About Us Contact Us Help




Cook Book Review - Cooking At Home With Pedatha

Reviewer - Nirmala Garimella

Cooking at Home with Pedatha
Vegetararian Recipes from a traditional Andhra Kitchen
By  Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain

In the epilogue to this book is a poem penned on Pedatha where cooking is defined as not merely a technique but an intuition, a flavor, a whiff.  That is what makes this book so special. Special because it comes from a very authentic cook, Pedatha, the oldest offspring of former President of India, Dr.V.V.Giri, and Smt Saraswathi Bai Giri. Special because it is beautifully illustrated and the recipes are clear cut and special because it comes straight from the heart. The authors, Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain have worked hard to present this book in a creative and most engaging manner.

Pedatha literally takes the cake for defining the authentic Andhra recipe. Her recipes strike a balance with old fashioned goodness and simplicity to the traditional Andhra cuisine. Mr Preetham Parigi,  in the introduction says, " the word 'Pedatha' became synonymous with that aunt who was ever ready to indulge anyone who came visiting and expressed her affection by cooking and serving tasty food".

I love the fact that the index has the Chutneys right on top. Have you ever thought of an Andhraite not making one of these as part of their staple food? From Palakoora (spinach )Chutney to good old gongura and the red chili pickle, the repertoire is lip smacking and delectable. This is followed with an entire section of Powders or Podis and some exclusives ones are Kandhi Podi (Red gram Powder), Karivepaku Podi (Curry Leaf Powder) etc. Annam or rice recipes come next with koora or vegetable and Pappu or dal. No meal is complete without Yoghurt and the recipes here offer variations  like Majjaga Pulusu and Menthi Majjiga. Sweets follow next and crispies or Vadiyala another important accompaniment to an Andhra meal is included.Pedatha provides easy instructions for delicious creations such as Bobbatulu, Rava kesari, coconut laddoo and vadiyalu. Recipes for timeless favorites include pulihora, gongura chutney and chinta chiguru pappu,  patoli and Mamidikaaya Thokku.

With beautiful photos and a well thought out layout and design, the recipes allow no clutter. The dollop of Ghee that adds to the taste of the Pachchadi is not lost on the two writers and sure enough that is what makes all the difference.

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh myself, I have honed my cooking skills over the course of watching my grandmother and my own mother cook the best of pachadis, podis and other traditional dishes. Jigyasa Giri and Prathabha Jain have done all those die hard Andhra cooking enthusiasts a big favor. Not only have they diligently and painstakingly outlined each recipe but have adapted the measures to an international audience.The pictures of spices with explanation and variations to each recipe along with valuable tips enhance the value of the book. Now I am reassured that someone like my daughter will not despair of not knowing how to make Patholi or Bobbbatulu. A copy of ‘Cooking at home with Pedatha’ can provide her with just that.

Pedatha makes an appearance in between the pages and her photo invokes wisdom and thought and adds a very nice touch to the narrative. This cookbook celebrates the pleasures of cooking with simple natural vegetarian ingredients and the joy of traditional cuisine. A great tribute to a wonderful Home Cook

Also: Available in US through amazon.com, innoconcepts.com and pritya.com and many other online sites.

Bookmark and Share | Share your Comments

Comments :
Post a new message

In this Issue
Thought For The Day

“Trust is the first step to love.” - Munshi Premchand.

Thought For The Day
Cambridge Council Dumps Dow Chemical, Cites Bhopal Tragedy

Harvard St. resident Namarata Bhasin commented, "Ten to 15 people are dying each month in Bhopal, yet Dow Chemical continues to avoid responsibility. These poisons did not come from nowhere, we cannot let them continue to get away with murder."

Cambridge  Council Dumps Dow Chemical, Cites Bhopal Tragedy
South Asian Students Aboard The Spiced Cruise

Some glimpses from the South Asian Intercollegiate Cruise where students from MIT, Harvard, Wellesley, BC, NU, Tufts, RPI gathered to have a good time while raising funds for a good cause.

South Asian Students Aboard The Spiced Cruise
Exhibition On Sikhism Inaugurated In New York

Over 500 people dressed in colorful traditional South Asian dresses representing many parts of the world came to witness the historic event, the inauguration of a four month long exhibition, “I See No Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Devotion” accompanied by films, poetry, music and lectures, at the Rubin Museum of Art in the heart of New York City on Saturday, September 16, 2006.

Exhibition On Sikhism Inaugurated In New York
Lokvani Talks To Dr. Neelima Shukla Bhatt

"I think some aspects of the old ways, the old system must be broken. For whatever reason the system was established, hundreds of years ago… But it should be open to everyone, open regardless of gender and caste. And new people mean new energy!" - Neelima Shukla Bhatt, Visitng Assistant Professor at Wellesley College.

Lokvani Talks To Dr.  Neelima Shukla Bhatt

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help