Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review : The Essential Kodava Cookbook

C B Muthamma & P Gangamma Bopanna's - The Essential Kodava Cookbook has been out of print for a couple of years now, but I've constantly been keeping my eyes open for it. The other day there was an online offer of an old copy, but I immediately snapped it up.

The book starts with a brilliant introduction into Kodava Philosophy and Culture. What stands out especially is the role of a woman in Coorgi society. Even when she is married, she still is treated as an important and essential member of both households. Its an outstanding essay and definitely worth a read.

The Recipe Section is divided into Rice, Meat & Poultry, Fish & Prawns, Vegetables, Chutneys & Pickles and Desserts & Snacks.

Coorgi recipes do have a lot of local ingredients like Sannakki rice, kaachambuli etc which aren't easily available outside Coorg (although, recently Bangalore has had quite a few Coorgi ingredient shops open up). The authors have kindly provided alternate ingredients.

The Meat section focuses on mutton & pork with chicken only being advised as a substitute for mutton.

The number of recipes is quite limited (given the other titles in the Penguin - Essential Cookbook series), but it is quite comprehensive and the popularly known dishes are all in the cookbook.

The recipes are quite easy to reproduce at home for someone who is familiar with general cooking techniques and there isn't too much specialised equipment that is required to cook these dishes

While a lot of the rice based dishes are similar to what is cooked in Mangalore and Kerala, the meat and vegetable preparations have their own unique flavour.

If you are looking for something new, I would quite recommend this book to you, but there's no need to buy this book, if all you are looking for is - the famed Pandi Curry (there are enough online recipes for the dish)

Rating : 4 / 5

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