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South Indian Spice

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Chettinad Kitchen: Food and Flavours from South India by Alamelu Vairavan, book reviewChettinad food is known for its spicy hot flavours, that can bring tears to the eyes of those unused to encounters with chillis. In the last few decades it has been making its presence felt in five star hotels and offering foodies an alternative to the traditional South Indian vegetarian cuisine. Alamelu Vairavan’s third book makes few concessions for Western readers like offering mild spice variants, even though she herself is based in Wisconsin. In this book she has listed 170 recipes, clustered under different headings to make the book easy to navigate.

Each recipe has a detailed list of ingredients including the traditional sambar – there are nine varieties to choose from – six different rasams, including prawn and chicken, chutneys and tamarind rice, though the recipes in this book are primarily non vegetarian, since that is what Chettinad food is famous for.

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