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World Gourmand Award winning author Viji Varadarajan offers some interesting facets in the life of the ancient Tamil Brahmins of South India. The food cooked in a Brahmin home was sathvic paying special attention to the balance and nutritive value of the dishes prepared. The ladle of plain rice with cooked dhal served over the steamed rice and the topping of a dollop of homemade clarified butter/ghee; the balance of plain and spicy food, and the benefits of yogurt as a final course to set right any imbalance in the food eaten for the day. Different spices played an important role in the dishes; fenugreek as a digestive aid, cumin for its multiple usages, dried legumes and beans as nature s tiny capsules of proteins, pepper for colds and coughs, turmeric as a healer of wounds in fact, every ingredient used in the Tambram cuisine has a purpose that goes beyond taste and texture. The word curry is originally derived from kari a Tamil word for a preparation of a dry vegetable with spices. Gradually the British added water and meat to curry and hence it came to be known as the Madras Curry. Hence curry/kari is basically a brahmin word for a vegetable stir fry. First published in 2001 this newly formatted book comes with a complimentary yogurt cookbook that won The Best Single Subject in India and The Best Health and Nutrition Book in the world. Her unique Samayal book has already won her The Best Vegetarian Book in India.
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