Three hundred plus pages of history, heritage, and mouth-watering vegetarian recipes is the format of this collection. The author describes the how and why she decided to write this book and the auto-biographical reminiscences place the reader along side her, and appreciating where the techniques and recipes described come from.
Ammini Ramachandran has organized the book impeccably. Each of the ingredients is listed, with a description of the item, where to find it and what type of recipes would use it. A number of the ingredients also include a description of the historical and/or spiritual aspect of it. As with most cookbooks, the chapters are divided to include like recipes -- rice, curries, snacks, etc., but unlike most cookbooks the reader is treated to the significance of the food in the Indian culture. This collection of goodness is more narrative than most cookbooks so I found that the appendices aided in easily locating the delicious recipes. Appendix I is a concise listing of each recipe; Appendix II is a collection of sample menus; Appendix III gives cooking measurements and syrup consistencies; Appendix IV is a compilation of internet addresses where the reader can obtain names and addresses of stores in the United States as well as a list of stores that have their own websites.
I have dabbled with Indian cooking off and on over the years, but now have a richer understanding of the blending of spices and ingredients and am looking forward to tasting a lot of the goodness from this book. If you have never tried Indian (or vegetarian) cuisine get your copy of this book and treat yourself to some wonderful food.
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