Padma Lakshmi children’s book serves up memories, food advice and recipes

NEW YORK — Neela is a young girl who loves cooking with her mom. Saturday is her favorite day of the week. That’s the day they go to the green market.

So begins Padma Lakshmi’s charming entry into the world of children’s book, “Tomatoes For Neela,” which mixes the author’s memories of family cooking with practical food advice, a nod to farmworkers and even a pair of recipes.

“It is just a very small personal story that centers around a young single mother who also is a recipe writer like me,” says Lakshmi, the host of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and

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