The Essential Kerala Cookbook – Vijayan Kannampilly
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In recent times, the coconut-flavoured cuisine of the Malayalis has gained immense popularity. Appam and Istoo, Avial and Olan, Irachi Biryani and Pathiri, all these and more are now served in restaurants and homes all over India. As the author explains in his introduction to the book, the ancient association of food with religion, the influence of foreign trade and the intermingling of different communities have all combined to make Kerala cuisine what it is today. Interestingly, even though a variety of spices grow literally in their backyards, Malayalis abstain from an overpowering use of these, rendering their cuisine different from other Asian cuisines. Instead, there is a range of delicately spiced dishes, harmoniously balanced and simple to prepare, neither too rich nor too bland, and always delicious. The recipes in this volume cover the entire range of vegetables, meat, seafood, pickles, sweets and snacks, served both as daily fare and as part of the sadya on festive occasions, taking in the specialities of the different regions and communities of the state.
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