Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review : Cooking at Home with Pedatha

I had bought "Cooking at Home with Pedatha" in January 2011, shortly after winning "Sukham Ayu" in an online contest on facebook. The authors of these 2 books - Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain have become foodie friends since then and they are both complete sweethearts who have a wonderful zest for life as well as food.

However, I'm guilty of never cooking from either of these books for almost 3 years -  for the simple reason that they were "Vegetarian" cookbooks and Vegetables for me are just a side dish to be consumed to give the body adequate nutrition and not really something I enjoy cooking or eating.

As I age and travel around Gujarat, I realise that vegetables too can be main courses in a meal and I'm trying to cook more such food.

When I wanted a different way to cook brinjal, these were the first 2 books that I picked up and I wasn't disappointed.

"Cooking at Home with Pedatha" was awarded the Best Vegetarian cookbook in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook awards 2006 and once you start reading it, its easy to see why.

The Pedatha (eldest aunt) in question is Mrs Subhadra Krishna Rau Parigi, daughter of India's former President - Dr. V V Giri. Jigyasa & Pratibha decided to document Pedatha's knowledge of Andhra food after relishing yet another meal at her house. The accuracy of her recipes, inspired them to turn a personal collection of recipes she shared with them, into a cookbook.

And having tried the brinjal recipe above I have to attest to the accuracy of recipes too. I often tweak recipes considerably, but in this case I just increased the chilli and decreased the oil and the end result was fantastic, for such a simple and easy recipe.

The sections are divided into Chutneys (Pachchadi), Powders (Podi), Rice (Annam), Vegetables (Koora), Dals (Pappu, Chaaru), Yogurt (Perugu), Sweets (Theepi), and Crispies (Vadiyalu).

The recipes are very simple and well written, so even a novice cook or someone completely new to Indian cuisine, can easily understand and master them. There's a beautiful visual glossary at the end, for someone who isn't familiar with the terms and ingredients in this book.

The pictures throughout the book are beautiful and illustrative. I'd highly recommend this book, to anyone interested in cooking Indian food for the first time, or looking to expand their repertoire of Vegetarian dishes or seeking a deeper knowledge of Andhra cuisine.

Rating : 4.5 / 5

Note : The Picture for the Brinjal recipe is from

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