Book Reviews

Book Review: Culinary and Culture of Tamil Nadu By Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan

the author and book image as in the blogchatter website.
Download the book here for free


This e-book “CULINARY AND CULTURE OF TAMILNADU” highlights the concepts behind the food prepared during festivals. The eight major festivals covered in this book focus both on religious and cultural celebrations in Tamil Nadu. The book aims to introduce the reader to the customs of the people of Tamilnadu. 

Anuradha is a serious blogger in both English and Hindi languages and writes on many topics. in this book, she has connected the food with the ages-old traditions of festivities common to Tamil Nadu.

My Thoughts on Culinary and Culture of Tamil Nadu:

The book starts off with a delicious recipe for Chakkara Pongal or Sweet Pongal. The recipe is authentic and almost the same as what I make at home for festivals. I did learn something new in this recipe and that is to get the jaggery to one string consistency. Next time I make this recipe in the Tamil month of Aadi, about 15-20 days away, I will try to follow this method!

The author has included a lot of information about when and how this sweet dish is used in Tamil culture. Many of which, I did not know, like its importance in Marghazhi (mid-December to mid-January). We make chakkara pongal during other months also besides the ones mentioned here.

Likewise, I found some of the rituals mentioned about Diwali, we have forgotten! After reading about using the Ganga Jal during Diwali, I remembered this from my grandparent’s home. I had forgotten this ritual in the hurry-burry of modern life!

In this way, every one of the chapters has something precious to offer. I think the biggest plus point is the history and connection to our roots that food has. Especially for those of us who have lost touch with our roots; this book is invaluable in reminding us of those long-gone days. I hope to restart some of the rituals I have forgotten about after reading about them in the book!

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get back to their roots in Tamil Nadu. This book is also great for the readers interested in culture and its connection with the food of Tamil Nadu. Visitors and new residents of Tamil Nadu will find it particularly useful to know more about this state in the south of India.

What Could Have Been Better About Culinary and Culture of Tamil Nadu:

I would have loved a lot more photos of the end-result food and maybe a few about the festivals associated with each chapter. Drool-worthy photos are always welcome when it comes to food! Especially for a new cook who does not know what the end result is supposed to look like! A photo would help you to grope less in the dark. Trust me, I was one such new cook thirty years ago and always appreciated cookbooks with photos.

i would have appreciated it a lot if the recipes were written out professionally. You need to list the Ingredients, with their quantities and then the procedure. Though the author has given simple and easy-to-follow instructions. Yet we just need the ingredients listed out so that it is easy to check whether we have stock before we start making the recipe. This makes it easy to follow at a glance, instead of searching for ingredients as we go.

I repeat that the recipes are very authentic and will be treasured by anyone who wants traditional recipes. You will also enjoy knowing the history of the food and how it is used culturally.

Do download and save this book for the variety of delicious and original recipes undiluted by today’s innovations.

the book cover of culinary and culture of tamil nadu
Book cover of Culinary and Culture of Tamil Nadu – download for free here.

About the Author Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan:

Anuradha Sowyamaraynanan started her blogging journey 6 years ago. She associated with as many of us have and found her way to this book. Her interest in culture and culinary goes much further back. It was natural to write about the rituals and rules involved in festivals and the food associated with them in BeStoriefied. The book is just the next step for her.

The author has a blog called BOOK FOOD LANGUAGE where she writes about books, impactful food, and language, She writes in both Hindi and English on her blog. She also includes a House of Poetry in the blog so there is a lot to interest you if you visit the website.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Culinary and Culture of Tamil Nadu By Anuradha Sowmyanarayanan”

  1. Authentic recipe are always unique. We should preserve this recipe and forward to the next generation. Otherwise it will be lost recipe. We used to forget most of our rituals too. We should follow so that next generation will preserve this.

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