writes), is less a cookbook and more a time capsule. Its attempt, as former King of Nepal Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev very succinctly puts it in his foreword, is not to ‘teach you how to cook (though it helps), but rather to pass on various bits of culture that have been found useful….’
Rohini Rana was married into the Rana household in 1977 and over the next few years, as she accompanied her husband, Chief of Army Staff General Gaurav S.J.B. Rana, on various military assignments across Nepal and the world, her assimilation into Nepal’s royal way of life happened through food and the many customs that surround it.