As I have mentioned a few times before, is the most treasured in my cookbook collection. For more than 5 decades now, new brides (including me) enter their new homes armed with the knowledge that these books has to offer. Even to this day, I constantly refer to this book for all the traditional recipes, never having to call my mom at odd hours. The accuracy and versatility of the recipes in these books speak for their longevity. I am sure these books will be in many homes for decades to come. Fortunately, they have been translated to English, to benefit the non-Tamil readers.
Between the three books, the assortment of recipes is remarkable. Curries, gravies, condiments, sweet and savoury delights (bhakshanams), even cakes, can be found in these books. All this written , when gas stoves were not easy to get. More than recipes, the author teaches how to cook by taste and feel, rather than sticking to tsp measurements. Even if you have goofed up, she offers a few tips to set things right. In short, if you are looking for authentic Tamil recipes, without ridiculous amount of calories, these books are a must. Another review of the books .
For , I wanted to showcase a recipe from this book that has become a recent favourite of mine. Simple, healthy and delicious, this bhaaji personifies the book.Cabbage Bhaaji
(serves 2)IngredientsCabbage – about 4 cups, thinly sliced
Toor dal – ¼ cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Green chillies – 6 or 7, slit lengthwise
Cashew nut – about 10
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Curry leaves – few
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped
Juice of a lemon
Asafoetida – a pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Pressure cook toor dal until soft. Boil cabbage until soft with salt, turmeric and ½ cup of water. Heat a tsp of oil and sauté green chillies until lightly charred and add to the cooked cabbage, along with cooked toor dal. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Heat the remaining oil, splutter mustard seeds, add cashew, ginger and curry leaves and sauté till cashew turns slightly brown. Add this seasoning to the curry. Finish the dish with asafoetida, lemon juice and cilantro.
Though it has dal, this bhaaji is not to be mixed with rice, but rather to be served as a side with rice and sambar.
What you see in the picture is a real curry leaf. In spite of the , I was lucky to get a few sprigs, thanks to a . I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say that I survived my recent bout of flu with curry leaves laden rasams and . Thank you very much, Susan.
On a different note, my days are increasingly hectic and my reader shows a few hundreds of unread posts to catch up. Though I am lagging behind on visiting your blogs, I have been catching up on my bookmarks. Below are the recipes that I tried recently and I should say loved ‘em all. I didn't find the time to visit each one of you individually to express my thanks. So please accept it in one shot, dear friends.