Few days ago when we posted the Moong dhal Halwa for the Indian cooking challenge, I chanced to read Jayashree's blog posts. This one By the book attracted me so much that I asked her if I can pick it up and continue the thread. She accepted and therefore I am showing you my MOST THUMBED YET VERY TREASURED Cookbook.
Apart from my mother's recipe cum Kolam note book shown above, Samaiththu (p)Paar by S. Meenakshi ammal is my most used book. All the three volumes come with numerous home cooked recipes that work very nearly to my tastes. I was first introduced to this author by my cousin's wife. She lived then in Coimbatore and naturally I visited them when the hostel I was living in starved me of good food. During the first year of my marriage, I lived with my parents-in-law and my husband was away in Mangalore. This manni of mine took it upon herself to invite me for every small religious festivals for lunch and such. She used to fulfill the 'duties' to the newly wedded daughter of the home. She was given these books by her mother and showed me how useful they were.
In 1988, my sister purchased three sets of all the three volumes for me, herself and our other sister. As it is my habit to pen notes below the recipes once I have tried them, this book is full of blue penned notes. Now the books are so old that the paper has become brittle, yet I am not willing to discard and purchase a new set. I shall probably buy the english version that might help Niki later.
This is my Bible in terms of cooking. If you want traditional Tamil Brahmin cooking every recipe is in the book. I have shown you the current day condition of the book. My pictures may tell you more than words.
Jayashree has not started this as an event, but would love if any of you will want to show your books to us. She had suggested that if I were to tag anyone, or anyone willingly takes this up, to please leave a comment on her post here. Same goes with me, please drop a comment thread on this post with the URL of your post, just for fun reading. There are no conditions. So go ahead and do it if you love a book. Just as a beginning I would love some of my friends to take this up. Hence I am tagging them. The rest of you are very welcome too.
Now to the recipe for karuveppilai kuzhambu...from the above book naturally.
3 numbers dry red chillies
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
A lime size ball of tamarind
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
4 tablespoons Sesame seeds oil
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Soak the tamarind in water and extract a thick pulp.
Dry roast the red chillis and peppercorns.
Grind the roasted chillis and pepper along with salt and the curry leaves to a fine paste.
Mix this to the extracted tamarind pulp. Add the turmeric powder and the asafoetida.
Heat Sesame seeds oil in a heavy bottom rounded pan. Add the above pulp and some water to it.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 12 minutes-15 minutes until the raw taste subsides and the gravy thickens. Oil will float over the cooked gravy.
Switch off the fire.
In a different pan add the mustard seeds to hot oil and allow them to crackle. Transfer this tempering to the kuzhambu.
The kuzhambu works fine with hot rice or arisi upma, kozhukkattai etc.
This kuzhambu can stay well for about four to five days even without refridgeration.
Looking forward to see you showing us the most beloved books...on a different note it can be any book for that matter...I have read and re-read many that way :)