By Maya Kaimal
"I was nine years old when I first went to Kerala, my father's boyhood home, where the lush tip of India meets the Arabian Sea. I'd heard stories about this place, seen photographs, and even tasted the lively South Indian curries my father cooked in our suburban Boston home. Still, nothing prepared me for how extraordinarily exotic it would seem when I stepped off that Indian Airlines plane...."
A colorful land of spices and coconut palms, the southern state of Kerala is home to some of the most vibrant and flavorful cooking in all of India. Virtually undiscovered by Americans, its distinctive cuisine is influenced as much by its abundance of fresh ingredients (including fish, lamb, coconut, ginger, green chilies, black pepper, tamarind, and curry leaves) as by its different religious groups (Hindu, Christian, and Muslim) and cultures that make up its population. Now acclaimed cookbook author Maya Kaimal offers a unique culinary journey to Kerala, sharing the authentic recipes passed down by her family and other Keralan cooks.
Vastly different from the familiar North Indian staples of tandoori chicken, fried breads, and thick sauces, the food of Kerala has a lively tropical spirit, revealed in dishes like Tamarind Shrimp, Vegetables in Fragrant Coconut Milk, Batter-Fried Bananas, and the ubiquitous Sourdough Pan cakes known as dhosa. Kaimal offers more than one hundred of these flavorful recipes, each carefully adapted for the home kitchen. Chapters on getting started, stocking your pantry, and planning a complete South Indian meal provide thoughtful explanations of ingredients, seasonings, and techniques, making it easy for home cooks to create the complex layers of flavor that characterize Keralan cuisine.
Enlivened by Kaimal's passion for her father's homeland, and by outstanding four-color photographs, Savoring the Spice Coast of India is more than simply a cookbook. It is a captivating taste of a culture and cuisine to which you will want to return again and again.
Maya Kaimal is the author of Curried Favors: Family Recipes from South India, winner of the IACP Julia Child Award for First Cookbook in 1996. She has appeared on the Today show and the Food Network, and has written about food for Food & Wine, Saveur; and the Los Angeles Times syndicate. Kaimal lives in New York and frequently travels to Kerala to visit her family.
Savoring the Spice Coast of India
Fresh Flavors from Kerala
By Maya Kaimal
HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Hardback, $ 27.50
Color photographs throughout
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created November 2000
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