Book Review - Southern Flavours by Chandra Padmanabhan

Blogadda had sent me this book to review. I was extremely thrilled to receive the book. I thank Blogadda to have chosen me to review this amazing book Southern Flavours.

The first opinion as I flipped through the pages - authentic, simple and informative. Being a South Indian myself and hailing from Pallakaad, I'm familiar with some of the recipes, however, I have never prepared most of them myself. Its only when my mom is around, I get the courage to prepare some authentic South Indian dishes. I felt like I'm holding our family recipe book in my hand :-)

Southern Flavours is a collection of South Indian cuisines assorted from various parts of South India like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This book has a collection of recipes from her older books and about 50 new recipes, which makes this a great book.

The book is divided into various segments like Sambar & Kuzhambu, Rasam, Poriyal & Kootu, Rice, Snacks, Sweets, and Accompaniments. This makes it very easy to look for specific recipes as per need.

At the beginning of this book, various recipes of podi's such as sambar podi, rasam podi, etc are given which is the starting point of any South Indian cooking.

Moving on to Sambar & Kuzhambu, there is an array of choice provided. Its overwhelming to know there are so many types of Kuzhambu's available in a South Indian kitchen! The portions and cooking time look very precise. The steps are very easy to follow and exactly sequential. If followed correctly, one can be very sure of the success of the recipe. The Rasam's are very simple to make, yet are classics! Some Rasam's such as Mysore Rasam, Elumichampazham Rasam, and Mangalore Saar are great examples of how beautifully the dishes have been combined. The segments of Kootu has some mouthwatering recipes of Kaikari Kootu and Vazhakkai Milagu Kootu. It also has some classic Thayir Pachadi's as well.

The segment on Rice is also well written with beautiful pictures. Bissi Belle Hulli Godhi which is a Spicy Sambar with Broken Wheat dish from Karnataka is something one must try out. The snacks section has various South Indian specialities such as Kancheepuram Idli, Paruppu Adai, Pesharattu, Thayir Vadai and Moru Appam to name a few. The sweets mentioned in this book are amazing. Special mention for Chakra Pongal, Paal Payasam, Tengai Barfi to name a few. In the Accompaniments, there are some mouth watering Chutney's and Thuvayal's like Allam Pachadi, Karuvepillai Thuvayal, and Kothamalli Thuvayal.

The book also gives a couple of menu options which shows the paring of various recipes together, which I thought was a brilliant idea. Many of us may not really know which recipe goes well with each other to pull off an entire South Indian meal. Basic measurements have been given which is easy for anybody to follow. While the dishes cover a wide range from the intriguingly named "Sheela Auntie's Pulusu', a tamarind curry native to Andhra Pradesh, to Tamil Nadu's festive Vazahakai Pulli Kuzhambu which explores the delicate flesh of green plantain, there are friendly tips, too.

All in all, I think this is a fantastic book to have in any kitchen where one loves to go adventurous and loves to experiment. Being a South Indian myself, it was an eyeopener knowing the variety of food which can be prepared with simple ingredients. This book can be a very good gift for an amateur chef too. Its an ideal book for all those who wish to try out authentic South Indian dishes.

Chandra Padmanabhan, a graduate from Calcutta University, did her post graduation in education at Delhi University. She has long been associated with the publishing industry.

But it is cooking that has been her forte for nearly four decades. She is the author of three best-selling titles, Dakshin (Harper Collins), Southern Spice (Penguin), and Simply South (Westland). The last won the international GOURMAND Award for Second Best Vegetarian Cookbook in 2009.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Post a Comment