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« February 11, 2007 - February 17, 2007 | Main

May 14, 2007

Press Release for Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts: Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy

For Immediate Release                         
Contact: Ammini Ramachandran                                     
Phone: (972) 612 2712             
Email: ammini@peppertrail.com

Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts
Recipes and Remembrances of a Vegetarian Legacy

In this passionate celebration of her ancestral cuisine, Ammini Ramachandran skillfully interweaves history, geography, religion, tradition, and especially, evocative personal anecdotes to bring a delectable story to life.

With Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts, Ramachandran has integrated her recipes into a Western-style menu and offers suggestions for home cooks to expand their repertoire without having to create an entire menu of dishes. A comprehensive glossary provides the origins and history of every grain and spice used in Ramachandran’s recipes, its importance in the cuisine, and the associated folklore.

But even more, Ramachandran explores in detail both the cuisine and its relation to Kerala’s history and lifestyle, creating a cookbook distinctive in today’s market. Over the past seven years, Ramachandran has researched the ancient Indian Ocean spice trade and its influences on the cuisine and culture of her home state Kerala, India. In a richly detailed chapter, Our History and Heritage, she traces the development spice trade that began long before the birth of Christ, and lasted over many centuries; gradual colonization by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British; and the indelible imprint of spice trade on Kerala’s culture and cuisine.

Delving into the lifestyle and traditions of Kerala’s matrilineal society, she sheds light on this often-mystifying culture while simultaneously presenting recipes in their historical framework. Born in Kerala, India, to a Nayar joint family, Ramachandran’s grandfather and father-in-law were members of the royal family of Kochi. This heritage permitted her personal access to the authentic vegetarian recipes Kerala. With Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts, Ramachandran creates a surprisingly approachable cuisine in its cultural context.

Visit www.peppertrail.com

Available from Ingram Book Group, Baker & Taylor, iUniverse, Inc.

Amazon.com

BarnesandNoble.com

booksamillion.com

ISBN: 0-595-40976-8  6 x 9  Trade Book  $23.95

ISBN: 0-595-85332-3  6 x 9  Adobe E-Book    $6.00

Advance Praise for the Book

“Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts is a wonderful book: a moving glance into a world that I would never otherwise have encountered. Recipes that make me want to rush to the kitchen, intriguing techniques that could be used with other cuisines, fascinating personal stories about growing up in a big Kerala household, all embedded in a deep understanding of Kerala as a pivot of Asian history. It’s a wonderful tribute to Kerala and a stunning gift for the rest of us.”     

—Rachel Laudan, culinary historian and       
Author of The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii’s Culinary Heritage

“Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts is a jewel of a cookbook---from its authentic recipes (many published here for the first time) to Ammini Ramachandran's evocative personal anecdotes of Kerala's culinary traditions. It is at once scholarly, yet accessible, and especially charming for its delicious recipes and intriguing stories from the royal kitchens of Kochi".       
—Grace Young       
Author of The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen & The Breath of a Wok

"In this passionate celebration of her ancestral cuisine, Ammini Ramachandran deftly interweaves history, religion, tradition, geography, and especially, intimate family memories to bring the delicious Keralan story to life. Her recipes were savored not just at home but at temples too, where priests doled out scrumptious spicy brown chickpeas or sweet rice pudding treats. Foods that have been blessed, she says, "had a very special taste". A lush area of diverse vegetation on the southwest coast of India, Kerala is unique not only for its age-old interaction with foreigners, but also for its matrilineal society. Ammini makes it all very accessible, beginning with thorough explanations of the fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables emphasized in the Keralan kitchen. She demystifies all the various kinds and types of grains, flours, and legumes I had always stared longingly at in Indian groceries. And she shares her discoveries: sensible substitutions, invaluable trucs, and suggestions for integrating these traditional recipes into non-traditional menus. The world that Ammini chronicles may have vanished, but her food, enriched with memory and love, offers a very special taste for us all".    
   
—Jayne Cohen       
Author of Gefilte Variations

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