14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India (Paperback)
I recently got introduced to South Indian cooking and was very very impressed by it and naturally wanted to recreate this wonderful food at home. I bought this book in the hope that it might give me an easy induction and it didn't fail. Once you've got your head round converting cup measurements into metric it is so much easier. For dishes like the raman and sambars it was necessary to make up a batch of masalas which involved dry roasting huge amounts of seeds and grinding them up (I ended up buying a mill for this) but they will last me for months and my kitchen smelt fragrant for days after. It is in many ways a different approach to cooking than what we are used to in European and even a lot of Northern Indian cooking, for instance there are no onions in most of the recipes and in most cases no ghee.The rices are sprightly and crunchy having tempered dal in them. For dishes like sambar the dal is cooked seperately and added at the end as are the seeds used for tempering. The rasam, sambar and some of the rices have now become firm staples for me that are a delight to amke and eat, they have that moreish quality to them that sees you fighting to restrain yourself from guzzling away in guilty pleasure. I've even had some of the Southern Indian women I work with praise the dishes I've taken in for lunch and let them sample, which is high praise indeed. So if you want to learn about the delicious, tingling, spicy-sharp cooking that is South Indian I can certainly recommend this book and so will all of my very happy and satisfied friends tummies.
My only warning is this; Southern Indian food involves a lot of chillies but they have mastered them in a way that the heat reaches a plateau that is surprising but not mouth blistering and the payoff is that you get these wonderful endorphin rushes that continue after the meal leaving the backs of the thighs tingling in pure pleasure.