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Monday, March 31, 2008

My Surprise Gift ( Flavours Of Chettinad by Mrs.Seetha Muthiah )


Yesterday when my husband returned from our native village after attending the Anna dhanam arranged on my dad’s birthday, he brought me the surprise gift from my dad. I want to share the joy of the gift with my readers. I always love books and especially cookery books these days, as I am happily practicing this art and sharing my experiences with the blogging community. Let me come to my gift. It was a wonderfully compiled book on chettinad cookery by a very famous and well known Chettiar lady Mrs. Seetha Muthiah (AMM’s daughter-in-law, the proprietors of EID Parry ,TI cycles etc)).I have always heard about her from my mom a relative of hers. I have also met her once and spoke to her for a little time. The book was a real surprise for me, as it contained all the chettinad items one can ever think of wonderfully compiled and photographed.


The book is a true evidence of the involvement of the chettiar ladies in cooking irrespective of which class of society they belong to. From my childhood days I have always noticed my grand moms and old ladies at home taking much care of the menu, handling the groceries etc.I remember my mom’s grandmother’s store room. She would be certainly eighty years old at that time. Everyday she will open that room in the morning and will give the grocery required for that day’s cooking to the cook according to the menu given everyday. She will not give the key to anybody else. I and my brother will be always eager about that room and will be waiting for her to open the room. When she opens we will rush inside and will start investigating the things there. She will drive us out giving something for us to eat from that room like Mangai vathal or Achu kalkandu. Since my mother lost her mom when she was a kid we used to go to her grand mothers house only for holidays. The day before we return home, she will go and sit in front of that room and ask my mom to bring the containers one by one and start packing for us all the items in small cloth bags. She will then again start collecting things for her grand daughter.
I remembered my mother’s grand mom today, as I was asking my dad about Mrs.Seetha Muthiah and how she is related to us. My dad told me that AMM’s mother and my mother’s grand mom are sisters.
I got the book around 11pm, and I was going through it for the next 2 hours or so. My husband was going on asking me to go to bed telling that here afterwards the book will be with me only. But I was very eager to go through all the pages as it contained many items which I have not even heard of. My mom was mentioning about the book for the past one month i.e. from the day she got a copy of the book as compliment from the author. She told me that I can go through the book when I go there for the summer holidays. So I was eagerly waiting to see the book. It was a real surprise for me when my dad got a copy of the book and sent it to me. Mrs. Seetha Muthiah has gathered the recipes from various sources and has tried them and compiled the recipes in a wonderful manner. I think that she would have planned the book since a long time and have collected the recipes from the famous chettinad cooks engaged during chettinad weddings and functions. Great effort from her which has to be much appreciated. The printing of the book also is excellent in quality. All book lovers would love to touch it. The photographs of the items are mouth watering. I noted that the cost of the book is Rs.500. But I was very happy to see a line in the first page of the book’ The proceeds from this book will go to charity.’ I think that there is no need for me to mention the role of chettiars in charity, so this was no surprise for me. She is continuing her family tradition.
I will be having an encyclopedia of chettinad cookery makes me more happy now. If any of you get a chance to see this book, please go through it. I will certainly try some new items which I have not heard of before and share my experience with you. There are recipes of nearly 280items given in the book.

“Flavours Of Chettinad” compiled by Mrs.Seetha Muthiah

11 comments:

Divya Palani said...

Very nice post ma!

Chandramouli said...

Nicely written - chandramouli

Chandramouli said...

Nicely written - chandramouli

solai said...

Thankyou, My dear daughter and father for ur compliments

Cham said...

I always love to visit ur site 4 chettinad cuisine. U can register ur site here http://connect.sailusfood.com/ and suggest ur feed. Ur blogg will be exposed to many of us ...

sarita said...

Your blog is a real treasure of chettinad recipes. I would love to get a copy of this book. Is it available in stores in Chennai?
You are doing a wonderful job for people like me living 10,000 miles away !!.

Sarita

solai said...

I come to know that it is available in Rediff,sarita

Cindy said...

I searched for this book so that I can buy it but :-(

It only led me to this page

http://www.hindu.com/mp/2007/07/03/stories/2007070350290500.htm

Meenal said...

Mam,I'm in the US, can I get this book "Flavours of Chettinad" thru online....do you know any websites that sells this book?

Shilpi said...

Hello,

Can you please let me know if you tried any of the recipes from this book and how did they come out.Is it available in Chennai?I have started loving the chettinad food in the recent years and have a strong desire to learn to cook this cuisine. Thank you for all your help!

Shilpi

Solai Chidambaram said...

Shilpi,To be frank I was not able to make much use of the book as the recipe is for large qty.