Get the taste of a culinary story – TAMIL NADU

Every ingredient has a story to tell, and the dishes are like a great story, as chef Regi Mathew described cooking in a nutshell.

Similar is
A Kitchen Full of Stories
, a coffee table book released on Saturday. The book, in a mix of stories and recipes of traditional Mappila cuisine, documents the culinary journey of its writer, Ummi Abdulla.

Alongside are anecdotes from her growing years and tips from her own kitchen. The book that has evolved over seven years was conceptualised by her grand-daughter, Nazaneen Jalaludheen.

Releasing the book, N. Ram, chairman, The Hindu Publishing Group, said, “It goes without saying that this book is indispensable to anyone interested in Mappila cuisine. At one level, it is a cookbook — a practical guide to and celebration of Mappila kitchen treasures. But it is more than that. It introduces us to the culture and tradition of a community.”

“In a wider sense, it is a celebration of the idea of India, the rich diversity and plurality and the secular spirit of its historical civilisation that has come under stress and challenge today. It is the celebration of the greatness of our historical civilisation, which has welcomed influences from anywhere in the world,” he said.

Nandini Rao, chairman and managing director, Orient Blackswan, said coconut, coconut oil and rice formed the foundation of all food from Kerala.

“But Arab influences in Mappila cuisine are clearly evident and provide an element of surprise.
A Kitchen Full of Stories
evokes not just the food of the community but also the customs and traditions of the community that has contributed to the richness and diversity of India,” she said.

Ms. Jalaludheen said being a self-published book, they used crowdfunding as a way for people to book in advance. S. Muthiah, historian, Geeta Doctor, author and S.R. Madhu, writer-editor were present.

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