Tarla Dalal’s food magazine “Cooking & More” features Pepper Flavoured Dal & Mashed Brinjal (Eggplant) Curry from our Andhra Cookbook “Cooking at home with Pedatha”.
We have always been great fans of Tarlaji and enjoy cooking recipes from many of her cookbooks. She is indeed one of the food authors who took Indian cookbooks to global levels. So we were delighted when she appreciated our cookbooks, sent positive feedback and came to Chennai for a felicitation event when our book won the Gourmand award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook, 2006. We were further delighted when her office called us seeking recipes to be featured in their magazine.
HERE IS A CRISP INTRODUCTION OF OUR BOOK BY TARLA DALAL IN HER MAGAZINE:
Here are some of the recipes that most appeal to me. I hope you enjoy trying them out.
Unlike more elaborate cuisines of South India the secret of Andhra food lies in the simplicity of its preparation and presentation. Traditional Andhra cuisine is eaten on a banana leaf, with people sitting on mats or small raised wooden seats. A little water is sprinkled around the banana leaf, depicting that food can now be served. Eating habits are also a mix of Hindu and Muslim styles; rice is a staple and people are largely vegetarian except in the coastal areas.
A typical meal comprises of rice or annam, vegetables known as koora, and dals or pappu. This is accompanied with vegetable-based chutneys or pachchadi, crispies or vadiyalu, and curd or perugu to offset the hot spices. The chutneys are really spicy and usually eaten with rice and a dollop of ghee. They also taste great as an accompaniment with idlis, dosa or chapattis. An Andhra meal would be incomplete without an array of tasty powders or podis made with different grams and spices. Some powders are used in the preparation of vegetable dishes while some are eaten with rice and a dash of ghee. The meal ends with sweets known as Theepi.
One of my favourite sources of Andhra recipes is the book “Cooking at Home With Pedatha”. Authored and published by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain, it is a wonderful collection of traditional recipes from the kitchen of Subhadra Krishna Rau Parigi better known as Pedatha. The lady is an expert cook and her knowledge of Andhra cuisine is vast and enviable.
(As appeared in Cooking & More, Sep-Oct 2006)
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