Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick and Simple Tamil Cooking

To dispel the myth that traditional Tamil cooking is elaborate, time consuming and takes years to learn, Ananda Vikatan  , the leading Tamil weekly had asked me to come up with a series of recipes which can be learnt and cooked very fast. I decided to go a step further and got a friend of mine, Nathalie Van Der Berg, a Dutch girl on her first visit to India, to cook up these recipes. 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. The reporters loved it. And all of us later ate what got cooked - it is indeed very hard to go wrong with Tamil cuisine, if you understand the basics straight.

This one page cookbook showcases the recipes which were cooked. Check out the next issue of Ananda Vikatan for the full story.

In fact, Hussein, the photograher, who has never cooked before vowed to start rightaway ! The flipside was that they found the idea of a foreign girl cooking traditional Tamil dishes so fascinating, that I guess I'll be completely sidelined in this article as they shot thrice as many pictures of her as they did of me :)


Purnima said...

:D Hugs for ur efforts...:) :) for the last line!

Vaidehi said...

Like the idea of creating 'cheat sheet' for recipes..

Marathi Recipes

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea. I am looking forward to reading Ananda Vikatan.


ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் said...


It's rocking!! yes i mean it..

I have already read your interview and got surprised when i saw the new series from you in know my wife is on vacation to her native and am enjoying my days :) i never taken in-charge of kitchen, but this time, i tried தேங்காய் துவையல் and காரப்பொடி and wow!! i just couldn't control my happiness for the result of my sucessful and ofcourse tasty food!!!

thanks for all!!!

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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 !)

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"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 !

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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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