Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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[see also Tamil Cusine]

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Samaippathu Yeppadi? சமைப்பது எப்படி?

தென்னிந்திய உணவுப் பழக்கங்களை மையமாகக் கொண்டு எழுதப்பட்டது. ஸ்குவாஷ், ஜெல்லி, பான வகைகளின் செய்முறை, அழகுக் குறிப்புகள், மற்றும் பல பயன் தரும் குறிப்புகளுடன் கூடியது.

How To Cook? [Vegetarian] Recipes of Typical South Indian delicacies


* Nesa Eliezer (editor) Rani Thangarajah (Compiler) - Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils

"...The Tamils of the north and east of Sri Lanka have a distinct cuisine which reflects their geography and their resourcefulness in the use of the products of their harsh lands. This compilation of recipes of the Jaffna Tamils is a tribute to that tradition. Rani Thangarajah collected these from her own family recipes and from Tamil women who maintain the spirit of Tamil cooking wherever they go. Grandmothers, mothers and aunts are always silently remembered in collections such as this one. The recipes were collected in Tamil. They have been translated and edited by Nesa Eliezer.

Encouraged by a first hand knowledge of these recipes from her Tamil heritage in Malaysia, and a keen interest in the cultural traditions of the Indian sub-continent, especially of the Tamils, Nesa Eliezer has brought to this collection an understanding of the need to record and remember these precious recipes for the women of the Tamil diaspora. Nesa Eliezer is a freelance writer and contributes to a wide variety of magazines. She has completed two other books, one a children's book A Tale of Two Journeys on the geographical journey of the Buddha, and the other The Clever Woman's Companion, a compilation of household wisdom. Rani Thangarajah is a Tamil poet and has been actively involved in cultural productions from a young age. She contributes poems and articles to a number of Tamil publications. Both of them live in Melbourne, Australia. All proceeds from the sale of this book go towards supporting Women's projects in Tamil Eelam." 

*Madhur Jaffrey - An Invitation to Indian Cooking Paperback

*Madhur Jaffrey - Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking Paperback

*Madhur Jaffrey - Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cookery Paperback;

*Madhur Jaffrey, Philip Salaverry - Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking Paperback

*Madhur Jaffrey - Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen : Fifty Recipes Introducing Indian Spices and Aromatic Seeds Hardcover

* Mary Anne Mohanraj -  A Taste of Serendib: A Sri Lankan Cookbook

*Kingman, Rani - A Taste of Madras : A South Indian Cookbook  Paperback, Published 1997(**alternative link to Amazon.co.uk)

"From the Preface - "As a young girl growing up in Madras I learned many customs regarding food as I watched my mother at work in her kitchen. Later, I learned to cook as my grandmother, my mother and my aunts all showed me their recipes and their techniques. Now I have written down the recipes passed down to me, so that my sons - who have grown up with the richness of two cultures - and others may learn the traditions of Madras. For Tamilians, food is closely connected with many customs and beliefs, all of which formed an inherent part of my upbringing. So alongside my recipes I have tried to convey a little of the philosophy that underlies this cuisine, as well as the day-to-day practices associated with foods and cooking.. The kitchen in a Tamilian home, where the preparation and cooking begins, is considered pure and sacred. The cook, who has to wash thoroughly before she starts preparing the meals and may not be touched while cooking, is not permitted to taste any of the food during the course of preparation because it may become polluted. So Tamilian cooks learn to measure by sight, and to gauge the flavor from the cooking aromas. Consequently, in writing down my recipes, it has not always been easy to give precise quantities for this ingredient or that, nor precise cooking times - however, all the recipes have been carefully recorded and tested, and they taste just as they should. I hope you enjoy learning about these beliefs and customs from Madras, which I am proud of, and that the taste of Madras gives your kitchen a Tamilian warmth and hospitality. 'The first virtue in any creed is to share your food and cherish all life.'  Thirukkural "

*Singhan, E.V -  Tamil Recipes

The Best of Samaithu Paar : The Classic Guide to Tamil Cuisine - S. Meenakshi Ammal. 1906-1962) was born in Kottur, Tamilnadu. "Married at eighteen, she was widowed early into her marriage. She moved to Madras in 1945 with her son. Very well versed in culinary skills, she was constantly besieged with requests for recipes by her relatives, which prompted her to write a cookery book. Her books have been in print since then and have been translated into many Indian languages."

"The first volume of Samaithu Paar was published in 1951. More than just a cookery book, it was intended to serve as a manual for daily use. Over the years, those who did not find time to learn cooking in the traditional way from their mothers have used the three volumes of Samaithu Paar to set up home and manage kitchens all over the world."The Best of Samaithu Paar" brings together 100 most-loved recipes chosen from the three-volume original. Maintaining the simplicity of language, easy-to-follow directions and the adherence to the smallest details, the recipes have been suitably revised and adapted using universal measures of cups and spoons and modern utensils and appliances in place of the more traditional ones."Recipes range from the basic idli, dosai, sambar and rasam to their many variations that are not so familiar to all Indians. The book also includes specialists like Moar Kuzhambu, Mysore Rasam, Pongal, Murukku and Jangiri, as well as pachadis and pickles.

Recipe of a classic  "For generations of brides, this unpretentious book was an invaluable storehouse of information on vegetarian cooking ...When women of my generation got married. We were given Samaithu Paar as one of the wedding gifts. If not, we got it ourselves, treating it as a bible for cooking delicious South Indian food. That it was not available in any of the well-known bookshops made it more precious and I remember, how, after a long search, I purchased my copy at a relatively small shop in Mylapore. It seemed incredible that Meenakshi Ammal, a simple housewife from a traditional Tamil family, untrained in the intricacies of logical writing and publishing, should venture to document all that the she knew in cooking with such meticulous detail. She was encouraged by her uncle K. V. Krishnaswamy Iyer "a leading advocate and ex-president of the Music Academy..." more

*Camellia Panjabi - The Great Curries of India

*Julie Shani - Classic Indian Cooking;

*Julie Shani - Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking

*Julie Shani - Moghul Microwave : Cooking Indian Food the Modern Way

*Julie Shani - Savoring Spices and Herbs : Recipe Secrets of Flavor, Aroma, and Color

* Viji Varadarajan  - Samayal: The Pleasures of South Indian Vegetarian Cooking

This book is all about the "Pleasures of South Indian Vegetarian Cooking" and serving a loving meal. "Samayal" in Tamil means cooking and in Indian cuisine, one can find distinct flavour and styles of cooking. The author is a housewife who has a passion for cuisine, dance and learning languages.

* Viji Varadarajan - Festival Samayal

The book deals in detail on the festival recipes of the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu. Most festivals have specific dishes associated with them - either because they are favorites of the God being prayed to - or because their ingredients are specific to the season or reflect the spirit behind the celebration.  It is these special dishes prepared at home on a festival day that are first offered to God after doing the required pooja (prayers offered to the God by a priest or a family member) Festivals in India are joyous affairs when families and friends come together for a merry feast after an offering is made to the deity.

Special emphasis is also given to the art of kolam � a religious hindu floor art, drawn by the women of the house, early in the morning after their bath. In the Indian culture guest occupy a very special place and a kolam drawn at the entrance of the house, expresses the warmth felt towards visitors. This decorative art word with a delicate touch and a highly artistiv sense of colour, tone, and blending is drawn in front of the deities in pooja rooms as well. Being an offering to the Gods, the kolams in the pooja rooms are never swept with a broom, but instead are either wiped away with a cloth or gathered up by hand and then disposed off. Rice flour and fresh flowers are the materials used for painting on the floor.

In essence this book is The Culinary Offerings To The Gods � known as prasadham or neiveidhiyam. There are a wide variety of dishes produced by different communities of the state. Tamil cuisine is healthy and flavorful with some of its most common ingredients being turmeric, dried red chillies, mustard, fenugreek, and tamarind. It is one of the very few states that uses all parts of the banana tree on a daily basis � the stem, flower, raw and ripe fruit to cook with, and the leaf to serve things on and wrap things with. Sesame oil forms the base for most Tamil Brahmin cooking

* Viji Varadarajan - Samayal: The Pleasures of South Indian Vegetarian Cooking
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