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Vegetarian Samayal of South India: Delicious Cooking from a Tamil Cuisine Paperback – January 1, 2009
DOING CHENNAI PROUD Since quantities have been carefully measured and recorded - something traditional homecooks, who work with a pinch of this and a handful of that just won't do - and all available shortcuts, including microwaves, blenders and pressure- cookers, have been used, Viji's books are as useful to home cooks as they are to the many young students who carry them abroad, for their first independent stab at sambar. --Shonali Muthalaly - The Hindu
These books are not only for those interested in cooking - there is a deeper message. We have a heritage, we must remember. I compliment the author for the combination of science and spirituality that went into her books. The intergration of spirituality with food is striking. --Dr MS Swaminathan, India's greatest agricultural scientist
About the Author
Viji Varadarajan was inspired to write this book as so many of her friends wanted these recipes to be recorded in a menu format. This is the fifth in her series of the Tamil Brahmin cuisine. Here, the author has approached it in a novel way to simplify the enormous variety available in this cuisine. The combo menus are fitted to suit one and all interested in trying out these recipes and those who do not know how to go about it. 3 of her cookbooks have won World Gourmand Cookbook Awards in 4 different categories. As the Hindu newsmagazine puts it - this is the author's humble way of bringing the 'paruppu usili'and 'thayir saadham' to the world stage.
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Top customer reviews
I have made many recipes out of this book, and have never had a failure yet. So far, the most universally loved recipe is the Vellai (White Coconut) Chutney. As Emeril might say, you could put this stuff on a bumper and it would taste great!
Viji (the author), herself, is very personable and encouraging. When I had a special dinner party coming up, she provided me with several sample menus that might be appropriate for the occasion. She also told me about this new edition (I've been using the original) of the book, that simplifies the recipes and menu planning even more. That's what I'm doing here today. Buying a copy of the new one.
I cannot overemphasize this - If you'd like to try your hand at Southern Indian cooking, you can't do any better than this.
My wife also *highly* recommends the book on Tamil festival cooking by the same author.
She has seen the other book mentioned by Amazon (Dakshin) which she feels is relatively "complicated" as the recipes use many ingredients.
Samayal, for instance, her best-selling book so far, lists 12 kinds of rice, including vaangi bath (brinjal rice) and maangai sadham (raw mango rice). Besides a variety of gravies, vegetables, curries and pachadies, she even gives eight recipes for rasam, and a list of `tiffin' items.