Author. Journalist. Editor.
Nina writes about hungers
satisfied and elusive.
About communion,
conviviality, curiosities,

Pre-order her next book, Green Chili & Other Impostors,
at your favorite book seller!


Join her journey:


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Green Chili & Other Impostors

Book launch: October 2021! Pre-order available now!

Follow a food trail and you’ll find yourself crisscrossing oceans. Join author Nina Mukerjee Furstenau as she picks through lost tastes with recipes as codes to everything from political resistance to comfort food and much more. Pinpoint the entry of the Portuguese in India by following green chili trails; find the origins of limes; trace tomatoes and potatoes in India to the Malabar Coast; consider what makes a food, or even a person, foreign and marvel how and when they cease to be.

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Biting through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland

Savor Missouri: River Hills Food and Wine

MFK Fisher Book Award Winner

At once a traveler’s tale, a memoir, and a mouthwatering cookbook, Biting through the Skin offers a first-generation immigrant’s perspective on growing up in America’s heartland. Author Nina Mukerjee Furstenau shares her recipes and a great deal more, inviting readers to join her on her journey toward herself and toward a vital sense of food as culture and the mortar of community. (MFK Fisher Book Award, Grand Prize Award for Culinary/Culture Writing, Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Kansas Notable Book)

Travel the back roads of Missouri's river hill country in search of homegrown regional foods, wines and more. Join Nina Mukerjee Furstenau as she follows the Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec rivers (with some tributaries in-between), and stop at wonderful roadside restaurants, wineries, orchards, bakeries and farms for the tasteful array of Missouri flavors. Recipes included!

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Tasty! Mozambique: a Feed the Future project

Nina Mukerjee Furstenau has created a low-literacy legume recipe collection for small holder farmers in Mozambique. The recipes were developed with a group of seven women farmers from the country's central region and take aim at childhood physical and mental stunting due to low protein diets.  The women's lives are highlighted and their foodstory is celebrated with delicious dishes using more protein in the mix.


It should be noted that the recipe for the keema... had me combing the county for cardamom pods. Her food memoir, though, is less concerned with the proper amount of ginger in the dal than it is with the classic immigrant’s search for belonging.


Lush and lyrical, Nina Mukerjee Furstenau’s memoir, Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland, blends food and childhood, cuisine and family into a story that resonates and lingers like the spices she lovingly describes.


A beautiful and sensitive memoir—with recipes!—about life in Kansas for a Bengali family. Furstenau found the balance between cultures not in language or religion or dress. Instead, it came through food. 





Nina Mukerjee Furstenau is a journalist, author, and editor of the FoodStory book series for the University of Iowa Press. She was a Fulbright Global research scholar (2018-19), is on the board of directors for Media for Change, and has won the MFK Fisher Book Award, the Grand Prize Award for Culture/Culinary Writing from Les Dames d'Escoffier International, a Kansas Notable Book award, and more.

Green Chili & Other Impostors (Chilies, Chhana and Rasa in India), her upcoming book will be published in October 2021. Other published works include the award-wining book, Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America's Heartland, as well as Tasty! MozambiqueSavor Missouri: River Hills Country Food and Wine, and numerous stories and essays for newspapers and magazines.  She engages as a speaker at conferences such as NonfictionNow, Unbound Book, Iowa City Book Festival, Food, Fork and Pen, and more.

Furstenau served in the U.S. Peace Corps (1984-86) and was one of its delegates for the U.N. World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya. She was director of Food Systems Communication for the University of Missouri's Science and Agricultural Journalism program (2010-2018),  and completed food/nutrition projects in Ghana and Mozambique for USAID and the McKnight Foundation. She was editor, then publisher of three business magazines, has served as a judge for national journalism competitions such as the James Beard Media Awards, the Lowell Thomas Travel Writing competition, and others. Furstenau received an M.A. in English/creative writing and bachelor's in magazine journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. 



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