• Sampurna Bandyopadhyay Research Scholar, Visva-Bharati, Shantiniketan


Memsahib, Cooking, Recipe, Servant, Cook, Food, Climate, Dish


This article mainly focuses on the life and food habits of the memshahibs in India. It also tells about the innovation of recipes and dishes of the European ladies who came to India during the 19th century. The relationship between the memsahib and her servants is discussed here. The article depicts how the memsahibs dealt with their Indian servants in spite of so many barriers like communication problem, availability and scarcity of ingredients and supplies and the cook’s inefficiency towards what was instructed by the memsahib. It further tells about the memsahib’s problems and traumas, her socio-psychological shock after her arrival to this unknown land where nothing was according to ‘their’ land. Some of them created a bond with the natives of this land and others remained aloof complaining about the weather and food, all these are mentioned here. There are list of some fruits, vegetables and other consuming articles and names of memsahib’s invented recipes. The article talks about the fears of the memsahibs regarding their cooks- their cleanliness and their habit of stealing. Apart from this the memsahibs liked about Indian food and what they learnt from here before returning to England has been penned down here.


I. Macmillan, Margaret, (1988). Women of the Raj, Thames & Hudson, p-31

II. Ibid, p-33

III. Sur, Nikhil, (2019). Sahebmem shomachar: companir amole Kolkata, p-73-74

IV. Ibid. p-17

V. Op.cit., Macmillan, p-170

VI. Marryat, Florence, (1868). ‘Gup’, Sketches of Anglo-Indian Life and Character, London, p-79

VII. Nath, Ipshita, (2022). Memsahibs:British women in Colonial India. Harparcollins ,p-170-175

VIII. Ibid, p-177

IX. Parkes, Fanny, (1850). Wanderings of a pilgrim in search of the Picturesque, P. Richardson, p-57-62

X. Eden, Emily, (1937). Up the Country: Letters written to her sister from the Upper Provinces of India, Oxford, p-43

XI. Kincaid, Dennis, (2015). British Social life in India, Rupa, p-311

XII. Nayar, k., Pramod, (2009). (Ed.). Days of the Raj:Life and Leisure in British India, Penguin, p-111

XIII. Aitken, Rhona, (1989). The Memsahib’s cookbook: Recipes from the Days of the Raj, Judy Piatkus, p-25

XIV. Op.Cit., Macmillan, p-172

XV. Op.Cit., Nayar, p-65-66

XVI. Op.cit, Aitken, p-14

XVII. Op.Cit., Nayar, p-92-96

XVIII. Op.Cit., Nayar,p-113

XIX. Neville, Pran, (2010). Sahib’s India: Vignettes from the Raj, Penguin, P-2-11

XX. Op.Cit., Nayar, p-84-85

XXI. Op.cit., Macmillan, p-36

XXII. Op.cit., Nayar. P-75

XXIII. Op.cit., Aitken, p-17

XXIV. Op.Cit., Sur, p-106-109

XXV. Op.Cit., Aitken, p-16-17

XXVI. Kanjilal, Mohona, (2021). A Taste of Time: A food History of Calcutta, Speaking Tiger, P-24,44

XXVII. Ibid, p-21-23

XXVIII. Op.Cit., Nayar, p-131-132

XXIX. Op.Cit., Kanjilal, p-250-251

XXX. Op.Cit., Aitken, p-63,64,69

XXXI. Op.Cit., Kanjilal, p- 148-149

XXXII. Brennan, Jennifer, (2020). Curries And Bugles: A Memoir and Cookbook of the British Raj, Aleph, p-307-317

XXXIII. Op.Cit., Kanjilal, p-150-155

XXXIV. Op.Cit., Brennan, p-65-67

XXXV. Op.Cit., Brennan, p-65

XXXVI. Op.Cit., Kanjilal, p- 151,154,158

XXXVII. Op.Cit., Brennan, p-179

XXXVIII. Op.Cit., Nath, p-265-267

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How to Cite

Sampurna Bandyopadhyay. (2023). MEMSAHIB’S INDIA: MEMSAHIB’S RELATIONSHIP WITH INDIAN FOOD AND SERVANT. International Education and Research Journal (IERJ), 9(11). Retrieved from