Southern Flavours by Chandra Padmanabhan : A Book Review
Thanks to BlogAdda for providing me with yet another opportunity to review another cookbook -
When I received the cookbook I really liked the cover and way it's published. The cover has a very attractive look. The first sight of it would really make someone grab the book off the shelf.
The book is written by a famous author Chandra Padmanabhan. She has graduated from Calcutta University and did her post graduation at Delhi University. She is a very experienced cook cooking since 4 decades and is the author of 3 bestselling titles namely Dakshin, Southern Spice and Simply South. The book Simply Spice has won the International GOURMAND award for the best Vegetarian Cookbook in 2009. Just like any of us, the author has learnt all the cooking after her marriage from her in-laws. I feel much honored to review this cookbook written by such a famous author.
Southern Flavours has a rich collection of recipes from the four famous states South India, namely Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The measurements and the exact time to cook the dish are mentioned and any beginner can very well understand and cook these dishes. This book is a very good way of gifting to someone, especially to someone who has recently settled in south India or even to a newly married South Indian Girl.
All the recipes mentioned in this cookbook are vegetarian recipes. This is because most of the South Indian’s are vegetarian people. Right from the basic recipes to the complex ones, all the recipes are well explained. Even the most basic recipe, i.e. how to cook rice has been mentioned. This is something that I have seen first time in any cook book. Different varieties of Podi (powders) are also well. South India has a variety of snacks from Dosa, Idli to bhajis and all these are well mentioned.
A lot of pictures are present in this cookbook. The pictures are those of authentic south Indian food. Just looking at the pictures, makes one cook the dish. I would have had really preferred if all the pictures of the dishes were present. This would help the non-South Indian’s to know what they are cooking. Some new recipes like Oat Upama are mentioned. I liked “Sheela Auntie’s Pulusa” and “Chitra’s Keerai Sambar”. This clearly shows that the author has thanked her friends and family members from whom she had learnt these dishes. Many more dishes of such type are mentioned. Recipes belonging to various communities of South India like the Saraswat’s of Karnataka, Hebbar Iyengar Community of Karnataka, etc are well explained.
Apart from recipes the various types of cooking equipments which are a must in the South Indian’s kitchen are mentioned. A lot of tips for effective cooking in the form of notes are provided at the end of the recipe. Menus and Indexes’ have been mentioned at the end of the cookbook. The contents of the cookbook contains some basic recipes, Sambar & Kuzhambu, Rasam, Poriyal & Kootu, Rice, Snacks, Sweets, Accompaniment & Buffet Spreads.
Of special interest is the glossary which is mentioned at the end of the book. This has a translation of all veges from English to Hindi to Tamil. That was something I liked the most. Since I came in South India, I had a lot of problem in local market while asking for some veges.
Priced decently at Rs. 599/-, this book is a sure keeper. Since the book has a collection of vegetarian recipes, I feel most of the people will surely buy this book. I feel every South Indian in India and from the other parts of the world should keep a copy of this book in their kitchen. This will help them in their daily life and also when some special guests come to their home.
... and now I am going to cook something delicious for my family from this cookbook :)