For food lovers, the book is a collection of traditional vegetarian culinary treasures.
Remember an Irish proverb that says, “Laughter is brightest, where food is served best?” In fact, it’s no different with a good cookbook that comes to life as you turn the pages between your fingers. It is as though the scents of ingredients come alive and awaken your senses, tantalizingly. Ah, the magical enchantment of food flavours, right? So, are you a big fan of Andhra cuisine? Then, look no further than ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’, which has been awarded the ‘Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World’ by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2006.
The first page of the book begins with a quote from the Taiittriya Upanishad, “From food all creatures are produced. And all creatures that dwell on the earth, by the food they live and into the food they finally pass. Food is the chief among beings. Verily he obtains all good who worships the Divine as food.”
Published by Wisdom Tree and authored by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain, the highly acclaimed cookbook describes itself as ‘tradition revisited’ and an ‘oral tradition of an illustrious family.” All the recipes that Pedatha learned and cooked for her family members and loved ones are shared in ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’.
Foodies and avid readers, remind yourself of Julia Child’s famous quote, “People who love to eat are always the best people!”. Then you can sit back and savour some of the time-tested, traditional Andhra recipes straight from the Pedatha’s kitchen. While she is fondly called Pedatha by her family and her recipes will most likely remind you of grandmother’s cooking, she is the first born of the former President of India VV Giri and Smt Saraswati Bai Giri. Wondering how did she develop such a passion for cooking?
It turns out that Pedatha, as a child, loved to watch her mother cook. Her mother, being the wife of former President V.V.Giri, had to constantly host many guests in her house and she used to prefer to make the dishes herself most of the time. Even the ‘podis’ (powders) used in her cooking were homemade and her ‘secret’ recipes.
Naturally, Pedatha learned how to cook by watching her mother’s culinary expertise in creating a sumptuous Andhra meal for guests.
As Pedatha began to experiment with creating traditional Andhra dishes for her loved ones, she demonstrated tremendous patience in her meticulous preparation of culinary treasures. She earned the title ‘best cook in the world’ from her nephews and nieces, who began to ask her for her recipes once they began to nurture families of their own.
For food lovers, the book is a collection of traditional vegetarian culinary treasures. Be it the pickles, the powders such as the curry leaf powder or the various dishes such as pepper flavoured dal with vegetables or Andhra favourite Brinjal roast, you are bound to love it all. Till then, keep cooking, rocking and have lots of fun while you are at it!