Adapting to future needs.

The book review titled "Rasachandrika-Saraswat Cookbook"

It is really amazing to inform each of you that the women formed an association in the year 1917 in Mumbai. It was decided that the group will publish the first Saraswat cookbook titled “Rasachandrika” (or the book of tastes). The title of the book was “Rasachandrika-Saraswat Cookbook”. The authors of the book were Smt.Mira G.Hattiangadi and Smt.Neela C.Balsekar for the English version. It was posted at a place located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The publisher was Shri Harsha Bhatkal and the book was printed at “Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai”. The price of the book was 300 rupees. The ISBN is 978-81-7154-290-1. The total number of pages is 236 in total.

It is really worth reading the book for some special characteristics that are perceived in it. First of all, it is a teamwork of the women who wanted to share their recipes with future generations and maintain their culture. Second, credit is given to the first women’s association of Saraswat. The book is not published under the name of the sole authorship. The book has the photograph of the original author of the book and her name was “Late Smt. Ambabai Samsi”. The history of the book has been clearly mentioned in the “Preface”. It has been translated into three languages ​​namely Marathi, Hindi and English. The original author’s view has been noted in the ‘Author’s Note to Marathi Edition’ section. According to her, there are differences between Saraswat and non-Saraswat cooking styles and dishes. Thirdly, the author has provided drawings and photographs in which there is a clear representation of how the food should be displayed and presented to your family, friends or guests.In other words, she has shown how the food should be placed on the plate before of serving them to others. It is really interesting to note that other books lack this feature. Fourthly, the book presents the photographs of the way food should be displayed at important religious functions and festivals. This is something that you will it is giving the next generation of individuals to learn and experience their own culture.

I have read many cookbooks, however, this one stands out to me more and more because of the way the recipes are shared with us and especially suitable for state and country. Let’s see the content of the book. It begins with the recipes for the spicy “masalas” or condiments that are used on a daily basis. I especially liked the “amti masala” and the “kholamba masala”. Within this section, there is a shorter method of “grinding masalas containing shredded coconut” which is quite popular in the southern regions of India.

Have you ever heard of “Dishes Served with Rice Porridge”? The author mentions about “80 garnishes”. Among these, 30 varieties of potato dishes are very clearly described. The author also mentions different types of bananas, viz. “Raw Rajali Bananas”, “Ripe Rajali Bananas”, “Unripe Rajali Bananas” and “Non Rajali Bananas”. The author describes the way in which bamboo shoots should be cleaned, cut and chopped. She gives three dishes prepared from them. Can one get away from the world of chutneys? The author does not shy away from sharing various ways in which they can be prepared. According to her, there are three ways to prepare them:

a) Semi-liquid chutneys b) Crushed dry chutneys and c) Liquid chutneys.

Has anyone tried the “dried eggplant chutney” to date? To be very honest, I’ve never tried one in my life. I turned the pages of the book. However, I was surprised to find that there is no step in the preparation of the dish in which the aubergines are dried and the chutney is prepared. In fact, I am on my way to prepare one in which there is the use of “dried eggplants”. I will be sharing it in my next presentation. This is a typo and the correct name of the dish is “fried eggplant chutney”.

One could try cooking “golyan sambare”. It is a good dish and very hygienic too. One can relish them similar to momos or rice dumplings used in other states of India. Another set of new dishes narrated in the book are:

1) Kadis used in cold seasons and 2) Tambalis cooked in “hot” seasons.

Hot and Cold Seasons in South India! This puzzled me and allowed me to continue with the description and explanation of these recipes. This is a must read and I am fascinated by the way these dishes are cooked and served to others. Warm kadis are cooked in eight variations in which garlic, peppercorns, cumin seeds, mango seeds called “pickled mango bone”, young shoots or pomegranate leaves, etc. dishes are used and prepared. On the other hand, cold Tambalis are prepared using some vegetables, or liquids like buttermilk, or spices like fried cumin seeds or fresh grated coconut.

Has anyone made 38 varieties of rasam or saaru? Of these, 7 varieties are mentioned in the book and they are:

1. Tamil Saarland

2. Garlic Rasam without Lentils

3. Rasam prepared with red lentils

4. Vegetable rasam

5. Coriander Rasam

6. Kokum Saarland

7. Kokum and Clove Rasam

Let’s move on to the “recipes using sugar and jaggery section.” How about learning more about 14 varieties of idli-sweet and non-sweet? The following is the list:

1. Idlis prepared with black lentils

2. Idlis prepared in jackfruit leaves

3. Idlis prepared with jaggery

4. Hot and spicy idlis

5. Idlis prepared with green chilies

6. Jaggery Idlis prepared with coarsely ground wheat

7. Rice and Jaggery Idlis

8. Pumpkin Idlis

9. Coconut Jaggery Rice Noodles

10. Jaggery Rice Noodles

11. Rice idlis prepared in Turmeric or Banana Leaves

12. Idlis of rice and jackfruit

13. Rice and Coconut Juice Idlis

14. Rice, Jaca and Jaggery Idlis

The rest of the recipes shared in the book are common Marathi dishes. The author has made her contribution in the form of “Folk Tales Food Recipes” that are used in our daily life:

1. Infant feeding

2. Homemade baby food

3. Preparation of ragi malt feed

4. Vomiting

5. Diarrhea

6. Fever

7. Cold and cough

8. Headache

9. Mumps

10. Toothache

11. Stomatitis

12. Chronic dry cough

13. Incessant coughing

In general, the book gives us the recipes for the dishes consumed in our daily life. There are some critical points to note against the author:

1. Only some dishes are shared in the book.

2. There are other typical Saraswat dishes worth mentioning in the book.

3. Genuine dishes are not mentioned in the book.

4. Holiday food is partially covered in the book.

5. There are special food dishes for pregnant and lactating mothers.

These are missing from the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *