Book Review: Eating with History-Kerala recipes by Tanya Abraham

I recently got this book for review, written by Tanya Abraham, curator and director of Kashi Art Gallery in Kochi.

Eating with history is essentially a cook book- helping readers understand how various dishes are made and giving recipes. However the difference comes in following forms
- Kerala focus: Most of the dishes are from Kerala and said to be influenced by ancient trades
- A dedicated section to explain Kerala's ancient history, customs and trading practices
- Lots of colour photos and very high quality printing

What to expect in "Eating with History" cook book by Tanya Abraham?
  • Introduction: Author talks about her grand mother's cooking skills and life in Kerala in a catholic family.
  • Introducing Kerala and its food: This section tells us about Kerala's history, influence of dutch, Portuguese and Jewish culture, trading with the arabs and so on.
First 50 pages out of 200 are focused on above topics, helping you understand Kerala and its history better. Then begins the recipes, categorized under following sections
  • Vegetarian dishes (8 recipes)
  • Bread, Rice and Appams (16 recipes)
  • Meat & Fish (70 recipes)
  • Sweets and Deserts (28 recipes)
  • Squashes and Wines (6 recipes) 
Final pages mention cooking tools, how to measure ingredient quantities and temperature guide (for terms like slow cooking, moderate etc)

Summary:
Title: Eating with History
Author: Tanya Abraham
ISBN 13: 978-93-89136-26-5
MRP: INR 550/ USD 16/ GBP 12
Pages: 202
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Type: Paperback, colour
Genre: Food

Book is priced at MRP of 550 INR, which may feel expensive. But think of it this way- if you visit a premium restaurant to have these items, even two three items will cost you more than INR 500. "Eating with History" by Tanya Abraham has about 120+ recipes. Learn to make a few of them at home and it is instant ROI on the money spent on the book.

Found one typo- Page 176 I think it should be Bole Cake instead of Bole Coke. Being a vegetarian I would have loved a few more vegetarian dish options (didn't see Puttu)- but then Kerala is heavy on non vegetarian dishes so coverage is actually good and fairly comprehensive. Other than that couldn't find any issues. Book is printed in colour in high quality paper.

Read more of my book reviews here.

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