I can never remember my grandmother without remembering the smoke-filled kitchen she worked in day in and day out. One of her best creations was rasam, the lentil broth soup that is the cornerstone of South Indian cooking. It wasn't until I tried my hand at recreating the dish in the heat of her kitchen that I realized what a precise science the dish was, even though grandma seemed to churn it out daily with such nonchalance. The secret ingredient she swore by? A special pot called an eeya chombu, made with an alloy containing tin and other metals. My ninth grade self didn't realize that eeya chombu translated to "melting pot" - quite literally. Venturing into the kitchen one day while grandma was having a shower, I decided I would surprise her with a rasam of my own. I could do it. I had seen her make it many times, after all. But to my horror, as the soup gradually began to simmer and ...
For a visual tour of the book, please visit my Pinterest board. And If kitchen tools are one foundation of cooking, recipes and cookbooks must certainly be another. This review of The Cookbook Collector explores some old and rare cookbooks.
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From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary
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