It takes a village to test a cookbook

When Priya Krishna set out to write her her recently released cookbook Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family, she had a plan laid out. Her mother would write down her cherished family recipes, Priya would test them and make any necessary changes. She alloted three weeks for testing 100 recipes, which was an underestimate, to say the least. Like many authors, Priya did not receive any funds from her publisher to hire any professional testers, so she reached out to friends and family to help. Their responses made the cookbook better than ever


Although the end result was remarkable, that doesn’t mean the entire process was smooth sailing. Priya ran into some obstacles: “People had questions that were already answered in the recipe, dietary preferences they had failed to specify in the Google Doc, and rogue additions to the dishes that made the end result essentially unrecognizable,” she notes. 

Despite the hiccups, Priya thinks that her non-professional testers allowed her to make the recipes more accessible to the average home cook. “Knowing that three people tested each recipe (and for the most part, really loved them!) has eased my anxiety considerably. Barring any typos, I can give readers my word that they work,” says Priya. 

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