Prof. Ashish Khokar & Mr. Akumal Ramachander released our Andhra Cookbook, “Cooking at home with Pedatha” in Bangalore. The event was covered by the media, including “The Bangalore Age” which wrote about Pedatha: “What stumps you is her remarkable memory and clarity of thought…”
HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE ARTICLE:
Subhadra Krishna Rau Parigi has brought out a vegetarian cookbook on Andhra cuisine. Considering the book titled Cooking at home with Pedatha, is the work of an 85 year old, is amazing. What stumps you is her remarkable memory and clarity of thought, that enabled her to pass on the recipes to her nieces, who in turn, compiled these into a book. She is the eldest daughter of the former President, Late V V Giri, Pedatha (as she is fondly known) began cooking early in life. She also hosted parties when her late husband Krishna Rau Parigi, served as a labour officer in the union government and was later deputed as her father’s personal secretary in Ceylon. Other postings were in Chennai, Delhi, Burma and Pondicherry, during the French rule. Every meal was elaborate but she never had the faintest idea of putting these into a book.
“I had never planned to write the book, my nieces who are based in Chennai, wanted me to share home recipes. I was shocked when they asked me to pose for photographs, saying it was for a book,” said the culinary expert. The book contains an assortment of pachchadis and podis, Annam varieties include vangi bath and mamidikaya annam on Andhra pachchadis make it interactive. Pedatha suggests the best way to mix a pachchadi into rice as done in South India is with your palm and fingers working in unison.
“Pedatha is known for her precision and consistency in cooking. She reeled off the recipes which went into our laptops. The idea of a book germinated, while distributing xerox copies of it at a family function. Pedatha’s essence is captured in the 10-spice podi – she suggests each spice to be roasted separately – to remain fresh for two years,” say Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain.
Mr.Ashish Mohan Khokar, dance historian and emcee of the evening said, “In an urban setting, where fast food fads reign, it is nice to see traditional recipes documented.” The book was released by Mr. Akumal Ramachandran who described it as sumptuous.
(As featured in The Bangalore Age, January 12, 2006)
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