Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ananda Vikatan Express cooking series part 1/52

I was surprised and to be honest mildly pleased to see Ananda Vikatan referring to me as Ramki, the Kitchen King ! I do not deserve this title and would certainly be embarassed to use it. I like to think of myself as a primary school teacher, teaching how to string up words into meaningful sentences. In my One page Cookbooks, I explain how the base, flavouring and additive combinations are strung up into meaningful recipes according to a few simple rules.  But this is the very first step and there is much more to cooking than this. 

After you move over from primary school (One page cookbooks), some of you might end up as poets( gourmet cook). I might never write an immortal poem, but I wish and hope some of you will do that ( create great recipes). I'll get my kicks from the knowledge that I played a part in helping you form your first sentences ( basic cooking). 

This issue of Ananda Vikatan carries the first of a series of articles titled Express Cooking where I cookup quick and easy recipes, which first timers can easily create. 

This series will hopefully run for an year, at the end of which it would be published as a book. For this issue, I got a friend of mine, Nathalie Van Der Berg, a Dutch girl on her first visit to India, to cook up traditional Tamil dishes. She has not cooked before and has never seen / heard of  these dishes. So, with just a 10 minute instruction and armed with this One page cookbook, she started cooking and cooked up Carrot Thayir pachadi, Thenga Thogayal and Kaara podi in 10 minutes flat.

Yes, Tamil cuisine is easy, if you get the basics right !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent tips and recipes. Thanks for sharing.


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Cooking is fun - Duplication is a pain !

"It is extraordinary to me that the idea of creating thousands of recipes by mixing building blocks takes immediately to people or it doesn’t take at all. .... If it doesn’t grab a person right away, ... you can talk to him for years and show him demos, and it doesn’t make any difference. They just don’t seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is". ( Thanks Warren Buffett !)

"What's angering about instructions in many cookbooks is that they imply there's only one way to cook a dish - their way. And that presumption wipes out all the creativity." Cook dishes your way - Download  1001 South Indian curries now and learn to cook, not to duplicate ! ( Thanks Robert Pirsig !)

"Recipe purity is no different from racial purity or linguistic purity. It just does not exist. Cuisines are alive and change all the time. What is traditional today was esoteric just a few decades back. So being a 'foodist' is as bad as being a racist !

About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

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