Dishing out recipes

Dishing out  recipes
Remember that time when you cooked that amazing dish following  instructions from the cookbook? While cookbooks earlier adorned the simple ‘go-to’ format to dish out amazing  food, these have gone through many changes. Cooking has grown as a passion for many and there are some who have even turned authors of such cookbooks despite having no culinary background.

For Dipika V Maiya, an interior designer, writing a cookbook ‘My Mother T Krishna Kumari’, was the perfect tribute to her mother, actress Krishna Kumari. “Apart from her acting skills, my mother is well known for her culinary traits. This book was written as a tribute to her and it was a lot of work, as the photographs were taken after every dish was prepared at home. It was a long process and my mother is happy that the book is finally out,” says Dipika.

She tried a different format with the book, where it is divided into three parts: her mother’s film biography, Dipika’s life with a busy set of parents and the third part, a section of delectable home recipes.

“The cookbook also carries some interviews of personalities my mother has worked with in the industry. This made the book more interesting ,” she says.

Cooking is a whole new world explored for some like Archana Pidathala, an electronic engineer, who has written ‘Five Morsels Of Love’. “My grandmother had written a cookbook years back and she wanted to translate it into English. We had started work on it, but she passed away,” she says.

“I started compiling them again and put the cookbook together,” says Archana. She adds that she always had the guilt that she wasn’t able to complete the book before her grandmother passed away.

“But the real trigger to put the book together was my son. After he was born, I wanted to make healthy food and this seemed like the best option,” she says.

Archana made sure the book catered to everyone and the recipes were not just for an advanced crowd. This was a challenge.

“I also had to make sure that measurements and words like ‘add sufficient ...’ were translated into an apt measurement. People are often confused when they hear ‘fry till done’ etc since not everyone is proficient in cooking,” she says.

When Ruchira Ramanujam, food consultant, trainer and blogger and co-author Ranjini Rao, wrote ‘Around the World with the Tadka Girls’, they didn’t know it would have been such a fulfilling experience. “We were bringing out our experiences of staying in different cities abroad together through the recipes,” says Ruchira.

There are those readers who bought it for the fun stories that they have shared in the book.
 “Our readers were not just cooks but people who enjoy a light-hearted read. We wrote about how the recipes came into being and how we were inspired, the ingredients that can be played around with and other fun facts,” she adds.

Chef Shazia Khan brought out her first cookbook ‘What’s On The Menu?’ recently and says that this was an opportunity for her to share her passion with everyone.

“Tried and tested, these recipes come straight from my kitchen,” says Shazia. She included varied recipes like ‘Tandoori Chicken Roulade’, ‘Grilled Semolina with Mushroom’ and desserts like ‘Shahi Tukda Fruit Bites’ and ‘Egg Halwa’ to keep the book engaging.

“I have also included tid-bits on what can be a replacement for a particular ingredient along with the experience of making the recipe the first time to make the book a fun experience,” she says.

The aim of the book was to encourage everyone to pick it up. “When only regional dishes are concentrated on, there is a tendency to just try a few dishes and put the book away. Cooking is for everyone and that is what I wanted to encourage,” she says.

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