Mysore Style Cooking
Author: V. Sandhya; Sandra Ramacher (Editor)
Paperback: 160 pages
Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
Publisher: Elephant Publishing (September 2010)
Mysore Style Cooking is a unique Indian cookbook straight from one of the humblest culinary experts of Mysore, India--Ms. V. Sandhya. This is Indian food as you will never find it in the umpteen commercial Indian restaurants present in our cities. Sandhya draws from the generations of knowledge, passed down to her by her family, to bring to the world recipes that are Ayurvedically balanced and delightful in flavor. We expect these secret recipes to be complicated and mysterious, only to discover that they are simple to prepare--they just needed to be written down and passed on. Mysore Style Cooking includes over 60 of these much treasured recipes as well as over 70 full page color images, interspersed with personal stories and images of life in Mysore. To bring you these wonderful recipes, Ms. V. Sandhya has delved deeply into her treasure trove of family recipes, some of which span generations. The food is simple, delicious and Ayurvedically designed to be balanced. This is traditional Mysore style cooking enhanced by Sandhya's extensive knowledge of the yogic diet. This is vegetarian food at its best, ranging from uppittu and dosa, eaten mostly for breakfast, through to palyas, curries, sambal, chutneys and raitas, as well as sweet dishes such as pongals and rasayanas. If you ever wanted to know what Indian people eat at home, rather than the fare served at commercial restaurants, then Mysore Style Cooking will provide you with the secrets to those recipes.
About the Author
V. Sandhya was born in 1953 into a family well versed in traditional Indian cooking. Many generations ago, her family originated from Maharashtra, famous for its warriors. When the Mysore king needed warriors for his army, he would seek out the Maharashtra warriors. Sandhya's mother formed her own unique blend of traditional Maharashtra and Mysore style cooking. Nevertheless, when Sandhya developed an obsessive love for culinary pursuits, her mother would often scold her to get out of the kitchen and have a life beyond that of cookery. When many years later she opened her restaurant in her home and became renowned for her unique dishes by yogis all over the world, her mother finally accepted that this was an obsession of which Sandhya was never to be cured. Sandhya acknowledges that her mother's and grandmother's skills in the kitchen had a great deal to do with her success today. It was not unknown for her to spend hours being taught how to cut a vegetable into just the right size until perfection was achieved. Today she has taught this skill to her dedicated staff who are proud to be initiated into Sandhya's secret of achieving the unique and delightful flavors her dishes impart. It was at the age of 15 when she developed some feminine health problems and her brother-in-law, who had been practicing Ashtanga yoga with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, suggested she should join him with the endeavor of curing her health issues. She continued to practice with Guruji until the age of 22 when she married. It was not until her husband passed away that she was able to consider her future on her own. Through the inspiration of one particular Western yogini, she became motivated to open her home to others and provide them with meals. She remembers with great emotion the standing ovation her first meal received. "I had always loved cooking, but in India sometimes it is taken for granted that you cook good food each day," she says. "It is so important to receive praise and acknowledgment for your efforts." It was through the teachings of her beloved Guruji and his wife Savitramma that she developed her recipes into suitable meals for yogis and then also added some adjustments towards the Western palate, as Indian food tended to be much too spicy. Added to this was the knowledge that her grandfather, a famous Ayurvedic doctor, imparted to her on Ayurvedic diet. Many of the recipes in this book have been in her family for generations. In most Indian households, each family develops some sort of unique way of creating dishes. The sambar powder is a very good example of this, and Sandhya now shares her secrets with us so that we can recreate a little of Mysore and Sandhya at home.