Dakshin: Vegetarian Dishes from South India

Chandra Padmanabhan, Author
Chandra Padmanabhan, Author Thorsons Publishers $28 (0p) ISBN 978-0-207-18477-2
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Hardcover - 978-0-207-18187-0
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-962-593-527-0
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-81-7223-709-7
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Indian-born and -raised Padmanabhan is a veteran cook and writes on culinary matters for Madras Musings , a South Indian newspaper. Here she muses for Americans on meatless meals and snacks originating in the Southern part of her native country; ``dakshin'' means ``south'' in Sanskrit. The author directs us on basics: there are recipes for curry powder, chili powder, rasam powder. She also defines what may be unfamiliar menu staples--sambars, or first courses, distinguished by tamarind, dal, or buttermilk foundations; poriyals, or sauceless curries, made with stir-fried (or occasionally deep-fried) vegetables. Her recipes are varied, authoritative and imaginative, especially those in the chapter on snacks, where breads vie with each other for primacy. Not everyone will find it possible to cultivate a taste for the often creamy, overly sweet desserts. But the chutney section comes as a refresher. Padmanabhan also provides recommendations for menus, a glossary of Indian terminology and a list of specialty Indian food shops in this country. Color photographs on nearly every other page are even more than usually tempting. (Apr.)
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