Regional Indian cooking has such variety that it’s mind-boggling. Every culture has had it’s cookbook bible that it trusts to preserve the heritage and authenticity – Meenakshi Ammal is one such great lady who put down traditional Tamil cuisine in three volumes. Such books are not only wonderful to discover in our kitchens the kind of food that is hardly ever available in restaurants, but also to give a great insight into the other cultures in our country. I can say the same about some of the food blogs 🙂 Rasachandrika, written by Ambabai Samshi is one such cooking bible for Saraswat community – and I was glad to buy it a few months ago – this showcases Chitrapur Saraswat cooking.
What I loved about this book is the emphasis on vegetables and the numerous ways of preparing each one, not to mention the simplicity of ingredients and directions. Suppose you are stuck for how to prepare snake-gourd for example, just open the chapter on this vegetable and see which recipe you want to prepare. The quantities for most veggie recipes will be good for small families.
This is how I used up the cut beans, kovakkai and brinjal – selected a dal from the dal section and I had a whole Saraswat meal ready.
Kovai Butti – The masala used for this curry, I found very similar to the one we grind for mor kozhambu. This was probably the best tasting kovakkai (ivy gourd) dish I’ve ever had.
Brinjal bhareet – A very simple dish made by roasting and mashing a large eggplant. The recipe called for adding green chillies, ginger and coconut as is into the mash, I preferred to temper them in oil before use.
Dali tuaykadi – One of the traditional lentil preparations, the fresh ground masala gave it a unique taste.