Since ancient times, seafarers and traders have been drawn by the lure of spices to Kerala, a verdant, topical state on the Malabar Coast of South India. Saint Thomas also traveled this spice route, converting several Brahmin families who later intermarried with Syrians who had settled here; thus was born the vibrant Syrian Christian community of Kerala. Today, ayurvedic massage resorts and backwater cruises make this scenic land a top tourist destination, and spices still draw both travelers and gourmands to its rich culinary heritage.
It is this legacy that The Kerala Kitchen brings us, through 150 delectable recipes and the unforgettable stories that accompany them. Featured here are such savory delights as Meen Vevichathu (Fish Curry Cooked in a Clay Pot), Parippu (Lentils with Coconut Milk) and Thiyal (Shallots with Tamarind and Roasted Coconut). Equally mouthwatering are a variety of rice preparations, Outtu (Steamed Rice Cake) and Paalappam (Lace-Rimmed Pancakes), and tempting desserts like Karikku Pudding (Tender Coconut Pudding). Authentic and easy to prepare, these recipes are adapted for the American kitchen, and accompanied by a guide to spices, herbs, and equipment, as well as a glossary of food terms.
Interwoven between these recipes, in the best tradition of the cookbook memoir, are tales of talking doves, toddy shops, traveling chefs and killer coconuts. Full of beautiful photographs, charming illustrations, and lyrical memories of food and family, The Kerala Kitchen is a delicious, memorable read.