April 20, 2006

Books a noobie South Indian "sometimes" Cook uses

As we are in transit mode, I'm unable to get my hands on my recipe collection to update this site. Decided that this too might be of interest to some of you.

I am a hoarder and collect many books and have, over the years, managed to acquire quite a decent cook book collection. Shall add a picture of the collection once I get my hands on them again. I cannot cook without a book. Well, I can manage Rice, Dal and a Subzi but that's about it. And by the way currently that's our daily fare. The 4 books that I've mentioned here are ones that i refer to the most.


I got my first copy from my mum - actually she gave me hers and said that she'd get herself another! Now here's a book I would higly recommend to all those interested in Konkan cuisine. This, if my mum is not easily available to hound, is where i look for my recipes. I'm scatty and forget sometimes the ratio of rice to udad dal for dosas!! This book comes in handy then :D Sadly, it is currently out of print but you just have to check with your nearest konkani friend and i promise you, out will pop a copy of this book :D

Khana Khazana - Sanjeev Kapoor
I started cooking rather late in life. I was about 34 and a proud owner of several cookbooks. Everytime I'd open them, read the instructions and give up! We had, by then, been in Shanghai for about a year. My friends there had convinced me that I owed them a dinner for which I would have to cook! Armed with a newly aquired copy of Sanjeev Kapoors Khana Khazana, I decided to give it a try. And it turned out quite well or so I was told by them. Most of my friends know that I dont like to cook and hence appreciate what I make when I make it much more than they would have otherwise. What continues to be a huge success with my friends is the Achari Gosht. And I think if I could make it anyone can :P

Prashad - Jigs Kalra
When I was getting married at 25, Sangeeta a very good friend of mine advised me to get a copy of Prashad. She was using it for her dinner parties. It was several years before I actually used it. The one that I've used the most often and recommend is the Lal Maas recipe.

Cook and See
I think this book is better known as "Samaithu Par". I did a google on this and found that it was listed on Amazon! Sadly also listed as unavailable. But if you know anybody in Chennai you'll be able to get your hands on this set of 4 books easily. I've only used Vol 1 so far.


shilpa said...

Hi Ujwala,
I never had a copy of "Rasachandrika", but have heard the name. I guess my mother has a copy, not sure though. I feel I should have brought some Konkani recipe book while coming to US. It would have come handy. Now I have to call my mom everytime I need some recipe :(.

Thanks for updating the blogroll.

Ujwala said...

I'm sure your mom is glad that you have to call her instead of refering to the recipe book at least she hears from you often :D.

There's another book on Saraswat Cookery by Shalini Nadkarni. The page also has a list of some other good cook books http://www.indiaclub.com/shop/searchresults.asp?ProdStock=9760

Kamla said...

Hello Ujwala:

I have used Jigs Kalra's book and it is indeed a great book to have. The dishes turn out perfect.

Cook and See is another great book...the original writer's family has come out with an updated and color version of the book. It reads well, but is missing tons of recipes.


Ujwala said...


Thanks for the heads up on the new Cook and See. Shall definitely check it out when next in Chennai.

The Jigs Kalra book was my favorite till I tried a few recipes from Sanjeev Kapoors book. Mostly because they take less time and taste equally good.

And now, due to favorable comments and requests, it has become almost compulsory for me to serve Achari Gosht from Sanjeev Kapoors Khana Khazana at my dinner parties :D

Ashwini said...

Hey what a coincidence...I have written about rasachandrika and prashad in my list of cookbooks too...
Where are you off to now? Hope to see you blogging soon

Ujwala said...

great minds think alike? :P dont want the later bit of that saying. i'm happy to see that we have one more thing in common. thanks for stopping by.

Ashwini said...

Ujawala send me an email at food_forthought11@yahoo.com and I will be happy to give you the code for indexing....cheers

Krithika said...

Cook and see is a great book. I have the original series ( I think 3) which has tons of recipes. Don't you think Jiggs Kalra's recipe calls for all the ingredients from the pantry :-)
Nice blog.