Deccan herald – Metrolife features the launch of our vegetarian cookbook on Andhra recipes in an article titled “A date with culinary tradition” on January 13, 2006.
HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE ARTICLE:
There was more of heart than head in this unusual book launch on wednesday evening at The Park hotel. Words rolled out of the mouths of Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain as they recounted the stories of Pedatha’s (father’s older sister in Telugu) culinary skills that led them to publish the book – Cooking at home with Pedatha. The book, produced by Prabodh Jain, has recipes handed down by Pedatha – Ms Subhadra Rau Parigi, the eldest offspring of India’s former president Late VV Giri and the elder sister of Jigyasa’s husband, to the publishers.
Pedatha is 85 years old. And though age may have allowed wrinkles to creep in and turn her hair silver grey, she has a smile that can melt the heart of a hardcore militant and convert a fanatic dietician into a sworn foodie. She folded her hands to greet the gathering that included family, friend and literary luminaries like Anita Nair and Akumal Ramachander. “I am nothing, these two girls have made a mountain of a molehill. I am sure all mothers, grandmothers cook as well. The only secret behind good food is that you should cook with love, patience and perseverance,” said Pedatha.
Setting the mood for the evening was well-known culture expert Ashish Khokar, who introduced the people that made the book possible. Taking it forward, Jigyasa said, “This book is the culmination of the journey of love.” “It would be an understatement to say that Pedatha is a fantastic cook; her recipes are a treasure handed down over the generations, to her,” quipped Pratibha. Sitting in the middle was a quiet, smiling Pedatha, who later spoke to Metrolife about the innumerable dinners she did for her father, which he hosted for national and international dignitaries. “My mother was away most of the time, busy taking care of her other children. I enjoyed cooking and my food was always vegetarian, with no eggs, ice creams or biscuits. Punditji (Pt Jawaharlal Nehru) and later, Indira Gandhi loved my food,” said Pedatha. The evening had Akumal quote T.S.Eliot, “The problem with the present is that there is not enough of the past present in the present.” His reference was stark.
Later, the guests feasted on the recipes of Pedatha that executive chef Abhijit Saha and Chef de cuisine Mandaar Sukhtankar executed to near perfection.
(As featured in Deccan Herald)