A tribute to cooks and cook books.....

As I was looking through my recipe books collections, I found this magazine - 'Cuisine' - I had purchased at a pavement vendor's shop just outside Churchgate station when I used to work there. He used to sell old magazines probably bought from the 'raddiwala', and I was looking for some recipes as I was just starting to cook on a regular basis and was rather inexperienced. For nearly a month after my wedding all I would cook was mashed potatoes, aloo gobi, pulav, and aloo matar. Now after the kids and many years since then, I have learnt to put together a decent meal thanks to the various cookbooks, my neighbour who happens to be a foodie, and watching my mother cook when I visit her. I have developed a fairly good idea of the kinds of ingredients that go well together and can even concoct some dishes of my own with a fair amount of success.

This post is dedicated to all those teachers (Cooks and cook books) who made me capable of cooking some edible chow! Here are my favourite cook books and authors alongwith their amazon or Indian links to find more about them:

1.Nita Mehta - Her recipes are always given in easy steps and the best ones I like are her Rajashthani and Punjabi dishes. Mouthwatering pictures make them all the more desirable. I still haven't tried her baked dishes enough to comment on them. Her microwave cooking helped me get the maximum out of my microwave. The cooking tips on her site are worth a look!

2. Kanak Lata - She is the best among the lot for authentic Rajasthani cuisine. I have made several of her recipes from the books 'Rajashthani Pakvaan Vol.-I' and managed to floor my neighbor with it. I had never heard of her till I bought this book on the spur of the moment - probably something to do with the traditional serving of good food on the cover! Try her dal baatis and baaflas - Lip smacking!

3. Bindu & Ruxmani Danthi's For the Sweet tooth - Again bought on the spur of the moment and not a moment of regret. The sweets are traditional preparations from all over India and the ones I have tried have been a success in the first go! I have shared their wheat halwa with a minor alteration in the amount of ghee and sweet - as I just love desserts or sweets with that tinge of sugar! Some of their recipes can be freely found here.

4. Vegetarian Chines Cuisine by Suzy Li Ching - I don't know whether these are authentic Chinese or 'Indian Chinese' but the recipes are all for keeps and repeats! Try out the 'Manchurian Cauliflower', 'Paneer Chilli', 'Chinese noodle bhel' and the exotic variety of 'fried rice'. Actual tummy treats - I find the spices really well balanced!

5. Lifco's how to cook by Vedavalli Venkatachary - This was recommended by my mother for eay to follow traditional South Indian 'Palaharams'. It is only Rs.18/- and is a steal at that price! I have tried some of the tiffins here with good response from family and friends.

6. Classic essential Bread and Buns - I started baking breads only this year & owe 100% of the success to this book. I have posted many of the recipes - Potato bread, Monkey bread and Rosetta rolls! Each one has been a great baking experience! Wah wahi kitni bhi karoon, kam hai!!

More books as and when I get the time!!