A cookbook/food memoir, emphasis on the former, about the cuisine and associated folkways and traditions of the Syrian Christians of Kerala.

George’s family lived in Mumbai (then Bombay), but visited Kerala often, and her mother made an effort to cook in the Syrian Christian style. This gives George an unusual insider/outsider perspective. The short essays which bookend the recipe sections are evocative, well-written, and atmospheric, sometimes explaining traditions like the baths and oil massages given to new mothers by means of an account of her own pampering after the birth of her daughter, sometimes telling stories about her childhood and family.

If you like Madhur Jaffrey, you will probably like this, though George comes from a completely different food tradition. If you’re already familiar with non-Christian Kerala cuisine, the Syrian Christian version has a lot of overlap; if you’re only familiar with other Indian traditions, the food and culture depicted will be nearly completely unfamiliar. I’ve been to Kerala once, and was bowled over by the beauty of the landscape and the deliciousness of the food. Reading this book, I longed to return.

The book was published in the USA, and the recipes suggest where to find ingredients there, as well as local substitutions for ingredients that can’t be found. I didn’t try any of the recipes, but some of them look fairly easy and many of them look absolutely delicious. It’s also very enjoyable to read for pure food porn.

The Kerala Kitchen: Recipes and Recollections from the Syrian Christians of South India (Hippocrene Cookbooks)
daidoji_gisei: (Default)

From: [personal profile] daidoji_gisei

This sounds like a wonderful cookbook! I have Jafferey's World of the East Vegetarian cookbook and love it--I have cooked relatively few recipes out of it, but it's a fountain head of ideas. I think I'll have to pick this one up after Gencon.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

Ohh, yum.

....I just glanced over at the list of your tags on the right-hand side and noticed

body parts: amputated arms - 14 uses
body parts: disembodied heads - 15 uses
body parts: eyeballs - 20 uses

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com

I am not entirely sure I can justify getting another cookbook until we've used the ones we have more, but this looks interesting.

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