Thrissur Iyer Treasures
OPOS Cookbook
(Kindle Edition)

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"If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later."

Though I came away from Thrissur to live in Chennai the spirit of Thrissur couldn’t be taken away from me. This theme of typical Thrissur dishes excited me because the Iyer community in central Kerala is further removed from Tamilnadu and hence it has greater affinity to Kerala's local culture and cuisine. I have relatives in Thrissur and Ernakulam who converse in Malayalam even at home. But they have retained the typical Iyer character and preferences in their cooking and food habits.

Most of my recipes in the book are from my 23 years spent in Thrissur from birth to marriage. Many are common to all Brahmin households, some with certain tweaks from personal preferences in the family. These dishes are wholesome, healthy and very easy to put together. One can see the minimalistic lifestyle of our older generations reflected in their way of eating. Vegetables like yam, yellow pumpkin, banana, various types of greens and gourds are mainly used for almost all preparations, mostly homegrown. Staples like Currymaa Podi are more widely used than Tur Dal for thickening. Coconut is as major an ingredient as vegetables are but there are numerous coconut-free dishes too which I have tried to highlight. Onion was very rare in my home and garlic was taboo.

Food and its dynamism never failed to fascinate me. In my dad's home all the men were expert cooks and they took over during huge Sadya events in the extended family. All were professionals from different walks of life, but they got together with gusto to dish out yummy delicacies with enviable ease. It was a treat to the senses to watch them prepare cauldrons of Palada Payasam, squeeze away dozens of Jalebis and roll away scores of perfectly textured giant Ladoos apart from the regular Sadya items in the wee hours of the day. ‘Pallisseri Saddhis' (feasts at our ancestral village) are still a talk of the town.

My mother never tried to teach us cooking as kids, and she believed that if children are exposed to good food they would end up being good cooks too. As simple as that. We learnt the hard way trying experimenting and flopping big time and emerged as experts. My biggest regret is that OPOS technique was not around when we were younger, when we trained our kids to eat, and when we needed a break from the shackles of the drudgery of conventional cooking.

I found that OPOS indeed made everyday life a breeze, the term cookery which had the tag of being the monopoly of those with tremendous patience, talent and expertise became something anyone can perform with ease. I witnessed the aura around 'traditional cooking' pale and vanish gradually.

I have to mention here how OPOS has made it possible to convert all the recipes to such easy and simple steps that even a child can recreate them like magic. Thanks a bunch to Rama Krishnan Chithra Viswanathan and all other members here for having faith in me and motivating me to try my hand at this. I am sure you will find the recipes interesting and the flavours nostalgic.

I am a Carnatic vocal musician, passionate about cooking, writing and gardening, who fiddled with an English teacher's job for some time and now running a private music school in Chennai.

AuthorJanaki Lakshman
BindingKindle Edition
FormatKindle eBook
Language TypePublished
Product GroupeBooks
Publication Date2018-07-01
Release Date2018-07-01
Sales Rank11160

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